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#1 Mokman

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 12:17 AM

Hello all.  A couple of quick movement questions from someone new to the game.

 

1.  What is meant by the 2MF expended in Phase 4 of a Tack maneuver?  Is this a compulsory move straight forward on the new tack course before you can do anything else?  Is this 2MF in addition to any Advance you have to perform, or included in it as long as you go at least 2MF?

 

2.  What is the difference in reducing MF by Decelerating, Let Fly, or by Backing Sail?  In other words, they all do the same thing (reduce MF by either -2 or -3) so why three different mechanics?  Can you do more than one of them in a single Phase and thereby add their effects?  If not Decelerating and Backing Sail appear identical to me, except that it appears to only be available to square-riggers.  But can't they just do the same thing via Decelerating?  Let Fly is only different from Decelerating when at Battle or Easy sail, and that the rule implies that once you declare it you must continue reducing MF each Phase until you come to a stop.  Is that just it?  Let Fly is a hard deceleration that you have to take all the way to a stop?

 

Thanks.



#2 Phil Callcott

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 04:59 PM

Hi,

 

Ways to slow a square rigged ship...

 

1 -  Decelerating,  reduce the area of sail catching the wind by furling the individual sails, takes time (and most of the crew) to furl all the sails for the ship to slow to a halt.  Also takes time (and most of the crew) to re-set the sails to get going again.

 

 2 - Let Fly,  untie the ropes attached to the bottom corner of each sail and let them fly (flap) in the wind.  Quick, but very time consuming and dangerous to catch and secure the sails when you want to get going again.  Embarrassing to "let fly" during a battle as you are completely helpless for ages.

 

3 - Backing Sail,  brace (turn) the yards (the horizontal beams that support the sails) on one mast (usually the mizzen) so that the sails spill the wind and to have the wind blowing on the wrong side of the sails to act as a brake.  Takes less time than 1, more time than 2, but is quicker than both to undo and get going again.

 

4 - Turn into the wind, AKA "in irons".  Too dangerous at speed, as the wind coming over the bow will certainly slow a ship, but masts and rigging were designed to withstand a wind from the rear or quarter, they could not withstand a headwind for long without dismasting.  Tacking involves turning into the wind and then across it to change course on the opposite tack, instead of "wearing" ship.  You don't stay bow into the wind too long...

 

Regards, Phil



#3 ProfGRP

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 06:11 PM

Good questions. Here's my understanding:

 

1. The tacking ship has zero headway after crossing the wind to the new tack. It then gathers speed at 2MF per phase. So, the first phase on the new tack (4th step in tacking) is a max of 2 MF.

 

2. A ship must expend the maximum MF for her current sail set during each tactical phase. Rule 4.4 says: "A ship can voluntarily accelerate 1-3 MFs per her sail set each Tactical Phase until she reaches the maximum MF value for her sail set..." 

 

I am less certain of how deceleration works. Rule 4.4 then says: "Similarly, she may decelerate ... until she expends no MFs." She drifts until she re-trims and begins to accelerate to her max MF again. The rule doesn't say this, but I assume deceleration occurs only by backing or letting fly. I don't believe, for example, that a ship sailing with the wind abaft her beam could just gradually decelerate to zero with all her sails set. She would have to let fly or come to the wind and back.

 

She might, because of some change in conditions (e.g., change in sail setting, change in wind force, or damage to rigging), have to accelerate or decelerate to reach her maximum MF. That maximum MF factor may also be altered, for example, by tacking or backing. A tack reduces her max MF to 0 until, in the fourth step, she can begin to accelerate to the max MF of her sail set. Backing can be done to reduce speed only while close-hauled under battle or easy sail, and speed may  be reduced by an additional 2 MFs each turn the sails are backed. She might even reach 1 MF and be hove to.

 

A ship may also let fly. Even though the sails are no longer trimmed, she still has some forward momentum. So, she decelerates by three MFs/phase until she reaches 0. This is a method of deceleration that is quicker than backing. 

 

I'm sure if I have misstated something others will be kind enough to correct me.



#4 Phil Callcott

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Posted 26 August 2022 - 10:29 AM

Hi,

 

"don't believe, for example, that a ship sailing with the wind abaft her beam could just gradually decelerate to zero with all her sails set. She would have to let fly or come to the wind and back."

 

Square riggers could also be slowed by taking in a "reef".  This was shortening (taking in a sail) by topmen climbing to the yards, standing on the footrope and reaching down the front of the sail.   If you look at an accurate picture of a sail you will see that there are what appear to be bootlaces sewn all over the front of the sail.  Grabbing a handfull of sail and pulling it up and tying off the"laces" reduces the area of sail and slows the ship.

 

A ship did not have to turn into the wind to back a sail.

 

https://classic-sail...-square-rigger/

 

Regards, Phil



#5 Mokman

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Posted 27 August 2022 - 05:34 PM

Thank you for the background, but my questions still stand on how to PLAY the game.

 

I think I have figured out my first question about the 2MF at the end of a Tack maneuver by looking at the reference card.  When your Tack is done you are in fact only moving at 2MF in the new direction.  You are then free to accelerate along your new course up to the maximum allowed by your sail setting.

 

As for my second question concerning changes of speed, let me please make sure I have some things straight first.

 

Ships must expend all MF each Phase.  That I've got.

A ship's maximum MF is determined by their sail setting (as modified by gusts, damage, etc).

So if I am generating 10MF I must move those 10.  Easy enough.

Now if I choose to decelerate by 2MF I will be moving 8MF this Phase.

The question then becomes how many MF do I have on the next Phase?  Am I still at 8?  Or do I go back up to the 10 my sail setting provides?

 

My understanding is that I am at 8MF to start the following Phase because the wording of 4.4 first bullet point says, "she may decelerate each Tactical Phase until she expends no MFs".  Therefor each Phase I can choose to Accelerate or Decelerate from my CURRENT MF.  However, with reducing speed I see one subtle difference between the listed ways of doing it.  If I choose to reduce speed by Deceleration, or by Backing Sail if a square-rigger (which I still don't understand why there is a full section about that because there is nothing different happening there compared to simple Deceleration), you can freely change back to Accelerating in the next Phase because you are doing so by simple sail trimming that can be done "on the fly".  However, if you start to reduce speed by Let Fly you have made a drastic change to your sails that cannot be undone until you have come to a complete stop, and then it takes a full Phase to retrim things before you can get underway again.

 

Does this sound correct?

 

As a P.S. another thing that confuses me about Deceleration vs Backing Sail is that Backing Sail cannot be done if the wind is aft or abeam.  Ok, fine.  However, the generic Deceleration rule has no such restriction so then why even bother with the notion of Backing Sail and just use the generic Deceleration rule to get the wanted effect?  Or is the intention that because of the way square-riggers work they cannot reduce speed at all (Except by Let Fly perhaps?) if the wind is aft or abeam because the only way they reduce speed is by Backing Sail?    Very confused here as to how to apply the game rules as they are written.



#6 healey36

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Posted 28 August 2022 - 08:47 AM

...you will see that there are what appear to be bootlaces sewn all over the front of the sail.

 

Don't confuse those "bootlaces" with tell-tales, lengths of heavy yarn or light fabric strips sewn to the face of the sail that are used to detect still air, a precursor for sail-stall and an indicator of improper/inadequate sheeting. I've never seen these used to secure or reef a sail, but then I've never sailed on a square-rigger.



#7 huntertodd1

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Posted 30 August 2022 - 03:58 PM

 

There are several ways to slow down as remember, sailing vessels don't have brakes!  You can  decelerate normally (minor changes in sail trim) or let fly the sheets to reduce - 3 MFs per Phase in an emergency as described in rule Section 4.4.  [Note that letting fly has the downside of requiring one Tactical Phase to re-trim a vessel's sails and resume sailing.]  These apply to all angles of sail.  In addition, you can back a sail (to act as a sort of brake) to counter the thrust in the other sails provided the wind is not aft of abeam as described in rule Section 4.8.  Backing sail in multiple Phases is commonly used to heave to as noted in the discussion above.  But backing a sail can also be used as a temporary reduction in movement in a Tactical Phase.  This can confer a temporary reduction in movement for tactical purposes without requiring additional crew and is easily ended by re-trimming sails in the next Tactical Phase.  Backing sail is in addition to a vessel's normal acceleration or deceleration.  For example, a ship under Battle Sail can decelerate - 2 MFs and back sail for an additional - 2 MFs. 

 

Your obt. servant, &c.,

 

LONNIE     

 

The best answer I have found to your question #2 was posted by Lonnie Gill (ODGW Staff) in the 'Changing Speed' topic under 'Moving Under Sail'. I have quoted Lonnie's original answer. Link is below as well.

 

https://www.odgw.com...-speed/?p=11875



#8 Phil Callcott

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 09:58 AM

Hi healey36,

 

Regarding reef lines AKA reef nettles, I hope these explain what I was trying to do when calling them "bootlaces"

 

http://www.dabblersa...id=43&pic_id=17

 

https://en.wiktionar...quare_sail1.jpg

 

Regards, Phil


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#9 healey36

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Posted 06 September 2022 - 07:16 AM

Yup, sorry, my confusion. I thought we might have been referring to the bits that are often attached to the trailing edge (leech) or slightly inward of the mainsail. These, and the nettles, are good indicators of dead-air at the leech and across the bottom third of the main.

 

In practice, it's been rare that we ever reefed sails using the nettles (likely a matter of laziness and comfort, being casual sailors). We typically sailed out of the Severn onto the Chesapeake. On the bay you're trying to grab/maximize every bit of wind that can be found, so the exercise is primarily sheeting, rarely reefing. Sailing up the river at the end of the day is some of the best sailing (against the current, lots of extreme tacking, with two decent-sized bridges to pass beneath). On the bay, the biggest issue is being mindful of your proximity to the shipping channel:

 

52338718785_8d409f03ca_z.jpg

 

That said, I am totally ignorant of square-rigged sailing (although the concepts are presumably similar).






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