Author Topic: To Gloire We Steer! Slayer Plays Naval Action  (Read 7661 times)

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Offline StarSlayer

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Re: To Gloire We Steer! Slayer Plays Naval Action
Picked up a Mastercraft quality USS Constitution with Live Oak Framing for a pretty cheap price in Fort Royal:





For those of you unfamiliar with the "Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat.  HMS Victory is older still but the Brits don't let her out of her drydock while Connie still gets to go out and play: 



USS Constitution is one of the original six frigates commissioned by the United States Navy.   Designed by Joshua Humphreys these ships answered the question how a nascent force like the USN could hope to contend with major seagoing powers like the Royal Navy.  Specifically by being 44 gun monsters capable of bullying anything their weight class and bellow yet still retaining the speed and maneuverability to avoid action with ships of the line.  Constitution, President and United States each mounted thirty 24 pounder Longs on their gundecks and an additional twenty eight 32 pounder carronades on the weather deck.  To put this in perspective the majority of frigates at the time mounted 18 or 12 pounders as their main armament.  In addition to this stupendous armament they were built tough, with southern live oak diagonal scantling to reduce hogging and very heavy planking for the time, making them extremely tough nuts to crack.  As legend has it the sight of cannon balls bouncing off her flanks prompted a sailor comment "Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!" thus leading to her famous nickname.

Launched 21 October 1797, USS Constitution participated in the Quasi War and the First Barbary War but it was during the War of 1812 that she had her most famous actions.  She successfully engaged and defeated HMS Guerriere on 19 August 1812, HMS Java 29 December 1812 and finally HMS Cyane and HMS Levant 20 February 1815.  This string of victories proved the "Super frigate" concept a success and shocked the Royal Navy.  Nowadays she is stationed in Boston at Charlestown Navy Yard and currently she is being refit.  Its always a splendid sight catching a glimpse of her when driving into the city.  Of course if you are interested in a more in depth description of her exploits and history check out the wiki page or read Six Frigates by Ian W. Toll.

In Naval Action the Constitution is slotted in as a Fourth Rate, sharing the tier with the Russian 64 gun ship of the line Ingermanland.   Similar to her real world counterpart in game Connie enjoys heavy armament, thick planking and high structural integrity.  Her heavy firepower allows her to relentlessly pound other frigates while bouncing much of their smaller caliber cannon fire in return.  In addition she is a pretty stable gun platform, not victim to the excessive heel that plagues the Trincomalee.  Funny enough because of her size going yard arm to yard arm with smaller ships can be vexing as her gundeck sits above their weather deck and the guns cannot be depressed to hit them.  When the broadside is delivered though it is very satisfying, in the first fleet mission I took her out I managed to wipe out a Mercury brig in a single pass and she easily bullied the other fifth rates.

However, all this comes at the cost of speed and maneuverability, here is the Connie's Sailing Profile:



The Constitution is slower than other frigates, less maneuverable and rapidly loses speed closer to the wind than beam reach.  Though note running directly with the wind she actually performs better than other frigates that prefer broad reach.  That said with careful use of manual sails and an eye towards energy management I found her pretty nimble despite her bulk.  If you make sure to carry enough momentum going into the maneuver she was capable of tacking across the wind smoothly and without getting caught in irons.  In addition unlike the Trinco I didn't feel like I was bleeding energy constantly by depowering sails to level out the gundeck. 

While she may not be lithe I still found Constitution comfortable to sail and coupled with that firepower and hull integrity a very powerful combatant.

Did I put enough emphasis on her size:


They did not have a fun time of it, by the end I had 4 kills and 3 assists while my side structure did not even dip below 50%.


BTW Naval Action is currently 25% off on Steam, if the game interests you it might be a good time to pick it up.
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: To Gloire We Steer! Slayer Plays Naval Action


I've taken out the Connie for a few more battles and while I haven't tackled a ship of the line, against frigates Constitution is absolutely brütal, I completely took apart an Essex in a frigate duel with barely a scratch.  Remember Essex has the heaviest broadside and structure of all the fifth rates excepting the Trincomalee.  Her mix of 18 and 12 pounders has a broadside weight of roughly 324pd.

With some very careful sail handling and energy management I was able to maneuver onto the stern of the Essex and conduct the scissors.  This allows me to engage with a broadside, turn, cross her wake to engage with the opposite broadside while the unexposed side reloads in time for the maneuver to be repeated.  It also has the added benefit of offering my opponent a limited opportunity to return fire at a heavily angled target.  Take note of the sail angles in the lower left for the following two screenies.  For the tightest turns you need to constantly use manual sails to harness the wind and augment you turns.

 

She can't stern camp quite as cleanly as a lighter frigate but with the angling increasing her already considerable plank thickness Connie bounces nearly all the Essex's 18 and 12 pounder round shot.



On the other hand Constitution's 24 pdr Longs and 42 pdr Carronades have no issues penning the Essex.  With this mixed armament Connie is throwing roughly 864pd per broadside.  The results are terrible to behold:



I should take a moment to complement the sound design in game, incoming fire is accompanied by a mix of wailing howls, splintering wood and the dull clang of bounced round shot.  The bass thunderclaps of the 42 pdr Carronades and the sharp cracks of the 24 pdr Longs combine into a stunning drumbeat of destruction.  Indeed Constitution turned this powerful fifth rate into kindling in short order:



I will use the opportunity to describe the upgrades I'm running on her.  Since this is only a Mastercraft grade ship she only has a single permanent upgrade and four temporary slots(an exceptional grade usually comes with two perms and five temps).  Since I'm currently crewing her at 77% until I get promoted I have fitted her out to compensate(though the following upgrades I use on most of my ships).   Note these are all Fine Grade since they are the best I can craft, for a list of all craftable upgrades check out our favorite Naval Action Craft site!

For the permanent upgrade slot I've installed:
  • Improved Magazine Access for -3% on the reload of the guns.

In the temporary slots I've added:
  • Extra Hammocks to increase my base crew by 7.5% increasing my max crew from 350 to 290 men
  • Lightweight Ropes and Blocks for a 12% buff to yard turning and setting of sails
  • Common Powder Monkeys(these cannot be crafted and are randomly available in sail in Port or as a loot drop after battle) for a -2% reduction in reload.
 
Coupled with management of crew priorities and alternating broadsides this configuration has made the undercrew penalty nearly unnoticeable. 

Finally I'll run through the upgrades I take on a Exceptional grade ship that has the maximum number of slots.  I personally prefer all rounder fits rather than a specialist build such as min/maxing boarding actions.  I try to accentuate DPS and maneuverability, these being the qualities I find most important in frigates and sixth rates.  I tend to avoid upgrades that boost stats at the expense of others for example Speed Trim increases speed at the expense of turning circle, heel and mast hp.

Permanent Upgrades:
  • Improved Magazine Access for -3% on the reload of the guns.
  • Optimized Rudder for 5% better ship turning speed and -10% rudder shift time

Temporary Upgrades:
  • Optimized Ballast to Ship -6% to max roll angle (very important in the Trinc)
  • Extra Hammocks to increase my base crew by 7.5% increasing my max crew from 350 to 290 men
  • Lightweight Ropes and Blocks for a 12% buff to yard turning and setting of sails
  • Common Powder Monkeys(these cannot be crafted and are randomly available in sail in Port or as a loot drop after battle) for a -2% reduction in reload.
  • Pellew's Sites -8% to cannon dispersion per 100M
   
That's all for now,

Cheers!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 10:20:57 pm by StarSlayer »
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: To Gloire We Steer! Slayer Plays Naval Action
So apparently the PVP1 EU server had some unscheduled downtime due to ISP issues.  In an extremely generous act of contrition the Dev team awarded every player across all servers an Exceptional Grade Teak Bucentaure of 80 guns.  The ship is brand new to the game, previously only community contributors had access to this very powerful man of war.   



Personally I find that 80 gun line of battle ships such as the Bucentaure and the British Foudroyant always seem to present a very lithe racy profile when compared with 74 gun third rates and the massive triple decker first rates:
 




After accruing more time getting acquainted I will post a more thorough review but initial impressions are favorable.  In addition the last patch added some new gameplay features which I will also attempt to cover.
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline crizza

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Re: To Gloire We Steer! Slayer Plays Naval Action
Excuse me for thread necro, but I'm contemplating buying this game.
But since it is a simulator I'm not quite sure, since the last simulator I bought was DCS World and I'm hopelessly overstrained :D
Check out my blog:

http://geo.schulzbert.de/