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RC Battleship Combat 127

Tuna_Shooter writes "For you war buffs... These people have a LOT of free time on their collective hands...." I thought Slashdot had done a story on this hobby, but I don't see it in the archives. The RCWarships site is probably the best place to start.
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RC Battleship Combat

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  • by nunogawa ( 317931 ) on Saturday September 21, 2002 @12:08AM (#4301761)
    Forget sinking other RC boats, I wanna take on the ducks in the lake outside my office!
  • rc boats (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Raven42rac ( 448205 )
    rc boats are cool, especially when their frequency interferes with that of an rc plane, im sure that the results are predictable. true story
    • There are seperate reserved frequences for ground vehicles (boats and cars) and Aircraft..
    • Like the guy above said there are separate frequencies for land and air models. 75 and 78 mhz respectively. With 27mhz reserved for toy radio control models, like those sold at toys-r-us. In addition the frequencies are segmented into channels, (I think 100 now, they changed things in 91) model airplane and boat clubs use boards which list the frequencies everyone is on. Generally things work out, at my club most of us pick a certain channel and the other guys do the same. Still, I keep a second set of crystals in my field box.

      Could Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it? HS
  • when... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skydude_20 ( 307538 ) on Saturday September 21, 2002 @12:11AM (#4301776) Journal
    are we going to have these boats running linux, with a 802.11 connection, then you play Battleship on the computer and watch it happen in real life
    • Of course the point of BattleShip is that you can't see the other players boats, the whole guessing positions thing and all.
  • Cheating? (Score:3, Funny)

    by jhunsake ( 81920 ) on Saturday September 21, 2002 @12:11AM (#4301777) Journal
    Would it be cheating if I bombed them from my RC plane?
    • What about making a replica Zero and crashing it into a ship? (I know...what a waste of an RC plane) Or better yet, what if someone were to build a submarine? I guess it might be difficult to figure out wether or not it sank though (you'll have to see if it will float back up).
      • Umm, what's the point? The idea of a submarine is that it should be hard to detect. With that antenna sticking up from the water (or how are you going to control it) it kinda defeats the purpose.. although torpedoes would be übercool.
    • How about a sneak attack just after dawn, before they're all set up?
      Get 50 or so RC Plane enthusiasts to help out -
      Bomb then to the bottom of the pond!

    • Yeah, let's see you get a 1/144 scale airplain fly, much less drop any bombs.

      Was that comment about aircraft carriers launching planes for real? Maybe you could catapult them off the deck, but to what end? Hardly realistic if they are just projectiles.

      • According to the official rules (yes, I actually took the time to read them) carriers can "launch" airplanes as projectiles, and they score points if the plane hits an enemy ship. Carriers can also carry guns in lieu of airplanes. Realism occasionally has to bend to reality...
      • And just why not? The engine technology is here [flypower.com]. All that is needed is some sort of very light control system. The planes could be made to scale if they were considered bombers but they might have to lack historical accuracy in order to get airborne. Stick a large firecracker in it and call it a kamikazi bomber....
    • I think if you launch an RC plane from the deck of your RC carrier, you deserve to win.
  • This is great! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by legoboy ( 39651 )
    That looks like an incredibly fun hobby, but...

    What happens when someone straps tiny bombs onto a remotely controlled miniature replica of the B2 or some other bomber?

    • How fast is your plane moving? How big are the RC ships? What is your targetting system? The rules specify the type of ammunition to be used (CO2-fired round steel pellets). So you have a steel ball launcher mounted on your B2 bomber. How do you track a moving target on the ground and launch balls at it with any kind of decent accuracy (hit/miss ratio)?

      In short, it sounds like a fun but time- and money-consuming project.

    • What happens when someone straps tiny bombs onto a remotely controlled miniature replica of the B2 or some other bomber?

      It's in the rules that all models must be to the same scale (1/144), which is why nobody uses submarines as the models would be too small to be practical. If you can build an RC airplane 3 inches long then go for it!

  • by thelinuxking ( 574760 ) on Saturday September 21, 2002 @12:18AM (#4301801)
    Where are the lego guys controlling the ships?
  • How do they reload? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GrendelT ( 252901 )
    are they one shot only cannons? or how do the cannons reload?
  • Interesting Hobby (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ender81b ( 520454 ) <billd AT inebraska DOT com> on Saturday September 21, 2002 @12:33AM (#4301834) Homepage Journal
    An interesting hobby, and one that must indeed take alot of time. I was curious so I looked at the rules [rcwarships.com], and I found out a number of interesting things:
    • Only ships constructed between 1900-1946 may be used
    • Must be constructed exactly like originals
    • basically the ships armor must conform in size and purportion, with the original (model) ships
    • 1. No means of delaying, or slowing down the sinking of any ship is allowed.
    • only electronics may be protected by watertight compartments
    THe last two rules in particular are very interesting. Most battleships where constructed as to be divided into multiple watertight comparments (much like the titantic.. only better =)) and were almost impossible to sink. Take the battleship Yamato, the pride of WWII japanese Fleet, when it went on its suicide mission against the US fleet at Okinawa it took, IIRC, somewhere around 12 torpedo hit plus a large number of bombs before she finally went down. Personally, if they are going to all the detail of building the ships why not use watertight compartments like the real ships? Sure, it would take longer to go down but at least it would give a more fair battleship vs. battleship game. The battles would likely last alot longer, yes, but at least it would be far more realistic.

    Otherwise, this entire exercise is fascinating, including model aircraft carrirs that can launch aircraft (!), torpedos, and the like, although it appears as though submarines have not yet been sanctioned.
    • by ender81b ( 520454 ) <billd AT inebraska DOT com> on Saturday September 21, 2002 @12:41AM (#4301858) Homepage Journal
      I hate replying to my own comment but I also thought of a british battleship, I believe she was the Prince of Whales, that was constructed during the late 1920's-early 30's. To get around the provisions of the Washington Naval Treaty (which limited the tonnage a battleship could have thereby decreasing the amount of armor it could carry, etc), they used a system by which the ship could be 'flooded'. Basically a double hull was constructed and the outer hull could be flooded with water in effect adding alot of armor as water can quite easily absorb the blast impacts while staying under the tonnage restrictions (as long as her outer hull wasn't flooded). I wonder how/if it would be legal to construct this battleship?
      • I'm sorry, but this is simply foolish. No sane engineer would EVER design a battleship that used water as armor. Water transmits energy far too easily; the internal hydrodynamic shock produced by a torpedo or kinetic energy warhead would literally shatter the entire hull, instantaneuosly blowing out every fastener or weld joint in the ship. It would be neat to watch, but devastating for those on board... (For an example of hydrodynamic shock, try shooting first an empty soda can and then a full soda can with a small caliber firearm).

        Then again, it sounds like the ship was British, and judging by some of the things I have seen on European-designed aircraft you might be right. British structural engineers have made some amazingly, umm, interesting design decisions in the past.
        • Hah! After much googling I found the following, I was wrong, it wasn't the british but the italian's on the LITTORIO class. Quoth:

          The unconventional Pugliese underwater protection system consisted of a 40mm torpedo bulkhead which curved up from the outer bottom and then extended outboard to meet the lower edge of the armor belt. Within the space thus created between the void double bottom and this torpedo bulkhead was a liquid filled compartment, and within that was a void longitudinal drum with a diameter of 380cm with 6mm walls. The idea was that the explosion of a torpedo warhead would collapse the void drum within the liquid filled compartment, thus absorbing most of the explosive energy. The torpedo bulkhead was supposed to catch splinters and prevent further damage. This system was also adopted by the Russians for their Sovyetskiy Soyuz class super battleships (see my essay "The Super Battleships That Never Were" for a description of these ships). Unfortunately, it did not work as well in practice as it did in theory.

          • Hehe. I stand corrected- sort of- it may have been done but was definitely a really silly idea :-) This interesting link [warships1.com] talks about what actually happened when the ship was hit (although the failure mode described is almost certainly wrong):

            "The Italians made the next, much more negative leap in 1934, with the Pugliese System introduced in the Vittorio Veneto Class and the reconstructions of the Conte di Cavour Class and Andrea Doria Class ships. The Pugliese design filled the volume of the TDS with a large cylinder, which was in turn filled with closed tubes reminiscent of those in HMS Ramillies. Pugiese's theory was that the torpedo would expend its energy crushing the cylinder. In practice the design failed miserably. Following the path of least resistance, the blast traveled around the cylinder and concentrated itself against the weakest point of the complex structure supporting the cylinder: the concave holding bulkhead.

            This bulkhead acted much like a dam mistakenly built bowing downstream, rather than upstream against the current. This concave surface was structurally the weakest possible arrangement for containing the force of an explosion, and to make matters worse, the workmanship proved tragically defective. Conte di Cavour sank from a single torpedo hit at Taranto, and Caio Duilio had to be beached to prevent her sinking, also after one hit. Littorio suffered three hits, grounding her bow before she could sink. Vittorio Veneto twice, and Littorio once, suffered severe flooding in dangerous situations at sea when struck by torpedoes, more than such modern ships should have.

            Pugliese's design also consumed tremendous volume, and foreshortened the depth of the armored belt, making the ships so fitted more vulnerable to shell hits below the waterline. Once again, practical experience proved that not every innovation represented an improvement. "

            thanks for pointing me at this, I learned something from it (and have a new example to show my students).
    • OK, cool, I'm bulding mine from solid styrofoam.
    • that's probably because submarines would be incredibly difficult to implement within this system. i mean, you have to know where your ship is in order to control it, right?
    • They are pragmatists (Score:5, Informative)

      by A nonymous Coward ( 7548 ) on Saturday September 21, 2002 @01:20AM (#4301943)
      The entire exercise is to have fun with relative merits reproduced, not anal realism. You go on about water tight compartments; why not fuss and bother over so many other wrongs?

      Real battleships seldom fought at less than 10,000 yards (5 miles). These things are fighting at less than a ships length apart! Long range duels involve long delays between aiming/firing and results, plunging fire, precise aiming, radar, haze and good or bad optics, weather conditions, multiple ships and the fog of war. Why not require optics and radar and relays to shore based units to duplicate all these?

      Different forms of armor. Real battleships had different thicknesses of armor in different places, at different angles, and different materials. There was side armor, sometimes one armored bulkhead, sometimes several. There was deck armor, sometimes several layers, sometimes a single one. Conning towers, turret armor (which differed on the front, sides, top, and backside, not to mention the barbette), there were magazines, fuel oil to catch on fire, boilers to explode, damage control parties. Heck, throw in crew expertise, training, naval doctrine, individual commander's expertise.

      Unrealistic ammunition and guns. Battleship guns usually could fire one or two salvoes a minute, more or less. There were full charges which wore down gun barrels faster, low charges, high explosive vs armor piercing shells, delayed action fuses, duds. The Japanese developed a shell with a better underwater trajectory which got hits which otherwise would have missed. They also had the long range oxygen powered Long Lance torpedo which had the side effect of killing several Japanese cruisers when their torpedo storage was hit in battle.

      In short, watertight compartments miss the point. The rules are designed such that small ships have a proportional chance of sinking bigger ships, and that's about it. It's all about reasonably cheap and accurate fun, not about realism down to the nth degree. Once you start worrying about watertight compartments, you are lost. My carrier, USS Midway CV-41, missed WW II by 10 days and would be eligible for these contests. She has 4000 watertight compartments, 12 boiler rooms, 4 engine rooms. How much of that do you want to duplicate?
    • I was thinking the same thing looking at this shot [rcwarships.com] of the interior of a hull. When I was stationed on a ship, we were trained that the ONLY thing that kept a ship afloat in combat was watertight compartments.

      The ship I was on (DDG-56) even had cross-flooding zones so if a compartment on the port was compromised, a compartment (non COMBAT essential) on the starboard would cross-flood to keep the ship level (important for guns a missle launchers).
    • Most battleships where constructed as to be divided into multiple watertight comparments (much like the titantic..

      and it worked soooo well on the titanic

      • Re:Interesting Hobby (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Yeah, well, the hull of the Titanic wasn't even remotely similar to the hull of a battleship.

        And these are *watertight* compartments, not high bulkheads. An iceberg collision doesn't sink a battleship.
    • Alas, with a decent amount of watertight compartments, you'd have to render a model to splinters to sink it. At least this way, a sunk sip can be repaired for a new engagement without too much effort.

    • As a active participant in RC Warship combat ( http://www.mwci.org ) I think I can answer your questions on this one.
      The purpose of the hobby is to see ships sink. Watertight compartments defeat this purpose. Also, since scoring is based on how many holes are in your hull (plus sink points) it's not really a good idea to stay afloat too long. :)
      Besides, who want's to patch all of those holes?

      As for the Italian water armor system:
      Think about it. It's Italian ships. They only did it to save money and it was pretty worthless anyway.

      Bryan Finster
      Capt. IJN Yamato, IJN Mogami, IJN Nagato (Under construction)
  • by raehl ( 609729 ) <raehl311@yahoo.GAUSScom minus math_god> on Saturday September 21, 2002 @12:40AM (#4301854) Homepage

    In an unfortunate turn of events for Bismark captain Luke Simmons and crew, the german battleship was sunk in friendly waters just off the Bismark's home port, the dock extending 12 feet into the lake behind Capt. Simmons' summer cottage.

    "He just refused to honor the rules of combat," Capt. Simmons lamented, referring to Timmy Levendowski's complete disregard for weapons conventions when forgoing mounting cannon on his own ship in favor of divine intervention from the sky in the form of airborne boulders measuring up to 3 inches across.

    The Bismark was simply unable to withstand the continued barrage and sunk despite Capt. Simmons' best efforts, including a desperate call to Timmy's parents.

    Timmy did not escape the encounter unscathed, however, as international condemnation from his parents after the sinking landed him trade sanctions which, among other things, withheld Timmy's weekly 6 AUD in international aid.

    "It's not fair," whined Timmy, "I wanted to play and they wouldn't let me, and now I have to wait a whole 'nother week to get my new action figure. He wouldn't even let me try on his hat", referring to a replica German mariner's headpiece worn by Capt. Simmons whenever commanding his vessel.

  • Homer: You sank my scrabbleship!
  • Hey i do that.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by linuxbert ( 78156 ) on Saturday September 21, 2002 @01:07AM (#4301917) Homepage Journal
    Sort of.. i dont sink my ships. RC Boats re a very geek friendly hobby. i am part of a club in Ottawa, and a majority of our members are in (or retired from) Hi Tech Proffessions.

    Check out www.ziobrowski.net [ziobrowski.net] or Rideau Nautical Modelers [rideaunautical.ca]

    A few Neat things you will see - a 10ft 1/72 scale aircraft carrer - with taxing airplanes, underwater submarine photos, constrction photos and a 1/4 scale 2 person tub boat.
  • I work as a volunteer aboard the SS Jeremiah O'Brien [ssjeremiahobrien.org], a liberty like this one [ausbg.org]. The site from the story, and the things the people do, is just cool. Too bad they couldn't arm the civilian ships. There are a few documented cases of Liberties and Victories giving as good as they got during WWII.

    - Akky

    P.S. Please for the love of Hod forgive us for our webmaster. He's a nasty old man who thinks he's All That.
  • SSDS or ACDS Ships? Are they running SNEATT?? Do they have passive or active acoustics?

    These are very important questions....
  • Check out your local "Big Gun" groups [ausbg.org].

  • For anyone who has only heard of it's legendary power, you may find an actual blink tag [ausbg.org] on the site. I thought those were gone for good!
  • by billbaggins ( 156118 ) on Saturday September 21, 2002 @01:57AM (#4302024)
    I don't know what's more amazing, the amount of work & time they've put into these ships, or the fact that such a graphics-heavy page is still viewable after having been posted on /. for almost an hour...
  • Damn Slashdot Effect...
  • Normally warships would make me drool but presently I'm watching Miss Teen USA on television so I've just about run out of saliva.

  • by nocent ( 71113 ) on Saturday September 21, 2002 @02:36AM (#4302096)
    very very cool. after looking over the photos and reading about some of the battles, my first question was "What happens to the sunken ships?" Of course, this is answered in their faq [ausbg.org]:

    How do you recover a sunken vessel ?

    Each vessel carries a float which is attached to the vessel's hull by a long line. When the vessel sinks, the float will (normally) pop to the surface, bringing one end of the line with it. As the other end is securely attached to the hull, pulling in the line will retrieve the vessel from the depths. Sometimes the float does not fully deploy or the line is too short and the vessel has to be dragged for. No vessel in the AusBG has ever been permanently lost and vessels have sunk in water more than 20 feet deep.

  • You spend tens to hundreds of hours constructing a faithful replica of a WWII battleship. You paint it, you fuel it, you wire up the controls, you test and refine it. Then you go wreck it. So, it's sort of like RC planes?
  • Perhaps NAMBA wasn't a very good choice for the association name.
  • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Saturday September 21, 2002 @04:40AM (#4302321) Journal
    Actual projectile weapons and the threat of sinking, woo-hoo! You wouldn't need hot chicks to keep that interesting. Not that hot chicks would make it less interesting. Hot chicks... water... Yeah, I see definite possibilities here.
  • by Volzeron ( 560605 ) on Saturday September 21, 2002 @05:24AM (#4302369) Journal

    Imagine my shock at seeing the "magnificent obsession" on Slashdot! You may say I'm into this hobby a bit. For more information, be sure to check out Model Warship Combat, Inc. [mwci.org]. Easily the most organized and largest group of model warship combat enthusiasts on the planet. The only organization with a national rule set so people can battle each other under the same rules no matter where they travel from. The MWC even has their own insurance and they're incorporated to boot!

    For anyone who is curious, the hobby actually started in Abilene, TX during the summer of 1978 when two bored yokels decided to see if they could sink a plastic model of a ship by taking turns firing at it from shore with a BB gun. Needless to say, shortly after that they were successful in mounting a cannon on a radio controlled ship. The rest is history.


    • Like any sucessful hobby, there are a few competing formats. There are two basic formats "Small Gun" and "Big Gun". In "Small Gun" (the original format) all gun are the same caliber and hold the same number of rounds, all armour is the same thickness, all pumps have the same size outlet, speed are very high, vessels can travel freely forward or reverse and vessels capabilities are abstracted into about 10 general classes. In general this means that a wider range of vessels are viable.

      In "big gun", armour is proportional to historical thickness, gun caliber is proportional to historical caliber, speeds are proportional to historic speed (and much lower than small gun), pump output is proportional to displacement and you can mount as many cannon as the historic ship had. This is more "realistic" but only in a very relative sense. The overall concequence is that big ships have all the advantages in Biggun (apart from manoverability) and tend to dominate.

      Both are great fun (but although they both use 1/144th scale hulls the two branches of the hobby are not interoperable)

      If I were recommending to people which to choose to decome involved in, I would recommend which ever one had an existing group near to them

      Smallgun is the only game in town in Canada

      Biggun is the only game in town in Australia
      (We first tried to set up "smallgun" but could not get help - see http://www.ausbg.org/history.html

      In the states you have a wide variety of choices.
      The mwci site, www.mwci.org has a nice map of the states to help you find groups and there is a mob called IR/CWCC as well that is sort of national but I don't know much about them - the Canadians might.

      The small gunners also have a nationals that run for a whole week and which could be a real blast.

      The "big gunners" are not nationally organised in the states but there are major groups in Texas, SF, LA and near Chicago. Links to their websites (and some other nice stuff) are at www.ausbg.org/links.html.

      The AusBG also has a CD we did earlier this year that has slideshows, screen savers, a copy of our website and a (MPEG-1) version of a program the Australian Broadcasting Corporation did on the battlegroup. They can be obtained from the chaps at the "Bowning Shipyards" at www.ausbg.org/BSY for a few dollars (1 USD for the CD plus postage). It sort of gives you a taste of what it is all about.

      Searches on Google for "model warship combat" or "rc warship" will also tend to find losts of interesting hits.

  • The ships look like WWII vessels, but the battles and the tactics involved (very close range slug-fests) seem much more like the days of wooden ships and iron men. In fact, the ships are wood and the BB's are simply tiny cannon balls. Would be fun to try this with sailing ships I think!
    • Well actually the combat is more like how battles in the "Pre-dreadnough" era from around 1860 - 1900 was expected be like. "Melee" or "dog fight" is how it is normally described.

      The ships look like "dreadnought" era ships but the practicalities of combat make for "point blank" combat - the one form of battle dreadnoughts were explicitly designed to avoid (Dreadnought and the "single caliber armourment" were explicitly design to fight at range). So think "pre-dreadnought" - Majestics, etc and you are on the right tactical track. The only real difference is that ramming is forbidden as are pyrotechnics.

  • The coolest thing is the bb firing guns... really cool designs. I espically like the o-ring system that if you nail it with enough air pressure you can "machine-gun" your opponents.

    In Decautr Illinois they have these battles every summer in one of the county parks that has a large calm and shallow pond. It's really neat to watch.

    luckily they dont allow ramming, otherwise a larger ship could easily kill off everyone without too much trouble.

  • by Spencerian ( 465343 ) on Saturday September 21, 2002 @09:44AM (#4302721) Homepage Journal
    If you ever read the Hornblower books, you know how exciting they made fights of sailing warships in the Napoleonic Wars.

    WWI/II era ships are too easy. You can steer them in any direction you want, and the damage is probably too tiny to see (it's confined to the small hull).

    Why not build some serious fighting sail, like the HMS Victory (in history, commanded by the most famous and victorious commander in his day, Admiral Horatio Nelson), and pit it against America's jewel, the USS Constitution. Constitution never lost a battle, and, in its last battle against two British ships, did such incredible manoevers such as putting a sailing ship in reverse, and going on to disabling and capturing both ships (War of 1812, Constitution v. Cyane and Levant). For the Star Trek geeks, why do you think that Gene Roddenberry called the original USS Enterprise-type starships the Constitution Class? Gene knew history.

    Fights like these would show holes in the sails, masts getting blasted off, and your weapon choices would be better--some cannon can be armed with chain shot (two cannonballs connected by a chain to rip a mast off) or even doubleshotting (two cannonballs shot from the same cannon for short-range destruction). Too bad you can't simulate men on board, or you could even have a boarding and have men duke it out topside.

    I loved a PC game that simulated great sail battles pretty accurately--Age of Sail II. [talonsoft.com] A RC version would kick serious ass.
    • Problem is, you'd need lots of servos to remote control a square rigged ship. Take a look at this page [infa.abo.fi] to get a picture of how complicated it is.
      • It could be a little complicated, but then, you would only have to rig your ship for fighting sail mode. No commander would ever have full sails up in a battle--that's the "kick me" sign that an enemy looks for--a little chain shot would eat the masts and sails for lunch.

        Basically, then, all that would be needed would be servos to move the masts in the proper position, the rudder of course, and perhaps even some special device to chop dropped masts off to prevent them from fouling the helm.

        Hellish modeling--but that's what makes thinking of this stuff fun.
    • Why not build some serious fighting sail, like the HMS Victory (in history, commanded by the most famous and victorious commander in his day, Admiral Horatio Nelson), and pit it against America's jewel, the USS Constitution.
      In real life it wouldn't be much a of a fight. Constitution's only chance would have been running away. She literally wasn't in Victory's weight class. Constitution displaced 2,200 tons to Victory's 3,500. Constitution carried thirty 24-pounder cannon and twenty-four 32-pounder short range carronades, plus a pair of 24 or 18-punder bow chasers. Victory boasted thirty 32-pounders, twenty-eight 24-pounders, thirty long 12-pounders, 14 short 12-pounders and two 68-pounder carronades. The 68-pounders, loaded with a single sixty-eight pound ball and 500 musket balls, were devastating at Trafalgar.

      Ol' Ironsides was tough, but she wasn't invulnerable. Victory would have handily dispatched her in single combat.
      • Yeah, you're probably right. Constitution was built with near-1st-rate strength, and her hull wood was more dense than the balsa that England had, but Victory would scrap her with one good broadside, or leave Constitution's masts in a wreck.

        Still--a good ship commander could maneuver Ol Ironsides faster than Victory and could get off some damn good shots because it would take longer for Victory to turn (she is, after all, a huge ship-of-the-line), and the Americans were reknowned for their skill at gunnery. So the question is, how many guns were fore and aft of Victory? 'Cause that's where I'd use a superfrigate like Constitution to blow a few chunks out of Victory.

        In RC, this would be fun. But a little grape pointed at Constitution from high above would make for a Bad Day in the real world. Fun to ponder the possibilities, you know? :)
        • Still--a good ship commander could maneuver Ol Ironsides faster than Victory and could get off some damn good shots because it would take longer for Victory to turn (she is, after all, a huge ship-of-the-line),
          Sure, although I suspect the range advantage of of all those high mounted 12-pounders would allow Victory to shred Constitution's rigging before she could pull any fancy maneuvers.
          and the Americans were reknowned for their skill at gunnery.
          It is the Persian wars thing of freeborn men defending their polis from whip driven slaves. Not that American citizens were substantially more free than British citizens, but American sailers certainly were more free than their British counterparts. Like the Persians, the Royal Navy drove her men into battle with whips. In fact, many British seamen were actually kidnapped Americans. American sailors were two year enlistees while the Limeys were lifelong slaves. That, and the fact that British Frigates were typically designed more for their sailing qualities than their battle qualities, made all the difference in the War of 1812.

          This quote from a seaman aboard the HMS Macedonian regarding her 1812 battle with the USS United States pretty well sums it up,

          Our men were all in good spirits; though they did not scruple to express the wish that the coming foe was a Frenchman rather than a Yankee. We had been told, by the Americans on board, that frigates in the American service carried more and heavier metal than ours. This, together with our consciousness of superiority over the French at sea, led us to a preference for a French antagonist.
          So the question is, how many guns were fore and aft of Victory? 'Cause that's where I'd use a superfrigate like Constitution to blow a few chunks out of Victory.
          Well, I believe the 68-pounders were mounted on the forecastle, so the bow was pretty much off limits. Unless you could get close enough so they couldn't be depressed enough to hit you. I'm not confident that was possible. Not sure about the stern. Crossing your opponents stern was probably always a good tactic if you could pull it off. At Trafalgar, Victory destroyed Vilaneuve's flagship Bucentaure by getting her 68-pounders aft of her.
          In RC, this would be fun. But a little grape pointed at Constitution from high above would make for a Bad Day in the real world. Fun to ponder the possibilities, you know? :)
          To be honest get a little queesy thinking about it. I mean, modern combat is scary enough. Fighting inside an inflamable, splintering coffin with five foot ceilings, filled with noxious black powder smoke is almost unimaginably terrifying.

          I like sailing as much as the next guy. But being decapitated by a yard long burning splinter kinda sucks.
  • You know, I'm just getting started out in RC plane flying and am interested in learning about dogfighting. With planes they try to cut each other's streamers. Maybe, and I don't wanna be a spoilsport, we could get the ships to work with streamers of sorts too, that way it won't cost so freakin much every round. Imagine a lake covered in ships and aircraft all trying not to (or to) crash into each other. Sign me up.
  • With torpedos. That would really make things interesting.
  • It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live
    at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result
    is the only thing that makes the result come true.
    -- William James

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Thufir's a Harkonnen now.