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Saturday, March 20, 2004

Privateers Bounty tactics and maneuvering

I have run more tests with Privateers Bounty, this time using the Battle of Portland scenario. It is much more difficult than the Battle of the Kentish Knock, due to the English being in two groups: George Monck's squadron to the Northeast and the main body to the Southwest. The Dutch are headed East, in between them.

I have tried both the single line and fighting by squadrons. Aggressive use of squadrons, in the early stages can accelerate the damage to the English. If you do not regroup, quickly, as ships take damage and lose mobility, you lose the benefit of maneuvering by squadrons. The one thing NOT to do is allow Dutch ships to be intermixed with English ships, at least not mobile Dutch ships.

In some respects, the single line is easier to handle, because even as ships take damage, they will be adjacent to the line, unless they become isolated, and left behind. Line maneuvers need to be limited to slight course alterations, or order reversals.

The topic of order reversals brings us to the topic of manuevering. In Privateers Bounty, the one thing to avoid is to allow the simulator to decide to turn into the wind. There may be times when this might seem to be the right thing, but it is generally an error. The reason is that you lose mobility for a time, until you can recover on a new course.

I find that I get better results to turn groups (or individual ships) downwind, to establish the turn direction, and then bring the ship towards the desired course. A ciritical thing to watch is to never turn more than 180 degrees, towards the wind, as Privateers Bounty will most likely turn your ship or ships into the wind.

A critical point is to keep as many mobile ships as possible, as long as possible. If you choose to fight a more realistic battle, where you are not fighting to the last ship, you need to choose your course and the moment to disengage so as to maximize your chances. Often, having a rear-guard will buy the main body time to leave the scene of the battle

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