March, 2005

Naval Combat

Althought captures may be permanent, Naval Combat is primarily for FUN.

Naval Combat is ship-to-ship and most like Raiding Combat. The time of the fight, judge of the fight, conditions and surroundings of the fight, or location of naval combat may or may not be agreed to prior to beginning Naval Combat, but the combat itself is never lethal.

Any number of ships and odds are possible in naval combat. In ship to ship combat a Gorean man will have only one ship participate in the combat regardless of the size of his floatila (i.e. One man - one ship in combat). Each Captain may command only ONE ship in battle. This simplifies the combat for all participants and, if needed, for the judge(s).

Rules for Captains and Ships in Naval Combat

Naval Combat is primarily for fun. Most sea battles are for the enjoyment of the participants. The nature of Naval Combat is slow and deliberate compared to man-to-man combat due to ship speeds, increased distances, and slower ship manueverability. Naval combat utilizes surroundings such as wind, current (in rivers only), shallow water, coast lines, reefs, marine biota, and any other realistic possibility.

The key to Naval Combat will be to simulate no more than 10 minutes of real time (RT).

CR 1. Each person shall wear a tag that indicates which Ship the person is a passenger or Captain. Several people may be onboard a single ship as passengers, but a Ship will have only one Captain. NPC's may be used to crew the ships, operate catapults, act as archers, etc. However NPC's may not harm a Gorean role player.

CR 2. Although one Man may own many ships, He may command ONLY ONE in Naval Combat.

CR 3. The sequence of posts. Naval Combat will be alternating posts each by each combatant. If two (or more) ships attack one, the attacked ship responds and posts independently to both opponents.

The "First Attack Post" will begin Naval Combat. The First Attack Post occurs when a Captain brings a ships weapon to bear on another ship.

Captains in Naval Combat will post their ship's weapons, prior to or during their first attacking post.

All times and time violations will begin after the "First Attack Post" is made.

CR 4. Weapons in Naval Combat may include MUST be realistic and typically include the following: twenty archers (broadhead or flaming arrows); catapults; onagers, springals, nets, and sheering blades. Additionally and not counted in the weapons maximums, the free crews of tarn ships and serpent ships may be used as boarders or to repel boarders. Round ships and transport barges had crews of galley slaves and cannot repel boarders.

A weapon (or brace of 20 archers) may be used/fired and reloaded during a single post, but may not be used/fired again within the same post.

Archers have an effective range of 100 yards - either regular broadheads or flaming arrows may be fired. Springals have an effective range of 100 yards and fire a single 'large arrows' that might (or might not) penetrate a hull and could kill several crewmen. Catapults have an effective range of 50 yards and may be used to launch either stones (25 lb) or ceramic balls filled with flaming oil. Onagers have more limited effective range of only 25 yards but may launch larger stones (50 lbs) - they are almost guarenteed of crashing thru a deck or smashing in a hull if they strike. Rams of tarn ships are capable of delivering a massive impact and rending a hole in the hull below the water line if a full strike is accepted - the range of the ram is 1 yard or less.

Round Ships may have only one weapon. They may not have archers, or parties/crews to board other ships or repel boarders.
Serpent Ships may have only two weapons: archers (two braces maximum); and/or a single catapult. Serpent Ships have parties/crews to board other ships or repel boarders.
Tarn Ships may have six weapons including the front ram, and port and starboard sheering blades (i.e. A front ram, port and starboard sheering blades, and three other weapons). They have parties/crews to board other ships or repel boarders.

CR 5. Combat will be judged on realism and effective damage. All attacks must be accepted, minimized, evaded or blocked. Each ship's captain has that choice, but whatever is chosen, the fight must flow reasonably from one move to the next. Connection to the prior post is the responsibility of the Captains.

In the interest of realism - A single ship fighting against multiple ships must have flowing posts between the combat posts to each of the other ships. Further, the single ship's posts must be internally consistant with respect to damage, injury/killed crewmen, and all other aspects of battle. Position and weapons must be picked up from the previous position and applied to the next combat post REGARDLESS of which of the ships is addressed. A single ship fighting multiple opponents at the same time MUST STILL PRODUCE one realistic and flowing set of posts.

CR 6. An individual post will represent NO MORE than 10 minutes of real time and consist of NO MORE than 5 actions. Actions include any combinations of movement, attacks, and defense. Accepting a strike and damage does not count against the allowed actions, but may count against the 10 minute simulation.

Examples of actions are: striking sails, raising sails, manning oars, rowing in time (beat), turning (coming about), loading weapons (including archers), firing weapons, and ordering damage control.

CR 7. Captains are urged to be as descriptive and accurate as possible. Good use of direction is critical for both the ship's Captains and Judges to ascertain position. The use of - North (top of the computer screen), South (bottom of the computer screen), East (left of the computer screen), and West (right of the computer screen) - is required.

CR 8. Speed, Distance and Movement of Ships. Each posted motion of the ship occurs for 2 minutes or less. Distances have been rounded to nearest 100 yards. Although this rounding is VERY rough, it permits quick calculations of distances.

Ships only under oars at a full beat, or Ships only under sail with the wind. Serpent Ships - 8 nautical miles per hour (600 yards/2 minutes). Tarn Ships - 5 nautical miles per hour (400 yards/2 minutes). Round Ships - 2 nautical miles per hour (200 yards/2 minutes). Ships under oars at a full beat AND under sail with the wind. Serpent Ships - 10 nautical miles per hour (800 yards/2 minutes). Tarn Ships - 10 nautical miles per hour (800 yards/2 minutes). Round Ships - 4 nautical miles per hour (400 yards/2 minutes).

Ex. (1) My tarn ship closes under oars from the south on the stricken round ship that lays still in the water to a distance of 50 yards..... (2) the catapult launches a flamimg canister of oil into the roundship..... (3) "HARD TO STARBOARD!" I yell and the ship turns 90 degrees to East ..... (4) My tarn ship now is rowed east at full beat..... (5) crewmen reload the catapult with another flaming canister

The tarn ship closes as much as 400 yards to arrive 50 yards from the roundship; fires the flaming oil from a catapult; turns to starboard; moves 400 yards east; as the catapult was reloaded

NOTE: Sails MUST be struck (lowered) to manuever during naval combat (its not realistic, but was done in the Gorean novels).

CR 9. Rules regarding wind speed and direction, and current and direction.

Ship's Captains will determine weather conditions, currents, etc for their ships only. This may impede realism, but will make the combat more fun and easier to judge (if judgement is needed).

CR 10. Combat and boarding. Realism must be shown in overtaking and boarding any craft. Posts clearly showing closing, use of grappling hooks and lines, and pulling the boats together must be present.

If a round ship or other cargo ship is boarded by a tarn ship or serpent ship, it is presumed captured and all personnel (Goreans and NPC galley slaves) are held prisoner.

If tarn ships or serpent ships are boarded by other tarn ships or serpent ships, then the NPC crews are 'locked in combat' and not a factor in Gorean combat. Goreans particpate in Personal Combat (raid style and non-lethal) combat until one crew is subdued and captured.

CR 11. Combatants will have a 10 minute period from the previous post to respond with no penalty.

A response from 10:01 to 15:00 is penalized. The last valid action of a post in this period is null and void and should be ignored by both combatants.

A response after 15:00 is invalid and may be ignored. All REALISTIC attacks from the previous post land, the combatant who violates time by 5:01 or more loses a turn, and the attacking ship's captain may post again.

CR 12. To assist the judges, combatants shall use some method of separating actions (by use of a numbered sequence (1, 2, 3...). No other method is acceptable.

(i.e. (1) sails are quickly struck (lowered)..... (2) oarsmen leap to their benches and row at a full beat ..... (3) the mid-ship catapult is loaded with a 25 lb stone and aimed at Your ship....(4) the stone is launched from the catapult at the center of your ship..... (5) My ship begins to turn to starboard trying to turn My stern to Your port side)

CR 13. Since all actions on a ship may be occurring symultaneously except movement of the ship thru the sea, no combination actions are permitted.

CR 14. Captains may NOT post the actions of their opponents or their ships (force posting) or the damage done by their attacks.

(i.e. "a burning vessle of oil (1 gallon; 4 liters) is launched from My catapult at Your midship area" is an acceptable attack. "a burning vessle of oil (1 gallon; 4 liters) is launched from My catapult at Your midship area, your decks bursting into flames" is an unacceptable attack because it declares the damage received by the opponent.)

(i.e. "sailing east at full beat" is an acceptable action. "My ship is sailing east at full beat as Your ship get caught in the river current and is carried west" is an unacceptable move because it declares a movement by the opponent.)

*Note. Posts that include striking the intended target (i.e. "the ram of My tarn ship collides with your starboard side") do not describe the actions of their opponents or the damage that their attack does. Instead it is considered a "guide" to the intent and thinking of the Captain.

CR 15. Naval Combat ends when the combatants say the fight ends, when a Room Leader declares an end to the fight, or when one or both of the combatants flee. In fleeing, as soon as one of the combatants REALISTICALLY leaves the fight and the room, the fight ends. Usually two fleeing posts are required, but remember that there are differences in ships' speeds and flight might not be an option.

Rules for Judges of Naval Combat

Most Naval Combat should not require a judge because most Naval Combat will be strictly for fun. A Judge will usually be needed ONLY if a capture is claimed, a ship is claimed as a battle prize, or a ship is sunk.

JR 1. Naval Combat shall be judged by the Ubar/Jarl/Chief of the room where the combat occurs. If the Ubar/Jarl/Chief is involved in the combat or if the Ubar/Jarl/Chief cannot FAIRLY judge the combat, the Ubar/Jarl/Chief shall appoint a single neutral judge agreeable to all combatants to determine if any injuries, damage, or captures occured. If the Naval Combat occurs in a 'wild room' the Captains must agree on judges.

JR 2. The judge shall read ALL posts carefully, and objectively assess the merit of the posts. If a judge cannot do this, the judge should REFUSE to judge the fight. It's the only honorable action.

JR 3. Booted/crashed/frozen/tech impaired/RTI'd combatants (This IS on line and WILL happen.). Allowances of extra time - over the 5 minute limit or other considerations - should be given in those cases. In cases where a combatant cannot return to the fight, the judge shall decide whether to render judgement at that point or pick up the fight where it ended at a later time.

JR 4. Each post of each round of Naval Combat is equal in worth. A damage, sinking, serious injury, or capture may occur at any point, including the "First Attack Post" of the battle.

Death and maiming of (real) Goreans in Naval Combat is not allowed.

JR 5. Naval Combat will be judged by realistic strikes and damage, and following the rules of combat.

JR 6. Combatants will have a 10 minute period from the previous post to respond with no penalty.

A response from 10:01 to 15:00 is penalized. The fifth valid action of a combat post in this period is null and void and should be ignored by both combatants.

A response after 15:00 is invalid and may be ignored. All REALISTIC attacks from the previous post land, the combatant who violates this time limit loses a turn, and the attacking ship's captain may post again.

(i.e. Ship 1 posts at 15:21:45. Ship 2 has until 15:31:45 to respond. If Ship 2's post arrives at 15:31:46, then Ship 2's last action in his post is null and void. At 15:36:46 Ship 2's entire post is null and void and the REALISTIC attacks of Ship 1 have landed.)

JR 7. Unrealistic/confusing/non-flowing posts are wrong.

The unclear/confusing/non-flowing portion of the post is discounted as having never occurred. A post must be clear and succinct. The posts of each ship's Captain should be clear, easy to read and easy to visualize. The posts should flow easily from one post to the next.

A judge should recognize that although, 5 actions are allowed, this is a MAXIMUM number. The key is the 10 minute period of simulated real time. If any set of actions require more than 10 minutes of real time, then the post or portions of the post are unrealistic.

Back posting violation. A "back post" is ignored in the combat as confusing/non-flowing.

Due to the confusing and non-flowing nature of 'back posting', this practice is considered a violation of Rule 7 for Judges.

'Back Posting' is defined as any action in a post that significantly changes a prior post, usually this action is an attack. 'Back posting' is frequently referred to as "rewriting history". The closest real time analog to "back posting" is counter punching in boxing. Although, this is a VERY effective strategy in real time combat, it can, if used improperly, severely confuse on line Naval Combat.

JR 8. Violations of the rules of combat shall cause a post or a portion of a post not to be included in the combat.

(i.e. if a combatant posts 6 actions in a post, the Captain's 6th action is not valid and discounted. If a Captain posts 5 actions AND directs the opponent's motion, the directed motion is discounted. If a combatant posts 6 actions, and directs the opponent's motion, the fourth action and the directed motion are BOTH discounted and excluded from the combat.

JR 9. Judges shall evaluate each round of the Naval Combat for realism. At any point during the fight, the Judge may declare the fight ended. The Judge may rule one or more of the ships to have sunk, NPC crews dead or injured, a Ship and all crew (real and NPC) captured or escaped, or any condition that promotes realism within the conditions of the battle.

The Judges may not rule Goreans dead as a consequence of Naval Combat.

JR 10. Naval Combat ends when BOTH Captains say the fight ends, when a Room Leader declares an end to the fight, or when one or both of the Ships realistically flee and leaves the room.

JR 11. The Judge shall give their judgements and the reasons for their judgements to the combatants or in public, if requested by any of the combatants.

Tips and Hints

Visualize the fight as completely as you can. Try to "see" your actions and your opponent's actions. State your position and actions as clearly as you can and visualize your opponent's position as well. Remember and post orientation information such as position (North/South, up wind, down stream, etc.). Know the position of both your ship and your opponent's ship.

Be clear and concise in what you post.

Any on line combat is something like two artists painting a single picture. The artists are competing to see who is best on the same canvas. Warriors should continue "painting the picture" from the prior post, but only your part of the picture.

Make sure your pictures and java are off. Clear your cache.

Running ScanDisk, Defrag and optimizing computer performance prior to combat is a good idea.