Tactics

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Ranging Shots

Naval Action is aimed manually which makes it difficult to hit targets especially at longer ranges. The best practice is to fire single shots and watch where they fall to judge where to aim rather then wasting a whole broadside. Single ranging shots can be fired using the Space Bar and rounds can then be spotted through the telescope using Shift key. Eventually when the aim is good, the broadside can be released with the Left Mouse

Compensating for Heeling

Heel Diagram.png
While sailing, your ship will heel away from the wind. This can prevent you from elevating you guns high enough when firing leeward or lowering your elevation enough when firing windward

This can be compensated for by lowering the sails enough to straighten out your ship. Using the B key for battle sails or the T key to depower can be enough to fix excess heeling.

Rough seas will heel your ship unpredictably and require patience and timing to hit the enemy.  

Points of Sail

Points of Sail.png

The heading of a ship relative to the wind is a large factor in performance and is decribed as the Point of Sail.  Different ships will perform better at certain points than others.  This largely depends on their type of rigging.

In Irons (A)

When a ship is facing close enough to the wind that the sails no longer work, it is in irons.  

Close Hauled (B)

This point is when a ship is sailing as upwind as it can without going into irons.  When a ship crosses through Irons from one close hauled side to another it is called tacking.

Beam Reach (C)

When a ship is at right angle to the wind.

Broad Reach (D)

A ship heading downwind but not running is said to be in a Broad Reach.

Running With The Wind(E)

A ship heading directly downwind.  Suprisingly it is not as fast as a Broad Reach for most ships.

Manual Sails and Tacking

Manual Skipper

By default, theAuto Skipper on your ship will adjust your sails to their best position for speed.  Naval Action allows you to change the direction of your sails on the foremast (Q and E) and aftmast (Z and C).  When you change the direction of your sails, the ship enters Manual Skipper and the sails will maintain their angle indefinetely.  The Auto Skipper can be re-engaged with the F key.

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Ships smaller than a Brig can usually rely on their inate speed and manuverability without having to utilize Manual Skipper.  As you get into larger ships however, it becomes advantageous to use manual sails to increase maneuverability, but even then you will most definitely notice the difference on all square riggers.

Tacking with Manual Sails

When tacking, a ship must turn from one side of the wind to the other.Smaller ships can rely on having enough momentum to maintain steering through irons and resume sailing on the other close haul.  Larger ships have a harder time getting through the wind and can end up dead in the water atcritical moments.  It's important to watch the speed of the ship duringa tack to know whether the steering is reversed.

  1. Steer the desired course until the ship starts reversing negative speed
  2. Steer the opposite direction when the ship starts to sail backwards
  3. Turnthe rear sail perpendicular to the wind (Z or C).  The foresail should continue to push the ship backwards and force the bow to the other side
  4. Return to Auto Skipper (F) and steer hard over until underway


Stern Camping and Counter

Stern Camping is a term referring to a tactic that can be employed usually by a smaller ship vs a less maneuverable opponent.  The stern camper attempts to stay directly behind the enemy ship while periodically raking their stern. This allows the smaller ship to avoid their broadside and do damage to an especially vulnerable part of the enemy ship.