Leaving the Board

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    Greg Hagg

    While other rules seem quite realistic, Leaving the Board is not.  As it stands, once part of a ship is over the edge, then the ship is removed and misses the next turn.  After that it is placed on again at the leaving spot during the  weather check, at light sails.   The immediate question is, is it placed from the back of its wake perpendicularly to the edge or, and that back edge is rounded, can it be placed at any angle facing inward?

    The bigger question is the huge advantage it can give the leaving ship: from being pursued, say, struggling against the wind, to coming on again in only one turn with the wind to its back.  If you are a pursuing ship, you do not want to get too near the edge, as the pursued ship which left will suddenly appear out of a smoke/fog after a miraculous half turn and pound you with a point blank rake, as you had to keep moving during that turn off. Unless of course, you decide to go off too.  In short, it is unrealistic in the extreme and encourages players to seek out the edges 1. to escape a difficult situation and 2. to come back in a favourable situation.

    We’ve tried several ways around this.  1. The leaving ship stays off for at least 2 but preferably 3 turns, to represent turning around somewhere in smoke/fog whatever off board.  2. To avoid further advantage, a ship must re-enter perpendicularly with the edge (which brings problems of it being on a line of wind direction, eg, is it just facing into the wind or just out of the wind?  In play you can make intentions clear, but as this is imposed, it could be either). 3. We’ve rolled dice and moved the re-entry point that many inches, which makes it harder to anticipate a re-entry point, again in keeping with the ship disappearing smoke/fog whatever, happening off table.

    These ships move quite quickly, many @ 15″ a turn, so while that encourages quick combat, it also brings board edges prominently into play.  The rules here seem an anomaly that detract from an otherwise excellent game.  Any advice?

    Stefan Tremblay

    If all ships are in the same sector, have you tried moving the board?  I.e. if a ship accidentally moves off, you displace all ships on the board to accommodate the missing space… the off board ship would need 10 extra inches : move all ships 10” the other way som the would be off board ship stays on the playing field.  Of course it’s not practical if you have large fleets but if it’s only 2-3 ships a side it’s easily done.  Used to do that with Legends of the High Seas…


    Make it that you take damage if you leave..the same as if you are becalmed or drop 2 sails levels.


    another alternative is to allow the following ship(s) to target the one that has left the table…measuring to the exit point.  The ship that left can’t fire back as all the crew are attempting to tack the ship round

    Greg Hagg

    Hello all:   Rob Ovenden has come up with a really viable way to handle the off board problem, and after thorough testing, we can say it works well, solves the problem.

    Proposed rule for sailing off board:
    <i>- When a ship sails off the board it will return as expeditiously as possible.</i>
    <i>- Where and when the ship returns to the board depends on its level of sail, rate of knots and the</i><i> wind direction.</i>
    <i>- The ship returns to the board on the reciprocal heading(180 and at same angle) to which it left, downwind if possible and </i><i>at light sails.</i>
    <i> </i>
    <i><u>Level of Sail When Leaving</u></i>
    <i><b>Light Sails: </b>ship returns after 3 turns</i>
    <i><b>Battle Sails: </b>ship returns after 2 turns</i>
    <i><b>Full Sails: </b>ship returns after 1 turn, + Takes d3 damage & rate of knotts reduced by 2 for the returning turn (due to sail reduction)</i>
    <i> </i>
    <i><u>Rate of Knots</u></i>
    <i><b>5kts: </b>ship returns 12” downwind</i>
    <i><b>4kts: </b>ship returns 10” downwind</i>
    <i><b>3kts: </b>ship returns 8” downwind</i>
    <i> </i>
    <i>If the returning distance downwind is beyond the corner of the board or would place the returning ship in a leaving position immediately,  the ship will return the other way along the same edge (upwind).</i>
    <i> </i>
    <i><b>Optional: A </b>ship at battle sails or light sails may reduce the number of turns off board by 1 but will sustain d3 damage to do so.</i>
    Steve Burt

    How does this work if the ship leaves off the downwind edge of the board (probably the commonest case?). There isn’t an ‘upwind’ direction along that edge.

    Greg Hagg

    Good point.  If leaving on a downwind edge, ship will turn towards the direction it was headed, unless that brings it to a corner, in which case reverse.  If ship goes out exactly perpendicularly, turn towards furthest edge.  If exactly in middle of edge, active player chooses.

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