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Wooden Ships & Iron Men - Newbies' Guide

Wooden Ships & Iron Men Newbies' Guide


Now that you've mastered the basics, let's look at some more advanced techniques.


This is a method of moving toward (or away from) an enemy while keeping the same facing and attitude. It's a left-straight-right or right-straight-left move. Only ships that can turn twice, are in the right wind attitude, and have enough rigging can do it, so keep an eye on which ships can perform this move.

The 120

Ships which can turn twice, are in the right wind attitude, and have enough rigging left can almost turn completely around in one turn. This is a good way to fire an initial broadside (or a larger one). Be sure to count out the hexes moved into to avoid collisions because this move takes a lot of space. Also note the wind attitude you're moving into.

Rakeless Corner

This is a powerful defensive formation because neither ship can get raked. To the right, the English ships Befford and Adamant have formed a rakeless corner. No matter what Nepture does, she can't rake either English ship. If she does not move, she's closer to Befford and must fire at her. If she just turns right, Befford can still fire at her, so it's not a rake. If she turns right and then moves one hex straight, she'll be closer to Adamant and must fire at her.

The obvious disadvantage is that you can't move either ship or you lose the formation. If one ship can sidestep (above), and the other can move one straight ahead, you can keep the formation. Even then, it's often easy for the enemy to outflank you, but it can be a temporary lifesaver.

Advancing Toward the Enemy

If you have the wind (Attitude A), you can close the distance without being raked. By moving two hexes straight ahead, then turning, enemy ships are forced to fire at the closest ship. Meanwhile, your other ships turn into Attitude A to do the same thing next turn. This has the advantage of spreading out damage amongst your ships, but the disadvantage of only firing with half your ships each turn. It's also slow, takes some practice to get right, and can lead to friendly collisions if not done right, but it's often the only way to close with a defensive enemy.

To the right, Royal Oak advances, then turns to fire while London turns into Attitude A. Notice that she only turned, and didn't move straight after that, because if Duc Bougogne turns and goes straight, London will be raked. Next turn, London will move two and turn to fire while Royal Oak turns back into Attitude A (depending upon what Duc does). This might also be a good situation to fire at rigging -- to slow Duc down so both friendly SOLs can close and finish her off (see Hull or Rigging below).

Introduction Continued
Advanced Maneuvers

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