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Empire: Total War - Naval Battles
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Empire: Total War Heaven » Forums » Empire: Total War - Naval Battles » The Calamity of Crashing
Topic Subject:The Calamity of Crashing
posted 02-18-12 06:23 PM EDT (US)         
Calamity! I was moments away from winning a truly classic naval victory when my game crashed. Oh, the words that came out of the naughty word vault!

Itís 1733, and France has declared war after perhaps ten years of peace. In the interim, France has pulled ahead of me (Great Britain) in terms of naval research. One turn after the declaration of war, an impressive French fleet appeared off Leeward Islands. (I lost track of them off the coast of Spain and wondered where they were going.) The French had a 2nd rate, a 3rd rate, three 5th rates, four brigs, and two sloops carrying an army of ten regiments. My Caribbean Fleet was on-station at Jamaica. I was greatly outmatched: I had only an admiralís 5th rate, a 6th rate, and a sloop. Nonetheless, I moved to take on the French because I cannot afford to lose the sugar income coming out of the Caribbean. On Franceís turn, the French dropped their army at the Leeward Islands, then turned and attacked my fleet.

In fighting the French, I employed a lesson I had learned fighting the Maratha Confederacy in the Second Anglo-Confederate War perhaps ten years beforehand. The French, who were downwind, approached in a line of battle. The battlewagons were up front, and the lighter ships were in trail. My standard tactic is to wait as far upwind as I can, then sail to one side of the enemy formation to get him to chase me. I maneuver to shoot out his sails and masts, then capture the enemy vessels. However, when Iím facing a large enemy fleet with light ships at the tail, the situation becomes complex. The enemy breaks the line, and suddenly my ships are no longer downwind of all the enemy vessels. As my combatants turn to deliver chain shot, the enemy ships that were at the end of the tail can get in their own shots. While fighting the MC, I lost a 6th rate, Medusa, because MC brigs were able to fire on her and keep pace. I won the fight and even recovered Medusa, but the enemy showed me that I needed to change my tactics.

In fighting the French, I maneuvered so that the enemyís line bent back on itself like a flat U before firing my first shots. I also pushed my sloop, Martham Broad, well downwind of the initial fight so that I could use my sloops against the enemyís sloops and brigs instead of getting sucked into a turning fight with my 6th rate, Geryon. The first stages went very well indeed: three volleys of fire from my admiralís 5th rate, Glasgow, plus a volley from Geryon, knocked the French 2nd rate out of the running battle right at the start. There were some ticklish moments as the fight went on, because the enemyís brigs on the left of my two frigates kept getting within range. The most dangerous assignment in the Royal Navy as I play it is aboard a 6th rate because I use 6th rates as switch hitters. Geryon lost some guns, crew, and sail in the running battle due to fire from the French brigs. However, by keeping Martham Broad downwind of the French brigs, I was able to chip away at the mobility of the French brigs and keep them from engaging Geryon or Glasgow decisively. In the center of the battle, I used Geryon and Glasgow to tag-team the enemyís ships as they came up. Whenever the distances threatened to get too short, I turned my frigates with the wind and turned the fight back into a race.

To make a long story short, I immobilized the entire French fleet in about 45 minutes of game time. Immobilizing ships of the line is one thing. Capturing them is another. That took a lot of patience and incredible amount of grape shot. If I hadnít developed improved grape shot, I couldnít have done it. As it was, I used Geryon to fire round shot while Glasgow fired grape. I ended up sinking a French sloop, which I have done so infrequently that I canít remember the last time I sank an enemy ship, because I just couldnít get in to deliver grape shot with the enemyís 3rd rate so close. I sank the sloop so I could go after the bigger fish. On the verge of capturing my very last ship, the 3rd rate, I decided to board to get the battle over with. I put the timer on double fast, and the game froze. Two-and-a-half hours wasted. I donít know that Iím going to be able to repeat this performance. Naughty words!

The musket is for fixing and softening the enemy. The bayonet is for destroying him.
posted 02-21-12 09:38 PM EDT (US)     1 / 2       
I've noticed a tendency in the game to crash slightly more often when boarding and with the time sped up. It's very annoying, especially when you've just fought an epic battle against the odds and are finally moving in for the kill.

Sometimes it's just easier, though not as quick, to park a ship right at the stern of the enemy, and fire broadsides of roundshot right through them. They surrender pretty quickly. But then you have to repair them afterwards.

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins
(id: p90pro)
posted 02-26-12 02:50 PM EDT (US)     2 / 2       
I suffered more crashes, on average, from increasing the game speed than anything else.
Next on the list would be that my computer couldn't handle what was going on.

Sir, I have not yet begun to defile myself.
Swallow my pride? No thank you, Im too full of myself.
I bring you nothing but love and a shopping bag full of sexual depravity.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Tied with Meteora (****er) for Best Sig Award.
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