Were sorry but we are currently still working on support for IE6 because of its non-compliance with common web standards. In the meantime, please consider upgrading to Internet Explorer 7, FireFox, Apple Safari, or Google Chrome.


Empire: Total War Heaven

You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Empire: Total War - Naval Battles
Moderated by Pitt, Awesome Eagle

Hop to:    
Welcome! You are not logged in. Please Login or Register.22 replies
Empire: Total War Heaven » Forums » Empire: Total War - Naval Battles » When to use, and NOT use broadsides?
Topic Subject:When to use, and NOT use broadsides?
posted 05-06-09 01:44 PM EDT (US)         
Any pointers on this?

I tend to make heavy use of broadsides, especially if it's a small engagement with just a few ships where I can micro-manage.

I'm wondering if there is any reason that using broadsides would be less effective than standard firing.

"The Plan is Nothing, Planning is Everything," -General Dwight D. Eisenhower
posted 05-06-09 02:17 PM EDT (US)     1 / 22       
I've wondered this as well.

It seems to me that I pound them with full broadsides and they are using fire at will against me. When I hit them it seems I do just as much damage to them in one shot as they do to me over the same time between my broadsides. It seems the same to me.

What I like to do in major actions is set all the ships on full broadside and as they past the first ship I fire and then leave them on fire at will after just because it gets hairy. I do like the effect of broadside with grape shot.
posted 05-06-09 02:52 PM EDT (US)     2 / 22       
I tend to use broadside when I want my ship to NOT fire at the first target it comes across...

I don't think there's a real difference between fire at will and broadside since it's the same number of cannon being fired.
posted 05-06-09 03:58 PM EDT (US)     3 / 22       
Manual broadsides (i.e., clicking the broadside button twice to instruct your ship to fire) are generally a bad idea in a raking-fire situation. In other words, it's not very wise to fire a manual broadside when the enemy ship is only presenting its stern or its bow to you (i.e., they are traveling perpecdicular to your ship).

Here's why: when you fire a manual broadside, all of your guns fire at once (assuming they are loaded) and fire straight out from your ship (perpendicular to the centerline). Since ships are almost always longer than they are wide, many of the guns on the periphery of your broadside will fire into empty space and miss the enemy ship.

Instead, I recommend the following: select (but do not fire) your broadside. Then when the enemy ship is in an optimal position at optimal range, click on your Fire At Will button. This should cause all of your guns to fire at once and all of that fire will be aimed at the target. Much more effective that way.

No, I'm not being sarcastic.
posted 05-06-09 05:26 PM EDT (US)     4 / 22       
I guess it could be used for lining shots that may hit more or one ships, or even to avoid hitting one of your own.

"England Expects Every Man To Do His Duty"- Admeral Lord Nelson
CK the Fat
posted 05-06-09 07:25 PM EDT (US)     5 / 22       
I think broadsides are all fired at once, while larger ships tend to use a sort of naval "platoon fire". Bigger hit to morale, possibly. I don't use it much, personally.

"Republicans who did not play the patronage game were ridiculed as the Mugwumps for sitting on the fence--their "mugs" on one side of the fence and "wumps" on the other. Historians generally consider this era a low point in American politics."--United States History by John J. Newman and John M. Schmalbach
posted 05-06-09 08:29 PM EDT (US)     6 / 22       
Cannonballs also travel a little way further than the range shown on the cone projecting from the side of the ship. You can broadsides that are just out of range of the gunners on fire at will.
posted 05-06-09 10:10 PM EDT (US)     7 / 22       
I totally agree with what Smileyman007 has said. It is simply unintelligent to use manual-fire in most cases. Honestly what's the difference between 30 cannonballs hitting a ship within 30 seconds as opposed to 3 seconds?

I'm sure there are technically some real life strategies that say it'd be wiser to use broadfire but I don't imagine they have been coded into the game.

Just sit back and relax while your ships to the dirty work for you!

Being born in a stable does not make one a horse.
-Lord Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

Treat every Frenchman as if he were the devil himself.
-Lord Horatio Nelson, Duke of Bronte, Viscount Nelson
posted 05-06-09 11:03 PM EDT (US)     8 / 22       
"Honestly what's the difference between 30 cannonballs hitting a ship within 30 seconds as opposed to 3 seconds? "

Morale is a huge factor here, manual boradsides from close range can absolutly devastate an enemy boat.
posted 05-06-09 11:47 PM EDT (US)     9 / 22       
I've found the best time to use broadsides is when an enemy ship is trying to board you. A single blast can reduce an enemy ship to half hull strength.
HG Alumnus
posted 05-07-09 06:05 AM EDT (US)     10 / 22       
I like to micromanage the broadsides in the smaller naval battles, much more satisfying to play out that way otherwise all there is to do is move the units around.

This is near impossible in the larger engagements though.

A f t y


:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
Gaius Colinius
Seraph Emeritus
posted 05-07-09 09:49 AM EDT (US)     11 / 22       
In other words, it's not very wise to fire a manual broadside when the enemy ship is only presenting its stern or its bow to you (i.e., they are traveling perpecdicular to your ship).
I disagree. You do huge damage if you hit their stern and it will balance out some of the cannonballs hitting fresh air. Having the ability to unleash a timely broadside is not to be sniffed at if such a chance presents itself.

-Love Gaius
TWH Seraph, TWH Grand Zinquisitor & Crazy Gaius the Banstick Kid

Got news regarding Total War games that should be publicised? Then email m2twnews@heavengames.com. My blog.
Nelson was the typical Englishman: hot-headed, impetuous, unreliable, passionate, emotional & boisterous. Wellington was the typical Irishman: cold, reserved, calculating, unsentimental & ruthless" - George Bernard Shaw
Vote for McCain...he's not dead just yet! - HP Lovesauce

posted 05-07-09 11:46 AM EDT (US)     12 / 22       
I totally disagree that the sporadic fire 'as she bears approach' is just as good as a saved broadside, especially in a bow or stern rake. In real life (and I know this is a game) there were reports of held broadsides in a stern rake at close range shattering the stern of a ship effecting putting it out of action. One shot! The sterns aren't protected and a ball can do a lot of damage. 37 of them along the length at once could be catastrophic. At least the bow has some deflection. The big part of the hit is the effect on the morale of the crew. You didn't want to put your ship in this situation, ever. Not to mention the fact that the rudder would be blown away along with cutting masts from the interior of the ship.

But since this is just a game it is hard to manage this through a big naval battle. Pausing setting ships position and toggling broadsides is time consuming and takes away from the battle experience. Just setting to fire at will is easier but I don't think it should be considered as effective especially when it comes to raking fire.

I agree totally with Gaius. Getting that stern rake and letting them have it is satisfying. That is what you want from naval combat.
posted 05-07-09 08:00 PM EDT (US)     13 / 22       
Let me preface everything I am about to say (and really everything I said previously) by noting that my strategy only applies to raking fire. In other situations, such as when I am traveling parallel to an enemy ship, I will order manual broadsides.

So when we're talking raking fire opportunities:

Gaius, I think you're missing something. My method effectively works like a broadside because all the guns will fire simultaneously. Even though it's using the Fire At Will command, the guns will not fire off individually. Let me explain why that happens, and then why I think my method is superior to a manual broadside:

1) Normally the "platoon fire" effect (it has nothing to do with the Platoon Firing Drill, but you know what I mean) occurs because the enemy ship slowly enters your ship's firing arc. As the enemy ship moves into the arc, your guns closest to the enemy fire as soon as they have line-of-sight. Naturally, those guns closer to the enemy will get line-of-sight sooner than the guns furthest from the enemy. That's why you see the "platoon fire" effect. The guns further from the enemy can't see the enemy when the first guns are firing, so they have to wait until they have line-of-sight to fire. Typically you will see this behavior in the first engagement of the battle (i.e., the first time an enemy ship enters your ship's firing arc).

2) Related to #1 (and especially true in battles with multiple enemies): Since the guns fire at different times, some guns will reload and be ready to fire sooner than other guns. Assuming you keep Fire At Will selected, those guns that reload first will fire first with the other guns firing as soon as they are available (which should only be a moment or two later). This continues the "platoon fire" effect even if the target enemy ship is the middle of your firing arc and all guns have simultaneous line-of-sight.

Now if you click on your Manual Broadside button once, this orders your guns to hold their fire and wait for orders. They will continue to reload (if necessary) but will hold their fire until you either click the Broadside button again (and all loaded guns fire) or you cancel the Broadside by click on Fire At Will. This releases your gunners to fire when their gun is loaded and a target is available.

If you were to do what I talked about in the above paragraph and end by clicking on Fire At Will, you would notice that all guns would fire simultaneously at the target (assuming all guns had time to reload and all guns had line-of-sight to the target). Even though you were not manually issuing a Broadside order, you effectively got a broadside-like attack from your gunners.

So my method is the best of both worlds: massive damage all at once directly in the stern (JUST like a manual broadside), and fewer wasted shots. There is no disadvantage at all (as far as I know).

No, I'm not being sarcastic.

[This message has been edited by Smileyman007 (edited 05-07-2009 @ 08:01 PM).]

posted 05-07-09 08:18 PM EDT (US)     14 / 22       
Honestly what's the difference between 30 cannonballs hitting a ship within 30 seconds as opposed to 3 seconds?
Ok, imagine the following:

You are standing outside of a large brick building and you want to break through (or even collapse) one of the walls. You have a large truck at your disposal.

Now you can do one of the following two things:

1) Break the truck down into each of its individual parts and throw each one individually at the wall, one at a time. Or get a bunch of your friends and have everyone throw a piece simultaneously. If you're welding things down, you should be able to get small pieces that you can easily throw at 50 miles per hour (or 80 kilometers per hour, iirc).


2) You can drive the truck into the wall at 50 miles per hour.

Which will be more effective?

No, I'm not being sarcastic.
Seraph Emeritus
posted 05-08-09 09:32 AM EDT (US)     15 / 22       
The cannonballs aren't welded together, so having them hit the ship all at once doesn't do more damage than having them hit the ship in short succession. I think the damage done won't be much different as long as the cannonballs hit the ship. There might be a bigger chance of this if you let the gun crews fire when they want to, as they'll only fire when they can hit something.

posted 05-08-09 03:31 PM EDT (US)     16 / 22       
Do we have any computer savvy folks who can dig through Empire's lines of code look for evidence as to the effectiveness of broadsides?

This is a great debate. I just wonder if it could be resolved by seeing how the game is actually programmed.

"The Plan is Nothing, Planning is Everything," -General Dwight D. Eisenhower
posted 05-08-09 03:34 PM EDT (US)     17 / 22       
The cannon balls don't have to be welded together. If three cannon balls hit the ship simultaneously, they should do more damage than if each hit individually. More shots hitting at the same time = more force the timbers have to take at once.

How much more damage would it do? That I can't say. But I would imagine that simultaneous impacts do more damage than a series of individual impacts.

EDIT: @burndaddy: Yeah, that would be interesting to know! And would kind of end the debate. Although I suspect that kind of thing would be hardcoded and not visible unless someone got access to the source code.

No, I'm not being sarcastic.

[This message has been edited by Smileyman007 (edited 05-08-2009 @ 03:36 PM).]

posted 05-09-09 07:19 AM EDT (US)     18 / 22       
I don't think it's a matter of the balls striking simultaneously (which would be practically impossible to achieve anyway), but more of how close together the balls impact. Three balls hitting an oak plank within inches of each other will probably = one big jagged hole. Three balls hitting the same plank five or six feet apart = three much smaller holes, or maybe only splinter damage.
Placement of shot though, is just one of the many variables involved. Range will play a critical part also. Remember that energy transferred (which will be determined by mass (weight of the ball) multiplied by velocity, will drop sharply as the ball travels through the air and loses much of its velocity.
I guess what it all comes down to (in a game scenario anyway) is personal preference based on our own Naval Battle Experiences.
Good topic though.
posted 06-18-09 08:15 PM EDT (US)     19 / 22       
A couple points to make that may or may not be obvious regarding this debate.

First when it comes to shooting bow on or stern on against a target there's more reason for it than simply their inability to fire back (at least with most ship types). It will do more damage as it bounces and careens along the length of the ship than it would going through the width of it.

Another reason for the bow/stern on shots is accuracy. It is much easier to make corrections in range than it is in bearing. Also, even if you are off a little in range, that you have that much more target past the spot you're shooting at makes it more likely you'll hit something.

Finally, damage per shot/volley is important, yes but, especially when it comes to a structure like a ship, damage is cumulative. Yes 3 shots hitting close together simultaneously will do more initial damage but 3 spread over a wider area will weaken that section with the possibility of causing more damage later on. As an example, you have 3 shots that hit the ship in a triangular pattern. Close together they might actually make a hole the size of all three shot combined. But spread out some and they make that whole area within weaker for another volley to make a bigger hole by causing that area to collapse or fail.

Granted some of these points might not exactly apply to within the game but the, if they are modelling individual bullets as it's rumoured they do, how likely is it they glossed over damage effects on ships?

Life was much easier before I developed a sense of ethics.
posted 06-19-09 10:39 AM EDT (US)     20 / 22       
I tried this out after reading this thread and I must admit there's a huge diff between broadside and fire at will, however using the broadside from aft is a very bad idea...

Going (wow big shocker here) broadside with this is where it really tells, the difference in damage is amazing and this directly affects the enemies morale. After giving a galley a broadside with my sixth rate made the galley rout instantly although it did have a lil damage before I broadshot it.


Amazing difference!

posted 08-25-09 11:17 PM EDT (US)     21 / 22       
Perhaps I've missed it but I haven't seen anyone raise the point that all cannons fired simultaneously causes all the damage at once while firing at will accumulates that through 30 seconds or whatever...obviously. But if that volley is a killing/routing volley, that's 30 seconds you don't receive return fire if you broadside rather than fire at will.

Scottish AAR(Complete)

Hun AAR(Complete)
posted 08-28-09 04:59 AM EDT (US)     22 / 22       
Bones has a very good point.

There are many more factors to be included here.

Situation of own ship. Situation of enemy ship. Preference.

Whether the game distinguished damage of either, I do not know.

Since this topic is on when to use, and NOT use broadsides, I will point out that the posts have veered towards how much damage each does, rather than when to actually use them.

I like to start off with a broadside, get as many shots out at once as I can. If I disable x number of their cannons at once, those are -x number of shots they can pour out, whether fire-at-will or broadside. If I use fire-at-will, I would like to point out that the rate of possible enemy cannons disabled decreases, not in total, but in a period of time, which is an essential point, though only if you wish to keep damage to own ship at a minimum.

Let me put it this way.

If you're a "hell-with-it, lets kill 'em!" person, then stick to fire at will, mayhaps with a killing broadside.

More of a "God save The Queen*" kind of person, use broadsides as often as you can, unless the situation states that fire-at-will would be more effective, such as stern shots.

Wow... I have NO idea what I just said.

*name of ship
You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Hop to:    

Empire: Total War Heaven | HeavenGames