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Looking for information about the Napoleonic wars

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    Posted: 15 May 2012 at 01:33

I'm developing a strategic board game based on the ships of the Napoleonic wars.  I was hoping to find a couple of forums on the net that might be able to provide me with information and/or direct me to websites with information.

These are some of the questions I'm starting with (I'm sure there will be more as I do research):

* Is it reasonable to use the chart here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rating_system_of_the_Royal_Navy for deciding the breakdown of ship types?  I understand it's specific to the British Royal Navy but I haven't been able to find this type of information for the other sea faring nations of that time.
* What countries should I represent?  England, France, Russia, America, Spain - anyone else with a reasonably sized navy?
* Technical data on various ships.  Things like speed, turning ability, number and type of guns etc.
* Gun information - Different types of shot and range of various guns.
* How about orders?  How were they given during battle, how effective were they, what kinds of orders were given (I always wondered that one - what did they say?  Shoot at that one over there?), etc.
* At some point I need to work out how boarding parties will function
* Ship damage - depending on shot type I guess.
* Special skills/technologies/tactics inherent based on nationality - add some flavor to the navy someone is playing.

Thanks for any help you can give,


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2012 at 11:18
Well, the only data i can come up with on naval ships of the period is the same as yours. It seems the Royal Navy kept very good documentations on their ships compared with other naval powers of the period. As for which nations to include, i would include Portugal and the Netherlands, take out the Russians (Unless you're including a land based component to the game) and take out America simply because any influence it had on the Napoleonic wars, while very slight to begin with, was purely coincidental in it's entirety. Good luck in your research.

Edited by Panther - 22 May 2012 at 11:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frederick Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2012 at 19:46
Hmmm. If the game is going to concentrate on naval warfare, I would scratch Spain (and wouldn't include Portugal - the British Navy was doing all of Portugal sea business by then).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2012 at 06:37
The only navies capable of performing effectively against the British and the French worth inclluding are the Spanish and the Dutch and possbly the Danish, Swedish and Russian, if you have provision for the Baltic sideshow. However the Spanish change sides during the wars, and the Dutch much of the time are under French control anyway.
Speed at sea is largely a function of size (other things being equal the longer the waterline the faster the ship can go), and the ability to get close to the wind (roughly a ship reaches maximum speed for the length when when sailing with the wind on the quarter, and comes to a dead stop sailing straight into the wind). But it's a complicated question: fore and aft rigs sail better into the wind than square rigs.
Manouvrability depends on the skill and energy of the crew, though again fore and aft rig generally speaking requires less manpower.
Above all you are going to need a sophisticated system for controlling the weather in a realistic fashion.
More later when I'm not pushed, but I recommend reading any of the naval stories of Alexander Kent or C.J. Parkinson. (And there is a recent book by Tom Bowling, called the Antigallican which is set on a French man o'war which helps with French dialogue - which is sometimes confusing: 'le misaine' in a French ship is the foremast, not the mizzen mast.
You may find http://www.cleverley.org/navy/shipnote.html and some of the associated material helpful.
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

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