Port Battle - Leading
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- 1 Before the battle
- 2 In the ready room
- 3 The battle
- 4 After the battle
Before the battle
It is vitally important to be prepared. Fisrt and foremost, you must gain experience in being in port battles. Read up on what is available on the matter. Here are some suggestions:
- PotBS WIKI article on Port Battles
- PotBS WIKI article on Port Battle bonuses / Conquest points
- SGS WIKI page on Port Battle Maps
- SGS WIKI page on Port Battle Fighting Instructions
- SGS Fire Control
- Port Battle ship guide
- Port Battle equipment guide
Before the battle, you should always check what map the battle is fought in. (Once a port is flipped, this can be found in the Conquest window, by holding the mouse over the status for the port.)
When you have identified what map will be used, look at the contention points. If Britain have many points (especially if they have much more point than the opponent), it may happen that this battle is held important to the nation and many captains may show up for the battle. On the other hand, if Britain has less points than her enemy, it may be that the enemy will show up with a stronger fleet. But never trust such assumptions blindly, always be prepared to meet the enemy under several circumstances.
Then it's time to look at what bonuses have been unlocked. This is related to the amount of contention points the nation has achieved on the port. You will find an overview of this here. Pay close attention to the size of the map, direction of the wind (where it comes from, if it is default or if it has changed) and what doors are unlocked, as these two factors will have a strong impact on the strategy and tactics of the battle.
Identifying alternative strategies
Once you know the map, the wind and what bonuses you have, it's time to think out a main (and some alternative) strategies. Decide on how important the port is to you and your enemy (how much you are willing to sacrifice to win), how you want the battle to be (line fight, brawl, aiming for economic victory, etc.) Feel free to make some notes and drawings for yourself if you feel like it. It is always a good thing to have some alternatives ready at hand as well, since the battle will most likely turn out otherwise than expected (it is a battle!).
When the strategy is decided, it is usually a good idea to visit the nation channel in-game (about an hour in advance) and communicate what ships you want the nation to bring (if it is going to be a colossal battle, frigates, 4th rates, etc.) Typically, port battles alternate between being a full scale colossal battle (bringing 1st and 2nd rates, 3rds, 4ths and frigates) and a more "safe" and moderate battle (3rd rates, 4ths and frigates). This latter variant will limit your nation's losses no matter how much the enemy wins. Please do also refer to the Port Battle ship guide and the Port Battle equipment guide.
In the ready room
Election of the Fleet Admiral
The captains present must elect among themselves a Fleet Admiral to lead the battle. A Vice Admiral (second in command) and a Rear Admiral (third in command) should also be chosen, in case the Fleet Admiral is sunk.
This is often outside the control of the Squadron, however you can help by grouping up whenever possible and fighting with other SGS captains. If nobody else is stepping up to lead then please do so, either the group or the battle. A confident leader with little experience is better than an timid one. Captains are far more likely to fight hard under someone who inspires confidence.
If necessary do not be afraid to remind everyone that a leader has been chosen and should be allowed to lead. People attempting to take over control of a battle loose ports.
After electing the Fleet Admiral, the captains must be organized into groups, with a Commodore leading each group. Each Group Commodore should also always have a second in command, to help organizing and other tasks during battle (e.g. monitor the health of the group members) and to take over command should he go down or in other ways be incapacitated. It is typically a good idea to organize the groups according to ships' classes (firepower, speed, maneuverability, armor, size).
Explaining the strategy
As much as possible you should explain your general strategy before the fighting starts. How do we fare with the wind, where do you want the fleet to sail, how do you want the captains to react, what doors do you want to use, etc.
If you're a group leader tell your group how you intend to lead. Explain what to do in a line fight and what to do in a brawl. Talking to his captains before the battle was Nelsons secret weapon and allowed them to act correctly in the confusion of battle.
As a Fleet Commodore you should explain your intentions, will you call targets or leave it to Group Commodore? Do you intend to charge or line fight? Tell people before the first shots are fired and they will know how to act. Who is your second in command? Make sure everyone knows before the fighting. Clearly state your expectations from the Group Commodores, and from the captains in general.
What is expected of the Group Commodores
Typically, you would want the Group Commodores to take charge for:
- Calling targets
- Relay orders to captains not on vent
- Keeping their group organized (sail in tight line, or charge inn an brawl, etc.)
- Using buffs in a systematic manner
- Blocks and repairs (for their group)
- Using their common sense
What is expected of all captains
- Follow orders
- Call for blocks when needed
- Use bronze or explosive shot if no other orders are given
- Use repairs early, not wait until it's too late. Let you Group Commodore know if yo have used Invincible or Final Defense.
- Focus fire, and fire simultaneously (groupwise). This may win the battle.
Fleet Admiral (Port Battle Leader)
Group Commodore (Group Leader)
Use group coms. There is no excuse to not have this set up. When issuing orders always prefix them with the name of your group so everyone knows who you are talking to. Even with group coms this is essential as your members won't know you've pushed the Group PTT key and voices are not always recognised in battle. Do not be afraid to repeat targets or other orders to re-enforce them.
As a group member you should try to keep coms clear at all times. However there are some things you should always announce and remember to always prefix any communication with your character name.
- "Joseph Fletcher I need a block"
- "Joseph Fletcher I need a Guardian"
- "Joseph Fletcher Final D"
- "Joseph Fletcher Invincible"
- "Joseph Fletcher I'm Sunk"
- "Joseph Fletcher I have/have been boarded"
Order should always be Clear, Confident and Concise.
- Clear. Orders are useless if they are not clearly given. Use a standard, repeatable method of calling targets so your group will get used to you. Don't be afraid to repeat an order to re-enforce it. If someone is not following your order don't be afraid to tell them.
- Confident. A commander should always sound confident even if he is not. A group looks for positive leadership and you should always avoid words like "err" or "I think we should", user positive, decisive language. A confident group leader boosts the morale of the group and encourages aggressive action. Of course it is fine to ask for suggestions or advice, but once you have made your mind up stop the conference and issue your orders. A confident leader who looses a battle is better than a unsure leader who wins a battle despite it.
- Concise. Try to keep orders short. Repeating an order is fine, but try not to ramble or think out loud. Far better to repeatedly call a target to keep everyone focus than explain why you picked that target. Likewise, discussion about what when right or wrong should be strictly kept to after the battle. if someone starts to ramble in the group, firmly ask them to clear coms.
It may feel silly, but practising group leadership should be done in every fight you get into, even easy missions and PVE. Practise makes perfect and the hours spent fleet hunting can be turning into useful battle communication experience.