Port Battle Fighting Instructions
This page details basic information for players intending to fight at port battles. It will give you a basic overview of the common tactics and commands used as well as advice for being a helpful group member.
More advanced instructions will detail advice for group or battle commanders.
The command chain depends on the organisation of the Port Battle, but can be split into three levels, detailed below.
- Fleet > Group > Wingman
The Port Battle Commander is in overall command of the fleet. He is chosen in the ready room by general consensus. If you want to lead a port battle and have proven yourself an able Group Leader then speak up in vent. If you have a proven command record then other captains will vouch for you and you may be picked to lead the battle.
The fleet can be commanded as a single unit but this is very rarely done. The massive potential for fire power is lost due low flexibility and the problems of a single, 24 ship unit, getting gun arcs on the called target. It may be used when the fleet is in a stationary or slow moving line to receive an enemy charge, in which case the PB Commander will call targets for the entire fleet.
- + Massive fire power when in a static line
- - Very inflexible
A typical PB group will consist of 6 ships in line astern with the Group Leader in front. Each captain should maintain formation and follow the group leader in line astern unless otherwise ordered. A group offers an excellent mix of fire power and manoeuvrability allowing all six ships to get arcs on target. A group is also the best formation for offering blocks. PB Commanders will co-ordinate each group so they work together as an effective fleet. The Group is the standard command formation, with your group leader calling targets.
- + A good balance of fire power, blocking and manoeuvrability
- - Cohesion lost in close quarters brawl
The Wingman system is designed as a back up in case group cohesion is lost. Each ship has a wingman so that a group consists of 3 pairs of ships. If the group formation is lost, for example, during a close range brawl, then each pair of ships should make every effort to stay together. This prevents lone ships becoming separated from the group and ensures that every ship has another to provide a block. It also allows our pairs to focus fire on enemy lone ships.
This picture shows a group in ideal formation. Each ship is paired off with a wingman.
Later in the battle a close range brawl develops. The wingman system allows the green ship to receive a block from it's wingman, while the two ships to the North are able to focus fire on a isolated enemy.
Reverse the Line
This manoeuvre is used to turn the line by 180 degrees. Either to present a fresh broadside or to move the line in the opposite direction. Each ship in the line turns together so that the rear of the line becomes the front. Each ship should turn away from the wind.
In this example the wind is blowing from the north. The order "Reverse the Line" or Line Reversal is given and each ship turns to starboard (Right), away from the wind and settles down on the opposite tack. The line has reversed it's course and is now heading in the opposite direction.
Blocking Damaged Ships
Enemy ships often focus fire on a single target in order to overwhelm it's ability to repair. To prevent them sinking you, hide behind a friendly ship while you repair. The following formation allows for quick blocking while maintaining focused fire on the enemy. When your armour is around 50% call for a block by clearly stating your name.
- Trigger your repair consumables.
- Lower your sails
- The ships behind you will move up to block you while you repair.
- Once you are being blocked raise your sails to keep pace with the line of battle.
Returning to Formation
When your ship is ready to return to the line tell the ships blocking you. They will drop their sails allowing you to fire on the enemy.
When blocking a damaged ship
You may need to manoeuvre towards the enemy to block a friendly ship, be ready to do so.