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Library: An adventurer in cannoneering


Author: stalgrad
Date:Apr 25 2013

An Adventure in Cannoneering

This is a guide to help put together some info on how to effectively use
cannons.  When I first started out, I was under the impression ?more is
better?.  I guess I should have read ?combat info? from the bridge of my ship
I would have gotten off on a better foot.  So first thing you should do:  read
?combat info? (available from your helm room).

Let me ramble on how I got to where I am now.  Like much in the guild,
combined crew level makes a big difference.   I started off with 5 cannoneers
at level 4, and they were um...not so good at their job.  Actually my mental
image was 5 idiots running around the deck wearing football helmets, oven
mitts, and drooling all over themselves.  Holy sh*t they were retards.  The
blew up several cannons (and killed themselves a couple times).  Part (or
most) of it was my lack of understanding on how to use them.  I didn?t wait
long enough between shots and was trying to use too many cannons at one time
so got frequent misfiring.  This resulted in 5 cannons blowing up and 2 crew
being killed (it only injures/kills cannoneers at least, so don?t fear for
your other crew members).  At this point I stopped cannon combat until I got
the crew fully staffed (10 for my boat) and up to level 7.  With bigger and
tougher crew (the hp increase from 4 to 7 was pretty they
should be able to take an explosion or 2 much better now), I now was in a
situation to really use them for combat.

There are a few important things to consider with cannons.  First, fire at the
right range.  There was a news post in sailors that said 5 is the optimum
range for average range shots.  So if you are using ammo that is ?average? for
range, shoot from 5 spaces out (use the pursue command to set the distance). 
Shooting at 3 does have a visible impact on my ability to hit with average
range shots.  I was shooting burst shots (below average range ammo) at 3
spaces and that didn?t seem to be so bad, but I?m not positive what the
optimum range is for this ammo.  Second, don?t fire as fast as you possibly
can.  I found I did not get many misfires if I used 1 cannon and fired 8-10
seconds after the previous shot landed (i.e. after the message saying it
hit/missed).  Third, take into account how many cannons you have activated
when doing combat.  I found that with 3 cannons I was able to fire reliably
every 20 seconds, which put more shot in the air in a given time period.  So
pending any penalties to hit that aren?t so obvious, it seems this approach
would be more effective.  You could test this yourself by seeing how much
damage you do each time you hit with 3 cannons versus 1.  If your max damage
from a 3 shot volley is 3x what it is for a single shot, then you?ll know!  I
like shooting stuff, so I?d rather shoot 1 cannon at a time more often, and I
was able to defeat a bigger ship than me using this approach.

So what are the benefits and drawbacks of using cannons?  The main thing imo
is it?s way more fun than boring ramming.  I like shooting my cannon at stuff!
 Do note, that it take noticeably longer to sink a ship with cannon than with
ramming.  The other positive aspect of cannons is that I was able to sink a
class 5 target with my class 4 boat.  So cannon combat will allow you to go
after a wide variety of targets.  A minor nuisance with cannon combat is that
after a battle, you?ll have all parts of your ship damaged...sails, rudder,
and hull.  So you?ll have to use the repair command at least 3 times.  Also,
there is the cost factor.  It is a lot of money in crew, quarters, promotions,
and ogre pistols.  You could argue that because you can kill a bigger ship you
will eventually make more income from doing ships, but the payback would not
be short term.

Well, this is my perspective on what cannon combat is about.  Overall it?s a
fun new facet to the game if/when you want more toys to play with on your