The following are presented to further enhance your enjoyment of release, "Age
1) Know Your Ship!
Right-click on your ship's area in the Unit List to view the pop-up info box
on the ship. This lists all kind of neat info on your ship, much of which
cannot be found elsewhere. For instance, the "hull points" lists the total
number of "hits" a ship can sustain; this is also a measure its size &
2) Know Your Guns!
If your ship has a generous helping of "carronades" (denoted by a "c" in the
pop up ship list; i.e., 6 x 12#c) you should close in tight with the opposing
ship in order to employ these most effectively. This is because carronades,
being relatively smaller, do not have as great an effective range as normal,
full-sized, cannons -- but they *do* have plenty of "punch" at short range! On
the other hand, if your ship is loaded with cannons and the enemy has the
carronade-heavy vessel, you'd be best advised to maintain your distance (300
to 500 yards might be optimum).
3) Know Your Ammo!
Each ammunition load in Age of Sail has unique qualities, and therefore
advantages and disadvantages.
Round Shot is the only ammo available for a target at > 500 yards, and is the
ammunition of choice if you simply want to *sink* an enemy vessel.
Chain Shot should be used to inflict sail and rigging damage on an enemy.
This, in effect, will decrease that unit's speed as its sail & rigging damage
mounts. Once your ship has a speed and maneuverability advantage over the
opponent, other options become available.
Grape Shot is used to inflict casualties on the enemy ship's crew, but is only
effective at fairly short range. After inflicting damage on an enemy from
afar, close in and pepper his crew with grapeshot. They may just strike their
Double Shot is strictly a short-range ammo, and is used in an attempt to
inflict massive damage to the opponent's hull.
4) Cross That "T"!
Attempt to get a "rake" shot on the enemy; this is a shot whereby you bring
one of your ship's broadside's to bear on an enemy ship's bow or stern,
thereby "raking" the length of the target. In Age of Sail, a rake shot is
defined as a shot taken from a position where you can bring your guns to bear
on the target and it cannot in turn bring it's guns to bear on your vessel;
i.e., the enemy is within your firing arc, but you are not within *his*. A
rake shot within 100 yards of an enemy ship can be extremely devastating, and
drops off from there (beyond 500 yards the rake bonus is lost).
5) Reload Your Idle Side
Frequently, one side of your ship is facing away from the enemy for a long
period of time. You might want to consider reloading the "idle" broadside of
your ship with a special load (double-shot or grape shot, perhaps). Then, when
you've closed the range, turn to bring those once-idle guns to bear and let
6) Squadron Ho!
Turn, Gun Load, Change Sail, and Fire at Will orders can be issued to an
entire squadron by selecting the lead ship in the squadron and then issuing
the order while holding down the Ctrl key.
7) Battle Sails!
Before closing with the enemy, be sure to give orders to have your ship(s)
change to "Battle Sails" configuration. If you maintain Full Sails, the damage
you take from sail and rigging hits will be *tripled*. Note: Only
"square-rigged" ships have Battle Sail formations; a ship represented on the
3D map with an icon resembling a "sailboat" does not have Battle Sails as an
8) Know When to Run!
In the campaign game (especially), you should frequently consider running as
the "better part of valor" at times... especially so when your 12-gun Cutter,
heavy in carronades, spots an 18-gun brig on the horizon. However, there's not
much greater satisfaction or thrill in this game than to have your out-gunned
ship out-maneuver and out-shoot, and eventually out-last, a substantially
9) Watch Gun Losses!
Even when playing with Fog of War "on", you are given infomation about how
many guns an enemy ship has functioning in each broadside. If one side of the
enemy ship has sustained considerably more gun losses than the other, it would
behoove you to try to keep that "damaged" side of the enemy firing at you.
Conversely, attempt to bring the most guns to bear on the enemy.
10) Trim Your Sails
Use the speed adjustment bar (on the right side of the Unit List area for your
ship) to fine tune your ship's speed. An unexpected decrease in your ship's
speed (simulates "backsailing") followed by a quick turn toward the enemy when
running close alongside him may allow your ship to get a stern rake. This is
best executed right after firing one side, as when you turn toward the enemy
to "cross the T" on his stern, you'll bring the other broadside to bear
(hopefully loaded with double shot by now!).
11) Minimize Enemy Firepower
When facing more than one enemy ship, attempt to maneuver your ship(s) so the
enemy cannot bring all of his ships into action. In other words, try to "gang
up" on the closest enemy ship while not allowing the trailing ship to bring
it's guns to bear on your ship(s).
12) Pick the Biggest Ship with the Most Guns!
Need I say more? ;-)