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Daily Draw 0050 - Opposite Tacks by Amarynceus Daily Draw 0050 - Opposite Tacks by Amarynceus
A non-specific encounter during the war between Britain and her Atlantic colonies.  A Royal Navy brig of 14 guns engages a quarterdecked ship-sloop of the Continental Navy, probably of 24-28 guns, as they pass on opposite tacks in a fresh but not overly robust wind.

So, who can tell me what the likely evolution of this encounter is?  What should each commander do?  I'm pretty sure I know, but I could be wrong. ;)

Made it to #50!  So I spent a little bit more time on this one. 4 or 5 hours, I think?  For that much time, it's still pretty rough, but not too bad for half a day's work.

Edit: ah *%^!  I forgot to rig t'gallant stays on the brig. :stupidme: 

Ashamed

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Copyright 2016 Avatar Z Brown
Clip Studio Paint, Cintiq 12WX

:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz:
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:iconsiveir:
Siveir Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016
Looks magnificently dramatic - and dynamic, as these small ships don't look and are not so stationary as her sisters of the line :)

As for the engagement, I'm just a landlubber who saw the sea once in his life in the age of four, so don't take my opinion too seriously :). Anyway, here it is:

First, I don't know which ship is which. Problem is, the sloop-of-war is flying strange jack which seems to me like crosbreed between early US Jack and British Ensign, which confuses me a little. But I will presume it's US jack I'm not familiar with :)

In this case, despite being outgunned, the brig has an advantage of both position and wind. Unsless she looses too many sails, she can manouver nearly at will, while the sloop looks to be nearly upwind and thus barely controlable. Given the general proficiency of the RN crews, I don't see it too hard for the brig to cross the sloop's stern with a high chance for fatal rudder damage. At that point, the brig is the clear winner. However shoud the sloop manage to stay side by side (not a small feat in such starting position I presume), she would no doubt gun the brig down fast.
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:iconamarynceus:
Amarynceus Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Professional General Artist
Thanks!  Yeah, generally I find the small-ship actions more engaging to draw for that reason.  (There being only a couple of vessels rather than dozens has nothing to do with it, nosiree. :shifty: )

The strange flag is indeed one of many odd ensigns flown by ships of the Continental Navy, there were a fair number of striped flags with the Union Jack in chief.  This particular one would have had red, white, and blue striping.

I think you've grasped the situation well, with the minor note that the wind is directly abeam for both ships.  The brig can easily turn downwind across the sloop's wake, the key question is if the sloop can also bring her head downwind fast enough to avoid a raking.  Being directly downwind means that the brig might have 'stolen' her wind as they passed, checking her way a bit.  If she still has enough way to come around quickly, the end result will be running engagement downwind which will come down mainly to gunnery skills; the sloop might have a small advantage in weight of metal, but brigs and ship-sloops were often pretty similar in firepower (9 pounders at most, the carronade was just beginning to be introduced at this point).  And most likely, the RN gun crews could fire two broadsides for the Colonials' one.

I'd put my money on the brig in almost any evolution of the engagement, barring unfortunate chance events or the sloop managing to come alongside and board.  Thanks for taking the time to consider the scenario! :ahoy:
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:iconsiveir:
Siveir Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016
Yea, gunnery skills of the RN crew were simply amazing, generally doubling or tripling their broadsides against most foes (at least in Nelson times). However I have basically no clue how good were CN crews and I assumed they may be not equal, but nearly as good as the RN, as they were part of the same tradition. This would mitigate the skill advantage of the RN a little, as well as the fact that small ships had very limited prestige and thus lower quality of the crew. But I have no idea if those assumptions are correct.

In the end, the result of the engagement will be based on the crew skills. However, the brig would still need measurably better crew to correct of enemy greater firepower.
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:iconamarynceus:
Amarynceus Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Professional General Artist
Unfortunately, many of the CN ships were but poorly manned and often poorly commanded.  Not that there weren't well-served and well-fought vessels, but often the crews were motley collections of sailors, mostly from the merchant service and with little or no wartime service.  Whilst some served gallantly, others turned tail and ran, and an all too common fate of a CN ship was to be run aground and burnt to avoid capture.  The ships themselves were equally a mixed bag, some fine vessels, but others most embarrassing, such as the case of one who, as a result of wartime profiteering, was fitted out with rotten rope, and had all her masts fall out as soon as she left harbour.  :lol:

Totally agree that it all comes down to the crew, many an action has been won by smaller foes against much larger due entirely to that factor. :D
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:iconsiveir:
Siveir Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2016
Well, there were, are and allways will be people who thing that such little inconviniencies as an independance war or survival war should never cross their god given right to steal - sorry, tunnel, sorry, use - public money for their profit only. Human nature. That didn't changed from the time first money were coined.

Yea. I think it was an US general (was it Patton? Not sure) who said "any machine is only as good as its crew" or something with that meaning.
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:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner May 24, 2016
It's a very dramatic and strongly-lined image, very well drawn.  

I wouldn't draw too many conclusions from the fate of the Continental Navy, when, outnumbered over fifty to one, individual ships eventually fell prey to whole fleets or army seizures of their ports.  One finally winds down to who... won... the War of American Independence.  Gustavus Conyngham, Joshua Barney, and John Barry all joined with Jones in delivering remarkably strong and painful pulls to the Lion's Tail--and Jones rests in a marble sarcophagus in Annapolis, in great honor.

We also did fairly well in the rematch from 1812 to 1815.  No other navy so consistently defeated the RN as the U.S.N.  We are proud of that truth.
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:iconamarynceus:
Amarynceus Featured By Owner May 24, 2016  Professional General Artist
Thanks!

Indeed, the Continental Navy was in a bad position from the get-go, and it's easy to make light of its fortunes. :D  It had its share of success, to be sure.  There was an awful lot of running aground and being captured or set afire, though.

1812 was much more successful - even given the Royal Navy's focus on Europe, the U.S. ships did a fine job indeed.  (Ultimately we were just a mosquito, but a very annoying one for a year or two.)
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:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner May 24, 2016
No need to fault anyone--the wars were horrible, and we have moved past them with each other.  Now threats come from other sources.  We were not only a mosquito in the 1812... We were a Wasp and a Hornet.  :)
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:iconamarynceus:
Amarynceus Featured By Owner May 30, 2016  Professional General Artist
Haha, nice one! :D  I should draw or paint some of those engagements sometimes.  sorry for the late reply, busy week
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:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner May 30, 2016
God never forgets the heroes and their valor.
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:iconlorn6:
Lorn6 Featured By Owner May 23, 2016
:bulletblack::bulletyellow::bulletred: :iconplusfav: ...:thumbsup:...:handshake: Magnifique !
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:iconamarynceus:
Amarynceus Featured By Owner May 24, 2016  Professional General Artist
Thanks kindly! :ahoy:
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:iconyazackak:
yazackak Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Student Writer
Why do you draw so many ships? Not that there's anything wrong with ships. Ships are swell.
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:iconamarynceus:
Amarynceus Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Professional General Artist
Are there other things I can draw that you'd rather see more of?  I ask merely out of curiousity.
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:iconyazackak:
yazackak Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Student Writer
I like ships. Ships are fine for now. It's why I watch you. I suppose if I think of something else I'll let you know.
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:iconamarynceus:
Amarynceus Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Professional General Artist
Ships of all eras are my specialty; I've been drawing them for over thirty years.  It's only natural I should draw more of them than anything else. ;)
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:iconyazackak:
yazackak Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Student Writer
Makes sense.
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:iconthebrassglass:
TheBrassGlass Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Professional General Artist
Not sure, but I'm pretty sure the Brits will run the rebel ship aground, take her, rename her and probably prize her as their own. XD That seemed to be the way these things would go (unless you were Benedict Arnold on Lake Champlain...). =p
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:iconamarynceus:
Amarynceus Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Professional General Artist
Yeah... I'm not well versed in the history of the war with the Colonies, but everything I've read indicates that it was with only a few exceptions totally embarrassing.  Flipping through a book on ships of the Colonial Navies, it seems like every single one was either taken or burnt to avoid capture. :D (Big Grin)

The brig on the left is actually based on a Colonial brig captured and used by the Brits, the Fair American.  I didn't bother to chose a reference for the ship-sloop, though.
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:iconthebrassglass:
TheBrassGlass Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Professional General Artist
Yeah, honestly Benedict Arnold and John Paul Jones (who also lost his ship, Bonhomme Richard) were like the only major American naval heroes from that war. There were a couple of others who had moderate successes. Admiral DeGrasse and the French fleet accomplished a great deal more than the Americans were able to do, even though they were involved in a much shorter period of time compared with the Americans. Oh, well. XD We've made up for it since, I think, though no one beats Admiral Lord Nelson. ;)
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:iconamarynceus:
Amarynceus Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Professional General Artist
And we know how well it turned out, in different ways, for both of them. :D  Shockingly, Jones never had another command during the Revolutionary war, ended up in the Russian Navy for a time, and died in total obscurity in France in the 1792.  So much for one the American Navy now claims for one of its heroes. XD
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