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Line of Battle!(TM) from Hoplite-Research

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No game is perfect (as much as the authors would like to think so!), and rules clarifications changes and additions are par for the course. Hopefully this section may answer any questions you may have about the Line of Battle! rules, but if it does not, please contact the author or publisher, and we'll try to take care of it.

Q: How do I buy 1st rate, 2nd rate, and 4-deck Ships of the Line in a campaign setting?

A: Given in Corps Command strategic/economic terms, a 2nd Rate SOL costs 15EP, a 1st Rate SOL costs 20EP, and a 4-decker costs 30EP.

Q: How many 1st and 2nd rate SOLs can I build in a campaign, and what about building 4-deckers??

A: The number of 1st and 2nd rate ships a player may build in a campaign is dependent upon their nation, and the time period of the campaign. The following is a list of nations/years and the maximum percent of the player's fleet that may be 1st and 2nd rate ships.

pre-1792 1792-1799 1800-1808 1809-1815
England 20% 20% 20% 25%
France 10% 10% 10% 15%
Russia 10% 10% 15% 20%
Spain 15% 15% 20% 20%
Turkey 10% 10% 10% 15%

Four-deck Ships of the Line may number no more than 1 per nation at any given time, unless a player captures another's Four-decker. A player may always use captured ships, even if it should put them over the normal limits on the number of Four-decker, 1st and 2nd rate ships in their navy.

Errata - Treachery in Port
An unusual situation arose in one campaign, in which England allowed Russia (allied to England) to land in Gibraltar with an army and fleet after being defeated at sea by Spain. Russia then declared war on England in the following turn and attempted to seize the port. The England player wanted to get a ruling on how he could best attack and sink the Russian fleet at Gibraltar with his fleet in the adjacent sea zone - normally a case of "Running the Guns." However, since events in a turn occur more or less simultaneously, the English garrison would not surrender until the end of the turn, and therefore would control the port's guns until then. What to do?

In the event that a garrisoned Port is under siege by a hostile fleet and army, the garrison remains in control of the port until such time as it surrenders. Until it surrenders:
1. The defending garrison will control the port's guns and will be able to fire upon attacking ships in port as per Running the Guns until it surrenders. After the Port has become a valid supply point (a full turn after capture), the new owner will control the port's guns.
2. The attacking units will be considered in supply while in port unless a defending fleet is in an adjacent sea zone and can be blockade the port.
3. Blockaded units are out of supply and will suffer an attrition roll.
4. The attacking fleet in port may choose to sally against the defending fleet and push them from the sea zone to prevent being blockaded.
5. The defending fleet in the sea zone adjacent to the besieged port may engage the attacking fleet:
a. Sighting is done with a +2 modifier. A result of "6" or higher means that the defender has caught the attacking fleet at anchor at the port.
b. Conduct Intercept with a +1 modifier.
c. Check for Weather Gauge with an additional +2 modifier
d. If no historical map is available, Naval Terrain is rolled using the "Fleet on Devastation Order, or supporting land units*" chart.
6. Port defenses are represented by a number of coastal forts equal to its Fortification factor. E.g., Alexandria (a 3/3) would have three coastal forts.
a. Note that due to its unique geography and historically heavy defenses, that Gibraltar will have 2x the number of defensive fortifications.

Errata - Gibraltar in Corps Command/Line of Battle!
Gibraltar, "The Rock," is not well represented in Corps Command as the truly amazing natural defensive work it is. It rises from sea level to over 1300 feet in nearly one vertical cliff on the approaches facing Spain, and its cliffs form a natural bastion. During the Great Siege (1779-1782) it was besieged by Spain, and at the height of the siege 5,000 British defenders burrowed into The Rock to hold off over 40,000 Spanish soldiers, and a squadron of 20 Spanish ships. Despite the odds, The Rock held. More than 60 miles of tunnels and scores of defensive firing positions riddle The Rock, making it nigh impregnable. Specially designed artillery carriages with an extreme depression capability even allowed British guns to command the base of the rock and sweep the harbors from its heights. In game terms:

1. Gibraltar's garrison has its strength multiplied by x5 when an attacker rolls on the Siege Table.
a. E.g., 5 units counts as 25 units when under siege on the Corps Command Siege Table
2. Gibraltar counts as having 6 Coastal Forts for naval and land engagements.

Errata - Coastal Forts
Port defenses are represented by a number of coastal forts equal to its Fortification factor. E.g., Alexandria (a 3/3) would have three coastal forts. Note that due to its unique geography and historically heavy defenses, that Gibraltar will have 2x the number of defensive fortifications.

Coastal forts are considered to have Heavy and Super heavy guns, and are trained in firing upon naval targets. They fire at an additional +1 damage modifier, and may fire Hot Shot.

Coastal Fort: 10 broadsides/batteries(treat as 3 figures per battery)
Light Fort: 5 broadsides/batteries(treat as 3 figures per battery)

Errata - Fast Fleet Action Resolution
Those players who wish to resolve naval battles quickly without getting into the detail of Fighting Sail in Line of Battle! may instead use the Fast Fleet Action system.

Setting up the battle: Divide the fleet into Divisions or groups of approximately 20 ships each, and then place them on the table using models, paper cutouts or counters from popular board games. Place each ship adjacent to an opposing ship until all ships on each side have at least one enemy ship opposing them. If one side has extra ships, that player may "double-up" on the adversary until each enemy ship has two attackers at a maximum. Remaining ships are placed in line behind one of the friendly battle lines to await their turn to engage.

Fighting the Battle: Roll 1d10 per ship, with each admiral (one per fleet) getting a number of dice rolls equal to his Command Rating on any ship in the enemy line. A=4, B-C=3, D-E=2, G-H=1. Determine who fires first by each side rolling a modified d6. The side with initiative fires first.

Initiative modifiers:
Admiral Grade: A=+2, B-C=+1, D-E=0, G-H=-1
Nationality: British=+1, Spanish/Russian=-1, Turkey=-2, Prussia/Austria=-3
Fleet out of Supply=-1

The player with initiative rolls a modified d10 per ship and consult the chart below to determine casualties. Any opposing ships that survive the first round fire back.

Die Roll & Result
1-3: No damage (The ships exchanged fire but were not significantly damaged)
4-7: Enemy ship is damaged and falls out of the Line. It may not fire back this turn.
8: Ships join in a boarding action. Roll a modified 1d6, with the high roll winning and capturing the opponent's ship. Morale: A=+2, B-C=+1, D-E=0, G-H=-1; Nationality: British/US/Turkish: +1
9: Enemy ship is disabled and may not engage for the remainder of the battle. Unless both sides leave at the end of the first day, the winner of the battle will capture this vessel.
10: Enemy ship is sunk. Roll 1d6, on a 6 the ship has exploded, giving the attacker two immediate unmodified rolls on this chart.

Combat Table Modifiers:
Morale: A=+2, B-C=+1, D-E=0, G-H=-1
Nationality: British/US: +1, Spain:-1, Prussia/Austria:-2

At the end of each round of battle, check to see if a Fleet must make an integrity check or retire. Use normal Line of Battle rules to determine Fleet morale and integrity checks.

Once all six total rounds possible in the Naval Day have been played, the Fleets can elect top continue to fight by secretly writing down their intensions or evade out of the area into another sea zone (and to possibly be intercepted) or friendly port. The winner of the battle may elect to attack evading Fleets forced into port with Fireships (Appendix C), or may attempt to Run the Guns.

The winning fleet will capture any disabled enemy ships left behind by the evading player, and may attempt to spot and pursue the enemy fleet before it departs the sea zone. Use Line of Battle rules to spot and intercept. If successful, both fleets will fight another day of battle. If not, then the evading fleet leaves the contested sea zone. Players that evade also leave behind any ships captured in boarding actions.

Errata - Running the Guns
Anytime a fleet blockades another in a port, the blockading fleet may attempt to engage the fleet in port by Running the Guns. Running the Guns to destroy enemy shipping was not common during the period, but was done when the stakes were high enough.

All ships that attempt to Run the Guns and engage fleets in port must survive a barrage of defending ships and port batteries. This is done by adding up cumulative attacks based upon port size, garrison, and ships in port to represent the number of batteries of guns that may be brought bear on the attacker :

1. Multiply the Fortification value of the port by 5 (with Gibraltar being multiplied by x10)
2. Add one for each artillery battery garrisoned or present in the port
3. Add of the number of ships in port, rounded down

The final value is the number of attack dice rolled by the port defender before the attacker can engage the ships in port.

Any attacking ships which survive the defender's barrage may then engage the defending ships in port, and roll attack dice normally. At the end of this round, the attacking player either elects to remain in the port and conduct another round, or break-off and leave the port, going back into the adjacent sea zone. When leaving the port, the attacker will leave behind any ships captured by port defenders, and tow off any ships it captured in the engagement. It may also be forced to leave behind any of its ships damaged in the fight. The attacker rolls 1d10 per damaged ship upon leaving the port, on a roll of a "10" the damaged ship is instead sunk by the defender before it can retire. If the attacker elects to stay, the defender recalculates their defensive dice and fires again, followed by the attacker's turn, and so on.

Example: A French fleet of 24 ships under Admiral Jenesequa decides that he is tired of the Egyptian fleet of five ships in Alexandria and has decided to Run the Guns and attack. The Egyptians automatically win initiative because they are in port and then calculate their defensive fire dice:

1. Alexandria has a "3" fortification value. 3x5=15
2. There are no artillery batteries currently stationed in port
3. There are five ships in port. 5/4 = 1.25, rounded down to one
4. 15+1=16.
5. The Egyptian player rolls 16 attack dice against the French fleet as it attempts to force its way into the harbor.

The French take 8 hits (4 sunk, 3 damaged, 1 boarded - simulates running aground and being taken by Egyptian infantry, etc.). The French return fire with the remaining 16 undamaged ships and sink or capture the five Egyptian ships in Port. The French admiral, having met his objective, opts to leave the port and return to the adjacent sea zone from which it started his attack. The French player rolls 1d10 for each damaged ship in his fleet, but does not roll a 10 - so none of his damaged ships are destroyed leaving the port. The French leave behind five ships (4 sunk, one captured by port defenders) and retreat with the captured Egyptian ship.

If the admiral had not met his goal of sinking all the Egyptian ships and had opted to stay for another round, the French fleet would have taken another barrage of 15-16 attack dice, and combat would have continued.