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Modding tutorial 09 Oktober 2009:
Modding Teil 6.

This time we learn how to translate the East India Company to your own language.

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Blog 15 Juli 2009:
Naval warfare, part II.

Lead designer Kim Soares takes the helm of a frigate and shouts: "Port side, FIRE!"

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Designer's Blog: Naval warfare, part II.

In campaign play it helps a lot if you already have some idea of how different ship combinations will likely end up against each other. To make matters more interesting, in campaign play it’s not just about shooting the other guy into pieces.

The odds are that either you or AI has ships that are loaded full of precious cargo. If your flutes are packed full of spice that you spent 99% of your money to buy, the last thing you want to do is to shoot it out with the enemy.


In these kinds of situations your tactical skills are truly measured. The odds are that the enemy has faster ships than your flutes so fleeing is probably going to fail. You might try to sacrifice one of your ships while others make a run for it. It would help if you had only 3 flutes and perhaps 2 galleons. Then your galleons could try to keep the enemy at bay while the traders try to escape.

In a pursuit situation, you can even choose to throw all cargo overboard as to gain extra speed. Then again, the cargo might often be more valuable than the ship itself, but at least that way you can deny it from the enemy.

If you are the attacker, you might want to capture the enemy ships with any cargo they might be carrying as opposed to sinking them. Ships can be captured in multiple ways. Most obvious one is to get close enough and then initiate boarding action. You do not have any control during the boarding action, so it is best to ensure that you have the upper hand before doing it.

In boarding action, it is all about the manpower: The ship with more crewmembers is likely to win. This is what makes marines so valuable. Most ship types can transport marines and they are experts in boarding actions. Marines also independently shoot at the enemy crew if their ship is in range.


If you don’t want to risk it in boarding action, you can always try to make the enemy surrender without bloody close combat. Morale of a crew of a single ship will decrease if they take casualties. If a ship is lost (sank, surrendered, fled) it will decrease morale of crews of all other friendly ships. The amount of morale loss depends on the size of the ship. In fleet of one ship-of-the-line and two sloops, the loss of single sloop does not matter so much. If it’s the SOL that gets destroyed, it might well be that both sloops will rise a white flag.

Multiplayer has three different game modes. Last Ship Floating is deathmatch where the player with the, hum… last ship floating is the winner. You can take any ship you want, but naturally if you want balanced battles it’s good to limit the selection to vessels roughly equal. There is also team version of this game mode. In the team version you can have any combination of players (1 vs. 2, 5 vs. 7, 6 vs. 6, 3 vs. 3…) up to the maximum of 12 players.

In domination there are a number of buoys floating scattered across the play area. Sailing close enough will tag the buoy and it will start ticking time for your side. The side to accumulate enough time first wins. They buoys can be re-captured by the other team, so struggle for domination is constant. This game mode also benefits from team tactics. Side with only large warships might have huge firepower, but speed is of the essence here. Small fast ships like cutters are good, especially if the team has some large warships to give them fire support. Or you can try to go through the middle, employing ships like xebecs and frigates.

As the release date of 28th july is very near now, this was my last designers blog before the release. In the next one I’ll share with you some of my own tactics I use when creating the trading company that will dominate the East Indies.

Kim Soares

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