BPS Council Ships Code

This was approved by the Black Powder Council, February 19, 2015 and is the closest thing we have to a specification for ships that are allowed to take part in combats on the Black Powder Sea.

Code Requirements

An even playing field is the only way to enjoy a true challenge – players know that their own efforts and skills matter, thus increasing enjoyment and reducing frustrations and accusations of cheating and unfairness. This agreement of the period sailing estates will ensure that our ships are a huge part of that fairness. This is intended to be a living document, adjusting as time and IW technology progress.

1.- Appearance and realism of the ships:

All ships shall be based on real types from late 1600s until the end of 1700s. All ships must retain a realistic draft in the water and reasonable proportions in general. Appearance is not a minor thing, since most Estates expect and encourage Role Play, and ships are an important part of the environment and the different game scenarios. Ships types from that period are mandatory; good looking ships are more than a welcome detail and in some cases could affect the evaluation. It is the responsibility of the builder/creator of the ship to provide all references that were used in designing and building the ship. This will help insure historical accuracy. All references will be checked by the ship approval committees.

2.- Propulsion:

All ships engines have to be developed from the Flying Tako scripts by Kanker Greeacre (Race Wind mode); any other wind won’t be considered compatible. Ships can not be boosted in any way. Ships with square sails have to include square sail simulation and not just speed booster. Iron angle, turning rate and speed have to fit the ship size and the rigging; to use previously approved ships as reference is valid.

3.- Battle compatibility:

At this moment SPD II is the norm for all ships. There are different aspects to have in consideration:
3.a) Damage: The vulnerable part of a ship is the whole hull; it takes damage from SPD compatible cannonballs and by colliding with land, ships and other objects. Ship owners have to be able to turn ON and OFF collisions with ships and other objects. Damage has to be displayed as HPs remaining; Hit points (HPs) are the damage points that are available for any given ship. Speed and agility have to be reduced the more damage the ship takes. The ship has to be incapacitated at 3-4 HPs, depending on the model. The ship has to sink at 0 HPs. The number of HPs a ship can have depends on the target (hull) size and number of guns, and can be set using previously approved ships as reference.
3.b) Repair Depot: if the ship can be repaired, the depot should work only when the ship is moored. An incapacitated ship can not be repaired. Repair speed has to be over 3 seconds per HP.
3.c) Guns: cannons have to be spaced at least 1 meter apart from each other. Tall ships are allowed to have a maximum of two bow guns and/or two stern guns, depending on the model. Big ships can not include bow guns nor stern guns. Cannonballs speed cannot be over 60 m/s. Cannons range should be about 170-180 meters. Reload time cannot be less than 15 seconds. Cannons have to be operated using buttons on the ship and/or on a HUD; any other method will be evaluated and discussed, except Mouselook aiming, which is strictly prohibited.

4.- Basic features:

All ships must be able to raise sails to start sailing, lower sails to stop being pushed by the wind ( and keep only inertial speed), and moor to stop. On the 3 situations the ship still has to be vulnerable. The ship also has to include kedge anchors to move to right and to left; maximum amount is 10 degrees per step on medium and small boats, and a maximum of 7 degrees per step on big ships; on both cases the time between steps has to be at least 3 seconds. Ships should only be able to kedge when traveling slower than 2.0 m/s on small and medium ships and 1.5 m/s on big ships (optional: this limitation can be disabled when the ship is in the irons), and kedges are allowed with the ship down to 2 HPs as limit. A function to lock the ship preventing damage is acceptable, but that feature has to work only if the captain is not aboard in a position. A locked ship can not be able to sail until it is unlocked.

5.- Ship classification:

This is just a guide-line to classify ships according to design/guns/HPs/size, based on already existing IWz and SL ships and concepts. All vessels must be of comparable physics and turning/speed/heeling values to the previously approved vessels within the same ship class. Shipbuilders are allowed to add small advantages to their ships as long as these advantages are compensated by disadvantages on other points; all cases will be tested and evaluated, and reasonable and fair models could be eventually approved. Note: some old ships that are approved do not fit this guide; the examples on this table shall be used as a reference instead of those old models.
Ship class Max. nr of guns Max. hit pts. Min hull size in meters
(s) Shoreboats/gunboats 1 8 9
(s) Longboat 2 12 12
(l) Sampan 4 14 11
(m) Sloop 6 20 15
(m) Brigantine 10 28 19
(m) Xebec 12 23 20
(m) Junk 11 25 21
(b) Galleon 20 35 25
(b) Frigate 22 40 25
(b) Ship of the Line 36 52 30
(s)=small ship, (l)= light ship, (m)=medium/tall ship, (b)=big ship

6.- Ship Evaluation:

On submission for consideration the builder/creator will provide a fully functional beta version of the ship and a data sheet that includes its specifications (see 7), to be checked by the ship approval committees. Committees shall, upon receipt of data sheet and Beta ship, evaluate and discuss ships in a timely manner. Notices will be sent to relevant groups informing them of the approval ONLY. The ships manufacturer will be notified in a timely manner. If disapproved, the committees will provide reasons for disapproval. If differences are noticed between the BETA tested and the approved final version of a ship it will be automatically disallowed. Ship Updates will require being completely tested and evaluated again. Ships disapproved will not be allowed in battles as a general rule.

7.- Data Sheet:

– Ship Type
– Time period used
– Dimensions of the ship (length, width or beam, draft, hull height above the waterline, freeboard, height above the waterline of tallest mast)
– Maximum Speed
– Number of Guns and locations
– Cannon range
– Cannonball speed in meters/second
– Number of crew positions to include Captain
– Kedge rate and time
– Wind angle of when in irons
– Number of prims
– Number of scripts and their locations in the ship
– Features and functions included on the ship