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Re: colour striking

From: agoodall@c...
Date: 4 Jan 2001 12:01:01 -0800
Subject: Re: colour striking

On Thu, 04 January 2001, "Barclay, Tom" wrote:

> What makes colour striking unlikely nowadays?
> 1) combat damage rendering communications impossible with other ships
> 2) weapons which do so much damage that you never get a chance to
> about striking your colours before you pretty much die
> 3) chaos and damage rendering situational control aboard the vessel
> might strike its colours impossible
> 4) damage to internal ships communications

The whole point of striking colours was to allow the crew to get off a
crippled vessel and away safely. It was all part of the international
rules of naval warfare. Note that there wasn't a whole lot of "striking
of colours" done at Lepanto! *smile*

One of the more common occurances of striking colours was with merchant
vessels. You weren't supposed to sink a civilian merchant vessel until
you were sure that all the crew got away safely. This ended in World War
II for a number of reasons, the main ones being that ships were sunk
without checking first by both sides, and a lot of ships were protected
by armed convoys.

Today, the hellishness of weapons and their range makes colour striking
unlikely. A ship is likely to be sunk or rendered pretty useless from a
very long distance away. 

I disagree with the internal communications breakdown, though. I think
most ships today have a method of getting people off the ship even if
the electrical system is down. It may be as simple as whistles and

Whether or not a ship in FT would strike colours would depend on the
rules of engagement under which the war was fought. If prisoners are
routinely abandoned to their fate if a ship is scuttled, you may see
ships on both sides either: 1) striking their colours, or 2) fighting to
the death. 

I think, though, that scuttling is more likely. It might be an idea,
though, to create little escape pods. That would make an interesting
scenario/morale rule. Create an escape pod per ship's crew star. Treat
them as fighters with no combat capability. Let other ships pick them up
without having a shuttle bay? I think that could work. 

If you made, therefore, the loss of CREW the determining factor in a
game (and not the loss points of ships, or hull boxes, you could see
situations where hurt ships escaped a battle area, and lifepods are
picked up. Just a thought, anyway.

Allan Goodall -

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