Author Topic: How to captain a ship  (Read 15375 times)

Offline -Muse- Cullen

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How to captain a ship
« on: May 28, 2013, 02:30:58 am »
How to captain a ship- an overview guide by Cul

Purpose: This guide will outline the position of captain, and how it differs from the three roles on the ship. At the end of this guide, the reader should feel more comfortable with the captain position, and will use its information to lead a crew to its fullest potential. This guide will not cover how to play roles, such as the pilot, nor strategies with specific ships.

Unique captain traits:

1.   The captain picks the ship that the crew will be flying on, as well as the ship’s gun load-out.
The captain has the important responsibility to choose a ship and its load-out, which also means that the captain will pick how the ship will fly best: carronades will make a ship into a close-ranged disabler, field guns for support sniping, and a Gatling/flak combo to be a standard bruiser are a few common examples. As a captain, you should figure out what type of ship is needed for the match, and with allied help, bring a ship that will benefit the team. Blindly playing a favorite ship constantly may yield successes, but being able to adapt against a disabler- or sniper-built ship is needed. Is your ally support-built? Then you should pick a ship with finisher potential. Is your ally a bruiser? You might need to bring a disabler ship to destroy the enemy one ship at a time. Is your enemy a 4-Hwacha Galleon? Bring some field guns and take ‘em out from afar! To view other captain’s ships and load-outs, click the name of their vessel in the lobby.

2.   The captain has access to a unique voice channel for talking to other allied captains.
All captains have access to a special ‘captains only’ voice communication channel (default key C), which is available with the intention to be used to coordinate with other allied captains. Because of the ability to coordinate quickly with another vessel, many captains prefer to be pilots. While it is not required, being a pilot definitely makes communicating and fulfilling maneuvers with other ships quicker.

3.   The captain has use-priority over all manned components.
A captain can walk up to any gun, or the helm, and take away control from a crew member if it is in use. While this trait isn’t central to the position, it is nevertheless important to deal with unresponsive crew members that take a manned component hostage. In an effective crew, this trait will have no use. For general play with patchwork members, this will help you keep some aspect of control in the case of a mutiny at the helm or main gun.

4. The captain is the leader of the group.
This seems to go without saying, but this is an important thing to keep in mind. Before a match starts, a captain should remind the crew what guns are on the ship, and tell the crew what ammo and tools to bring. During the match, the captain should inform the crew as to what is going on, and what he is planning, in order to make sure that they are ready to perform when the opportunity arises. Crew members will look for instruction (such as asking about which enemy to target), so being able to communicate with a crew will benefit the team greatly. To learn how to communicate effectively, go to the following guide by Charon, https://gunsoficarus.com/community/forum/index.php/topic,196.msg7831.html#top

Example of a good captain:
1.   The captain greets new crewmembers in the lobby and has some sort of conversation with the group about what the game plan is.
2.   The captain is cool-headed in stressful times, and doesn’t lash out at anyone on the team.
3.   The captain is adaptive and changes strategies to confront problems midgame, for example, by trying coordinated attacks with the allied ship.
4.   The captain is aware by knowing what’s going on and gives out that information to the crew. His plans come from the current scenario, instead of solely from past experience.
5.   The captain instructs new players that enter his ship, and helps to bring the inexperienced player(s) up to speed for the coming match.
6.   The captain listens to his crew’s, and changes his strategy accordingly.
7.   The captain is gracious in victory, and humble in defeat. Credit is given when due, and it makes crewmembers want to remain on his ship for another match.
For a community discussion on the topic, go to Kestril’s post: https://gunsoficarus.com/community/forum/index.php/topic,1119.0.html

Example of a bad captain:
1.   The captain remains silent in text and speech in the lobby, as well as throughout the match. When all of the players return to the lobby, the same captain immediately presses the ready button.
2.   The captain scolds crew members and questions their actions without follow up, nor previous instruction. All blame lies on someone else.
3.   The captain ignores the allied ship and throws his own vessel at the enemy in hopes to come out victorious in a direct confrontation.

What the captain is not:
The captain is not synonymous with pilot. If you are communicating with the other team as a captain, it can be the best choice to also be pilot simply because the pilot has the aerial maneuver tools to keep up with coordination. Through ship manipulation, the pilot also picks targets for the crew, as well as positioning for plans- this is another reason why the position and the role are intertwined so closely. If a ship only plans on using one aerial maneuver tool, it can be fine to pick something other than pilot while at the helm. In a situation like King of the Hill, where there is a lot of camping and ranged confrontations, a ship may benefit from ‘pulling the goalie’ and having someone off of the helm. However, these situations seem to occur more frequently on ships that do not require yaw correction often- such as sniper support. Use caution when using this strategy in closer ranges, because someone, inevitably, will have to be on the helm for maneuvering, and not having the ability to use multiple aerial maneuvers, or being close to the helm, can be a problem. 

Conclusion:
The captain is the social figurehead of the crew, and is the one that should be making decisions and calling shots. Your crew will look to you for instruction, so you should always know what is going on, always have a plan in action, and know where everyone on your ship should be working. Be ready and willing to communicate to your allies, as well, because teamwork is OP. Just because your side lost doesn’t mean that the match wasn’t fun, so make it a priority to make it so. The responsibility of being a captain is added onto whatever role you have chosen, so be ready to balance both tasks in the skies ahead.

In the case that I left anything out, too vague in description, or incorrect in information, let me know by posting below. I wrote this guide with the hope that it will evolve with time and become a useful piece of information to curious would-be captains, and, perhaps, unsuccessful ones looking to find out what the problem is.

Offline HamsterIV

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Re: How to captain a ship
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 06:35:45 pm »
To me the roll of captain involves the following aspects:

Leadership - (How the captain manages their crew)
* How to teach crew members who are new
* What rolls/area of responsibility each crew member has
* Keep every one informed of the situation and their part in it.

Tactics - 
* How to work with another ship
* Where the ship is placed. 
* When to run or fight. 
* What equipment to bring both ship and pilot wise. 
* How to approach the enemy team/objectives. 
* Who to shoot at first. 
* What ship components need to be prioritized. 
* When to pull the aux engineer off the guns. 
* Understanding both your weapon arcs and the enemies. 
* When to ram.

Piloting - (inseparable from the captain roll since the pilot makes 1/2 the tactical decisions) 
* What pilot items to use and when. 
* Flying close to obstacles. 
* Map knowledge.
* Using cover. 
* Attacking with the ship itself ramming/tar barrel
* How to provide the best platform for your gunners.

Your guide covers some of these, but a complete captain guide would cover all these and then some.

Offline -Muse- Cullen

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Re: How to captain a ship
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 11:33:01 pm »
To me the roll of captain involves the following aspects:
-snip-
[A] complete captain guide would cover all these and then some.
I'll do my best to add my thoughts on this in within a day or two.

Offline -Muse- Cullen

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Re: How to captain a ship
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 12:08:01 pm »
Leadership - (How the captain manages their crew)
* How to teach crew members who are new (https://gunsoficarus.com/community/forum/index.php/topic,364.0.html)
* What rolls/area of responsibility each crew member has (Discuss their roles before the match begins- as in... if an engineer will be pulling gunner duty or being a dedicated repairer. Tell them what they should do, and make sure to pay attention to their work during the match.)
* Keep every one informed of the situation and their part in it. (wrote about it briefly in "4. The captain is the leader of the group", as well as the "Good Captain" section.)

Tactics - 
* How to work with another ship (Fly near each other, coordinate attacks on specific targets, keep communication up.)
* Where the ship is placed.  (understand that having your guns turned towards the target will limit mobility options, and keeping mobility options open will limit shooting options. Understand that being closer to the ground makes some guns more effective with their arcs, but also being closer to the ground makes a ship more likely to hit the ground before a balloon can get repaired. I'm not sure what topics to cover in this category, as it is something that I feel comes naturally through practice and experience.)
* When to run or fight.  (Its hard to run in a direct confrontation, or to try and out-repair damage. Make sure that you fight back. Aim for their guns to take the pressure off. If you are at a farther distance, and it will be a 2v1 scenario, it is usually a safe decision to retreat backwards while firing long-ranged weapons, behind cover, towards your teammate, or towards cloud cover.)
* What equipment to bring both ship and pilot wise.  (Up to the player based on how they want to fly. By reading through the wiki, and through practicing how each weapon works, a captain should understand how they all work, and be willing to take each one accordingly.)
* How to approach the enemy team/objectives.  (Depends on communication with teammates. Coordinate with your allies- are you going to the next point early to capture it before things get crazy? Or are you going to provide back up to a contested point? The situations will change.)
* Who to shoot at first.  (In my opinion, Weaker target > Heavier fire power target > Target that is attacking your ally > Closer target > Target with guns toward you. My reasoning: The weaker target will die quicker, and you will be able to shift your attention from two ships to one sooner. Second, disabling the heavier fire power ship will be beneficial in the long run for the team. Then, helping your ally is always a priority, because if they die, there's a good chance that you will take severe damage and go with them because it turned into a 2v1 scenario. The closer target will be easier targets for your gunners. The target that is facing you will begin firing at you much sooner than a ship that has its engines faced towards you- if you take out their guns, then they won't be able to do damage to you.)
* What ship components need to be prioritized.  (https://gunsoficarus.com/community/forum/index.php/topic,1285.msg21635.html#top)
* When to pull the aux engineer off the guns.  (If the oncoming damage is too great, and it doesn't look like the ship will win, then it is important to pull the auxiliary engineer back to repair. The gunner should remain shooting at the enemy's guns, though, in order to take the pressure off. This should last until the opportunity to fight back arises- an ally may appear, or the gunner may suppress their gun.)
* Understanding both your weapon arcs and the enemies.  (Takes practice to see that.)
* When to ram. (https://gunsoficarus.com/community/forum/index.php/topic,1320.msg22121.html#top)

Piloting -
I'll let you handle this section, Hamster, cos you wrote a guide on it already~ I was intending this guide to remain purely on the position, not on pilot strategies and tips. https://gunsoficarus.com/community/forum/index.php/topic,686.0.html