The following is Part IV of a five part series which aims to reveal the important details of the WSMG Society’s fourth MegaGame, Chaos on the Iron Sea.
Navies of the Iron Sea
Throughout the Caribbean, and specifically around the Iron Sea, there are four major European powers at play. With the Black Noose Islands claiming full or partial independence many years ago, the surrounding waters are still patrolled by the four powerful navies of the day – the Spanish, English, French and Dutch. Each with their own colourful history in the region and their own motivations and goals, small segments of these four navies now traverse the waters of the Iron Sea.
Once the most, and only, dominant power in the Caribbean, the Spanish navy is now a modest enforcer of the peace. With troubles brewing at home, though the empire still economically sound, the navy’s operations in the Iron Sea are those of peace keeping and solidification. Old wounds from the numerous wars with the other major powers in the region are put aside (most of the time) and the recently strengthening relationship with the French only helps push the Spanish forward.
Rich, powerful and proud, the English do not hide their intentions in the Iron Sea. Colonies of Her Majesty the Queen need solidification and protection and the growing power of the British navy needs to be exhibited. The English are proud and their (perceived) victories in the past have paved the way for a confident, seafaring superpower to dominate the New World.
As Great Britain gains more and more economic control in Europe, the French see their naval exploits and ventures into the New World as opportunities for a fresh start… and perhaps some revenge. With a major way between France and the Dutch in the 1670’s, the French are in play among the colonies of the Iron Sea for three reasons: to monitor the Dutch operations and power growth in the region; to solidify their own trade routes; and to capitalise on the dying trade that is piracy and the coin that can be made from bringing these outlaws to justice.
As one of the smaller powers in the Caribbean, to date the Dutch strategy has been to go undetected where possible and reap as many financial benefits as they can. With a relatively small yet well-structured navy, as well as a hardline relationship with one of the most domineering trade operations in the Caribbean, the Dutch are in it for the coin at this point. The colonisation of the Caribbean is bringing an end to the huge export markets in the region and this final push to reap resources and wealth is just what the small nation needs to establish the kingdom that lay in its future.
These naval teams have 5 players, each fulfilling different purposes in the operation of the vessel and the management of its crew.
Captains are responsible for the overall command and decision making on board the vessel, setting the salaries of different crew members and providing high level combat strategy and direction.
Quartermasters are the right hand of their Captain, carrying out his or her strategic vision. They are responsible for resource management and team coordination, as well as acting as the main advisor to their Captain on all issues impacting the vessel. Quartermasters are also the main diplomacy agent on board the vessel when dealing with other teams.
Boatswains are responsible for managing the crew of the ship and keeping track of cargo, supplies and melee defences. During combat they are responsible for boarding and defensive actions.
Master Sailors are responsible for navigation and movement on the game map, as well as defensive manoeuvring during combat. They are also responsible for keeping the ship in good health by undertaking repairs when needed.
Master Gunners are responsible for the armouring and defences of the ship, managing cannon teams during combat, and ensuring all ship weapons are well maintained and ready for combat.