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Field Manual: Shipboard Operations

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Nearo a
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I. Foreword from the Editor

Marines must know the basics of shipboard operations - even if they aren't directly responsible for every aspect of operating the ship (that's what sailors are for, after all!). You still need to be able to take over and assist, and not just be dead weight when the ship is underway or in the middle of an engagement where we haven't closed the distance to allow boarding of the enemy vessel.

You also need to understand the importance of everyone's job onboard. The ship needs to run like a well oiled dwarven machine - no wasted energy and be able to withstand some serious damage.



Table of Contents
I. Foreword from the Editor
II. Fundamentals of Shipboard Operations
III. Navigation
IV. Weapons
V. Logistics
VI. Maintenance
VII. Communications
VIII. Emergencies
IX. Scuttling
Posted Mar 22, 18 · OP · Last edited Apr 11, 19
Nearo a
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II. Fundamentals of Shipboard Operations

Operation of a warship comes down to the accurate, effective control of the vessel's course while also providing the ship's crew with the tools and supplies needed to carry out their mission and come back home safe and victorious.

This is accomplished with a well established and thoroughly understood chain of command in which the responsibilities of Navigation, Weapons, Logistics, Maintenance, Communications and Emergency Management are assigned to well trained personnel with effective and decisive leadership.

Kul Tiras Sailors are generally the ones tasked with the responsibility of performing shipboard operations, but all Kul Tiras Marines must also have a working knowledge of all of these systems and how to assist in their performance.
Posted Mar 22, 18 · OP · Last edited Apr 2, 18
Nearo a
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III. Navigation

Navigation is the single most important aspect of shipboard operation - as without proper, thorough and disciplined navigation and log-keeping the ship and it's crew will not survive a single night out at sea. For this reason, the job of navigating the ship is typically the responsibility of highly trained and experienced officers - the Captain, First Mate and Lieutenant. Enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers will provide assistance and man the sails, battens and lines as directed.

Navigation is accomplished with a series of instruments and charts. The instruments include day and night telescopes, a quadrant, navigational scales and rulers, protractors, dividers and writing instruments. These instruments are used to lay out a course on navigational charts which show an approximate arrangement of the coastline. These charts indicate important landmarks such as lighthouses, towns and natural features such as rock formations and hazards such as shoals. These charts also show the water depth and horizon height at a given location. A skilled navigator could then be able to determine the following with some calculations:

1. Water Depth. When near the coast, drop a weighed 30-fathom long sounding lead into the water and then pulling it back out once it had touched ground. This depth is compared against the stated depth on a navigational chart as one of the data points to verify the ship's location.

2. Distance to Shore. Check how close the shore is to the horizon as this compares to the navigational chart or how tall a 100-foot lighthouse appears in a telescope. This distance is used to determine what the water depth at the ship's current location should be at a given location as indicated by navigational charts.

3. Sailing Speed using a common log. This is a rope with a wood dowel on the end, and the length having a series of equally-spaced knots. The rope is dropped into the water and the navigator will count how many knots unroll from the coil in a given amount of time (such as an hourglass or gnomish pocketwatch). The number of knots determines the speed of the vessel.

Using the information above, a navigator could determine that the ship is on course, or determine how accurate the current heading is and make adjustments as required. The navigator also keeps a detailed log of the ship's current location upon verifying this information, which could then be used for any additional corrections as the ship continues on it's voyage.

Marines may be able to make estimated calculations on the distance to shore during an amphibious assault or weapons ranging for shore or anti-ship bombardment by employing some rudimentary knowledge of shore navigation and distance calculation.

Deep-Sea navigation is far more complex and beyond the scope of further discussions for this manual which is intended for recruits entering into service as enlisted personnel.
Posted Mar 22, 18 · OP · Last edited Mar 26, 18
Nearo a
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IV. Weapons

Marines will rely mainly on handheld weapons during shipboard operations for the purpose of boarding enemy vessels and conducting amphibious assault. This will constitute of melee and ranged weapons of choice, and may also include the use of auxiliary tools such as grappling hooks for ease of movement from ship to ship or ship to shore.

Among other duties such as damage control, Marines may also be required to man the ship's main weapons during shore bombardment and while conducting maneuvers at sea. No sense having idle hands during any combat scenario. Here are the main shipboard weapons and how to deploy them:


1. Canons

Canons are mounted broadside, as well as forward and aft to allow for full coverage around all sides of the ship, but the majority of the canons are mounted for broadside volleys. Different types of cannon shot are used, depending on the intended effect (discussed below). Loading requires scouring the inside of the canon with a sponge rod before loading (don't want any unexploded powder blowing up in your ugly face!), loading and packing the fresh explosive charge with a rammer, loading the shot into the breach, aiming and lighting the fuse to fire.

a) Canonballs, used for inflicting maximum damage on enemy ships. Fire against enemy canon crew if intention is boarding, fire just above the waterline or magazine if intention is to sink the enemy ship. Also used for attacking shore defenses.

b) Chain Shot, ship disabling round. Two iron balls connected with a chain spin about when fired, cutting rigging, ropes, sails to disable enemy ship's ability to maneuver.

c) Anti-personnel Shot, a canister loaded with smaller balls and shrapnel to kill the crew on the enemy ship while inflicting minimal damage to the enemy ship's structure. Also used for killing enemy shore personnel.

d) Explosive Shot, a cylinder packed with explosive, fired at the enemy canon deck with the intention of detonating the enemy powder stores and cause a massive chain explosion throughout the ship. Can also be used for destroying enemy artillery on-shore.

2. Depth Charge

Depth charges are barrels full of explosive that will automatically detonate at a predetermined depth. These are for taking out enemy submarines. A direct hit is not needed, the hydraulic shock from a proximity detonation will cause hull damage to the enemy submarine, causing it to flood and sink. Simply roll them off the aft portion of the ship (never off the front!) so we have enough time to clear the blast radius. Don't be stupid and roll one off the front!


3. Harpoon

A massive harpoon is used against sea monsters, whales and flying targets such as dragons where deep penetration through soft tissues and armored scales is needed to reach vital organs. These are shorter range than canons and take longer to load, but are able to be aimed in all directions, so be sure of your target when firing. If you miss the kill points and hit your target in an arm, foot or tentacle, you're just going to piss them pretty good off so keep your snot picker off the trigger until you know you've got a good shot!
Posted Mar 22, 18 · OP · Last edited Apr 12, 18
Nearo a
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V. Logistics

Keeping a ship well-supplied is necessary to be able to continue the mission. The most basic supplies needed for maritime operations are fresh water, food, powder & ammunition, and damage control equipment & supplies. If any of these is missing, the ship will quickly need to anchor in order to re-supply.

Effective management of these four basic areas is the responsibility of the Logistics Officer, but making sure that none of these supplies are wasted is the responsibility of each and every sailor and marine onboard.
Posted Mar 22, 18 · OP · Last edited May 4, 18
Nearo a
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VI. Maintenance

While major repairs will be accomplished pier-side at a shipyard or dry-dock facility, preventive maintenance and damage control procedures are necessary while underway. The damage control procedures that most Marines must master have to do with de-watering, plugging ruptures and the repair of rigging lines.

De-watering means just one thing - grab a bucket and get that water out of the boat before the boat goes down. Simple as that.

Plugging ruptures is a little more tricky. Get yourself some pre-made dowels and tapered pins and shove them into the hole like it's a Night Elf whore in Booty Bay. Get yourself a mallet and really get them in there until the gush of water slows to a trickle, then paste it up with some sealant.

Repairing rigging lines is alot more simple, so long as you know the ship well enough to know which lines run where. If you aren't sure - ASK! Knots and some glue will get you out of a pinch until we get the ship back to dock for repairs.

Finally, every Marine should always be on the look-out for wet spots on the planks and bulkheads whenever you're below-deck. Small leaks can quickly grow into a big problem - let the Engineering Officer know right away so they can seal up any small leaks!
Posted Mar 22, 18 · OP · Last edited May 4, 18
Nearo a
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VII. Communications

Messenger birds are commonly used for communication between ships, as are mirrors to reflect sunlight and horns to signal a given maneuver. The specifics of these signals and their significance will be discussed during mission briefings.

Keep your ears open for the sound of General Quarters, which means there is danger afoot and it's time to take action! When your commanding officer is giving out orders - shut your hole, listen and obey!

In the absence of orders, follow standard procedures and do not automatically assume a defensive position. If a target of opportunity presents itself - attack and destroy, and search for other members of your unit.
Posted Mar 22, 18 · OP · Last edited May 4, 18
Nearo a
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VIII. Emergencies

There is only one kind of emergency - the kind that requires us to scuttle the ship - and the only time to scuttle the ship is when the vessel is dead in the water but we can take a crew of greenskins down to the bottom with us.

Everything else is just business as usual.

Sustaining injuries and casualties is business as usual - get patched up and get your pretty little ass back in the fight. If you lose an arm, get a hook shoved in there and then go get yourself a severed orc head to hang off that hook.

Hurricanes and tidal waves aren't emergencies - Kul Tiran ships are designed to withstand anything mother nature can throw at us short of mountain-sized tidal waves created by a monstrosity like old Deathwing. In that case - there's nothing you can do but say your peace, grab death by the balls and count your blessings as you join other heroes of Kul Tiras at the bottom of the sea.
Posted Mar 22, 18 · OP · Last edited May 4, 18
Nearo a
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IX. Scuttling

The only time to scuttle the ship is in the extremely unlikely event that the ship has been crippled during a naval engagement against Horde forces. Under these conditions, the main mast must have been severed, the rigging lines cut, rudder disabled and the main deck is completely over-run with enemies. If the main deck is over-run with enemies, then it is the Horde's intent to capture the vessel rather than sink it. This cannot ever be allowed to happen, and it is your duty as a Kul Tiras Marine to scuttle the ship rather than allow it fall into enemy hands.

The Standard Operating Procedure for Scuttling is as follows:

1. Take the Fight Below Deck.
Marines are to get below deck and keep fighting hand-to-hand, using your superior knowledge of the ship's layout, choke-points and compartments to make the deck planks black with the blood of our enemies. The officer in charge must shout the order "BELOW DECK!" - and all Marines are to look for the nearest hatch or scuttle and take the fight down below. Marines at the front must be armed with shields to deflect incoming grenade blasts, arrows and thrown weapons. Grenades that penetrate through the shield barrier must be tossed overboard through the broadside gun ports before they detonate or covered over with a shield to absorb the blast and direct the force of the explosion down into the bottom deck or the bilge.

2. Utilize Confined Space Canon Fire
Marines already on the gun deck when enemy boarding begins are to to untie any broadside cannons not pointed at the boarding enemy vessel, aim them towards each hatch leading to the main deck and load them with anti-personnel shot. Aim the cannon at the hatch where our enemies are pouring into the gun deck and be prepared to fire at your commander's orders. The officer in charge must shout the order "FIRE IN THE HOLE!" - upon hearing this every Marine is to push port or starboard and clear the centerline to maximize enemy deaths while minimizing friendly fire. Broadside canons aimed towards the boarding enemy vessel should be loaded with anti-personnel shot and aimed at the enemy gun deck to clear it of enemy personnel and facilitate our entry into their ship later on.

3. Prep for Detonation
While the fighting continues below deck, Marines within close proximity to the powder magazine are to move as many kegs of powder to mid-ship where a detonation will cause maximum damage and rip the ship in half. Time-delayed Thorium Charges are to be utilized to accomplish this. Once the Orcs begin to make a push towards our cannons, and the fire team manning the hatch cannon won't have enough time to prep another shot, the officer in charge is to arm the thorium charge kept in the scuttling kit outside the magazine. Light that motherfucker up and let every greenskin in the surrounding waterways see what happens when they try to seize a ship of the Kul Tiras Navy.

4. Abandon Ship
When the officer in charge has lit and tossed the time-delayed thorium charge into the powder magazine, he will shout out the order "ABANDON SHIP!", at which point you will only have less than 30 seconds to abandon ship before the thorium charge detonates, setting off the entire powder magazine, taking the ship and any attacking Horde to the bottom of the sea. Marines are to jump out of the broadside gun ports towards the enemy boarding vessel, which will now be depleted of enemy troops and ripe for being taken over from within. Each gun port on our ship will have sets of climbing and grappling hooks which can taken before jumping into the water, and be used to scale the side of an enemy ship.

5. Board Enemy Vessel
Stay below water when our ship detonates to maximize your chances of surviving the blast. The water will protect you from the concussion of the blast and the resulting fireball, but will not protect you from debris launched due to the explosion. Wait a few seconds after the fireball has flashed, swimming towards the enemy vessel. Once you reach the hull of the enemy vessel, secure a scaling hook to the siding and give yourself a short respite before you begin the climb up to their gun ports. You should see fellow Marines pulling up to the side at this point as well. While the enemy is still disoriented from the explosion and the concussion from the blast, begin scaling up the side up from the waterline towards their gun ports. Once you are just below the gun port, pause and wait for other Marines to get into position. All Marines are to enter the gun port simultaneously and immediately kill any enemies on deck who survived the close-in barrage of anti-personnel canon fire. Most of the gunners would have been sent on the boarding mission or will be dead already, but some will still be onboard.

6. Seize Control
Secure the gun deck and the powder magazine. The ship you have just boarded will be a skeleton crew, as most of it's fighting force will be at the bottom of the sea along with our ship. Those onboard would consist of officers, navigators, riggers, tillermen and damage control engineers. Proceed with stealth and intelligence, as it is likely that the enemy officers are unaware of our force onboard their vessel. Assemble what remains of our crew and arm yourselves with whatever weapons you have available. Your mission will be to kill what remains of the enemy force and seize control of the ship to attempt to make an escape.

7. Escape or Death
If you are unable to seize control of the enemy ship, be prepared to go down with it. Man the cannons against the hatches just as you did on our vessel. Make your peace, and be prepared to die for Kul Tiras. Find comfort in knowing that there will be a lot more dead greenskins than Marines, and you have sent a very powerful message to our enemies - a message that may save the lives of other Marines in other battles. There are far worse fates than being pulverized in battle - being blasted to little pieces ensures that rotting bitch Sylvannas won't try to raise your broken body into one of her slaves and turn you against your fellow Marines.

You have served Kul Tiras, your people and your Marines with Honor and distinction. You have done your duty and served with Honor. Die well.
Posted Mar 22, 18 · OP · Last edited May 21, 18
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