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Saturday, 13 February 2016

Amazons on the rampage?

Today, we tried my new Merchantman solo rules in a game of Sails of Glory.

The scenario was that a merchantman is being escorted to England by 3 Amazon class frigates, and they are intercepted by the French.

The aim is to get the merchantman safely off the table and delay any French pursuit for a reasonable time! We had an equal points game - the French only got 2 ships!

The French started heading upwind as per the Solo Rules.  
The frigate Hermione led... 
...followed by the sloop Alligator.
The merchantman was at the rear.
I led in the frigate HMS Cleopatra...
...to Starboard, Lawrence had HMS Orpheus 
 ...and to Port side, Phil had HMS Terpsichore.
 The French continued moving as close to the wind as possible. 
They cut across the path of our flotilla. 
We decided that the merchantman would keep station in the formation we were in and only use the solo chart when the formation broke. As commander for today, I planned we would try to pass the French, and if they attacked, the 3 warships would protect the merchantman while it escaped. 
The Hermione was now within a cannon shot of the table edge, so started using...  
... the solo chart.
 Hermione looked set to try and take the English ships from astern.
 I had directed our flotilla to turn downwind and pass the French at speed.
 As Alligator came within proximity of the table edge, she too began to turn, though in a far more leisurely fashion!
Seeing this, I ordered the flotilla to turn and engage the French. 
HMS Orpheus seemed to want to aggressively move to engage the french by herself!  
Hermione got the first shot, at long range... 

 HMS Orpheus only took a little damage, fortunately.
 As HMS Orpheus broke through between the 2 French ships, she traded musketry with Alligator.
 Hermione fired her other broadside into Orpheus.
 My HMS Cleopatra was too far away to immediately help.
Alligator only had a crew box lost. 
 HMS Orpheus had rather more damage from the 2 Frenchmen!
 HMS Cleopatra (right) turned upwind to try and engage Alligator alone.
 HMS Terpsichore had turned downwind and was far from the action, the merchantman was sailing at full sail towards the objective table edge.
 My Cleopatra was engaged by Hermione before I could get at Alligator!
 I managed to front rake Hermione, causing a little damage. 
Hermione was not too concerned! 
 Alligator turned and fired her stern broadside at Cleopatra.
Little ships cause little damage...usually!
An overview at this point. The merchant ship is on the right, nearly off table. HMS Terpsichore is at top of the picture, and HMS Orpheus is left, turning to re-engage. 
 HMS Cleopatra had only slight damage, so I felt safe to keep engaging the French closely!
 I turned on Alligator...
 ...and caused serious damage on her.
The French musketeers were better though! 
 Hermione now turned 
 My crew desperately tried to control the resulting leak.
 
I managed a broadside against Hermione, which only caused minor damage... 
...Hermione was still in great shape. 
 While all this was going on, the Merchantman reached the exit point and left the table safely. 
 Hermione now turned on HMS Cleopatra again.
 HMS Orpheus had managed to get astern of Alligator as she limped away, damaged.
The damage caused was significant on such a small ship.
 In fact, she was almost a wreck. 
Hermione was still in a strong position though. 
HMS Cleopatra was just about repaired. 
 HMS Orpheus was in about the same state as me.
HMS Terpsichore was, as yet, undamaged, of course! 
 I managed to weave onto Hermione's stern and fired.
 With her mast damage, though, Hermione got a bow rake on me, but in turn got shot with a stern rake from HMS Orpheus, causing a leak. 
 The musket battle between Cleopatra and Hermione was balanced.
 HMS Terpsichore now arrived and fired on the retreating Alligator...
...Who struck her colours. A prize for Terpsichore!
  As the game ended, HMS Cleopatra and Hermione again traded shots...
I lost a mast, but Hermione took a leak and 2 boxes damage. 
Being 2/3rds damaged, Hermione now turned to escape.

The battle now ended with a clear victory for the Royal Navy. The Merchantman was safely away, and we had a sloop as a prize.
Hermione was severely damaged, HMS Cleopatra and HMS Orpheus rather less so.

More importantly, we had a good game!