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Welcome to the Blog of a Skirmish wargamer! I hope you enjoy reading it!

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Torpedo that Tanker!

Today, we did a Coastal Forces game, each of the 4 players, Ian, Lawrence, Rod and myself had 2 S-38 class Schnellbooten ... E-Boats to the allies!
The convoy had a random number of escorts and merchantmen for us to prey upon.

The inverted markers representing possible convoy vessel positions. We started spread across the other table edge.
 Our ships crept forward, using their electric engines for stealth.
 I managed to spot a couple of counters, which turned out to be nothing!
 One marker was an escort....
An Isles class trawler. it had not seen my boats.
I was not hunting trawlers though, so continued to search. 
 The other boats were spotting their own targets. 
 Another trawler between Lawrence and Rod's boats.
 Not really to engage my trawler, my boats turned to port along the line of the convoy. On stealth mode, I was not going to outrun the convoy though!
Lawrence had already turned up the flank of the convoy. 
 As the range closed, the hidden markers became...
...a Convoy! 
 Lawrence found a tanker, unescorted, in the middle of the convoy line.
 Rod and Ian spotted several merchantmen...and a Flower class corvette! 
 Back on my end of the convoy, the trawler spotted me, and fired! 
 He immediately found my range with his 3"!
 Fortunately, he then turned, which meant his shooting would be more difficult.
His 20mm cannon also failed to hit me.
The rest of the convoy, now alerted to our presence, began to look in earnest for our little boats... 
Lawrence turned his boats to attack the tanker, still sailing unawares in splendid isolation.  
At the front of the convoy, Ian and Rod had found several targets. 
My boats, seeing the Trawler bearing down on them, shot a torpedo each (and a dummy marker to confuse the enemy spotters. 
Rod moved forward at speed. 
As did Ian. 
 Both Ian and Rod shot torpedoes off. 
 The Flower class corvette spotted, then turned to engage Ian's boats. 
 one of my torpedoes grazed past the trawler attacking me. 
 It would manage to go through the entire convoy and hit England!
Ian's boats also came under fire, but also escaped damage.
Both Ian and Rod's boats, having shot their torpedoes, turned for Cherbourg.  
 The convoy turned to try and 'comb' the torpedoes.
 In this, they were singularly unsuccessful! 
On either side of the corvette, hits were achieved. 
Both of the merchantmen were hit and began to sink. (Great dicing!!) 
 The Tanker was still sailing on unaware.
At the convoy rear, my boats first hit one,
..then another merchantmen. These did not sink, but were sufficiently damaged to probably count as constructive losses! 
 Oops! - too late, the tanker saw the torpedoes approaching!
Kaboom! 
Other torpedoes missed the tanker... 
...but hit and blew up a 3000t merchantman. 
Thus the battle ended. We escaped without damage and managed to sink or seriously damage about half the convoy!
Good dicing, and the lack of escorts were seriously in our favour, and did it show!

Fun game though!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Sails of Glory: Our first try-out!

Today, Steve Spence brought in his lovely collection of Sails of glory Napoleonic ships.
Steve, sorting out his toys for us Newbies!
 Lawrence and Phil would use 2 Royal Navy first raters, the Royal George, and the Queen Charlotte, respectively.
The British ships, showing the fire arcs  on their bases. 
 The nice play display used by each vessel.
 Similar to Wings of Glory, the system uses manoeuvre cards. One set for normal sailing, one for when masts are lost, and one for when sailing against the wind.
I would use a French first rate, the Commerce de Marseilles. 

Steve would use a French second rater, the Aquilon.
With the wind to our Starboard beam, Steve veered right as I forged on.
 Phil came straight towards us but Lawrence turned port into the wind which stopped him dead in the water. 
 As the wind threatened to change direction, Steve, having increased the distance between the French vessels, turned to parallel my course.
 Both British ships turned to split up and outflank the advancing French.
Lawrence's Royal George began to run with the wind and moved rapidly down the French left flank. 
 Phil's Queen Charlotte ran into the wind and lost way.
The French advanced in much better order! 
 (An overview of our positions at this point)
The British ships began to move apart as the Royal George raced on and the Queen Charlotte turned port to regain way. 
 I was left alone, as Steve's Aquilon turned sharp to port to engage the Royal George.
My Commerce de Marseilles followed the Aquilon and turned port towards the Queen Charlotte, which was moving to reunite the Royal Navy ships.   
 I turned to parallel the Queen Charlotte while the Aquilon moved to head it off.
Amazingly, the Queen Charlotte turned towards the Commerce, and received a  bow rake from her.  
This caused significant damage! 
 As my Commerce turned about to reload, the Charlotte got a partial broadside back at me.
 Meanwhile, the Aquilon got a good shot at the Royal George as it turned to engage.
The George took significant damage to its masts and rudder.
Back with the Commerce, my turn continued to allow my port guns to rake the Charlotte again. 
 The Charlotte moved on despite the damage and turned to grapple, firing a volley of double-shot into the Commerce. 
This caused a fire which was rapidly dealt with...but I was lucky otherwise!
 The Royal George, meanwhile, was pursued off table by the Aquilon.
 The edge of the world! - we will use a bigger table next time! 
Unable, or unwilling to part, the Commerce and Queen Charlotte fought fiercely with musket and cutlass, and casualties mounted on both vessels.  
In the end though, the damage my shooting had done proved important, as my crew gained the upper hand, and forced the Charlotte to strike her colours. 
A French victory! - Vive la Republique!

I think we all enjoyed the game, its got some similarities to Wings of Glory, but manages to give a lot more 'feel' of the problems of fighting these naval vessels than I expected!

I found I didn't really notice the (? unneccessarily) very deep bases of the models during the game, and would happily play again.

The biggest block to me getting the game is the huge cost involved. I will probably have to wait for the 'Sales' of glory!