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Saturday, 23 April 2016

Getting the Hebe-Jeebies!

Today, after my battle with the constitution LINK Lawrence arrived, and we tried 2 Hebe class frigates, HMS Amelia and HMS Sybille against 2 French Hebe's. Proserpine and Dryade.

Proserpine lead, heading upwind around the islands.
 HMS Amelia, under my command, decided to go round the islands directly and turn on the rear of the French. Lawrence, commanding HMS Sybille, tried to follow me! 
This gap between the islands could be significant??! 
 I turned to pass closer to the islands, possibly using the island gap if the position was favourable?
The French were still sailing close to the wind. 
 Would the solo system take the French off table?
 I decided not to take the gap, as the French could turn and attack while we were in the channel and unmanoeuverable.
 Ah, the French are within 1 shot ruler of the table edge...
 ...so they start dicing for manoeuvre on the chart.
 We turned round the rocky island...
 While 'In Irons', my tack took me close to the rocks!
Yeeks! squeeky bum time! 
...Made it! 
 The French were now turning towards us with the wind advantage. 
I stayed close to the islands hoping to outflank them, HMS Sybille followed. 
The French turned to engage, nonetheless. 
Fortunately, Sybille was in range, and bow raked Proserpine.  
 This caused some mast damage. 
 Sybille, trying to avoid the turning French, came very close to the rocks! 
HMS Amelia managed to get a shot in on Proserpine as she tried to fix her mast. 
My fire caused a leak and some more sail damage on her. 
 Lawrence's HMS Sybille managed to avoid the island and shot poor Proserpine again, killing many of her crew.
 Next turn, his musketeers killed more while the French tried to stop their ship from sinking!
(I diced movement for the French, but their moves would have had them run aground, so I simply reversed the direction of planned turn, which worked very well !)
HMS Amelia got more crew off her straight afterwards! 
 HMS Sybille turned for another broadside on the crippled ship. 
 I exchanged fire with Dryade, HMS Amelia took a little damage, but caused a fire and a lead on the Frenchman!
Proserpine was afire, and unable to fight the flames, struck her colours. Dryade made her escape. 
HMS Sybille pursued while HMS Amelia moved in to rescue the prize. 
 Dryade sailed close to the island...
 ...but made her escape!
Another good game!

Good for the Constitution?

Today, I tried out the USS Constitution against an equivalent points force of Amazon class frigates. I decided to command the Constitution and let the solo system run the British. I decided to use my flotilla system where only the front ship in a line dices for manoeuvre, the subsequent ships use the last diced manoeuvre of the vessel in front.

My model of USS Constitution
Used courtesy L Coxon.
Constitution has the manoeuverability of a frigate, and the firepower and hull of a '74. This would be a tough match! 
I commanded the Constitution. 
 The British, as per my 'Powder Monkey' solo rules, headed straight as close to the wind as possible without going 'In Irons'.
The Amazons were puny in comparison with my ship, with only a burthen of 2 against my 5, and less firepower. 
They are faster though... 
Soon, they were getting upwind of me, but until they got within 2 shot rulers they would not change direction. 
 They were 'Crossing my T!'
 I planned a turn to port, giving up my race upwind.
The Amazons were now within 2 rulers... 
..and began to dice for manoeuvre. (The acetate template was kindly given to me by 'Captain Kiwi' )
 Cleopatra, the lead frigate, planned a gentle turn downwind. 
 HMS Orpheus would plan this same manoeuvre next turn.
We passed, and opened fire at long range.... 
My Constitution took a few crew losses, but otherwise was only lightly damaged by the 2 frigates' fire. 
My return fire on HMS Cleopatra was....devastating! - and included a mast loss and a fire!
 Her chart shows the ship half destroyed in 1 volley!  
 USS Constitution was not seriously damaged.
 Cleopatra turned, with Orpheus following. Both sides reloaded... 
...though the crippled Cleopatra was busy trying to repair herself to do so.
 I turned upwind and caught Cleopatra turning. 
 I fired another broadside at her.
Not as good as last time...but maybe the leak will put out the fire? 
 Unable to control the damage from both fire and flood...
HMS Cleopatra foundered in flames. 
With the undamaged HMS Orpheus left to face the mighty Constitution alone, I deemed she would escape rather than fight such an unbalanced battle alone!

Fun game! - made slightly easier by a good initial damage chit draw!