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Saturday 17 October 2015

Vive la Republique!

Well, you wait ages for a game of Sails of Glory, and 2 come along in quick succession!

As you guessed, today we tried the new-ish points system for Sails of Glory.

Having had lots of experience with different points systems, and having written several myself, I thought we could try a 'Battle of the River Plate' sort of scenario, with a French 1st rate trying to get through 3 small English ships to reach Brest.

I was commanding the French 1st rater Republique de France, Lawrence commanded 2 frigates, HMS Amelia and a captured french frigate Sybille, to make up the points difference, he also had HMS Swan, a sloop.

 My 'Beast' of a ship, Republique de France.
 With a broadside of 7, and a burden of 6, she was a force to be reckoned with!
HMS Amelia, nearly half as strong as my ship...in theory! Sybille was similar.
HMS Swan the sloop, tiny in comparison with a burden of 1 and a broadside of 2!
 Lawrence deployed the sloop first, followed by the frigates...
 ...More manoeuverable than the French ship, would their combined fire be enough?
 As the English sailed forward, beam on to the wind, I turned Republique up wind, as close as I could, trying to get upwind of my puny opponents!
Initially, the English continued on in a straight line. 
 What were they planning to do?
I was still 'beating the wind' on full sail. 
  Finally, the Royal Navy acted, turning upwind as well.
The 2 sides closed... 
The RN ships were moving faster than my ship...
 ...would they be able to 'cross my T' ???  
 I formulated a plan. As the Swan came within range, I would go 'In Irons' to get a broadside on her, then tack back towards the frigates, hopefully having reloaded my guns.
 Suddenly...HMS Swan veered off to engage me from downwind! - was this an attempt to get me to fire on the sloop and leave myself open to the fire of the following frigates?
I went directly into the wind - but failed to get my full broadside on the sloop. 
HMS Swan fired...and missed! - my fire from the rear arc was rather more effective...
My log after the first salvo! 
HMS Swan was pretty well wrecked! 
Swan veered away, out of control, and my gun crews desperately reloaded to engage the approaching frigates. 
 The 2 frigates turned, and combined their fire against Republique. 
I was lightly damaged, though some of my crew were killed. 
The Sybille was rather more damaged from my return fire. 
 My musketry was, however, singularly ineffective!  
 We use the special rule which allows a repair action to clear a box of damage once in a game, I now did this on Republique. Much better!
 HMS Swan did so too, which made her almost useful again!
Sybille also looked more healthy! 
 I, as per the plan, now turned towards HMS Swan.
 We both got a front arc fire...
 How Swan missed again is beyond belief!
 My fire was quite effective, my musketeers even shot down an English crewman!
 Poor HMS Swan sank below the waves!
 My fire had destroyed just enough hull boxes!
 I now turned towards Sybille, Amelia was far upwind, what was her intention?
 Sybille's fire was quite effective, my fire caused a leak on her. My musketeers got another hit.
 Republique was still only lightly damaged. 
Sybille was moderately damaged. 
 As Sybille struggled to seal her leak, I got the singularly most appalling stern rake EVER!...
at least I got a mast off her!
 Sybille's collection of '0' chits was becoming prodigious!
HMS Amelia seemed to be a disinterested observer! 
 She turned quickly with the wind to join Sybille again.
 Amelia screened Sybille, and engaged me.
We caused equal damage, but significantly, I took special damage...  
 A Fire!
 HMS Amelia was only scratched in return. 
 I lost the first of 2 boxes to the spreading fire.
 Fortunately, the pursuing frigates were not in any position to cause me any more problems while I dealt with the fire and reloaded. 
 Sybille now turned to attack me, but ran into a broadside from Republique.
The Bow Rake was impressive! 
Sybille was lucky to escape the fate of HMS Swan! 
Amelia now withdrew, she could not hope to fight on alone.
 Republique was not too badly damaged, and would win.
'The Beast' now continued on untroubled to Brest!

This was a fun game, for both sides, I am assured!

The points system is obviously not designed for such disparate types of engagement, but I think it will be much more useful for competition games, and is a welcome addition to the game aids for this excellent game!

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