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Saturday 4 November 2023

Jolly Jack Tars!

 Today we had another game of Galleys and Galleons at the club.

While its not my favourite game, it has its points, and its always nice to play with Lawrences lovely ships!

We used a lot of ships today, and after the game it was agreed rather too many! - but the fleets looked spectacular!

Phil had a Royal Navy squadron protecting some merchantmen, whole Lawrence3 and me had Ottoman Xibecs and the like!

Lawrence has done some nice charts to go with the ships...

...and some nice ships and terrain to go with the charts!
The Ottomans had better command and control, the British more firepower and bigger ships.
The aim of the game was for the merchantmen to run the gauntlet of the Ottoman forces and escape through the channels on the right of this picture.
I set up in two V's
Phil had a multi column formation, the merchant ships in the centre aisles.
Lawrence drew up behind some rocks opposite me.
We had hardly started when my first initiative roll in the second turn was a double 1, meaning my ships (who were in irons, facing the wind) didn't move.
Becalmed, for no apparent reason, one reason I dislike this sort of activation system!
It impacted Lawrence too, as one of his ships had to run straight into a rock and grounded, while the one behind ran into the first ship.
The RN rolled remorselessly on.
The following turn the wind had turned enough to use, so my ships were away!
Lawrence ran one of his Xibecs into a major warship, which pretty much crippled his light ship, as the warship fired point blank.
The rest of Lawrence's fleet was steering clear of the rocks.
One of Lawrence's galleys got into the merchantmen from the rear.
Then he got a double 1 too...!
My ships got no orders and just careened on, at least they were going in roughly the right direction!
My forces got into a good position the cross the RN 'T'.
My other ships were keeping far from the broadsides of the RN warships.
Lawrence's ships got past the rocks, but could they catch the retreating British fleet?
My big ship fired a full broadside in a bow rake on one of the RN Frigates, but caused no damage.
One of Lawrence's big ships rammed a merchantman...
...but she had been so badly damaged by fire before her final charge, she sank!
The Merchantman then set about shooting up the following Xibec.
I used the wind advantage I had to grapple 2 merchantmen!
My other squadron was struggling to get into the lines without getting shot to pieces!
My Gally had its grapples cut, so I couldn't board. My bigger ship was shot by warships before I could board, virtually being wrecked.
Most of our boats were being outrun as the RN got the wind advantage again.
My stranded ships were battered by fire from the passing warships. My big ship boarded the merchantman but my doughty warriors were repulsed, and she was forced to strike her colours. 
We had been well and truly trounced!
Lawrence said after the game he would re-jig the ships to make it less one sided, and we will try it again in a couple of weeks!


  1. That's a lot of ships for the game. I've found that you shouldn't have more than 5 or 6 ships in a single command*.

    It actually works quite well for the period it's designed for. Because of the way activation happens, it works less well for the 'line of battle' age of sail stuff unless you play very small numbers of vessels, but then it isn't designed for that.

    *Galleys are more forgiving since they don't do compulsory movement.

    1. Hi there, I think that was the problem, after the game we decided half the number of ships would ameliorate many of the problems we experienced!
      Thanks for your insights!