Thursday, October 09, 2014

Napoleonic Naval at Good Games

Peter's British v. Chris' French

Both sides had 5 ships, the Brits one 1st rate & four 3rd rates, the French one 1st rate, one 2nd rate & three 3rd rates.  The Brits had elite crews, the French had average crews.  Jim umpired.
The French fleet is in the foreground and has the weather gauge (wind direction indicator is in the bottom left corner of pic).  Both sides turned to port, then the French turned to starboard to close on the British.  This bold move exposed their flagship to the fire of 3 suffering tolerable hull damage, but enough damage so that when the wind shifted anticlockwise next turn, the flagship couldn't turn to starboard and had to close with the British van becoming isolated form the rest of the fleet which continued towards the British rear.  When within close range, the French revealed that they had loaded their broadsides with chain shot and good dice.  Two of the British ships were dis-masted.  
With much of the British fleet crippled the French swamped the rear end of their line and the 2 dis-masted British ships were forced to strike their colours.  Meanwhile the British van failed to capitalise on 2:1 their advantage over the French flagship which broke through the British line and raked HMS Repulsive causing so much damage that she too struck her colours.

The remaining 2 British ships were now upwind of the French and took advantage to get away.   A very rare and glorious French victory.  Giving the French the weather gauge gave them a significant advantage, but Chris' use of chain shot backed up with hot dice exploited the advantage to the max. 

The rules have just been given a revision.  The shooting has been streamlined a bit.  We have also moved the damage logs from the ship bases to an A4 sheet on a clip board along with the command log (at the bottom) and an ammo log at the top (under a paper flap).  Having the ammo log under a flap at the top of the board allows the ammo type to be kept secret until fired.  Critical damage & morale results were recorded by coloured counters on the bases.  The changes all worked well & are being adopted along with a couple of other refinements that became apparent in the game.  I'll post the updated version on the box files as soon as I've finished the edit.

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