Saturday, April 09, 2016

Men o' War: 4 ships a side

Chris' British fleeet v. Jim's French fleet

The Brits had 1 2nd rate & 3 3rd rates, all elite crews.
The French had 1 1st rate, 1 2nd rate & 2 3rd rates, all regular crews.
The French fleet with its Damage & Command Logs.  The wind indciator   
The two fleets started sailing line ahead, the French close hauled on the starboard tack, the Brits close hauled on the port tack on converging courses.  As they approached broadside range, the Brits (on the far side) turned into line abreast with the wind abeam while the French turned round into a running course.  As a result the French got in the first broadsides.
The first 3 French ships shot past the British bows.  The Brits had chain shot loaded and caused some significant damage to the French rigging, but the French with standard shot got off more shots & did some serious hull damage to the Brits.  Les Misrables bringing up the rear went right through the fleet.  It copped some damage, but gave out plenty with raking shots from both broadsides as it went through.  
When the smoke settled both fleets had a ship critically damaged.  Le Couchon Noir peeled off to leeward on the right & HMS Impossible did likewise in the foreground.
Two of the French ships (now on the far side of the table) had rigging damage preventing them going to windward, but they have wore ship to turn back towards the enemy.  One British ship has also got rigging damage and has wore ship downwind while the other two ships have tacked to turn towards the French with the weather guage.
Despite the rigging damage the French have formed a neat line and caught the Brits spreadeagled.  HMS Catastrope is about to live up to her name as all French ships pound her and she sinks.
A fortuitous wind shift now helped the French to wheel around and pound HMS Repulsive into Critical Damage.  Now with only their flagship fit to fight but their rigging intact, the Brits keep going downwind and concede the battle.

Since the last battle I've gone back to separate damage logs with the ship's bases having their ID prominent on all 4 sides so it's visible in all directions.  It worked well.  A squadron of 3 or 4 ships per player is enough to have a really good game with these rules. 

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