My 8th different public TFL game, this time their Napoleonic sail game Kiss Me Hardy.
The scenario came from the Lardie Christmas Special 2005, called No Escape on page 136.
The OOBs were:
The French (played by John MacDonald):
Formidable: (64 guns) Average Sans Culottes*
Scipion: (74 guns) Average Sans Culottes
Duguay-Trouin: (74 guns) Average Sans Culottes
Mont Blanc: (74 guns) Poor Sans Culottes
* - started life as a 80-gun ship, but the Battle of Trafalgar had taken it's toll
The British (played by me):
Caesar: (80 guns) Elite Jolly Jack Tars
Courageux: (74 guns) Elite Jolly Jack Tars
Hero: (74 guns) Average Jolly JT’s
Namur: (74 guns) Elite Jolly Jack tars
When Admiral Dumanoir escaped from Trafalgar with four ships of the line he was faced with a dilemma. He couldn’t be sure of getting back into Cadiz because Collingwood’s fleet was in the way. Nor could he escape through the Straits of Gibraltar as he knew that some British ships had been previously dispatched there by Nelson to take on supplies. His only option was to head North. But when cruising the sea lanes of 1805 one thing was for sure – sooner or later you’d run in with the Royal Navy.
Off Cape Ortegal on the north-west coast of Spain, a squadron of our British ships of the line under the command of Sir Richard Strachan, with frigates in attendance, was looking for the Rochefort squadron – French ships under the command of Allemand that had given the Navy the slip. When one of his frigates sighted enemy sail Strachan thought he had apprehended his quarry – but he was wrong – instead, he had run up with Dumanoir who found himself with nowhere to run.
This action is presented here as a Kiss Me Hardy scenario. The scenario involves eight ships of the line in total and so is well suited to newcomers to the rules and can comfortably be fought in an evening’s gaming. The British, as was so often the case, have the upper hand on paper, but for the French ships, still coming to terms with their Trafalgar experience, there remains a real opportunity to seize a victory against the odds…
And we played. Below are the starting positions, the French ships on the left, the 3 ships on the right my Brits minus the Namur, she of the fouled bottom and moving slower than Admiral Strachan's other ships (Namur came on on Turn 1 as per the scenario special rules):
Right from the beginning, the French took the fight to the British ships. On that first turn, Caesar took 9 damage points (DP) from the last 3 French ships. We then turned broadsides to each other and the hammering began in earnest (French on the left below):
We then made a really neat, no, goofy scene: the French in the semi-circle to the north and 3 of the British ships to the south.....with the Namur looking like the target of a circular firing squad......egads:
Even after the next set of moves Namur was really in a bad spot, and the damage points started mounting (14 DPs after 6 turns):
In the mean time the Jolly Jack Tars were sailing hard and firing straight, even with the fuster cluck sailing we managed as shown in the next 3 pictures. The wind in these pictures is always on left:
At this point, the French Scipion had taken enough hits that it had to test for striking every time but it did manage to help set the Hero on Fire on Turn 8 (Scipion is the ship farthest right and Hero is the closest to the bottom):
End the end, Scipion struck to Hero and rest of the French had cleared enough past the British that they had a legitimate chance to make a port:
Formidable: 10 DP
Scipion: 70 DP, missing a main mast, foremast and had a gun explode on Special Damage rolls: struck to Hero
Duguay-Trouin: 32 DP, took a High Office Casualty and had a gun explode on Special Damage rolls
Mont Blanc: 22 DP, missing a main mast
Caesar: 20 DP
Courageux: 12 DP took a High Office Casualty on a Special Damage roll
Hero: 16 DP, on fire Turns 8 through 11, set on fire by Scipion then accepted the strike from it.
Namur: 30 DP
We played 11 turns in a little under two hours, and most of the time was spent watching me figure out how to steer to get my starboard guns their initial broadside along with trying figure out what to do with the Namur.
The only real questions that came up where the use of the "fire test" and "steering damage test" chips (cards), which I will follow up with Nick to determine the actual mechanisms used.
We'll call this a British win, but Admiral Dumanoir was going to get two ships to port. The other two, not so much.
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