Monday, January 4, 2010

Arbruthnot vs. Des Touches 1781

French on left, British on Right.

The Armchair Admiral night game was held Saturday night with 4 players. We were recreating the same scenario from the American Revolution that we had played late last year. Then, we used the Grand Fleet Actions rules. This time, we played using Warhammer Historical's Trafalgar naval rules.

British closing from the right while the French struggle with wind changes.

Again, we were using the "store fleets" of Figurehead's 1/2400 Age of Sail range. Ranges in Trafalgar rules were cut in half to better match the small ships. Instead of paper markers, we used different colored pipe cleaners for status markers. White represented broadsides firing, red indicated a fire on board, and brown indicated the ship could not fire for a turn.

Russ's British squadron looks like it's getting in a crossfire. Gary's Division, led by HMS London, tries to get Terry (far left) in range.

This game really ran the gamut of interesting events. especially concerning the weather! We experienced everything from becalming to wind shifts to raging storm. Mostly this was to the detriment of the French!

A hard pounding. Terry's and Russ's lead ships collide while Norm's French squadron (left side) pound the British. HMS London sets a French ship on fire.

As the British and French got in close and nasty, the two lead squadron ships collided suffering extreme hull damage. Unfortunately, Terry's damaged lead ship collided next with one of his own ships and began sinking.

Norm's French squadron tacks to the right and pounds the back end of Russ's remaining three ships.

Russ loses a ship to critical hull damage. Other ships began to take multiple critical hits and soon several ships have problems steering.

Gary's squadron prepares to rake the French.

Suddenly a gale turns into a raging storm and cuts ranges down and the firing is far less effective. Several ships catch fire but quick-acting crews douse the flames. there are sever hull and crew losses on both sides. Unfortunately, some ships put themselves in danger when they lose steering control due to severe damage.

Gary fires his raking broadsides.

As Norm's French squadron braces for devastating fire, Gary blasts away with several rakes. Splinters everywhere. Remarkably, one of the French ships takes a bow rake at near point-blank range but only suffers minor damage. Russ and Terry blast away with increasingly fragile ships.

The Fleets begin separating. Several fires taking their toll.

One of Russ's ships burns fiercely and the crew is destroyed while fighting the fire (or jumping overboard). Both sides are battered, but Gary's British squadron remains very strong and could continue the fight. Alas, the game ends.

We concluded that Trafalgar rules are very good for battles on the smaller size. Certainly weather, collisions, and gunnery were easier with this set. We'll probably use these rules for the naval campaign I hope to run this year.

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