Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Age of Sail - Frigates in the Bay

I have been working on a modified set of hex based naval rules (called KAOS) for fighting medium sized Age of Sail battles on hexes based on the old Avalon Hill Wooden Ships & Iron Men rules and using ships from the Sails of Glory range.

I plan to use a playing area with 40 mm hexes but for this test (under Corona-isolation) I used the grass green 35 mm hex playing are that I had readily available and hastily made ship bases.

This  battle was between four 28 gun frigates, the Royal Navy's HMS CONCORDE and HMS CLEOPATRA verses the French Navy's Hermione and Embuscade.

Because of the Corona situation, the battle was fought via a Skype link.

HMS CONCORDE and HMS CLEOPATRA leaving soundings somewhere WSW of Scilly as they enter the Bay of Biscay beating SW towards the Groyne.

Out in the Bay of Brittany, CONCORDE with CLEOPATRA following in her wake, were close hauled under easy sails with the wind from larboard. Having recently left Spain, the Hermione with Embuscade following in her wake, were broad reaching under easy sails with the wind from starboard.

They started 11 hexes apart, just out of cannon range. The wind marker shows the wind blowing from the bottom of the picture.

The French closed with the British and then turned up into the wind. CONCORDE turned downwind with CLEOPATRA still following in her wake. All broadsides remained silent.

The sailing masters now sensed that a wind change was about to happen.

CONCORDE and Hermione continue forward and exchanged broadsides. CLEOPATRA and Hermione were still too far away to be able to engage an enemy.

The wind backed 120 degrees (and is now blowing from the top right corner of the picture).

The captain of the Embuscade had misjudged the wind change and was now in irons. CONCORDE and Hermione continued to exchange broadsides.

CONCORDE rakes the EmbuscadeHermione continues to fire on CONCORDE.

CONCORDE and Embuscade exchange broadsides. CLEOPATRA and Hermione exchange broadsides. Hermione sets full sails.

CONCORDE and Embuscade continue to exchange broadsides. CLEOPATRA opens fire on Hermione with chain shot doing terrible damage to the Hermione's full sail rigging. Hermione returns fire.

CONCORDE yet again rakes the Embuscade. CLEOPATRA continues to fire on Hermione with chain shot; Hermione's full sail rigging is shot to pieces. Hermione returns fire.

CONCORDE and Embuscade yet again exchange broadsides. CLEOPATRA and Hermione exchange broadsides.

With her rigging shot to pieces, Hermione flees the battle, repairing and splicing as fast as she can. CONCORDE and CLEOPATRA head for the Embuscade

CONCORDE and CLEOPATRA concentrate on the Embuscade. Hermione has fled from the picture. 

Both CONCORDE and CLEOPATRA fire on the Embuscade who returns fire.

CLEOPATRA closes in to finish off the damaged Embuscade. CONCORDE sets off to chase down the Hermione.

A close range broadside from the CLEOPATRA causes the Embuscade to strike her colours. CLEOPATRA sailed on past, preparing to turn, board and capture the Embuscade, but before that could happen she exploded. Flaming debris descended all around the CLEOPATRA, but luckily without doing serious damage.

CONCORDE continued her long stern chase to catch the Hermione.

The wind veered 120 degrees, back to its original direction blowing from the bottom of the picture.

The Hermione turned around to face her pursuer.

CONCORDE and Hermione collided and became fouled. The captain of the CONCORDE ordered his crew to grapple, board and take the Hermione. But the 's crew came out of the melee victorious, and instead CONCORDE was captured.

At the end of the day, honours were equal.

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