Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Secret Mission: Napoleonic Naval Rule Test (Part 1 of 2)

The majestic Le Franklin, a Third Rate 80 Gunner, sails out of Marseilles on a secret mission for the French Revolutionary Republic (see below):

These apparently random scribbles are in fact her vital statistics (see below):

Alarm and consternation ring through the French ship as so early into her voyage another vessel unexpectedly comes into view. Could the French mission really be compromised so soon?

The newcomer is quickly identified as a British Third Rate (the 74 Gunner HMS Thunderer, although the French did not know her name at this point). The game is afoot with both vessels making best speed, quartering as the wind comes from the left hand corner of the photograph (see below):

An uncharacteristic British navigation error (this was very much a learning experience for both player "teams") saw HMS Thunderer inadvertently sail directly into the wind and sustain minor mast damage (sail ripping sound effect). The Le Franklin therefore got an unexpected opportunity to open her account, though be it with an extreme long range shot.

This was taken as the British offered a tantalising chance to the French to "bow rake" HMS Thunderer, hopefully adding additional damage to the British sails and rigging,that is if the Frenchman got lucky (see below):

As seen from the Royal Navy's perspective. As it turned out the French gunnery optimism was totally unjustified as all they managed to achieve was scaring a few roosting seagulls on the British ship, while in turn losing their port side batteries "first fire" bonus modifier (see below):

Golden Rule to remember in Napolronic naval combat:
"Save your 'first fire' for your most effective shot!" 

The two ships closed from extreme to merely "long range" with the French holding the advantage of the weather gauge (see below):

Shame about the tabletop, the sea being a most unusual colour of brown this day, but alas no blue sheet could be found at short notice.

Next: Fire as she bears!


Sun of York said...

Wow, that is long range fire. I have found the Sails of Glory mat I've been using a tad small, but next week will be playing on the clubs sea board.

Great looking ships.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

I learnt from the experience to hold your first "till best"

Yes, I was the unlucky (incompetence) French Captain who is currently residing in Dover prison at His Majesty's leisure