Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Dual Revisited (1): Le Franklin versus HMS Thunderer (1/1200 NapNaval)

As if the sands of time had somehow been reversed, the Le Franklin's topsail hove into view from the lookout's position aboard HMS Thunderer. Armed with the revised interpretations of the Action Under Sail (4th Edition) rules the combatants 'made ready', the players had also switched playing sides from last time, so the French players were British and visa versa.

Both ships start with the wind on their quarter, coming from the left hand side of the photograph (see below):

The Royal Navy Commander contemplates a turn towards the wind to bring himself across the bow of the Frenchman (see below):

Both captains have chosen identical tactics to try and gain advantage of the "weather gauge" (see below):

The Frenchman seems to be gaining a slight advantage, though she sailing periolously close to the wind for her average rated crew (see below):

This is becoming a tense affair as the Frenchman has now reached her maximum position (without sustaining damage) while the Royal Navy crew have something in reserve as they can take their vessel closer to the wind if need be. They are waiting to see if the Frenchman makes a mistake (see below):

The Frenchman is now making little or no headway against the wind whereas the British still have managed to keep a full sail (see below):

This allows the British Commander to narrow the gap before his sails sag, bereft of power, both captains are ready to bring their helms around for action (see below):

From a slow crawl to a sudden spurt of speed and the two ships haul alongside each other (see below):

Both sides get ready to deliver their first broadsides. Already a tactical affair, this game has a developing sense of drama about it. Both players are cagey and are trying to size their opposition up before totally committing themselves on a full-blooded strategy.

Next: Fire as she bears Mr Christian!

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