Time for the first Wednesday Wargaming Battle Report for he new year!
As discussed last time we have some age of sail ships all painted up now, and Serge made some terrain so it is time to start having some fleet battles. We decided to play the Warhammer Historical rules called Trafalgar. I have a few different rules for this period but decided to go with this because I have the physical book, and also they give you an army list for each nation and a set of scenarios that you can play through. So it is build an army with points game, most of the others just give you rules and stats and you have to try and make balanced scenarios on your own.
My squadron has 4 British ships as discussed in the last post, Serge has a Spanish one of also 4 ships with a first rate, 2 large third rates, and a small third rate. So basically the same types of ships. But the British has a few rules for having better crew and the Spanish get some extra points to upgrade and add a few extra cannons.
To start off we just went for the first scenario which is a basic fleet engagement. They suggest a maximum of 2 islands, but we had some cool look stuff so added in a bit of land for looks and to mark the edge of the table. Wind starts of blowing to the left in these pictures.
Here we are at the start of the game ready to go. I deployed in a line with bigger ships in front. The Spanish are coming in line abreast. Not really sure how this is going to go down so don't really have a plan, just drive forward and then blast people.
Our Ships start moving in. Turns out you don't move super fast so is going to take a few turns for the engagement to happen. The Spanish are trying to re-organize so they don't have their smallest ship leading.
Now the lines start to meet. We are using cotton to show which ships fire but sometimes forget it. My line is being passed on 2 sides which feels bad. Actually the Spanish had some very good gunnery dice to start off so Royal Sovereign is taking a royal beating! Being even set on fire, that can't be good.
Now a real battle sets off and all ships are hammering away. I am mostly blasting into the first rate Spanish ship, this guy has allot of heavy cannons so I am trying yo knock some of them out. But last ship I think gets a bit of a bow rake on one of the Spanish 74s. The Spanish are concentrating mostly on Royal Sovereign who is left is a sorry state. But she is able to limp away one hit from being crippled, one point of crew left, and taking water with only one hit left below the water line before she sinks!
Next turn we mostly pass by each other with allot of ships firing as she bears. Some good hits but nothing crazy like the first go. The Spanish are now having a bit of trouble with the island, and we have to come around for another pass. These rules give you very little control over movement, you have to move the full amount unless you pass an order to go at half or more, and turn have to be 30 degrees or nothing. So it is a bit annoying. Also ships that are more to leeward have to move first, so we found it would be impossible to sail into the wind in line but we just ignored that.
A Few Turns Later:
This is how we ended up. The Spanish split up around the island. the 64 is anchored by the land getting engaged by both of my 74s, but Mars grounded on the rocks! Royal Sovereign limped off the try and not sink. We ran out of time here but there are still half a dozen turns left to be played. I am pretty sure that the small Spanish third rate is going to be crippled with 2 ships firing on it. But the other 2 Spanish ships will get a couple of chances so they might take out one of my 74s. There is just about enough time for the other Spanish ship on the right to come across and get a shot at Royal Sovereign as well.
In the end no ships were actually crippled taken or sunk so it was a draw, but I just barely made it out!
I found these rules to be pretty good, but the sailing is a bit to picky for us. I think what will happen is that we will use the sailing rules from Fire as She Bears! which are much easier and give more control. I also found the weather gauge is a bit to powerful and can lead to some gameness so maybe that will get changed as well. But Age of Sail naval gaming is allot of fun, and pretty cool! Hope you enjoyed the report.