Time for another Wednesday Wargaming Battlereport!
This time we were playing some age of sail Naval Battles again. After the last game we decided that the sailing system in the Trafalgar rule set was a bit to fiddly. You have to move the exact distance the rules tell you and your ability to turn was very limited and it just was a bit annoying. So we decided to replace the sailing rules with those from Fire as She Bears, which are much simpler and give you allot more control.
Could have just switched to that game completely I guess, but Trafalgar has a big advantage in my book as it has army lists and points values and scenarios to play. With Fire as She Bears you bascially have to research and come up with historical scenarios and balance them yourself.
This time instead of a straight up battle we went for a Harbour attack with the British attacking a Spanish Port. Basically the defender gets only half as many points, but also gets a bunch of shore defenses. In the normal scenario the British would just have to get within 60cm of the edge with 2 ships to win, but that seemed to easy so we said no you have to actually enter the Port, 60cm would be around the first island.
Here we are at the start, I have my fleet on the edge, split in half with 2 large 3rd rates to go south, and a 2nd rate and small 3rd rate to go north. The wind is blowing to the north which is down in the pictures. The Spanish have put a 1st rate ship to the south of the port, and a small 3rd rate to the north, with a coastal fortress on the close island and in the port.
Ships get under way, moving along allot faster with the easier sailing. My 2 in the south are a bit slower as they have to beat into the wind a bit to get around that island.
Here we are a few turns later, starting to get towards the action. The Spanish 1st rate it trying very hard to keep the weather gage just edging along the board. At this point I thought time was going to be short so I decided to put my 2 third rates on full sail to get them moving a bit more, but they were also now turning into a better wind direction so that would also help.
Things are starting to get hot now, the small Spanish 3rd rate has set up for a shot on Royal Soverign along with a coastal fortress. Distressingly they have gotten a lucky crit and set her ablaze! I was able to fight the first but no shooting next turn which is not great.
Next turn the shooting continues. The small Spanish ship set me on fire again! But my 2 large third rates Ceasar and Mars have gone on full sail and are making a run past the Spanish 1st rate into the port. Hopefully they can make it ok.
Next turn even more shooting. The small Spanish ship gets a stern rake on Royal Sovereign as my 2 ships try to slip past, setting her on fire yet again! At this point I realized that she was not going to make it, especially constantly getting set on fire, so I decide to stand and fight and let my small 3rd rate Polyphemus run for it with cover, hopefully to block any more rakes. Meanwhile my other ships are taking some hits, but not to bad from the 1st rate as they are mostly able to avoid being in carronade range and slide away with the favorable wind direction.
Next turn is the second last change for the Spanish, but the first rate is able to line up a really good shot, my other ships are in trouble with Royal Sovereign close to being crippled, and Polyphemus the small 3rd rate close hauled slowly sailing upwind. Sadly for the Spanish the 1st rate didn't have to great of luck.
Finally the British are able to enter the port, the last round of fire was not quite enough to cripple Caesar so it was a win. Sadly thou Royal Soverign was crippled, and taking water. So all her guns are knocked out but still has crew and can sail, which is pretty embarrassing against a smaller ship, well with a bit of fortress help.
In the end it seemed like a hard scenario to win for the defender, with 2 ships against 4, but they did allot of damage, and maybe could have done more if they aimed high into the rigging and masts to slow the British down, rather then aiming low, but who knows.
It was for sure allot more fun this way and we were able to finish things and have a result so that is a big improvement!