Sunday 1 January 2017

First game of the Year !

My wife was supposed to be working today but unfortunately came down with a chest infection. However she told me to go an do what I had planned so retreating to the cabin with some Gentleman Jack I set to on playing a small Naval game to try out the Blood, Bilge and Iron Balls naval rules.

A solo affair I found them thoroughly enjoyable and detailed enough without being onerous.
Each side gets three cards a sailing card a repair card and a firing card. The two fleets cards are shuffled and the cards drawn one at a time just enough randomness to make it exciting. The only additional optional rule I played was for the British where they can elect to fire in their repair phase, however when they repair in the firing phase instead of allocating one crew factor to conduct a repair they must allocate two.

In addition because this was solo where decisions re change of direction etc was called for I shook a die to see what happened.

The French fleet consisted of the Libre a 44 gun Frigate, Formidable 80 gun Ship of the line and the Desaix a 74 gunner.

The British had the Thames a 32 gun frigate, The Pompei and the Ceaser both 74's their task being to intercept the French squadron before it could gain access to safe waters.

 For the first couple of bounds the squadrons closed - the French had the wind so were moving faster than the British squadron who decided to head for the mouth of the channel and hopefully stop the French passing
 The British Frigate opens fire at extreme range on the Formidable and inflicts hull damage and damage to the starboard guns. The Libre also fire on the Thames and missed.
 By bound 4 the French were becoming a little ragged the Desaix failed to follow directions from the Formidable the French fired before the British and the Thames found itself under fire from the Libre and the Formidable the combined effect was savage, 3 fires broke out and the foremast of the Thames was damaged. However the Captain of the Thames was undaunted and fired back causing more hull and grew damage to the 80 gun SOL

 On turn 5 the French got to move first, the Captain of the Desaix still failed to follow instructions!
The Libre sought to head off the British 74's and bow rake them!
When the British fire card came up they chose to change it to repair hoping they would be able to move before firing. The crew of the Thames managed to put one fire out.
The French fired first with only the Libre having anything an arc and she fired on the Pompei taking out a starboard section of guns.
The British firing saw the Thames fire on the libre causing a lot of crew casualties and damagung its stearing gear the Pompei and Ceaser both fired on the Desaix and although it was long range the destroyed 2 starboard gun sections and caused damage to her masts.

 The next bound things got serious with the Thames getting in front of the Desaix for a bow rake this small frigate took out another starboard gun section, a complement of Marines started another fire and she also fired at the Libre the Desaix again was shot at from the Pompei and ceaser this saw the foremast destroyed, the main mast damaged and yet another fire things were looking grim over 50% of the Desaix's crew were casualties.

Over the next couple of bounds the action intensified the Thames was able to fire another bow rake into the Desaix due to the card draw and the Ceaser rammed the Libre to board. The Desaix managed to fire a broadside into the Thames causing severe hull damage but between the Thames and the Ceaser the Desaix lost its starboard gun, its mainmast and more crew forcing the Captain to abandon ship as the fires raged.
 The crew of the Libre fought valiantly against the Ceaser but weight of numbers told and the frigate was captured. The Formidable escaped but the British had won a great victory.

Man of the match - HMS Thames (must be captained by Aubrey).

Verdict. The rules were very good, I liked them a lot. Pretty quick to play, enough detail without being onerous and all in all just what Ive been looking for.

Happy New Year.


John Ray said...

What a wonderful naval engagement.
Could you post on AMG more about the rules and some photos.
Happy New Year

Graham C said...

Absolute no problem
I have made quite a few notes 😀
Happy New Year

tidders said...

A hearty action - well done

Andy McMaster said...

That looks rather good. Nice models. I'd hoped to get a game in today but overslept and then spent hours building a large IKEA wardrobe for my daughter...

Phil said...

Sounds like a great game, atmospheric and beautiful pictures...