Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Trafalgar Test Battle - The Conclusion

 Here is the second part of the Trafalgar test game Battle report - turns 12 to 22.  The French fleet continues to press it's position advantage and pours heavy raking fire into the HMS Victory.  The British begin to land some more blows as the line of third rates (second group from the bottom) begin to fire on the the French 1st rate (Austerlitz) and their second rate, the Commerce de Paris.

 By turn 14 both the HMS Victory and Phoebe have been reduced to dis-masted wrecks and they have fallen out of the line.  The Austerlitz has taken a pounding but is still game for the fight.

 The French heavies manage to cross over the Britsh third raters and and succed in dismasting the HMS Conqueror and the beat up the Orion, setting both on fire.  So far, the British have lost three ships to none for the French but that's about to change.

The British fleet pulls a crafty move and shifts it's entire focus on the the line of 5 French 3rd rates (at the very top of the picture).  The French heavies (a First Rates and 2 second raters pass along the British but damage has slowed them and once they turn to re-engage they can not catch up.  The line of French Frigates (lower left) is fast enough to catch up and harass the English fleet as they pound the French third raters.  At this point my camera battery died so no more pictures.  Lets just say the British fleet got some revenge as they sank 2 French 3rd raters and heavily damaged two others at the cost of one of theirs and another frigate.

Overall, the battle went to the French with the following tally:

British Losses
Sunk: Conqueror (3rd Rate), Orion (3rd Rate), Agamemnon (3rd Rate, small) and the Frigates Phoebe and Macedonian.
Taken as a prize by the French: HMS Victory (oh the shame)

French Losses
Sunk: Bucentaure (2nd Rate), Orion and Lion (3rd Raters)

As for the Trafalgar ruleset, I liked them but need to get a better grasp of the finer points of fleet movement.  The game was really won for the French in the first six moves before contact.  The importance of maneuver makes sense from a historical perspective, but all the advantages seem to go the way of the French early on.  Once the basics of the rules are understood the game plays very fast and is suitable for larger fleet actions

The use of an iPad for damage tracking was a big success but the spreadsheet tool i was using needs a good bit of refinement.


Guidowg said...

Your game looks great.
Ive probably mentioned this somewhere before, but I have a board game called "Wooden ships & Iron Men", I cant recall the makers. You just need hexes to suit whatever scale your using if you wanted to use models instead of the counters provided.
Mmmm I'm thinking that your last couple of posts may send me on yet another wargame tangent.

jmilesr said...

Wooden Ships & Iron Men is an old Avalon Hill classic - I had a copy as a teenager in the 70's (wow that was a long time ago!)

It was a great game. Sadly, my copy and many other classic wargames were lost due to a fit of "post-college" graduation cleaning from my dear mother. She had the best of intentions so one can't really be that upset.

I really like the feel of an Age-of-Sail battle, especially the critical initial fleet maneuvers - it's fun to try and out guess and opponent.

If you want to go down the age-of-sailing gaming route I recommend the 1/2400 Figurehead miniatures - they are cheap, easy to paint and a great way to get started. They don't look as good as the 1/1200 langton's but you can finish at least 10 ships in 1/2400 scale for each 1/1200 one!