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Thread: Project Trafalgar

  1. #1

    Default Project Trafalgar

    I intend to start here my project for the main battle in our game.
    The battle of Trafalgar Oct 1805.

    As this is a large battle involving a large number of SoL getting enough space and players to recreate the entire battle real time would be a daunting task and one I dont expect to realize.
    Therefore the intention is to split the project here into a number of discussion points.

    This being the introduction

    The next three will deal with the fleets and individual ships.
    I will list the ship, followed by the Ares model, if available then an alternate model, with pictures, if I can, that I have used to make a ship available.

    The rest of the thread I am looking for ideas, of game play, stats etc to make the game possible.
    I would like to put this game on at next years Doncaster game if at all possible.

    I would like to add this is my interpretation so if you dissagree say so and hopefully we can get things for this project to be a reality with may even do a tour of the uk shows in some form.
    Please feel free to add any info or advice which .i will colate and make available.

  2. #2

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    British fleet

    Weather Column

    Victory 3-decker 104 Official SGN Special pack
    Britannia 3-decker 100 Official SGN108a
    Téméraire 3-decker 98 Non Official SGN108a
    Neptune 3-decker 98 Non Official SGN108a
    Leviathan 2-decker 74 (based on French Courageux)
    Conqueror 2-decker 74
    Ajax 2-decker 74 ( Bellona class) Non Official SGN104a/b/c
    Orion 2-decker 74 ( Bellona class) Non Official SGN104a/b/c
    Minotaur 2-decker 74 (based on French Courageux)
    Spartiate 2-decker 74 Official SGN102a
    Agamemnon 2-decker 64 Official SGN114a


    Lee Column

    Royal Sovereign 3-decker 100 Official SGN108a
    Dreadnought 3-decker 98 Non Official SGN108a
    Prince 3-decker 98 Non Official SGN108c reduced veer by one as a bad sailer
    Tonnant 2-decker 80 Official SGN115c
    Belleisle 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN102a/b/c
    Mars 2-decker 74 (similar to Conqueror) a large ship so SGN102a/b/c
    Bellerophon 2-decker 74 Official SGNKS04 but can use Non Official SGN104c
    Colossus 2-decker 74 (based on French Courageux)
    Achille 2-decker 74 (British Temeraire) Non Official SGN102a/b/c
    Revenge 2-decker 74
    Swiftsure 2-decker 74
    Defiance 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN104a/b/c
    Thunderer 2-decker 74 (Bellona class) Non Official SGN104a/b/c
    Defence 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN104a/b/c
    Polyphemus 2-decker 64 Official SGN114b

    Africa 2-decker 64 Official SGN114c
    Last edited by Capn Duff; 10-17-2017 at 03:54.

  3. #3

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    French Fleet

    Bucentaure 2-decker 80 Official SGN115a
    Neptune 2-decker 80 Official SGN115b
    Indomptable 2-decker 80 Non Official SGN115c
    Formidable 2-decker 80 Non Official SGN115c
    Duguay Trouin 2-decker 74 Official SGN102b
    Mont Blanc 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN102a/b/c
    Héros 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN102a/b/c
    Scipion 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN102a/b/c
    Redoutable 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN102a/b/c
    Fougueux 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN102a/b/c
    Intrépide 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN112a/b
    Pluton 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN102a/b/c
    Algésiras 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN102a/b/c
    Aigle 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN102a/b/c
    Swiftsure 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN104a/b/c
    Argonaute 2-decker 74 Official SGN102c
    Achille 2-decker 74 Non Official SGN102a/b/c
    Berwick 2-decker 74 Official SGN104a
    Last edited by Capn Duff; 10-16-2017 at 11:06.

  4. #4

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    Spanish Fleet

    Nuestra Señora de la Santísima Trinidad 4-decker until official model possibly use an Ocean class
    Principe de Asturias 3-decker 112 Official SGN111c
    Santa Ana 3-decker 112. Official SGN111a
    Rayo 3-decker 100
    Neptuno 2-decker 80 non official SGN112a/b
    Monarca 2-decker 80 non official SGN112a/b
    Montañés 2-decker 80 non official SGN112a/b
    Bahama 2-decker 74 Official SGN112b
    San Francisco de Asis 2-decker 74 Official SGN112a model debatable too small
    San Agustin 2-decker 74 Official SGN112b model debatable too small
    San Juan Nepomuceno 2-decker 74 Official SGN112a model debatable too small
    San Justo 2-decker 74
    San Ildefonso 2-decker 74 non official use SGN112b
    San Leandro 2-decker 64
    Last edited by Capn Duff; 10-17-2017 at 03:47.

  5. #5

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    Reserved Game play

  6. #6

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    I would like to put this game on at next years Doncaster game if at all possible.
    I suspect the scale of the battle would put it beyond a Doncaster event - I've played Traf through a few times using fast play rules such as FLoB and the record so far is 3 hours. With the detail - and the number of players - for Trafalgar I suspect you'd be looking a twice the length of time at least. So a "standalone" event might be worth thinking about.

    If that appealed we do have a free venue with plenty of space, plenty of parking, beer and decent food (plus accommodation for players coming from a distance).......

    FWIW we are looking at running Jutland there sometime in the next 12 months as well.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the insight Dave,
    The size and scale of the game/ battle I agree is too big to play in its entirety, my initial idea is to have the Franco/Spanish fleet set up and remain static, as per The Nile scenario run at Doncaster, then take one of the two British columns as player ships and play that way with the British trying to destroy take as many enemy as possible in a time limit.

    To play with both colums I agree would take a large venue and most likely a weekend, so your input is a starter, I just need to check on game play, hence the thread
    Last edited by Capn Duff; 10-16-2017 at 16:06.

  8. #8
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    The sheer special of seeing the two Fleets in array would be enough for me Chris.
    If we did one column attack this year, maybe we could record the finishing positions and scores.
    Then we could play the second column attack on the following year. Two for the price of one as they say. At least I won't need to make any coastline this time.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  9. #9
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    If it could be put on, would it be a World Record?

  10. #10
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    Certainly for a Sails game, although I expect it has been done with other ships before.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  11. #11

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    Apologies for butting in, but you might want to check out these Anchorage threads for scale and some added background:

    http://sailsofglory.org/showthread.p...ight=trafalgar

    Expanded AAR is here:

    http://sailsofglory.org/showthread.p...rom-Villenueve
    "It's not the towering sails, but the unseen wind that moves a ship."
    –English Proverb

  12. #12

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    Hi Jim, you not butting in at all, thanks for bringing back these threads, they will assist me in my project. i missed the second write up so good news for me, I hope if I have any questions you can answer.
    Ie were any stat adjustments made to the ships and what were used for the ships not yet released ?
    From my fleet lists you can see which ships I have not yet assigned a model so any suggestions here?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Certainly for a Sails game, although I expect it has been done with other ships before.
    Rob.
    I once played in a "Close Action" game (an improved version of "Wooden Ships and Iron Men") played out with miniatures in Washington DC that had somewhere in the region of 60 players. That was an absolute epic!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmoss View Post
    Apologies for butting in, but you might want to check out these Anchorage threads for scale and some added background:

    http://sailsofglory.org/showthread.p...ight=trafalgar

    Expanded AAR is here:

    http://sailsofglory.org/showthread.p...rom-Villenueve
    Guess that knocks that one on the head then Jim. I knew I had seen a big game somewhere. Just forgot it was yours and Sails to boot.
    How many participants did you have? and how long did it take?
    It does look superb as I said at the time. I am looking forward to seeing ours in the flesh as it were.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capn Duff View Post
    Hi Jim, you not butting in at all, thanks for bringing back these threads, they will assist me in my project. i missed the second write up so good news for me, I hope if I have any questions you can answer.
    Ie were any stat adjustments made to the ships and what were used for the ships not yet released ?
    From my fleet lists you can see which ships I have not yet assigned a model so any suggestions here?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Guess that knocks that one on the head then Jim. I knew I had seen a big game somewhere. Just forgot it was yours and Sails to boot.
    How many participants did you have? and how long did it take?
    It does look superb as I said at the time. I am looking forward to seeing ours in the flesh as it were.
    Rob.
    Just to clarify this project was 100% David's (Walram) and Fred's (fredmiracle). I was invited, but could not attend and really had nothing to do with it beyond egging David to do this after his version of the Nile. From the posts I think Diamondback might have been consulted at some point as well?

    Chris I would check with David who I think still occasionally logs in here? Not sure about Fred's presence?

    Looking forward to what you come up with for Doncaster next year.
    "It's not the towering sails, but the unseen wind that moves a ship."
    –English Proverb

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    Just my two cents. Anything is possible if people want it bad enough.

  17. #17

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    I have to study the battle a little bit before writing comments here.

    One general thing are the dimensions: size of gaming surface, number of ship and players, enough space for gaming stuff, etc.

  18. #18
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    It is good to have some positive feedback from yourself and Jim Robert.
    As far as the space needed Sven, if we get the run of the big room that we did the Nile in this year we should have plenty of space.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  19. #19
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    I think I contributed a little on ship stats and stand-ins IIRC... when I had started working up my campaign-books idea for pitch to Ares, my first thought was to break each column's action into two scenarios assuming I could find a logical break point.

    My original thought was to break Nelson's Column at the point where Nelson died, except that a performance by either side significantly departing from historical outcome could dramatically alter where that point happens. So maybe something like British score 2 Victory Points for each ship sunk, Franco-Spanish 1 for each still afloat when Nelson dies, and for each hitting Musketry attack made on HMS Victory draw an A-chit (or maybe B?) and any Special Damage means keg-'im-up-and-ship-'im-home end-of-game.
    --Diamondback
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    I've been following this thread. I'm working on a game tracker app currently that does the advanced combat rules, actions, repairs, grappling. This might speed up your game and log all of the details of the battle. Only negative I see is all game actions would be entered by one person for all of the ships, this might cause a bottleneck. It would save space though.

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  21. #21

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    Thanks DB and Aaron for looking at my project, I appreciate any comments , tips and critisism.

    For game play I was looking at taking one of the British columns moving the ships untill they break the line of the FrancomSpanish, keeping these ships immobile until engaged then allowing them to manouvre, not quite sure yet what "engaged" entails

    As it was Collingwoods column who hit first, that is the ships and the lower half of the French/Spanish fleet to start with.
    Still mulling over best route that this is my thoughts at present.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capn Duff View Post
    not quite sure yet what "engaged" entails
    Maybe "enemy ship within two ruler lengths." If that's too generous, try one-and-a-half.
    --Diamondback
    PMH, SME, TLA, BBB

  23. #23
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    I would take one and a half as the Franco Spanish seemed in the main very sluggish in responding. The few exceptions could be catered for with special rules, suich as "Deft Captain."
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    I would take one and a half as the Franco Spanish seemed in the main very sluggish in responding. The few exceptions could be catered for with special rules, suich as "Deft Captain."
    Rob.
    "Ships and seamen rot in harbour", as Nelson himself said -- and the Combined Fleet had been penned up for a while.

    Not helping was the fact that the battle wouldn't have happened in one of the French admirals hadn't questioned the courage of the Spanish. The barometer had been dropping in the leadup to the battle (the battle itself was quite-literally fought in The Calm Before The Storm), and the Spanish were arguing against going out in such weather. One of the French (Magon, by some accounts) then said, "It is not the glass [a term for the barometer -- CF], but the courage of certain persons which is falling." The next words out of Gravina's mouth: "Mañana al mar!"

    The rest, like the Combined Fleet, is history.... >:)

  25. #25

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    Yes I like the 1.5 ruler idea, maybe drop to 1 when the ships get in among each other.
    I also like the idea of Nelson being picked off if in contact.
    I think there should also be a rule for Capt casualty in general, will look into some rules for this.
    Anyone got any ideas on the orbat?

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    Chris, it turns out the SGN112 sculpt is too small even for the Ildefonso and Montanes classes--it's around 10% undersize IIRC, but would be a very close 64.

    I checked the the models out and found the problem--Windows displays things scaled like 10% below actual size, the Waves 1/2 original ships were bang on to my printed-out-at-scale drawings (other than the stipulated-oversize Constitution, which happened because of a typo in one of Winfield's books), and while the Waves 3/4 new were undersize to hardcopy they were dead matches to the same drawings on-screen.
    --Diamondback
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  27. #27
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    Perhaps if we discounted the French/Spanish van (can't remember if they actually got turned round to make a difference or the last ships if they are sailing against the wind). That would reduce the number of ships. Still have them on the table just don't count them in the game unless they are attacked by a player.

    Split the players down into 2 teams, 1 per British column. Only play the lead ships with players remainders follow on in column auto pilot. Once a British ship is sunk that player takes over the ship behinfd the rear players ship in whichever column. Leap frogging ships as they are sunk or strike so eventually players will progress back along the column and all get a fair crack at the whip.

    French/Spanish ships auto move as they did historically. Ships will engage the nearest British ship and will either a. Sail to close/ b. Sail to escape c. a n other choice.

    Using a sheet like Sven produced would keep control of French/Spanish fleets manageable.

    Perhaps this could be played as an all day campaign game covering all 3 sessions on 1 table. Players dropping in/out/staying put as they wish.

    Just some thoughts in no specific order.

  28. #28
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    Some very good thoughts there Neil.
    I especially like the auto control and Campaign idea.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  29. #29

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    Chris, it turns out the SGN112 sculpt is too small even for the Ildefonso and Montanes classes--it's around 10% undersize IIRC, but would be a very close 64.
    Sorry been away visiting family and just seen this. While it seems now clear why we got undersized ships its still depressing in this day and age that checks were not made, but there we go.
    Whats more depressing though DB is that we have 2 models and only one is of use, the Bahama, even worse for me as I bought 5, three for The Montanes group, one for San Ildelfonso and another for the French Intrepide, ah well they now staying as they are

  31. #31

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    Nice thoughts Neil, Ill be collating these thoughts and put forward sime plans soon.
    I have seen the app and tried to download to dropbox but so far cant get it to work, still trying mind.

    A big issue is player numbers,
    I never expected to get enough players to do the whole battle, but after playing in the Aboukir game
    I liked a lot of Svens working and intend to domsomething similar, if we could get six or more players I still think this could be a viable game, but as you say may need a full day session

  32. #32

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    If an all day thing might it be worth thinking about running as an event in its own right? Perhaps October 21st 2018, which is a Sunday?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capn Duff View Post
    Sorry been away visiting family and just seen this. While it seems now clear why we got undersized ships its still depressing in this day and age that checks were not made, but there we go.
    Whats more depressing though DB is that we have 2 models and only one is of use, the Bahama, even worse for me as I bought 5, three for The Montanes group, one for San Ildelfonso and another for the French Intrepide, ah well they now staying as they are
    What's more depressing is that all future releases will probably be undersize too.

    Fun question: How might the battle have gone differently if Nelson had re-used Nile tactics, having half each column break through but the other half turn short so Villeneuve's ships take fire from both directions at once?
    --Diamondback
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    What's more depressing is that all future releases will probably be undersize too.

    Fun question: How might the battle have gone differently if Nelson had re-used Nile tactics, having half each column break through but the other half turn short so Villeneuve's ships take fire from both directions at once?
    Interesting thought DB.
    It also poses the question about the possible reduced fire power of a ship needing to man both sides at the same time.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    What if we made it so each ship got one more Crew Action than stated on the Log but firing each Broadside takes a Crew Action?

    I'm also toying with an idea of doubling the "Hit Points", making each fire arc its own separate, independently fired and loaded attack and again, requiring one Crew Action per fire arc but giving a few extras to offset it a little.
    --Diamondback
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  36. #36
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    The fire arc thing would certainly solve the Bow and stern chaser problem we are having. That would allow a somewhat reduced Main Battery fire even if the fore and aft arc had already done so.
    I don't think the crew action would bite until the crew were getting depleted. I would like to see it bite once the first carefully laid broadside had been fired from both sides.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    I didn't even get to Musket attack for each arc being a separate Crew Action from Gunnery... so if you wanted to fully fire Guns and Muskets from all possible positions that's a dozen CA's burned right there. Hope you don't need to change sail settings, repair, fight fire, pump water, treat wounded...
    --Diamondback
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  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    Chris, it turns out the SGN112 sculpt is too small even for the Ildefonso and Montanes classes--it's around 10% undersize IIRC, but would be a very close 64.

    I checked the the models out and found the problem--Windows displays things scaled like 10% below actual size, the Waves 1/2 original ships were bang on to my printed-out-at-scale drawings (other than the stipulated-oversize Constitution, which happened because of a typo in one of Winfield's books), and while the Waves 3/4 new were undersize to hardcopy they were dead matches to the same drawings on-screen.
    The modeller scaled off a Windows screen rather than using the actual dimensions of the vessel? Really? Who on earth would do that??????

  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    What if we made it so each ship got one more Crew Action than stated on the Log but firing each Broadside takes a Crew Action?
    It already does take a crew action to fire each broadside, as well as to load

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    Then maybe for the number of crew involved, it should be an action per gun deck. I don't know, I'm spitballing--flinging stuff at the wall to see if something sticks.
    --Diamondback
    PMH, SME, TLA, BBB

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    I didn't even get to Musket attack for each arc being a separate Crew Action from Gunnery... so if you wanted to fully fire Guns and Muskets from all possible positions that's a dozen CA's burned right there. Hope you don't need to change sail settings, repair, fight fire, pump water, treat wounded...
    I had not even considered that each arc would consume a crew action DB.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Idea for how to handle wounded crew:

    Crew Card: Specialist Crew - Ship's Surgeon. Each turn after the fourth, you may spend a Crew Action to draw one Musketry chit. If the drawn chit is a blank, return one Crew Damage marker to the bag; if the draw is a Crew Hit the damage stays as it was before draw. Return the drawn chit to the bag. You may only remove two Crew Casualties per game with this ability.

    New action: Triage Wounded. You may spend a Crew Action (as per Surgeon.) You may only remove one Crew Casualty per game with this ability.

    (I'm envisioning a series of Specialist crew cards, who like captains can only be assigned one per ship.)
    --Diamondback
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  43. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    Then maybe for the number of crew involved, it should be an action per gun deck. I don't know, I'm spitballing--flinging stuff at the wall to see if something sticks.
    I can perfectly see this working for frigate actions, in fact there are several sets out there for small actions where crew management is a key element. For fleet actions I really don't see it as being something that the players should be worrying about, the game system should effectively "manage" the crew whilst the players concentrate on what their historical counterparts should be doing - fighting the battle. I suppose you could cover it at a high level using a "command aim" approach (similar to how navies actually do prioritise activities on board). For example, there are three broad aims, "float, move and fight" - so you could assign the command priority for each ship through ordering those elements (normally "fight" first - load and fire guns, board, etc.), "move" when crew needed to head into the rigging to change sail, tack etc. and "float" - when damage control is the priority. Something like 4 actions available means you can cover all aims, 2 or 3 means you can do two, one means one only. Still gives you some degree of crew management but without the minutiae that will slow down a large action.

  44. #44
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    Fair point, DM. Still have the "terminal ballistics" of how to represent the added stresses and strains of fighting both sides of a ship at once on the table at the root of that discussion, though--any ideas on how to represent "crew stretched thin"? Maybe when firing both broadsides they take a few chits' penalty to each attack, representing the slower fire of undermanned guns? (IIRC, the usual was enough crew to fully man one side but at most only partially the other, though I could be mistaken.)
    --Diamondback
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    For a large action I'd probably go for full effect from one broadside, half effect from a second (or possibly half on both sides to keep it simple). I know wargamers love to delve into details, but you need to remember the role that the players are taking in the game. Its the captain's job to worry about how his ship fits into the battle and what he needs to do to achieve that, then he needs to tell his subordinates what he wants them to do - and then let them get on with it. So it is the first lieutenant and co who translate this into orders, crew direction etc. If the captain of a SOL is doing that he's lost situational awareness of the battle. If you are taking the roles of admirals then the abstraction should be even higher (don't worry about choosing ammunition, "fire on the uproll", put out that fire etc, etc. those are decisions going on within your ships, following your navy's doctrine and you should be well out of that sort of "long screwdriver" management.

    I have actually played in a few very large games where crew management within each ship was an aspect of the game - but in that case there was a player for EVERY ship of the line and frigate, as well as flag officers "embarked" in players' ships. The successful fleets were the ones where the captains and admirals remembered their roles and stuck to them; admirals who worried unduly about what things their flag captain should have been doing quickly lost control of the battle.

  46. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Manley View Post
    If an all day thing might it be worth thinking about running as an event in its own right? Perhaps October 21st 2018, which is a Sunday?
    Now that idea I like, a refight on the actual day, pencil in that one Dave

  47. #47

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    How does this sound

    French and Spanish ships will not move until a British ship moves to within short range, the Allied ship will then be able to plan as normal the following move, but will move to engage a ship engaging it.

    All allied firing will use the untried gunners rule when a British ship comes within long range then will use the standard one turn reload when they are specifically engaged by a British ship.

    An Allied ship must open fire initially as soon as a British ship comes within range

    British ships can use the continuous fire rule once within range but must state they are using this during the planning stage. ( A chit or some such to be used to signify)

  48. #48
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    Never tried the continuous fire rule Chris so it is hard for me to comment on this aspect. I will leave that to you chaps to sort out.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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