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Cpt Kangaroo
10-04-2013, 11:02
As promised I am submitting the AAR's for Hurricon.

This will take a couple of days and several entry's, so be patient, all will be reavealed.:minis:

BATTLE OF GRAND PORT AUGUST 20, 1810

The year is 1810. The British and French naval assets have been vying for control of the shipping lanes, the departure point for the trade routes and to the passage back to the North Atlantic.

French captain Duperre and the Britsh captain Pym squared off at Grand Port, the strategic access to Ille de France, or now known as Mauritius.

The original forces were fairly matched, as the British force was considered more powerful, while the French had 'Home Port Advantage'.

The original battle was a disaster for the British as the French knowledge of the local waters and their hidden reefs and channels, was a decisive factor .

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Cpt Kangaroo
10-04-2013, 11:07
Historical Overview

I will not go into the full report of the Mauritius campaign which led up to this battle, this has been posted as a wonderful description at this link:

http://www.sailsofglory.org/showthread.php?1463-On-this-day-20-August-the-beginning-of-the-Battle-of-Grand-Port

For the purposes of this scenario, the British found themselves with a numerical superiority with more powerful ships while the French had been bottled up in a harbor which was both a safe refuge and an area that was very familiar to them. The British on the other hand did not know the waters and had access to only one pilot familiar with the area.

Regardless, the British fleet of Frigates attacked on 20th of August 1810. With great confidence of success, the British force entered the channel to the harbor area, intent on finally subduing their adversaries.

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Layout

Wind Direction is constantly from the east.

The harbor is as seen in the first picture. The entrance Chanel to the North and East of the harbor runs right by the captured fort, now in British hands. The channel, although kept secret, was in direct line between the two light houses, and would allow safe passage. No shoals will be found along this line (E), one ruler wide. This channel may be moved if this scenario is familiar to the players.

Shore battery location

In the original battle, a shore battery was assembled to help defend the French ships. It required almost a half day of hard labor to form the two battery's. In this scenario, two battery's form and fire with 1 damage chip each. In order for the first battery to activate, a British ship must sail within one ruler of the western shore in the vicinity of either of the battery's.(F) The second battery will activate if another British ship arrives within range, or after 5 turns

The Fort is held by the British.(H)

The Fort on Il de la Passé was captured and occupied by the British. It too is capable of firing, one chip per side.

Channel location.

The main channel(E) is between the north and south lighthouses, no shoals are permitted within a half ruler length of this line.

Starting points:

The number of ships may be increased as needed to match the number of players. There needs to be equal numbers of ships on both sides, though the French should have lighter frigates. If using a SOL, the French must apply the starting damage to this vessel first.

The French: All ships are in a line near the southern shore. (B) The French start in a very defensible position, with the end of their line protected by shore batteries and the only approach very difficult to navigate due to many shoals. The force comprises of 4 ships, one being a captured Indiaman, (a light Frigate will work) that is without crew. A decision must be made as to how much crew is to be transferred from the other ships to man her. The largest ship has hull and crew damage as a result of prior action.

The British: Arriving in formation and entering the channel.(A) The British did not know the waters and as such were virtually entering the area blind. They had the help of one pilot, though the French had moved the channel markers, causing much confusion. The British will have to navigate past many 'surprise' shoals, placed by the French.



Objectives

French standing orders: The French admiral was intent on securing prizes and disrupting the flow of trade ships to England. Generally, the captains were discouraged from seeking and engaging enemy warships, unless superiority ensured victory. Where possible, they were to avoid direct confrontation and instead focus on the easier prey of Indiamen and cargo vessels.

British Standing orders: This force is to engage whenever possible with the enemy where there is a high confidence of a victorious outcome. The ultimate goal is to restrict French naval activity in the area and thereby protecting the British trade ships. More specifically pertaining to this situation, to take the opportunity to deprive the enemy of safe haven, capture or destroy as many enemy ships as possible and provide a foothold for operations against the northern harbor of Port Louis.



Special Rules:

Placing shoals: During the actual battle, there were three accidental groundings by the British, and two intentional by the French. Even grounded, both forces continued to battle, showing the grounded ships were stable enough for firing the guns. Also, total hull loss does not result in the ship loss, only after the last crew is lost does the ship surrender. The British did not have sound knowledge of the local waters and as such were very susceptible to running aground as they made their attack. To simulate this, the French had the ability to place one shoal marker anywhere on the board in the areas of C. The marker must be one ruler length away from any British ship and a half ruler away from any shoreline. This occurs after all ships have moved and before the combat phase. The British players may then maneuver around them if possible, by carefully choosing their next movement in the planning phase, but must move the existing movement card as it is. The ultimate goal is that the British ‘Order’ is reduced greatly, possibly resulting in some groundings, giving the French the advantage. Once there have been three groundings, or there has been combat, no further shoals are placed. (One note to the GM. This is an area where you can control the flow and maintain balance in the game.)

Grounding Rules: At the start of the attack, there was a rising tide, so if there was any grounding, there was a possibility of un-grounding through the use of Kedging. There are three sail settings, so if grounding occurred under full sail, the ship would not be able to float free the rest of the game. If the grounding occurred under battle sail, the player may test every other turn for un-grounding. Finally, if the grounding occurred under Backing sails, the player may test every turn until it floats free. The sequence would be, the ship runs aground. The next movement period, the player places a marker at the stern of the ship, indicating Kedging operations are beginning. Then every turn or every other turn, depending on the sails, the player tests for un-grounding. This test is in place of applying a movement card. Once successful, the player places a red backing card, and then may plan a movement second card.

Un grounding rules: Once the ship is successfully un-grounded, the player uses the red movement cards, for the double sail (second) taken aback movement. This is indicative of the ships boats hauling it out into the wind. Un-grounding is successful using a chip pick. Using the 'C' damage chips, a crew damage means success.



Results: There were three separate games using the same scenario. Each game saw the British coming in different formations and using different tactics. The same was true of the French, though in each case they gave up the security of their anchored formation and sailed toward the incoming British. In every game there were groundings and collisions, the shoals worked well at disrupting the British formations, but also had a double edged sword affect for the French in that it greatly restricted their movement. In the last two games the French tried to make a break for it, once being stopped in their tracks by blockading ships, the other resulting in 3 of the 4 escaping.

Cpt Kangaroo
10-04-2013, 11:09
FIRST GAME AAR.

For the convention, I allowed the use of the SOL's if anyone wanted to use them. The only requirement was that if the British used one, the French had to as well. For this game, all 4 available SOL's where in play, two one each side. Each side had a total of 5 ships.

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The British entered the channel in line formation, the heavy's at the rear. The French lay in wait at anchor with their heavy's at each end.

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The British line of battle. Note the first reef shot fired by the French.

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The reef placement takes it's toll on the British formation, resulting in one grounding. It usually took a turn or two to realize the distance a model travelled in one move. In the background, the French can be seen getting under way as they abandon their defensive position.

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The British Frigate working hard to free itself, note the kedging in progress.

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The two SOL's affectively blocked the escape attempt by the French Frigate and SOL.


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The result of a serious pounding, the French surrender to several bow rakes.

The overall victory went to the British, though the MVP award went to the captain who had the initiative to block the French escape attempt. The prize was the book 'Master and Commander".

Cpt Kangaroo
10-04-2013, 11:11
THE SECOND GAME RESULTS.
This had a much different approach as is reflected in the starting formation used.

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The French begin to move from their defensive position.
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The first reef is placed...
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Note that there was another grounding, actually on the same reef as the previous game. I think I will call this 'Magnetic Reef' :wink:
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Getting to the meat of the issue.
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Below (the pictures aren't working with me)
The French begin to lose ground.

Again...Below (the pictures aren't working with me)
The worst collision of the weekend!

The MVP goes to the French captain who had the most affective action against the British. He won a PotC Special edition game.
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In the end, the British were victorious as the stronger force eventually prevailed.

Cpt Kangaroo
10-04-2013, 11:15
THIRD GAME AAR.

The British line of battle parades fast the captured fort on Il de la Passé, on the way to engage with the waiting French
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One of the best maneuvers of the weekend, as one British Captain puts the helm down and performs a 'Damn the Torpedoes' type action. Similar to shooting the rapids, as he slips between two reefs. The maneuver would have been very successful had a French captain coming from the other side not grounded himself, with enough in the gap to cause a collision.
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The battle begins in earnest as another British captain finds himself kedging off a reef.
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After trading a lot of fire, the French began to inch past the British. One Frigate made a break for the channel and the freedom of the open water beyond. The fort waited for the approach.
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The fort unleashes it's fire as the French Frigate slips by. There was no significant damage.
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Two more French ships break free and run for the open water, leaving the sole grounded French ship to surrender. 3 of the 4 French ships escaped giving the victory to them.
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The MVP award went to the first French captain who had shown initiative in escaping the harbor. He won a ship in the bottle model of the USS Constitution.

Cpt Kangaroo
10-04-2013, 11:16
SUMMARY

All three games, using the same scenario, comprised of all new players each time. The resulting games were very different in outcome as each handled the scenario differently.

It is interesting that in each game, the French relinquished their defensive position and decided to attack or escape. I would have liked to see the outcome, had they retained their position as was done originally.

Two of the three games were won by the British, while the last was a French victory.

I know that everyone enjoyed the games, and all were looking forward to its release.

From a game master perspective, I could not have asked for a better group of players, as I had a lot of fun running them.

I hope this AAR inspires many others to post their results for us all to enjoy.

Moideeb
10-04-2013, 15:59
Hi Erin,

What a great set explanation of the battle. The use of re-creating a real battle scenario with shoals and kedging, sounds like it adds a real depth to the game! I take it from this action, the wind was considered steady, in your opinion did the french players abandon their defensive position, due to tactical reasons (i.e. they saw a strategic advantage in doing so) or simply do give them more chance to move their ships around in the game? Also how did you decide on the shape and size of your shoals and playing area? Finally you mentioned about testing for ungrounding the ships. How does a player test to see if the kedging has been successful?

I look forward to hearing more. I will have to make a note of this scenario to try and play myself at some point.

Thanks

Chris

Moideeb
10-04-2013, 16:39
Also, may i ask where you got that fort from?

Cpt Kangaroo
10-04-2013, 22:44
Hi Erin,

What a great set explanation of the battle. The use of re-creating a real battle scenario with shoals and kedging, sounds like it adds a real depth to the game! I take it from this action, the wind was considered steady,...
Yes, we did not use the advanced rules, so we set the wind at steady.

in your opinion did the french players abandon their defensive position, due to tactical reasons (i.e. they saw a strategic advantage in doing so) or simply do give them more chance to move their ships around in the game?
I think they may have estimated some advantage to attack, though the last game the goal was to escape.

Also how did you decide on the shape and size of your shoals and playing area?
I had some existing shoals from another game which I estimate to be about the same shape.

Finally you mentioned about testing for ungrounding the ships. How does a player test to see if the kedging has been successful?

Thank you for reminding me...I went back and updated the un-grounding rules, so you can see them.

Good luck when you try this. I have used this scenario on several occasions, and each time everyone has a good time.

Cpt Kangaroo
10-04-2013, 22:48
Also, may i ask where you got that fort from?

I actually found this fort at the gift shop at the fort itself.

There is a thread about it as per below.

www.sailsofglory.org/showthread.php?1323-The-fort-at-St-Augustine-Florida-Castillo-de-San-Marcos

Comte de Brueys
10-05-2013, 09:08
Great way to explain the action, Erin.

I like the historical background and the beautful designed map. :salute:

7eat51
10-06-2013, 08:42
Erin, very impressive setup based on historical information. The table looks great. :hatsoff:

How large was the overall playing surface? Was it adequate for the number of ships?

Cpt Kangaroo
10-06-2013, 09:45
Erin, very impressive setup based on historical information. The table looks great. :hatsoff:

How large was the overall playing surface? Was it adequate for the number of ships?

The game area was 4ft x 8ft. This is a standard we have all used as it is the size of a sheet of plywood.

For 12 ships, this was plenty of room, provided you have an area for the logs. Without that it would have been a little squeezy.

Andy Blozinski
10-06-2013, 20:29
The land mass terrain.
Is this something you totally fabricated, or was it something you purchased and maybe modified? If purchased, please let me know where you got it from. I need to get something similar.

Coog
10-06-2013, 20:56
The land mass terrain.
Is this something you totally fabricated, or was it something you purchased and maybe modified? If purchased, please let me know where you got it from. I need to get something similar.

Have you been able to make arrangements to have game items for Millenniumcon?

Cpt Kangaroo
10-06-2013, 21:22
Bobby, all the con coordinating with the promo kit is going through Keith.

I wish I had more info for you.

Cpt Kangaroo
10-06-2013, 21:27
The land mass terrain.
Is this something you totally fabricated, or was it something you purchased and maybe modified? If purchased, please let me know where you got it from. I need to get something similar.

Andy, I made the land pieces myself, and really, it was not hard, plus they are very sturdy.

Once I finish this project I might be able to post a 'How to' in the chippy forum.

Andy Blozinski
10-06-2013, 22:21
Have you been able to make arrangements to have game items for Millenniumcon?

First I had Roberto contact me with the statement that if they couldn't get the Kickstarter to me in time, then they'd get me a demo kit. Keith contacted me shortly after that.
I'm waiting for the next public statement from Ares this week, but it looks like I'm SOL for getting the kickstarter stuff to do MillenniumCon. This means I'll have the demo kit. I'll get with Keith probably late in the week to figure out exactly what I will get in the demo kit. I'm really hoping I get the (12) ship demo kit because my game's on Saturday evening, so it really has no limit and I could accommodate walk-ins easily.

7eat51
10-06-2013, 23:53
Once I finish this project I might be able to post a 'How to' in the chippy forum.

Might be able to???? Must do. You can't tease us this way.

Again, Erin. Well done all around.

I will check on how large of an area I will have at Rock-Con. The 4x8 would be nice.

Cpt Kangaroo
10-09-2013, 12:41
I have finally completed this thread of the Scenarios and AAR's for the Battle of Grand Port, run at Hurricon. I hope you all enjoy...

Nightmoss
10-09-2013, 14:51
I have finally complete this AAR for the Battle of Grand Port, run at Hurricon. I hope you all enjoy...

Photos and commentary for all three battles are great! Thank you for posting in addition to all your hard work to bring this together for the players at Hurricon and us here on the Anchorage. :thumbsup:

Avi
10-10-2013, 12:58
I have finally complete this AAR for the Battle of Grand Port, run at Hurricon. I hope you all enjoy...

Dense moment warning ... :erk:
But, where is the report?
Or do you mean this thread?

Cpt Kangaroo
10-10-2013, 13:16
Avi,

No, you didn't miss it.

I have been working on this thread since the Convention. I have made many additions and adjustments along the way, but these do not send out alerts to the updates.

That is why I had a posting at the end so it would alert everyone to it being completed.

So yes, it is the thread I have completed.

I will change the wording slightly so it makes more sense, thanks for the heads up. :happy:

Enjoy! :beer:

Cpt Kangaroo
01-09-2014, 12:15
I am attempting to refurbish this posting, but it is fighting me all the way. At the moment I seem to have success when I go into my photo files on my IPad and re save them one at a time.

This is going to be slow going.

DeRuyter
01-10-2014, 15:36
Photos are back up - Thanks Erin!

:beer: