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Walram
07-20-2014, 18:56
On Sunday, the 3rd of August,2014 we’re going to give it a go at doing the Battle of the Nile (Battle of Aboukir Bay) 1-3 August, 1798 Scenario at Gabi’s Cards and Comics in Lacey, Washington. We’re including all 32 of the ships that fought there as well as the French shore battery and will be using five of the Sails of Glory sea mats placed end to end. We plan to do this with seven to nine players in about six hours. (Fredmiracle has graciously accepted our invitation to come down and give us a hand.:clap:)

We will primarily be using the basic rules with a few additions/modifications to add the particular flavor of the battle. We’ll be including anchors with spring cables for the British and allow the French to attempt to escape if the Orient is taken or destroyed.

I’ll post an after action report and, hopefully, lots of pictures. Our hope is to show that large battles can be done in a reasonable period of time with these rules, at least with minor modifications. I'm definitely excited to give this a go.:happy: Wish us luck on this endeavor.

Nightmoss
07-20-2014, 20:06
Wishing you the absolute best at this attempt. Be sure to post many, many photos. I know David was keen on giving this a shot as well, but I don't think he got enough players showing interest?

Be sure to send some photos on to Ares as well. While I'm not a Facebook member I still enjoy seeing what they do post up on their page. Cheers!

Diamondback
07-20-2014, 20:13
Good luck, amigo! Wish I could make it... stuff with relatives and consolidating households. :(

Jack Tar
07-20-2014, 20:34
This sounds fantastic :hatsoff:! I'm looking forward to seeing some of the pictures!

Comte de Brueys
07-20-2014, 23:57
Ok, that will be an epic battle. :thumbsup:

I'm curious for the AAR and the pictures.

David Manley
07-21-2014, 00:35
Wishing you the absolute best at this attempt. Be sure to post many, many photos. I know David was keen on giving this a shot as well, but I don't think he got enough players showing interest? !

Indeed so, unfortunately.

Looking forward to seeing how this turns out, it will be epic :)

Berthier
07-21-2014, 06:45
Oh fantastic event, look forward (impatiently) to AAR!

7eat51
07-22-2014, 13:19
I just received the book Nelson and the Nile: The Naval War against Bonaparte 1798. Looks like the perfect time for reading it.

Nightmoss
08-01-2014, 00:40
Just a few days until this event. Can't wait to hear how it goes?

Walram
08-03-2014, 22:58
Consensus was that it was very successful (I’ll let fredmiracle add his own comments but don’t expect anything immediate since he and his son drove over an hour each way to join us.) As to pictures, the “official” picture taker took over 125 photos (there were several others taking pictures as well), so I’m going to have to go through them and post what is most relevant.

I’m pretty worn out myself (5 ½ hours game time, 1 ½ hours set-up, briefing, etc., and about 3/4 hour tear down and packing up, and I’m feeling old!), so I’m not going to elaborate on much yet.

However, I do want to thank Fred and his son for coming down. :salute: They are both true gentlemen (and very solid, knowledgeable players.) Also, Thanks to Aprilbooks for running the majority of the French AND performing the turn sequence supervision. :thumbsup: It was a lot of fun and large ship actions are definitely doable with these rules (but if you do plan to run one, be prepared to be very organized and think through the structure of the fleets and how you assign ships. But more on that later.)

7eat51
08-03-2014, 23:03
Congratulations on what sounds like a successful game day. :hatsoff:

We'll wait for more info and pics as they trickle in.

fredmiracle
08-04-2014, 02:08
:clap: An outstanding event! :clap:

A huge thank you to Dave and the group in Lacey--they clearly know how to have fun, how to mix in a healthy portion of serious gaming and history, and how to make visitors feel at home. My son and I had a blast.

The planning and preparation for the game was astounding--pennants, custom ship mats, scenario rules, markers, prior playtesting, etc., etc. Big tip of the cap there. :salute:

The Nile was a good battle to choose. The tabletop scenes and exploits that resulted were memorable. Notably, I felt I came away with a better understanding of the historical event from playing the game.

Job well done, and thanks again for including us--great way to spend the day!

Nightmoss
08-04-2014, 10:06
Wow! Sounds fantastic. Can't wait to see and hear more of the grand adventure. Thanks for sharing the positive vibes! :happy:

Peryls
08-14-2014, 01:00
I talked to our fearless organizer Walram last night, and he confirmed he was working his way through the many pictures taken, and trying to put together a summary of the battle. I'll leave it to him to tell the story of the battle, however I wanted to put up a few pictures so people could see just how much fun we had. Soooooo without further ado... (For the most part, they are in the order they were taken...)

David Manley
08-14-2014, 02:22
Excellent! Looking forward to the write up

spiessbuerger
08-14-2014, 12:25
Fantastic!
I like the phase-indicator. Especially with many players it's a good helper.

Comte de Brueys
08-14-2014, 13:22
Impressive first pictures! :shock:

DeRuyter
08-14-2014, 13:41
Very impressive! :thumbsup:

I'll wait for the write up. Please tell us what you did for anchoring rules (I see the markers in the photos).

Nightmoss
08-14-2014, 17:14
Awesome!! Can't wait for the narrative. Thanks.

Arakus
08-14-2014, 17:43
Wonderful setup! :thumbsup:

Naharaht
08-14-2014, 22:56
Great pictures!

7eat51
08-14-2014, 23:22
Very, very cool. I like the length of the gaming surface and how it opens up. :thumbsup:

This is seeding some ideas for an event next year.

Where was this held?

Peryls
08-15-2014, 00:06
This was held in Lacey, WA at Gabi's Olympic Cards and Comics, Best game store in Washington State!!

Peryls
08-15-2014, 00:58
Couple other comments... When I uploaded the pics I had given a unique name to each one thinking they would be visible (kinda new at this sort of thing...) Anyway, I also thought they'd get uploaded in the correct order, but ... they didn't. Rather than try and fix it,... I thought I'd try to just put a couple comments here for them.
First picture: Walram (he's got the paper in his hand and was delivering some last minute instructions) deserves a lot of credit for the preparation and making this event work. There is a small group that meets weekly at the game store, and they spent the past several months, starting with just single ship engagements to small fleet entanglements etc, and culminated in this event. He'd also spent a lot of time researching the actual battle and I think we did a reasonably accurate job of recreating it.
Second picture: Another view of the line of French ships from another angle.
Pics 3-5 a sample of what each of the captains had for our respective ships. I started in command of the Goliath (which had the honor of leading the attack...) Also a list of the British fleet. Each of the ships had unique flags printed to help identify them on the playing field, and of course a group shot of our players. Aprilbooks, (in red in the center) commanded the French fleet, (Walram helped near the end of the scenario when the French actually did something right...)
Pics 6 through 12 The first battle pictures. The Goliath and the fort exchanged the first shots of the scenario (which was a slight deviation from the real event, as the fort was bypassed by the Brits, but it was too sweet a target to ignore. Fates were in my favor as the Goliath managed to avoid any significant damage, while dealing enough damage at the outset to effectively take it out of the battle. The rest of those pictures are of the Brits making their initial turn down the inside of the French fleet.
Pic 13 (all the 0 chits...) one of the luckier draws for the Brits during the battle... (to the French chagrin)

The other pictures tell more of the story that I'll leave for Walram and his after action report.

I'll do better next time posting text with the pictures individually so it'll make following along a lot easier.

fredmiracle
08-15-2014, 09:46
Yeah the upload facility is pretty painful to use for more than 2-3 pictures...

Thanks for the pics, I've been looking forward to seeing them...

Walram
08-15-2014, 14:22
I've finished the after action report and I'll do a cut and paste into the replies section. I've broken it down into three sections. I figure some folks will be interested in the formation of the scenario, others in the game play, etc. So you can skip the parts you're not interested in, it will be in three separate posts. Here is the first:


Battle of the Nile (or Aboukir Bay) After Action Report

PART ONE – SCENARIO CREATION

Where to begin? I began a little over two months ago. This was a huge undertaking. As most of you know, there isn’t any information on how to run a large scale battle with the “Sails of Glory” rule set.

I wanted to do a major battle, and preferably, on its anniversary. I eventually settled on the battle of the Nile. It was probably the best one for an initial undertaking, in that a little over half the ships (all the French) would start off and remain (mostly) at anchor AND we had just enough ARES 74 gun ships to match what was required. (However, I eventually settled on using one of my 1:1200 scale GHQ 74s to replicate the 50 gun British; the scale is very close and would look better – two decks – instead of one of the large frigates as initially planned.)

Between three of us, we also had five game mats to play on. (I originally planned to run the five mats width-wise along the table but eventually turned three length-wise to allow more space for ship log/mats to be placed on the table when we discovered there was enough maneuver room if we did so.)
I produced a single scenario sheet (two pages front and back) outlining which rules would and wouldn’t be used in the game as well as a couple of special scenario adaptations. The principle changes were:

GAME RULES AND SCENARIO ADAPTATIONS:

1. Use mostly basic rules. Due to the size of the battle and the varied level of player experience, we used the basic rules but included sail adjustments (we’ve found maneuvering very difficult without the adjustment ability.)

2. Modify explosion ability. Since the Orient did explode (we wanted some way to allow for explosions to happen without using special damage) we said that if a ship had remaining ship damage tokens that at least equaled two times the ship’s burden after the last damage track box was covered, draw an “E” chit. If it was a crew chit, the ship would explode and sink. Otherwise ships remained on the table.

3. Anchors and Spring Cables. Since the British did use spring cables (It allows for facing adjustments after anchoring, and thereby use your main broadsides when your initial facing wouldn’t allow for it.) The French Fleet started anchored at the bow. British ships could anchor from the bow or stern and could set spring cables. When sails are struck, place an anchor counter (I created an anchor counter in the style of the other game counters) at the bow or stern of the ship. You may set spring cables the turn after anchoring or later. (Setting spring cables was shown by placing a second anchor counter next to the first.) You may NOT fire guns while setting spring cables. You may pivot the ship on its anchor point by “musket fire” range once per turn after spring cables are set. (David Manley’s rules were one of the rule sets I consulted while coming up with this modification. Thank you.)

4. Allow French ships to escape. The turn after the Orient has either surrendered or blown up, the rear division may attempt to escape. See scenario sheet in the file section for specifics. (Submitted and hopefully will show up soon!)

5. Special Damage Counter. Because the French ships had crew on shore getting water and provisions, a special counter was placed on the first damage box to show its reduced effectiveness. A damage counter replaced the special counter when the ship first received damage.

OTHER MODIFICATIONS AND FLUFF:

Ship logs/mats. Due to limited space, I created/modified the individual ship logs/mats. On the mat I added a guns fired space as well as a flag/pennon and signal flag to quickly identify the ship. (The flag/pennon showed which division the ship was in and the signal flag identified the specific ship in the division. Each ship flew from its center and rear masts, its specific flag/pennon and signal flag.)

I also gave each player an index card with labels depicting the ship’s name and the identifying flags.

Created Aboukir Island with fort and fort log. I probably could have used one of the shore forts, however with all the other graphic work I’d done, why not make an island of the actual shape! For the log, I used the weakest of the games fort statistics since the French shore battery consisted of only four guns and two mortars. I figured it may at least have a nuisance value if it didn’t draw away assets that would attack the ships.

Phase Indicator. One of the things several of us that have participated in convention play noticed was the problem of excited players getting ahead of the others. To help mitigate the problem, we used a tri-fold card stock sheet that broke the game into three parts. The first covered the Planning Phase – listing “Plan Sails” and “Plan ship movement”, the second covered the Movement Phase – with “Move Sails” and Move Ship”, and the third had “Shoot guns” and “Reload” (also penciled in at the bottom was “Take Pictures” – and that should explain why we had so many photographs taken.) This was turned after each phase was completed.

Surrendered ships. I had a number of 1:1200 scale GHQ ships that I hadn’t mounted the masts on yet, so I used them to replace the ships that had surrendered. The blue bases were turned over and the GHQ model was place on it, along with a flame or smoke marker initially made for “Wings of Glory” use! See pictures Mike posted.

Walram
08-15-2014, 14:26
PART TWO – GAME DAY OVERVIEW

We scheduled the game for Sunday, 3 August (the actual battle ran for three days – 1st through 3rd of August) at Gabi’s Olympic Cards and Comics in Lacey, Washington. The store opened at 10:00 a.m. and I allowed myself an hour for set up before the gamers showed up at 11:00, (The other two players that helped supply the ships and game mats gave them to me the Tuesday before so I had everything in advance and could put the pennons and signal identifier flags on the ships.) We ran a little over the start time, but by 12:00, I concluded the rules overview and the basic plan of attack. The game took about 5 hours, 15 minutes to complete, and 45 minutes to put everything away.

The French were commanded and controlled by one player (until the ships began to move and then I pitched in to help with the movement.) Each of the British players had two to three ships to command. (I believe we could have easily done this with only five British players, but we decided to share the fun!) No one had more than one ship in a division. Division commanders were specified and players were expected to communicate with their commanders if there was any question as to what to do. (Particularly important if they thought they would sail past their target ship.) Orders were expected to be rather general, allowing the gamers command their ships. The scenario was predisposed for a British victory but that didn’t stop our French commander from showing her competitive edge!

Battle plan. Briefly, the plan was what the British actually accomplished at the battle.

The plan called for the 1st division (the first five ships – HMS Goliath, HMS Zealous, HMS Orion, HMS Audacious, and HMS Theseus) to go on the landward side of the French ships with the lead ship attacking the lead French ship, the second attacking the second, and so forth. Ships were expected to fire from their starboard side at the fort as they went by, leaving their port guns ready for the French ships.

The 2nd division (the second five ships – HMS Vanguard, HMS Minotaur, HMS Defence, HMS Bellerophon, and HMS Majestic) were to attack the French ships on the seaward side of the French fleet in the same manner as the 1st division.

The 3rd division (the remaining five English ships – HMS Alexander, HMS Swiftsure, HMS Culloden, the 50 gun HMS Leander, and the 18 gun HMS Mutine) were to attack from the seaward side of the French fleet, aiming for the French Flag ship, the Orient. All ships were expected to move down the French line as they were destroyed.

The French were to remain at anchor until the Orient was destroyed and then the rear division commander would be allowed to lead his division in an escape.

Game Play. I didn’t keep a log of what happened by turn, but I’ll give you a rundown of the action.

The first British ship took about three to four turns to get to its attack position next to the French ship. The follow-on ships entered every other turn. Follow-on ships took shots at both the fort and the lead ship as they came in range. The initial attack by the HMS Goliath against the fort was extremely effective, leaving only two damage boxes and it was destroyed two turns later by the combined fire with the HMS Zealous. When the third ship, the division commander’s HMS Orion, got in range of the lead French ship, the Guerrier was destroyed.

When the second division entered the battle area, I allowed the third division to enter at the same time to speed up the game play (there wasn’t any chance of interference since the third was heading much further down the line.)

The following French ships were sequentially and rapidly destroyed as more and more of the British ships arrived. But even then, The French commander developed an excellent reputation of drawing the “0” chits, especially when drawing for possible explosions. However, her luck ran out when drawing for the Franklin (the ship just ahead of the 120 gun Orient) and blew up. This then allowed the British to surround the Orient and pummel it into submission. The admiral of the French rear line division was so shocked at the loss of the Orient, he didn’t order the Guillaume Tell to begin its escape for two turns (still drawing “0”s!)

In the end, one British ship was destroyed (I think it was the HMS Audacious) and five of the French ships escaped. As one of the British players stated, “Since it was Nelson that allowed the French to escape with only four ships, I’m happy with only losing one of our own and have five escape!”

Walram
08-15-2014, 14:27
PART THREE – ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND REFERENCES

First off, I’d like to thank Aresgames and the designer, Andrea Angiolino for creating such a wonderful and adaptable game system.

Next, thank you Gabi for hosting this in your store; you’re the best.

Last but certainly not least, I’d like to thank the players that participated. Without you, It wouldn’t have been possible. In particular, a big thank you to Aprilbooks and Blauwolfe for the loan of their ships.

As to references – Google is great to find maps and general information, as was Wikipedia. However, one of the best sources was The Life of Nelson – The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain by Captain A.T. Mahan, United States Navy. Volume1, All of Chapter X covered the campaign and battle of the Nile. It gave a fantastic explanation and diagram of the use of the anchor spring cables.

Fleet Tactics and Costal Combat by Wayne Hughes provided excellent information on ship intervals, effective gun range, speed of ships under battle sail and battle formations.

www.Britishbattles.com/waterloo/battle-nile.htm was a great source as well. The map in particular was an enjoyable find. It was the one used to define the shape of the island I made for the game.

I also was able to find the names and some information on the “other” French ships present from a couple of French sources. Expedition d Egypte Campagnes 1798 lists the two brigs and two mortar ships present. (Since they did not participate in the battle, I chose to leave them out.)

Nightmoss
08-15-2014, 20:48
Fantastic write up! I enjoyed reading all three parts. Thank you one and all for this.

Will this become an annual event or will you move on to another fleet battle?

Thanks again! :salute:

Coog
08-15-2014, 23:10
Great job! That was quite a scenario to tackle.:thumbsup:

Angiolillo
08-16-2014, 01:17
Great event, great report indeed! With Andrea Mainini (the other designer to thank) we actually tried to sneak as many Aboukir and Trafalgar ships as possible in our range within the bounds alloed by the moulds made, and it is great to see how they had been whisely used.
Is it possible to post a couple of pictures on BGG, please?
How many people played? All nine in pictures? 32 ships, right?

fredmiracle
08-16-2014, 01:32
How many people played? All nine in pictures? 13 French ships against 15 British ones?

Yep, everyone played. Walram mostly oversaw things and helped keep them moving, but once the French survivors weighed anchor then he helped run them. Aprilbooks ran the French gunnery, and then 7 players for the British.

They also had the French frigates, so it was, I believe, 17 French and 15 British = 32 ships.

Angiolillo
08-16-2014, 02:02
I created a Geeklist on BoardGameGeek. Please feel free to comment, upload pictures and propose previous large events.
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/177576/largest-sails-glory-game-ever

Walram
08-16-2014, 10:10
Fantastic write up! I enjoyed reading all three parts. Thank you one and all for this.

Will this become an annual event or will you move on to another fleet battle?

Thanks again! :salute:

Didn't even think about that! I think after 5 1/2 hours of game play we were pretty tired. (Well, I was anyway!)

It wouldn't be hard to do. The works all done: the ship log/mats, identity flags, layout map, etc. all nicely put up in a binder!

I'll bring it up at the end of month gaming session and see if there is interest. Fred, are you up to it? [BTW your son is quite a gamer - If you come AND bring him - I'll schedule it that he gets his own ships.]

And, until next year, I'm not sure what my next project will be. Suggestions?

Walram
08-16-2014, 10:34
Great event, great report indeed! With Andrea Mainini (the other designer to thank) we actually tried to sneak as many Aboukir and Trafalgar ships as possible in our range within the bounds alloed by the moulds made, and it is great to see how they had been whisely used.
Is it possible to post a couple of pictures on BGG, please?
How many people played? All nine in pictures? 32 ships, right?

Angiolillo, Please pass my thanks and appreciation on to Andrea Mainini as well. No offense meant; my acknowledgement went out with my limited knowledge.

I very much enjoy the game -- it's the best “Age of Sails” design I’ve been able to find for quick, easy gaming (I have over a dozen different ones.) The card mechanics is ingenious! [We also play the Wings of Glory once a month as well!]

Our group gets together on Tuesday nights after a full day of work. The gaming is serious, but we are there for the camaraderie as well. The last thing we want is something that overtaxes our brains. Competitive but friendly probably best describes us.

So again, thank you and the rest of the staff for such a wonderful game.

[OK - after reading this post - I don't want to step into it further. I do NOT want folks reading this to think that it is a mindless game. That is not the case. The rules and mechanics make the gameplay simple. The maneuvering, tactics, etc. require serious thought. The game system is such that it also allows for modifications and lots of choices as to just how detailed a game you want. Again, a fabulous game system.]

fredmiracle
08-16-2014, 11:35
Fred, are you up to it? [BTW your son is quite a gamer - If you come AND bring him - I'll schedule it that he gets his own ships.]


If we're in town I'm sure we would play it again. Owen had a great time--I probably should have pushed him harder to take one of my ships from the beginning, but he thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Now he's wanting us to play first Algeciras, in the style of the Nile event. We may give it a try, but I'm also trying to communicate to him just how much work went into making the Nile game such a special and well-oiled event. It was great for us, who could just show up and enjoy the fruits of your labors :happy:

Nightmoss
08-16-2014, 20:41
Didn't even think about that! I think after 5 1/2 hours of game play we were pretty tired. (Well, I was anyway!)

It wouldn't be hard to do. The works all done: the ship log/mats, identity flags, layout map, etc. all nicely put up in a binder!

I'll bring it up at the end of month gaming session and see if there is interest. Fred, are you up to it? [BTW your son is quite a gamer - If you come AND bring him - I'll schedule it that he gets his own ships.]

And, until next year, I'm not sure what my next project will be. Suggestions?

Glorious First of June when you get some free time?! j/k Probably not a battle that could be done easily with SoG ships.

fredmiracle
08-17-2014, 04:11
At the risk of some repetition, I thought maybe it would be interesting to give one player's perspective. Maybe some others will share their accounts too.

I didn't take any pictures, so I'll add my comments for some of the the ones Peryls uploaded...

We arrived a bit late, and it was clear at once that the game had been meticulously prepared and planned--things were well in order, the French line was already deployed in impressive fashion, and we were able to get underway almost immediately. I really liked the custom pennants, paired with the custom ship mats and other play materials. I also liked the simple but effective way the players and ships were allocated to divisions, division commanders assigned, and simple strategies worked out. Together these made the otherwise fairly generic 74s each feel that they had a unique character and role to play.

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The planning also meant that things moved forward smoothly throughout the day, with no confusion, restarts, issues, changes of plan, etc. The phase indicator visible in the photos was indeed an important part of this.

The Lacey group had given me a rather plum collection of assignments, with HMS Audacious (4th in the first division), HMS Bellerophon (4th in the second division), and HMS Culloden (3rd in the third division), as well as command of the third division.

The first division was the one with the most careful planning, since it was the one that was going to meet with the most well defined battle conditions and would set the tone for the battle. It probably had a more conscientious commander than the third division too :happy:. Even so, I wasn't really quite sure if Audacious was supposed to close with the 3rd or 4th French ship, and figured I'd play it by ear.

As Walram noted, Goliath, Zealous and Orion really cut a swath--they took out the French fort and then anchored to rake the first four French ships.

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Audacious sailed past them and managed to get off a few shots (mostly somewhat superfluous), but also began to take some hits.

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Since the first 4 French ships were basically done, I decided to try to maneuver between Peuple Sovereign (5th in the French line) and Franklin (6th). On the run in, I traded fire with Spartiate, Aquilon and Peuple Sovereign, as well as frigate Serieus anchored in the shallows. I did some damage, but by now had lost 2-3 hull boxes (minor concern), and about 6 crew boxes (ack!). Trying to get all the way to Franklin was probably over-aggressive--I should have held back, but then I didn't come all the way to Lacey to play it safe!

Here Audacious is at the top of the picture, making her final run in

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Unfortunately my maneuvering was flawed, and I banged into Peuple Sovereign--not something I wanted to do with my crew in such a bad state. She had a good musketry draw, and coupled with some gunnery hits, that was it, Audacious was out of crew boxes and forced to strike--the only British loss of the day. Although I prefer to think that, like Bellerophon in the real battle, she simply drifted off to lick her wounds...

Here, a bit later, Audacious is smoking at the left of the screen, while Franklin takes a fatal pounding

11143

From this point on, the first division struggled a bit, I think, to get back into the fray. It took time to get the anchored ships restarted (inconveniently, the French hulks kept not blowing up) and there were a few maneuvering glitches. At any rate, by the time Audacious got seriously into action, the second and third divisions were also beginning to play a big part, as can be seen in the pictures.

As commander of the third division, we were supposed to go outboard of the second division and engage further down the French line. I ordered the commanders of my lead ships, Alexander and Swiftsure, to bracket the French flagship Orient, and I would follow in Culloden. My captains told me that is what they had planned to do (regardless of my orders I think :happy:). So all ranks were in accord.

As we sailed into battle, the British were going directly with the wind, and trying to hurry, which introduced the vexed question of whether to go straight in the yellow running attitude or angle back and forth to catch the green. Probably didn't matter (i.e. about the same either way), but it did create some contention between the two division lines. In my role as captain of Bellerophon, 4th in the second division, it was all about trying to squeeze out the best possible speed, so as to make it into the battle at all, before it was over.

In the third division, we were mostly supposed to stay out of gunnery range, but we ended up trading some long range fire with the French. In Culloden I got some revenge fire against Peuple Sovereign before she struck, then continued to spar with Franklin, Orient and Tonnant.

With the success of the first division, and the lead ships of the second division now in the thick of it, the French were crumbling fast. So fast, in fact, that it was clear that the third division really ought to shift its attention further down the French line and leave Orient to the second division. But this would have been tantamount to gaming the scenario (knowing, as I did, that it was the destruction of Orient that would trigger French withdrawal). And, honestly, my captains and I were glory hounds. So the orders stood unchanged.

Alexander took some heavy fire on the approach to Orient, but allowed Swiftsure to follow without any damage whatsoever. The two ships executed their maneuvers perfectly and anchored in raking position of Franklin, Orient and Tonnant (the 6th, 7th and 8th ships).

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With the second division leaders helping too, the French center was overwhelmed in just a couple of turns, including the defeat of Orient and (as we have seen) the explosion of Franklin. The loss of Orient allowed the French to start attempting to withdraw. They were a bit slow to succeed, however, and this gave us the chance to begin a general pursuit.

Guillame Tell, Genereux and Timoleon and two frigates had too much of a head start for us to catch; but in the endgame we enveloped Mercure, Heureux (9th and 10th in the French line) and also frigate Artemise. In this photo, you can see Culloden at the left, inbetween the two French SOLs and firing both broadsides; while in the middle Minotaur of the second division turns a nifty maneuver to block Mercure's escape, and my son takes Leander from the third division around her so he can get in on the fun as well. Heureux was defeated quickly by (I think) Vanguard and Defense; and I also managed to get Bellerophon just a taste of the action as well.

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This game was eye-opening for me, in revealing just how bad the French position was (even without assigning any significant handicap for less experienced crew, etc.). Being unable to turn at anchor exposed them to devastating fire. And the British advance was just overwhelming--each French ship was beset by multiple enemies, often firing from advantageous positions, and promptly swept away in its turn. When you see a diagram of the battle it doesn't quite capture the dynamics of how the French line was simply and relentlessly rolled up.

What can I say--fun from start to finish!

Nightmoss
08-17-2014, 07:11
Thanks Fred for the additional comments. I certainly admire whoever played the French as they took quite a beating. Great follow up. :thumbsup:

Comte de Brueys
08-17-2014, 10:07
Thank you, David & Fred.

Amazing project - great pitures and AAR! :thumbsup:

So it was a complete British victory.

Do you have stats for us? (destroyed/captured/escaped ships.)

fredmiracle
08-17-2014, 11:11
I certainly admire whoever played the French as they took quite a beating.

Absolutely true--it was a somewhat thankless task, and we much appreciated Tess taking on that role and working hard to keep the Brits honest


So it was a complete British victory.

Do you have stats for us? (destroyed/captured/escaped ships.)

Yes, the results were all in the British favor

For the French:

Guerrier (74) - struck at anchor
Conquérant (74) struck at anchor
Spartiate (74) - struck at anchor
Aquilon (74) - struck at anchor
Sérieus (36) - struck at anchor
Peuple Souverain (74) - struck at anchor
Franklin (80) - exploded at anchor
Orient (120) - struck at anchor
Tonnant (80) - struck at anchor
Heureux (74) - got underway, but struck
Artémise (36) - got underway, but struck
Mercure (74) - got underway, but struck
Guillaume Tell (80) - escaped
Généreux (74) - escaped
Timoléon (74) - escaped
Diane (40) - escaped
Justice (40) - escpaed

For the British (to the best of my recollection, I'm sure there are some mistakes)

--- 1st Division
HMS Goliath (74) - serious damage
HMS Zealous (74) - serious damage
HMS Orion (74) - serious damage
HMS Audacious (74) - struck
HMS Theseus (74) - light/no damage
--- 2nd Division
HMS Vanguard (74) - serious damage
HMS Minotaur (74) - serious damage
HMS Defence (74) - light damage (?)
HMS Bellerophon (74) - light damage
HMS Majestic (74) - light/no damage
--- 3rd Division
HMS Alexander (74) - serious damage
HMS Swiftsure (74) - light/no damage
HMS Culloden (74) - serious damage
HMS Leander (50) - serious damage
HMS Mutine (18) - unengaged

"serious damage" indicates roughly 1/2 boxes full

fredmiracle
08-17-2014, 11:50
It wouldn't be hard to do. The works all done: the ship log/mats, identity flags, layout map, etc. all nicely put up in a binder!

I'll bring it up at the end of month gaming session and see if there is interest

Dave, one possibility to add some freshness would be a what-if variant--for example, what if the French had springs, as well as chains between ships. And/or what if Villeneuve's ships were ordered to beat upwind and help the center division. That should change the dynamics quite a bit without a lot of new work.

Walram
08-17-2014, 15:12
Thanks Fred for the additional comments. I certainly admire whoever played the French as they took quite a beating. Great follow up. :thumbsup:

Fred, thanks as well from me for your write-up. Much more detailed than I provided (and a much better story teller too!):thumbsup:

I've also asked Aprilbooks to provide a French Commander's counter-point. And just to let you all know, she volunteered for the job!

Fred, you were also right about the ship and division commander assignments. I did put a fair amount of consideration into that. Who best to lead in, who I thought was the strongest commander for the initial approach, etc. You were an unknown but I had a strong feeling from your contributions to this site that you would do great! Wish I had known how good your son was with the game.

One of our players, when we do "Wings of Glory", appears to have a magnet in the nosecone of his aircraft so I wanted to place him where collisions would have the least amount of impact. I wasn't disappointed; two ships, two collisions! In fact, we've named it "the [his last name] effect"; not to be confused with the "Nelson's patent bridge for boarding enemy vessels."[!!:wink:

Berthier
08-17-2014, 16:41
Thanks Fred for the additional comments. I certainly admire whoever played the French as they took quite a beating. Great follow up. :thumbsup:

sadly it it is what we French do best :sad:

Great AAR guys, well done

csadn
08-17-2014, 16:53
Dave, one possibility to add some freshness would be a what-if variant--for example, what if the French had springs, as well as chains between ships. And/or what if Villeneuve's ships were ordered to beat upwind and help the center division. That should change the dynamics quite a bit without a lot of new work.

[shrug] For that matter: Let the French start moving as soon as the British arrive (the French are aware of the transitory and ridiculous position they're in, and decide to get out soonest).

fredmiracle
08-17-2014, 18:46
[shrug] For that matter: Let the French start moving as soon as the British arrive (the French are aware of the transitory and ridiculous position they're in, and decide to get out soonest).

Yes, one of the players suggested we replay it the next week with all the French free to maneuver at will from the beginning. :happy:

As a practical matter, the reason I would hesitate to go that far (and this is a bit of a gut check for someone wanting to replay battles like the Glorious First or Trafalgar) is that the complexity would go way way up. You'd need a full roster of French players for one thing. Playing the turns would be a lot slower, with the much higher probability of frequent collisions, etc. Also you'd have more time eaten up in planning/signalling/conferring, since the situation would be more fluid. Not that it couldn't be done, but it would be a radically different game with tougher challenges. Even the "Villeneuve option" of allowing only a few French ships to move (and later in the battle) might be too much to bite off, but at least it would be far more manageable.

Another justification for limiting the French mobility is to reduce the scope of the hypotheticals involved. As far as I know, the question of, roughly, "did Villeneuve screw up, and if so what would have happened if he had acted more boldly?" has been a rich subject of historical debate and second guessing. Therefore it seems a promising topic to explore.

The broader "what if" of what might have happened if Brueys had been prepared for Nelson and engaged in a mobile action (in deep water?) is of course interesting too, but sufficiently open ended and hypothetical that I've actually not seen it raised as often in my limited reading...

Nightmoss
08-17-2014, 23:51
Yes, one of the players suggested we replay it the next week with all the French free to maneuver at will from the beginning. :happy:

As a practical matter, the reason I would hesitate to go that far (and this is a bit of a gut check for someone wanting to replay battles like the Glorious First or Trafalgar) is that the complexity would go way way up. You'd need a full roster of French players for one thing. Playing the turns would be a lot slower, with the much higher probability of frequent collisions, etc. Also you'd have more time eaten up in planning/signalling/conferring, since the situation would be more fluid. Not that it couldn't be done, but it would be a radically different game with tougher challenges. Even the "Villeneuve option" of allowing only a few French ships to move (and later in the battle) might be too much to bite off, but at least it would be far more manageable.

Another justification for limiting the French mobility is to reduce the scope of the hypotheticals involved. As far as I know, the question of, roughly, "did Villeneuve screw up, and if so what would have happened if he had acted more boldly?" has been a rich subject of historical debate and second guessing. Therefore it seems a promising topic to explore.

The broader "what if" of what might have happened if Brueys had been prepared for Nelson and engaged in a mobile action (in deep water?) is of course interesting too, but sufficiently open ended and hypothetical that I've actually not seen it raised as often in my limited reading...

Haven't I read somewhere that if the French had anchored correctly the British would not have been able to play it out as they did? I really can't recall the source or whether anchoring closer to land would have made any difference or not?

Walram
08-18-2014, 00:03
Good luck, amigo! Wish I could make it... stuff with relatives and consolidating households. :(

Diamondback - I have a request of you but first an explanation. One of the things I didn't mention in my after action report on the Battle of the Nile was that a significant amount of time was spent on looking up and extrapolating statistics. This is where my request comes in. I looked up the broadside weights, ship length, and crew sizes of all the current Sails of Glory ships as well as for the Battle of the Nile ships. Of course there were some discrepancies between sources, as well as a need to do some conversions from French and English weights and lengths. I used what I had but I very probably made some errors.

:salute: Your research has been meticulous and I admire your tenacity in ferreting out information. Once I get my data into a format that can be reviewed clearly, would you mind going over my data and checking it with what you have? I'd appreciate it very much.

Walram
08-18-2014, 00:12
Haven't I read somewhere that if the French had anchored correctly the British would not have been able to play it out as they did? I really can't recall the source or whether anchoring closer to land would have made any difference or not?

That is what I found. The Fleet commander's orders were to set spring anchors as well as run cables between ships to preclude the British from going between the ships. Neither was done. One of the other things I ran across was that the lead British ship had recently captured French charts of Aboukir Bay. However, there was no excuse for the French to not have had their frigates out to provide early warning of the British arrival.

Another problem for the French fleet was that when Napoleon went ashore, he took all the provisions, including that meant for the crew. The French had crew ashore getting food and water.

Nightmoss
08-18-2014, 00:20
That is what I found. The Fleet commander's orders were to set spring anchors as well as run cables between ships to preclude the British from going between the ships. Neither was done. One of the other things I ran across was that the lead British ship had recently captured French charts of Aboukir Bay. However, there was no excuse for the French to not have had their frigates out to provide early warning of the British arrival.

Another problem for the French fleet was that when Napoleon went ashore, he took all the provisions, including that meant for the crew. The French had crew ashore getting food and water.

Thanks for confirming what I'd thought I'd read. Having crew ashore certainly wouldn't have helped either.

Walram
08-18-2014, 00:38
Thanks for confirming what I'd thought I'd read. Having crew ashore certainly wouldn't have helped either.

if I remember correctly, they had as much as 1/3 of each ships crew ashore at any one time. The shore parties required a large contingent of escorts for protection.

Walram
08-18-2014, 00:47
Glorious First of June when you get some free time?! j/k Probably not a battle that could be done easily with SoG ships.

I believe it could be done but gathering enough ships would be a problem. My quick estimate has the Suggested Retail Price for both fleets would probably be a little over $2,000.00 U.S. Nothing anytime soon on my gaming budget! (I actually would enjoy the challenge of setting it up - but like I said, that's a lot of ships!)

Copenhagen would definitely be doable. Similar but with some interesting twists to the Nile scenario just finished.

fredmiracle
08-18-2014, 01:29
I believe it could be done but gathering enough ships would be a problem. My quick estimate has the Suggested Retail Price for both fleets would probably be a little over $2,000.00 U.S. Nothing anytime soon on my gaming budget! (I actually would enjoy the challenge of setting it up - but like I said, that's a lot of ships!)


I could help out a good bit on the ships. But then there's also the issue of space and time. It would probably call for a considerably wider gaming space, and at least a couple of full days to play (?).

Aprilbooks
08-18-2014, 01:29
I've also asked Aprilbooks to provide a French Commander's counter-point. And just to let you all know, she volunteered for the job!

D'accord, voici le français après action Rapport de l'Amirale Aprilbooks, commandante de la flotte française à la bataille d'Aboukir aux Ministres de la Guerre - le site Anchorage.

Whoops – sorry (should be in English). Okay, here is the French After Action Report of Admiral Aprilbooks, Commander of the French fleet at the Battle of Aboukir, to the Ministers of War - Anchorage site.

Caveat: Even though I *did* volunteer to handle all 17 ships of the French Fleet (and the “really dangerous fort”), there were times that it felt that all the boyz were picking on the only guurrrl. :wink:


When Walram started getting serious about doing this, we had no idea how many people would be there to play. As we have both run various gaming scenarios (including a SOG at the annual Enfilade in Olympia, WA) he would occasionally bounce ideas off me. I felt that as the French couldn’t move until after the Orient went “down”, one person should be able to handle if not all 17 ships, then at least all the ships until movement was required.

Because I dislike being a commander unless I am only responsible for myself and I prefer not to captain more than 2-3 moving ships, I did volunteer to “command” the French Fleet. I also got voluntold to be in charge of the Phase Card, some photos, and the order of firing. And, like Fred said, *try* to keep the British in line (I also read this last one as getting as many verbal shots off as possible – I did my best).

The hardest thing I had to cope with was having the British drop anchor between my ships and hit me with raking fire and not being able to return the favor. However, there was a [very] short moment when I thought I had a chance – one of the English captains moved someone else’s ship {snarky comments about not reading his ship card deleted} into a position that I would have been able to get some cannon action. Unfortunately (for me), the error was discovered before I could take advantage and again I was subject to severe pounding.

I *did* try to lure some of the Brits into the shoals (the space after last line on the mat closest to where I had the French deck cards setup was designated as “shoals”), but nobody stepped up to the mark :sad:

I usually fired as soon as I could get range – often using just the front guns. And shot with anything I could (including pistol fire). With so many mobile units coming at me, I wanted to reduce the gun levels as soon as possible, knowing that there was every chance that I would get hammered before I could get another shot in. Occasionally, I was able to use the center broadside, but often I was half way down my damage card. It was not uncommon to have between 20-30 total chits per ship per turn.

One thing I had going for me was my ability to draw mostly “0” when I pulled my damage chits – unfortunately, I kept drawing “0” when I wanted to draw a “crew” (we were using E chits for blowing up and decision to depart the battle – “0” for not blowing up/not leaving and “crew” for blowing up/departing). The “House Rules” should be somewhere – Walram said he uploaded them.

Once the Orient went down, I welcomed Walram’s help – 10 ships or so were too much for me to handle all by myself. He would draw the E chits for leaving (doing better than I did), and would plan the movement for the eight ships that tried to leave. I would move about half of them (he would move the rest) and I was still be in charge of all firing of stationary ships and those leaving.

Bottom line – I had great fun!! I went in knowing that the French were going to go down (stupid Napoleon) so I wasn’t really bothered. I did try to keep the guys on their toes – like I said, what I couldn’t do with gun fire, I gave it my best verbal volley (keeping within the boundaries of camaraderie and fair play). And no matter what any of the guys say – I’m NOT dangerous. :sly:

Thanks so very much to Fred for his kind words, his narrative and his reporting of the stats :hatsoff: – I had no idea what went down/how badly damaged the ships were. I was amazed at just how much damage I was able to inflict.

Thousands of thanks to Walram who put in uncounted hours to put this all together, to everybody who showed up to play and especially to the designers, Angiolillo and Andrea, for creating a GREAT game. :hatsoff: :hatsoff: :hatsoff:


Below are examples of just how bad the French ships got surrounded (the ship card is what used to be the Orient). One of them shows the beginning of one of my "stack o' damage chits" (one of the previously uploaded pictures shows a bigger stack).


11198

11199

11200

Walram
08-18-2014, 01:53
I could help out a good bit on the ships. But then there's also the issue of space and time. It would probably call for a considerably wider gaming space, and at least a couple of full days to play (?).

Let me mull it over. If I remember correctly, the "Glorious First of June" was the largest naval battle in the French Revolution/Napoleonic wars. It would be a challenge, but that could be fun to work up - i.e. go through it to see what is required (personnel as well as ships), see what assets are available, and figure the best way to handle something that large. But I really do believe it can be completed in a day (already thinking of a few ways to manage it!)

Nightmoss
08-18-2014, 10:14
Thanks Tess for offering up your view of the battle. I don't know if I could have kept such a positive attitude while taking the amount of damage and destruction you did. I really do salute you and your efforts! :salute:

Great photos too!! Thanks!

Berthier
08-19-2014, 02:22
Battle of Copenhagen would make another good project as similar to The Nile one fleet is anchored, but there are a multitude of Danish weapon types with large forts, floating batteries, weaponed ships without masts (no rigging shots for them!) plus shoals and British command problems. Would be complex but doable as the Danes wont be moving much.

David Manley
08-19-2014, 02:54
Makes an excellent subject for a solo, demo or even a parti game with the Danes run on "auto". Reminds me, I must dig out my Danish 1/2400 fleet :)

DeRuyter
08-19-2014, 12:06
Makes an excellent subject for a solo, demo or even a parti game with the Danes run on "auto". Reminds me, I must dig out my Danish 1/2400 fleet :)

I ran Copenhagen at a convention using "Fire As She Bears" rules. I too have both fleets in 1/2400 scale as well as the forts etc. Just how to use 1/2400 scale with SoG is the question. Maybe sabot bases the size of SoG bases would work

Walram
08-19-2014, 12:46
For those interested, the house/scenario rules (one 8 1/2" X 11" size sheet - two sided) used for the Nile scenario are in the files section. One is located at:
http://sailsofglory.org/downloads.php?do=file&id=92

:embarass:( I apologize for there being two files of the same thing. Not having posted anything to the file section before, I resubmitted it thinking that the first got lost when it actually was waiting for approval.)

David Manley
08-19-2014, 13:19
I ran Copenhagen at a convention using "Fire As She Bears" rules. I too have both fleets in 1/2400 scale as well as the forts etc. Just how to use 1/2400 scale with SoG is the question. Maybe sabot bases the size of SoG bases would work

I'd use a different set with 2400s

Diamondback
08-19-2014, 15:31
Daves, check your PM's--DK, I sent you some links for Glorious First of June and offered to forward you my own workup, and DM, I had some technical questions on another ship.

David Manley
08-19-2014, 15:55
You did . I'm still up a mountain in Portugal with a load of horses. Will get back to you next week when I have something better than a phone to work with.

Diamondback
08-19-2014, 17:40
Gotcha, amigo. Safe travels, and no hurry. :)

Sorry, wish I'da known you were out on vacation--was starting to get a little worried about possibly having been black-balled... Now that I know what's up, and remember to adjust for jet-lag for our Italian contingent, I'm not quite so concerned.

Walram
08-20-2014, 23:14
Glorious First of June when you get some free time?! j/k Probably not a battle that could be done easily with SoG ships.

Here Fishy, Fishy!

As I said to Fredmiracle when asking for assistance, “Nightmoss was trolling and I'm starting to play with the bait! Looking for other fish to help, (that's a BIG piece of bait!)” I do love a challenge!

I'm doing some preliminary checking on the possibility of running a "Glorious First of June" or “3rd Ushant” scenario. It looks as though we are very close to having enough ships to run it (like I needed an excuse to buy a few more 74s!) However, it will be a few weeks before our group here can get together to discuss and do a few tests.

I’d be looking to do it around the 1st of June, (of course!), maybe the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Based on the Nile scenario, my guess is that we will need about 7 to 9 play mats. Once I have a firmer idea on the table size requirements, I will start looking for a venue to host it.

Got a few other ideas percolating, but I’ll save talking about them until after our group has done a bit of work on them.

:salute:So far, besides Fredmiracle and Aprilbook acting as sounding boards and volunteering to assist, Diamondback is also in the process of helping me with some of the base statistics. If we need any other assistance, besides having more folks to play it of course, I’ll be sure to ask first on this site.

Isn’t there a saying something about “It takes a village ...”? Hope the ending wasn’t “to create the village idiot!”:pray:

Diamondback
08-20-2014, 23:22
Methinks Jimmy's gonna need a bigger boat... *hums Jaws theme*

Walram
08-20-2014, 23:41
Methinks Jimmy's gonna need a bigger boat... *hums Jaws theme*

I'm fine with that. As long as my chums (chums? bad choice of words?) and I are the sharks!

Diamondback
08-20-2014, 23:44
Remember, Dave, back in my college days no less than the Chancellor of my college himself described me as "a great white shark in the goldfish bowl"? LOL

Nightmoss
08-21-2014, 00:08
Well, David that's a fantastic bit of news! I should spout off some other grandiose ideas and see if you take the bait? Seriously, if there's anything I can do to help (in my limited capacity) do let me know.

I would love to see what you'd come up with for us solo campaigners?! Cheers.

Walram
08-21-2014, 00:36
QUOTE=Nightmoss;37509]Well, David that's a fantastic bit of news! I should spout off some other grandiose ideas and see if you take the bait? Seriously, if there's anything I can do to help (in my limited capacity) do let me know.

I would love to see what you'd come up with for us solo campaigners?! Cheers.[/QUOTE]

One bite at a time! And I think I'll be chewing on this one for quite a while! (but I'll keep it in mind.) :wink:

csadn
08-21-2014, 17:23
Remember, Dave, back in my college days no less than the Chancellor of my college himself described me as "a great white shark in the goldfish bowl"? LOL

"Wait'll they get a load of *me*...."

On-topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_battle_at_the_Glorious_First_of_June .