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View Full Version : AAR - June: At war again or how to disobey orders and get away with it!



Union Jack
07-31-2015, 14:52
HMS Bengal 74 Captain George Belfrey

Aboard the flagship, HMS Hastings, Commodore Trimble pointed out to his captains that with the loss of 4 74’s the squadron was woefully short of ships. The rescued crews from Ramilles and Blyth were sailing the 3 prizes back to home ports escorted by the damaged Hyperion. That left; Bengal, 74; Dunkirk, 32; Flodden, 32 and Hastings, 100; on station. War had been declared and as yet he was unaware of the location of any enemy ships in the area.

Commodore Trimble outlined his plan. Flodden and Bengal would scout the area to the south whilst Dunkirk and Hastings remained on station. Then if no enemy ships were reported on their return Bengal and Dunkirk would scout the area to the north. Trimble made certain that no captain was to engage the enemy. Find them, return and report.

The captains made their way back to their respective ships.

Captain Belfrey ordered top sails only as he carefully gauged the entrance to the wide bay. He knew the enemy had two batteries on the north and south point. This made for the bay to be a good anchorage for enemy ships safe in the knowledge that the two batteries would protect them. Only now with a thick fog covering the bay and under cover of a moonless night Captain Belfrey would take his chance and take Bengal into the bay.

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He would sail down the south side, then cross over to the north and exit the bay. Bengals progress was slow and Belfrey could only hope the fog would not lift. With lookouts posted he worked Bengal towards the south side of the bay. His only guide was the bell his lookout could hear off the port beam. He hoped that the same fog bell would be ringing on the north side of the bay.

Intuitively he indicated to the helmsman to turn the wheel 3 points to starboard. 5 minutes later the shape of a ship glided past the port beam of Bengal. Belfrey noted the size and estimated the ship was a 74.

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Turning more to port Bengal slide away from the enemy 74 into the fog and gloom of the night.

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Deeper into the bay Bengal stood. Soon Belfrey would have to tack to starboard otherwise he risked running aground.

Like a ghost the outline of a second ship appeared off the starboard bow as, nearly touching the bowsprit again Bengal glided past. Belfry concurred with his 1st as he whispered to his captain, frigate 32 guns.

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Belfrey counted the seconds then ordered a turn to starboard hoping to bring Bengal around the rear of the frigate. Completing the maneuver without incident Bengal slumbered its way to the northern shore.

Belfrey judged his time and ordered another turn to starboard as a 3rd enemy ship, another frigate, appeared off his port beam.

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Completing his turn into and across the wind Bengal was now pointing south east. Belfrey knew he had found 3 enemy ships.

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He knew he could also sail out of the bay and report his findings. But with the wind against him it would take him 2 days to reach Hastings and Dunkirk. The enemy might have sailed before he reached the squadron and they could return.

Belfrey passed his orders quietly and expressed on all his subordinates to ensure everything was done quietly. They had plenty of time and he wanted no mistakes. Both batteries were to be double loaded. He also noted that the fog was starting to thin. He ordered his lookouts to keep watch for the 74’s masts and even climbed the ratlines himself to impress on the lookout how he wanted to approach. The seaman was a veteran and knew his job. He would keep the captain right and make sure Bengal was where the captain wanted to be.

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Bengal tacked across the bay.

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The mast head lookout did his job well and with the lifting fog Belfrey knew he had Bengal in the right position.

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Finally he ordered the wheel hard over to starboard. With the ship heeled over the port battery fired on the up roll.

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The stern of the enemy 74 just disappeared into matchwood.

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The double loaded battery had caused utter devastation below decks.

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Belfrey ordered ‘reload’. As Bengal swept past and on towards the enemy frigate. Alerted by the thunderous broadside the frigates anchor watch raised the alarm. Belfrey in the growing starlit night could make out crew running to raise the anchor and set sails. It would be close but he had timed his turn to perfection.

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The frigate was knocked back as the double loaded starboard battery raked it from bow to stern. The prow of the frigate was blasted into smithereens. The foremast toppled into the sea taking many crewmen with it.

Belfrey again ordered the wheel hard over to starboard as he sailed past the stricken frigate to engage the 3rd enemy ship.

The 3rd ship, another frigate, had got under way and was closing with Bengal fast. At close enrage the devastation to the frigate was near complete. But Bengal reeled under the impact of the French frigates answering broadside.

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Belfrey job done knew it was a race now to clear the headland and gain the sea beyond. Job done he was proud of his crew.

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The northern shore battery fired at Bengal as it approached.
Bengals rear starboard division fired on the enemy frigate for good measure.

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The frigates shot landed short.

The northern battery now had the range and Belfrey had to turn away from this danger, firing the port battery as they turned, before they started firing heated shot.

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The battery found the range again

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Coming within range of the southern battery Bengal was engaged again as she fired her starboard battery in reply.

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Eventually Bengal gained the open sea. Now Captain Belfrey had to come up with a damn good excuse for disobeying orders!

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Butchers Bill:
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HMS Bengal
Captain Belfrey RTP/3 points (sighting 3 enemy ships)/3 points (hull dmge)/3 points crew dmge)/-2 points own crew losses = 7 points

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North Battery

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South Battery

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Brittany 32 Severely damaged

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Mercury 32 sunk and Opulant 74 barely afloat

Union Jack
07-31-2015, 19:34
Hull damage and crew loss boxes still unrepaired after battle:

HMS Bengal hull repairs completed on return to squadron. -1 Crew box until return to port.

Mercury sank. 4 crew recovered.
Brittany -3 hull damage. -4 crew boxes. +2 crew from Mercury = -2 crew boxes.
Opulant -4 hull damage. -2 crew boxes. +2 crew boxes from Mercury = -0 crew boxes.

Opulant and Brittany split recovered crew from Mercury.

Bligh
08-01-2015, 06:56
Well fought Neil.
That was masterful.
Rob.

Bligh
08-01-2015, 06:58
:hatsoff:Well fought Neil.
That was masterful.
Unfortunately I have to spread Rep before I can give you any for this action.
Rob.

Union Jack
08-01-2015, 13:51
The French will need massive reinforcements. Again I feel revenge is coming.

TexaS
08-01-2015, 16:02
The manoeuvring was excellently done!
I am very impressed at how you matched up the moves to raking both.
I had a hard time raking one single ship.

TexaS
08-01-2015, 16:05
Reputation sent. :medal:

Union Jack
08-01-2015, 16:10
With the first run and the way the two ships came up I decided when I found the 3rd I knew if I could get across to the other side I could just about copy the moves and get both ships. It was a little easy knowing you have all the time you need as long as you sail slow.

Neil


The manoeuvring was excellently done!
I am very impressed at how you matched up the moves to raking both.
I had a hard time raking one single ship.

TexaS
08-01-2015, 16:29
I did sail a loop something like yours but that only lined me up for one raking and that from the stem not the stern.

I on the other hand faced three 32 gun frigates and fought with Indefatigable for which I use pretty much early Constitutions stats.

I will have the AAR tomorrow I hope. I think it is about four weeks since I played it. I sure hope my notes and pictures are good. I had some problems remembering everything for the may scenario I just made the AAR for.

Bligh
08-02-2015, 04:19
Don't worry Jonas.
I just wrote up "Who fired the first shot" and had a heck of a time sorting out which ship did what, with which and to whom.
Rob.

TexaS
08-02-2015, 04:24
I did the same yesterday. It is hard when playing three battles at once at the start of my vacation and then running off on vacation stuff only to come back to more than 300 photos and a few notes...

In "Who fired the first shot" there are a lot of ships too. That makes it even harder. :help:

Bligh
08-07-2015, 14:34
:hatsoff:Well fought Neil.
That was masterful.
Unfortunately I have to spread Rep before I can give you any for this action.
Rob.

But now I can.
Rob.

Nightmoss
08-07-2015, 15:50
I'll add my positive feedback as well. I'm behind because of Gen Con, but this was a very enjoyable AAR. Ship maneuvering was excellent. Well done! :salute: