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View Full Version : AAR: October Solo Mission – Becalmed: By Union Jack



Union Jack
11-08-2015, 15:36
Captain Henry Wright was perplexed. Only 2 days ago he had seen the French squadron he had been shadowing anchored at Praia de Vitoria on Terceira. That squadron had been reinforced by a 1st rate and another 3rd rate. He had noted the French Squadron was 5 ships strong. The 1st rate and 4 3rd rates, one of which was a big 80 gunner. He was lucky it was dawn and his ship was still in darkness as the French ships were silhouetted against the sun. He had turned and sailed over the horizon before the French knew he was there. Getting this information to the squadron was vital.

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Now his ship was becalmed. The wind had suddenly dropped to a whisper. So he had ordered the boats lowered and the long pull until the wind returned began. To make matters worse as the morning mist had lifted not 2 miles away lay a French frigate in a similar predicament. Boats in the water her captain was trying to find the wind too. Captain Wright knew he had to get by her to report his findings to Sir Henry.

Capitain de Fregate, Honore Guanteume, was extolling his crew to gain the wind over his adversary. Then he would deal with the British frigate and report his findings to the Admiral. For he had found the British squadron at anchor off the south coast of Santa Maria. If the detached squadron at Port Boa Vista on the Azores could join with the main squadron sheltering in Praia de Vitoria on Terceira, then they could smash the British once and for all.

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Captain Wright ordered the boats to pull the frigate to south, for the masthead lookout had seen white breakers atop the waves.

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Capitain Guanteume was ordering his boats to pull to the north as his mast head lookout had shouted the same but to the north.

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Gauging he was in range Capitain Guanteume ordered his guns to fire on the British boats in the water.

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He observed some shot passing through the foresail but one shot had blasted one of the boats to pieces. Dead bodies littered the sea.
With only his port fore division in range Captain Wright, ordered a reply.

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(Out of game explanation)
1. Blue D6 mark the wind change location the ship must touch or pass over.
2. The remaining D6 indicate the zones 1,2,3,4.
3. The green D8 (showing 8) indicates a change in wind direction to the north (I started counting from 1 o’clock as 1).
4. The + counter indicates the wind has gained strength.
5. The range rulers are there as an indication of the zone boundaries.
6. The ship positions are self explanatory.

Capitain Guanteume ordered his rear port division guns to engage HMS Morpeth again as Captain Wright ordered Morpeth’s fore division to fire again.

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(Out of game explanation)
Here the British frigate has hove to fore a move to gather in the boats.

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The French frigate is still short of touching or crossing marker 5

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Here the Frenchman has touched marker 5.
The Wind dice indicates 7 and the wind has increased in strength.

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The Frenchman has hove to to collect his boats as the British frigate closes using the wind.

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“Come on lads we’re nearly up to the French frigate, fire as you bare” Shouted Captain Wright.

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“We have her, fire again”.

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Both frigates circled. The French frigate crew bravely fighting the fire which was threatening to consume their ship.

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With fire out Capitain Guanteume now turned his attention to firing at the closing British frigate. “Merde, this Englishman is dangerous!”
The rake blasted down the length of HMS Morpeth. Her fore battery barely able to reply.

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Captain Wright ordered the helmsman to ram the French frigate and ordered his number 1 to take command as he mustered a boarding party.
“Boarders away”

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The battle was close and furious. Both crews fought themselves to a standstill. However it was Captain Wright who won the day.

Butchers Bill
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Although both crews were down to zero, it was the pure fact that the British had caused 8 crew losses to the French 6 during boarding, that I gave the victory to the British. This was fought over 2 rounds.

Bligh
11-10-2015, 13:46
A very bloodthirsty encounter Neil.
It could easily have gone either way.
Deciding to board was a risky strategy which worked very nicely.
Well done Captain Wright.
Rob.

Union Jack
11-10-2015, 17:21
Bloody idiot if you ask me. But hey, dice rolls are dice rolls and you have to go with the flow.

Bligh
11-11-2015, 03:14
I still think taking it on when crew casualties were even was a brave move on your part Captain Jack.
Rob.