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View Full Version : AAR For Honour and Glory, Action of 6 February 1798



TexaS
02-11-2016, 15:53
Captain Frederick Wentworth was impatient. He walked the quarterdeck of HMS Indefatigable with brisk hard strides, his long leather-clad telescope under his arm, the metal plates of his hessian boots clacking on the holystoned deck. It was Sunday and church had been rigged. He was dressed in his full dress uniform, gold trim gleaming, ready for service when the lookout reported sails on the horizon a good three hours ago. He had asked for his glass and had not left his position, even to change out of his best clothes, since. The sighting was to the windward and the Indefatigable had close-hauled immediately and after a few words to a distracted audience struck church.

It was two ships, the larger chasing the smaller. As time went on Wentworth could only watch as what turned out to be a British merchant was caught by a French two decked ship of the line. He had been completely unable to prevent it and this vexed him profoundly. The Indefatigable, as close-hauled as she ever had been, with the master at the helm quickly responding to every shudder in the sails, edged her way closer and closer.

20008

The French ship had been made out to be a Téméraire-class 74 gun ship of the line. He could not determine her name but that would be apparent once they got closer.
"That is a hard nut to crack." he started to his first lieutenant, continuing "When it is time, make the guns double shotted, if you please, Mr Dashwood."
"We're not beating to quarters, sir?"
"Unless she abandons her price, we still have plenty of time, but you may see to it that the chicken coops gets stowed below ."
"Clear the deck!" Dashwood commanded.

All of the crew aloft and on the deck had been casting watchful eyes at the other ships while doing their shores and the word had spread. When the captain finally gave the awaited order with a steady voice
"You may now beat to quarters, if you please, Mr Dashwood."
Seldom had an order been followed quicker. The able seamen had wondered close to their stations and shot and fire buckets had happened to appear by the guns. The walls came down as if they were just hanging by a thread and everything was ready for the coming action.

Wentworth stood on the very edge of the quarterdeck addressing the men.
"We face a formidable foe with 74 guns to our 44, but theirs are manned by french sailors. Ours are manned by the best navy in the world, and you men, are the best in the service!" He paused and there were some agitated murmur silenced by the bosun.
"They think they can snatch up that merchant right in front of our eyes? They think they can do what they want on the seas? Have they forgotten who we are? Lets teach them a lesson. Lets make them understand. Lets do our job!"

He was watching the French ship, intensively trying to interpret her manoeuvring to respond accordingly. It was as if the French captain had known this and the big ship of the line made small turns to both larboard and starboard but without changing sails. Minding the speed of the combatants and the angle of the wind he estimated when the Indie would be able to fire her guns and concluded the ship would be out of range of his broadside unless he tacked.

20009

Tacking during an action was simply not done. Men needed for working the guns would be busy working the sails and they would be very predictable and vulnerable during the tack. Weighing his options he decided to risk it. It would be at the very start of the action and not really during. He waited until the very last minute to hide his intent from the enemy for a s long as possible.
"Prepare to tack, Mr Weston." he said calmly, adding "Mr Dashwood, I want a devastating first broadside. Aim at their hull. She may have thick planking, but we have 24 lb guns and at this close range our 42 lb carronades. They will be enough to smash through and we need to knock out as many of their guns as possible on this first strike to survive this. We may even be so lucky as to rake her if she continues her current turn."
"Yes sir." Dashwood answered.
"I want the men to reload the larboard guns as quickly as possible. Take all men not absolutely needed for the tack. Recall the marines from the tops and have all of them help manning the guns until after the first broadsides."

20010

Wentworth waited for the right moment and then ordered:
"Take us into the wind, Mr. Weston."
As Indefatigable turned into the wind, the Téméraire-class ship followed the turn still pointing her bows straight at the Indie.
"What is this? Surely he doesn't believe he can board us?"

HMS Indefatigable started her tack and lost speed quickly. Slowly turning her broadside came to bear at the French ship. Feeling the top of the roll, Wentworth waited for a second calculating the time of the slow match to fire the gun, and shouted the order to fire at the top of his lungs. A deafening thunder of guns going off answered and a big smoke cloud hid the large French ship's bows before drifting through the Indie, aft. Wentworth could not help but feel exhilarated by the smell of burnt powder. He couldn't quite determine the extent of the damage but there were ominous holes in her stem.
"Reload as fast as you can and fire when ready!" he shouted "She can't follow our turn now that the wind draws again. Her broadside will soon bear!"

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20016

The Indefatigables were very well trained and managed to fire their second broadside just as the Jupiter fired her first.
"Apparently we didn't knock out as many guns as we had hoped, sir." Dashwood reflected in the relative silence after the powerful broadside fired from the 74 gun ship.
"We did enough damage." his captain answered, "They are hauling down the colours. From what I can see midships there are not many standing on the deck."
"The carpenter reports that there's a leak below the waterline, sir." came from midshipman Martin.
"Tell the carpenter he can have any repair crew he desires, and man the pumps, Mr Martin." Wentworth answered, and turning to the master "Mr Weston, we have fallen to much from the wind. Close-haul us. The merchantman has tacked and is trying to get away."
"Yes, sir."

20012

The two ships were racing on a starboard tack, Indefatigable slowly gaining.
"Pity the starboard broadside is double shotted. It would have been in range otherwise." Dashwood ventured.
"Never mind. When we get a little closer we will tack and have the larboard broadside convince them to see things our way. But until then give the men an extra ration of grog to be served immediately. They did well."

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Wentworth calculated the the point where the merchantman would have to tack to have any chance of escape and where the Indie would tack to have the best chance of getting in a good broadside. Indefatigable's captain told the master of his plans and the orders were given. The gun crews of the larboard broadside were thinned out as the men got ready to tack, but they were already loaded and run out. As the order came the ship started to tack and the eager gunners fired their guns in a rolling broadside but many before aligning with the merchant. Splashes showed that most missed but a few found its target and immediately the colours came down.
"Cease fire!" Wentworth shouted at the top of his lungs "She's struck!".

20015

Noted in the logbook:

Action of 6 February 1798

Seized French ship of the line, Jupiter of 74 guns after a short fierce battle. Lost 5 killed and 16 wounded. Retook merchantman Dolphin of 950 tons burthen loaded with coffee and sugar.

Hjl
02-11-2016, 16:39
Excellent write up and very well faught! Bringing down a third rate with a frigate in two broadsides no less! I must say I'm learning a lot of seamanship from reading everyone's reports.

Bligh
02-11-2016, 17:09
That's the way to do it Jonas.
Congratulations,:salute:
Rob.

TexaS
02-11-2016, 23:41
Results post...

TexaS
02-11-2016, 23:51
I'm using the stats of "old Constitution" and it's not that far stats-wise from a third rate.

I found that the soloplay chart that adds +1 to the die if withing a ruler to my mind made the AI ship turn too late and let itself be raked. I'm thinking it could be avoided by extending the range for +1 by half a ruler or perhaps 1.5 if they are coming towards each others and otherwise 1 ruler. This will be my own little project to experiment with.

Double shotted and first broadside is a very effective combination and with a rake and some luck with chits it was over quickly. Taking away three crew as price crew was harsh. It meant that Jupiter only had one crew left and one action after the first broadside.

Bligh
02-12-2016, 02:14
Morning Jonas.
I am also using a Constitution model with the early stats for my solo missions, and as you may have read, got in my first round rake against the 74 in similar style. I find the double shot much more effective than chain or grape, and only ever use the latter if I intend boarding.
I really enjoyed your action.Rob.

TexaS
02-12-2016, 03:24
I think I've only used grape once or twice due to the chits being not that good. Chain is even worse and I have removed half the fire and leak markers to make the ball less of a quick killer.

Before starting the battle I thought that I should board due to the lost crew on the French ship but once I started playing I thought of Indefatigable having less than half the crew number and being lower making boarding very strange. It would be weird to have 310 men board a ship of 690 men.

Torrence
02-12-2016, 05:36
Very well fought!:salute:
Nice to see your custom ships in action.

Comte de Brueys
02-12-2016, 07:58
Doubleshot right in the face... :shock:

Nice AAR, Jonas. :thumbsup:

Union Jack
02-12-2016, 08:29
well fought sir. Results will be uploaded this weekend.

Bligh
02-12-2016, 09:08
Before starting the battle I thought that I should board due to the lost crew on the French ship but once I started playing I thought of Indefatigable having less than half the crew number and being lower making boarding very strange. It would be weird to have 310 men board a ship of 690 men.

I agree, because boarding is a matter of sheer luck rather than experience of your crew you need to have at least two more crew cards left than the enemy before even thinking of boarding in my opinion Jonas.
Rob.

Union Jack
02-12-2016, 10:04
Jonas just so I've got it right:

Indefatigable: took 2 hull boxes damage and 1 crew loss. Repair 1 hull box for free so remaining damage is Hull 1 Crew 1.

Jupiter: Took damage to 5 hull boxes and lost all crew (3 captured on merchant): so has 4 hull boxes remaining without damage.

Is that correct?

TexaS
02-12-2016, 11:11
I was going to post a report but it got late and I haven't picked it up yet.

This was the Jupiter.
20034

TexaS
02-12-2016, 11:21
This was the Indefatigable.

20037

I used repairing the leak, pumping and serving grog actions (and reloading) while chasing the merchant for two or three turns. I'm not sure how you handle that. The crew loss in the system is partly moral and not only actual lives lost. But I'd say you are spot on.

Note: I used the L deck even though it says E in the app.

Bligh
02-12-2016, 11:32
Very smart ship mat Jonas.
Rob.

TexaS
02-12-2016, 11:53
It's my iPhone app. I took screen shots during the game. It keeps track of my actions and damage.
I don't plan actions for the AI but use the prioritized list there instead.

Dimmed out guns are loaded but has no action to fire them and fully visible is only to tap to fire. Sails were damaged on the Jupiter and is shown in the sails settings. Special damage appear where the rudder symbol is. The broken mast is due to having two damaged rudder and the app itself makes that conversion, and so on.

TexaS
02-12-2016, 12:06
In my planned summary I was going to post this photo and say something to the effect that as I was soloplaying and to sea no one would mind me being in shirtsleeves and breeches.

20044

And I just noticed that the Smith Woodhouse port I'm drinking to my blue cheese is "quality port since 1784". The same year of Indefatigable in her 64 gun two decked first appearance.

Bligh
02-12-2016, 14:36
Well firstly your phone app is very smart Jonas.
I'm sure that my mobile cant do things like that.
I only just found out how to take movies on it.
Then there is your gaming in uniform. That ia above and beyond the call of duty.
No one can blame you for stripping for action.
As for that Port. You certainly know how to live in style.
I quite like a bit of Stilton with Port myself.
Rob.

TexaS
02-12-2016, 23:54
Thank you.
Yes it goes together very well. Stilton, Cabraliego or our local "Norins whisky ädel" together with port is one of my indulgences instead of beer and crisps or the like. I don't know much about port but buy what friends suggest and the Systembolaget have. (The governmental monopoly stores that try to sell as little as possible but are required to import anything you want and usually have something similar already in store.) I do like beer but my IBS hinders me from drinking carbonated beverages, as often as I would wish.

Bligh
02-13-2016, 03:58
I know the feeling Jonas. I used to suffer with IBS until some time after I retired. Now thank goodness I get it very infrequently. It certainly curtails some of the most enjoyable things in life.
Rob.

Capn Duff
02-15-2016, 15:11
Nice report, lovely rigged ships also.
Well done that man, pass the Port

Union Jack
02-15-2016, 17:26
'n I do like the cut of your rig sir! :salute: