View Full Version : AAR March 16 Nartion v Nation solo scenario. Bligh

03-27-2016, 08:30
AprŤs la tempÍte.

The storm which drove the blockading British Fleet away from the Isle De France had only abated long enough for the French Squadron to slip out of harbour before it returned with renewed vehemence.


Trapped on a lee shore the Squadron had spent three days beating against the gale force winds which scattered the ships for many leagues.
Eventually the battered remnant started to gather together again, and the first three frigates and the only 74 so far to arrive slipped back toward the Isle.


Meanwhile, the British ships further out had managed much better, but when the inshore Squadron arrived back on station, the acting Flag Captain Richard Sterling in HMS Bellerophon was chagrined to find the harbour empty except for one 50 gun ship undergoing a refit.


As they moved in to take station, a lookout in the tops spotted sails to the North West hugging the coastline.
As they drew nearer it was clear to see that they were a French 74 leading three Frigates.


Turning to cut across the British line they closed.


Captain Stirling signaled his ships to maneuver close under the lee of the Isle of clouds in order to prevent the French from either passing inside his blockade or being able to rake his flagship.


This forced the leading French 74 captained by Leroy du Roc to come about rather than collide with the Bellerophon.


Taken aback, he was stern raked, by Stirling's first broadside. As the double shotted Carronades ploughed their balls the length of the Genereux's gun deck, men and guns were scattered in all directions by the devastating blast. Almost half the crew became casualties in that first onslaught.


Nor did the Bellerophon escape unscathed, for as the wounded Genereux bore away, the next in line, the Frigate gave its first double shotted broadside to the still reloading British 74. Bringing down its fore-top-gallant in a shower of blocks, and sails.


As the third French ship took fire from the now reloaded Bellerophon, the Dryade came under the guns of the Amelia's first broadside and suffered a large number of crew losses.


Genereux, had meanwhile come about again, but before she could get underway was struck once more by a devastating rake, this time from the bow. This from the opening broadside of the Frigate HMS. Sybille captain Angus Groat.


The last Frigate in the French Line and the Bellerophon now played upon each other. Both losing crew members, whilst the Frenchman's Mainmast, weakened by the storm, went by the board under the pounding from the 74.



As Amelia took return fire from Dryade, Genereux with her Captain wounded and carried below was forced to strike to the Sybille.


The Drifting 74 was now run aboard by the Frigate Carmagnole, who could not avoid the drifting ship.


This caused some damage to the hull of the frigate and loss of some hands. Several thrown overboard by the shock of the collision.


All remaining ships now paused to reload and an erie quiet decended through the smoke of battle.

As she freed herself from the entanglement with the Genereux, Carmagnole had her stern raked by the Amelia and this not only took down a mast and more sails, but sprang several planks below the waterline.


With her crew depleted and pumps unable to cope she settled in the water and finally rolled over, sinking about nine fathoms deep.


Hermione, now sans mast was trying to escape from the devastation, but treated Amelia to a parting shot from her rear battery.


The first reply came from Bellerophon. Her raking broadside causing leaks, and running rigging plus more sails.


Attempting to get the stricken ship away, she took another now long range bombardment from the Bellerophon, and promptly struck to Captain Sterling.


Dryade alone remained, and with more long range balls smashing into her side, she abandoned all hope of making harbour, and ran for deeper waters, and the chance of coming up with the returning French ships of the Line.



03-27-2016, 08:31
The Butcher's Bill.

HMS Bellerophon 74 Captain Richard Stirling . Hermione Frigate struck to this ship.
Damage taken 5 boxes and 4 crew.


HMS Sybille Frigate Captain Angus Groat. Genereux 74 struck to this ship.
Damage nil. Prize crew two boxes put aboard Genereux.


HMS Amelia Frigate. Captain Rufus Taylor. Sank Frigate Carmagnole.
Damage. One box, no crew lost.


Hermione Frigate struck to Bellerophon.


Dryade Frigate made off to seaward.


Genereux struck to HMS Sybille.


Carmagnole Frigate sunk by HMS Amelia.
She had no crew to attend to the leaks caused in box 5.


I am most obligated to Captain Geoffrey Smith for keeping score, doing the dice rolls and moving the AI ships of the French Fleet during these actions.


03-27-2016, 08:32
After the Storm part two.

The denouement comes.


The larger ships in the French Fleet had weathered the storm even less well than the Frigates. Two ships, a 74 and 50 were still missing presumed lost three days after the storm had abated.
Contre Amiral Marcuse Defarge reluctantly decided to postpone his return to port no longer than it took to get his battered ships into some semblance of fighting order.


Unaware that his Frigates had been decimated by the British Inshore Squadron two days previously, he set off blindly, and was destined to run straight into the arms of Rear Admiral Joshua Pound and the British Offshore Squadron.
On being informed that the French were out, by the Captain of the Sloop HMS Swan, Pound called a convention of his Captains headed by his Senior Flag Captain Josiah Pennyman. They decided to close up to the Isle de Bourbon in order to deprive the French fleet of the only haven where it could repair any storm damage.
Whilst on route to the Isle he was intercepted by the fast Frigate HMS Amelia, and Captain Sterling handed him the dispatches informing him of the action fought against the French Frigate Squadron two days earlier. This news confirmed his view that a close blockade must bring on a General action with the rest of the French fleet, and he determined to position his ships across the entrance to the sound accordingly.


At dawn the following day the French sighted the isle of Clouds rising sheer out of the bay.


As soon as the French were sighted , Pound moved his ships into the Bay just out of range of the Giant Fort Republique which protected the Harbour entrance.


Forming the ships into a crescent with the apex up to the Isle, the signal to anchor fore and aft was made. Cleared for action the Squadron waited for the French to attack.


As the French sighted the Offshore Squadron, panic swept through the ships.


Political advisors assigned to each vessel gave contradictory instructions to each Captain.
The first two ships bore over to the Starboard side of the isle, whilst the following ships headed for the narrow channel to the port side, hoping to slip past the British.


Anchored across the bay, the British line of battle waited patiently.


The Swiftsure and Flagship Commerce de Bordeaux both tacked towards the British line.
Bordeaux failed to make her tack and was taken aback.


This left Swiftsure to weather the first Broadside from the forward British 74s unassisted.


HMS Bellona opened with a broad side at 8.24 am. This close double shotted barrage holed Swiftsure in four places, wrecked her steering and took out her main topsail.


Her return fire was obviously effected by the onslaught and did far less damage to the anchored Bellona. Only one top-gallant fell.


Meanwhile, the Duguay Trouin and Redoubtable crept around the North of the isle out of sight of the British ships.



HMS Zealous now treated the reloading Swiftsure to another massive broadside, and now a total wreck dismasted, holed three more times, and totally unsupported she struck at 9.05.


Bellona now sighted the Duguay Trouin closing up on her Starboard quarter, even as the French Flagship bore down on her from her port side.


Commerce de Bordeaux now approached the line.


Weathering fire from both the Bellona and Zealous, Contre Amiral Defarge determined to cut the British line and escape to port secure under the guns of Fort Republique.


Meantime, Bellona's other broadside spoke, raking the Duguay Trouin which had been taken aback in the channel, and presented its bow to the British 74 rather than its intended broadside. Once again the British gunners proved their efficiency, taking down sails and rigging, plus starting a fire between decks.


However, it was now time for the Bellona and Zealous to feel the power of the French guns, as passing between the two ships Commerce de Bordeaux raked them both fore and aft. Bellona lost a second mast going by the board, and her steering was also damaged with several crew falling to the flying shards and splinters of wood.


Several men fell in both ships caused by the firing from the tops, but remarkably neither captain nor the Contre Amiral was hit in all the carnage.


Zealous also took mast damage, and several seamen fell never to rise again. the wounded were hurriedly conveyed to the Orlop deck to await the ministrations of the ships surgeon and his lob-lolly boys.


The remaining fire from the tops was desultory.


Bellona and Duguay Trouin now also exchanged fire from the tops as Trouin ground alongside her.


Whilst the battle between the two 74s continued, Commerce de Bordeaux finally broke through the line, suffering one more broadside from Zealous.


At 10.18 as her foremast crashed down across the deck Contre Amiral Defarge struck his colours.

Also with another mast gone, and seeing his Admiral surrender, the Captain of the shattered Duguay Trouin quickly followed suit.

Amongst all the fire, smoke and battle damage Redoutable quietly slipped into the Harbour almost unscathed.


Drifting with the tide, the Bordeaux was under the cover of the guns of the fort and thus escaped in the end as the victorious British Squadron withdrew with their two prizes.

Three days of Fighting, plus the gales, had reduced the French Fleet in the Indian Ocean to an ineffectual level for the foreseeable future. It now only remained to see if Rear Admiral Pound's Squadron could mop up the Frigates and smaller vessels lurking in the bays and harbours scattered around the many Islands and bays of this vast Ocean.


A relieved Captain Smith after the Battle of Belle Isle.

03-27-2016, 08:32
Part three The Butcher's bill.







I'm not sure what happened to Duguay Trouin's Ships Log, but it is fairly easy to add it op from the photographs if you wish to.

03-27-2016, 15:35
Good lord that was a massacre! I almost feel sorry for the French!

The French captains need to face a harsh court martial assuming any of them survived. It looks like they completely panicked/ were drunk in their opening maneuvers of the game!

03-27-2016, 15:42
It was all going so well until he fell into your favourite trap Hugh. The forced tack, and then it all came unraveled for him. Must have been one of those Jacobin jumped up Citizen Appointments as Commodore!:happy:

03-27-2016, 15:48
Very fine game and a massacre indeed!
How many turns did it take to devastate the French like that?

03-28-2016, 02:49
Not sure about the number of turns Richard, but the game took 2.25 hours approx.

03-28-2016, 08:21
The second part took 2hrs and 18 minutes.

03-28-2016, 09:33
So you faught the battle twice? One horrific butchery of the French wasn't quite enough for a weekend eh?

On a side note, I'm glad to see my floating fortress strategy in play!

03-28-2016, 09:38
Actually three in the Day Hugh.
The evening one was a single ship action between myself and Sealegs which I hope he will post the pictures for soon.

03-28-2016, 11:54
I love the picture with the Bordeaux, drifting into the gorgeous modelled and painted port. :medal:
(auch haben! / want this too!)

03-28-2016, 12:54
An excellent work of modeling! Congratulation and thanks for share this.:clap::medal:


03-28-2016, 13:17
Thank you for the superb Fort to start it all off JuliŠn.

03-28-2016, 13:43
Thank you for the superb Fort to start it all off JuliŠn.

I'd give you reputation points but it seems that I don' t have available for now. But I send you a medal :medal: :wink:

03-28-2016, 15:46
Thanks JuliŠn.
From you worth far more than Rep.

Union Jack
03-29-2016, 03:06
Rob, I take it the second part is not to be added to the campaign sheet as I cannot find any of your RN ships?

Great action all the same.


03-29-2016, 03:23
Rob, I take it the second part is not to be added to the campaign sheet as I cannot find any of your RN ships?

Great action all the same.


You are totally correct Neil.
I just could not let a battle like that go by without some Line action.
It in no respect should be added to the sheet.

Union Jack
03-29-2016, 06:11
Many thanks for the clarification Rob. For one minute I thought we had a ghost fleet appearing.

03-29-2016, 08:55
Many thanks for the clarification Rob. For one minute I thought we had a ghost fleet appearing.

Funny you should mention that Neil. After the pirates raised their heads at Triples I did mention that I fancied having a go at the Flying Dutchman.:wink:

03-29-2016, 19:36
A good A.A.R. I think the French had 2 enemies in this battle(s) that was the British and the table itself. No way should of the French tried to enter the harbour with the Brits to the bottom of the table. The British could not lose! The winner was the set-up itself. Only if the French could have pulled the Brits away, could the French have got into the harbour with some of it's ships at best. If that had been the case! Hang the British R/A Pounds! Anchoring was very good move. Spitting the french very bad. Or if one French ship could "Cross the T". All of the french ships could have done so too!!!!!!
Be safe

Comte de Brueys
03-30-2016, 02:02
Impressive action at your new harbor installations, Rob.

Bad day for the French. :sad:

I see that you really like the double shots for gaming. I always refuse to use them, but I think they accelerated the scenarios a little bit.

03-30-2016, 04:24
I generally open an action with double shot, but it can backfire on you if the other captain stands off and takes long shots.
traditionally the British liked to get up close and personal for Fleet actions.

Union Jack
03-30-2016, 07:19
Don't mention flying Tim will be in a quandry!

Funny you should mention that Neil. After the pirates raised their heads at Triples I did mention that I fancied having a go at the Flying Dutchman.:wink:

03-30-2016, 08:45
Don't mention flying Tim will be in a quandry!

Um! Never thought of that!
Now there's an idea Neil.:sly:

03-30-2016, 10:19
What a battle, what a clash. I almoust can feel the blood on board :salute:
Great AAR, very nice to read and watch :clap:

03-30-2016, 11:32
I see that you really like the double shots for gaming. I always refuse to use them, but I think they accelerated the scenarios a little bit.

that's really obvious with Rob.
And I had the same thoughts before. Next time I try to use double shots too. :happy: :cannonboom::pray:

03-30-2016, 11:49
I love double shot. When you get it right you can land a hammer blow on a larger vessel. When you get it wrong you can be blown out of the water in short order.

I think it personifies the risk against reward calculus that any military commander must do on the fly.

03-30-2016, 15:51
And best of all.
The double shot first fire stern rake.

Union Jack
03-30-2016, 16:11
Only if you remember that you did a rake!

And best of all.
The double shot first fire stern rake.

03-31-2016, 00:35
Only if you remember that you did a rake!


Union Jack
03-31-2016, 01:43
You need to read my Feb AAR, full explanation there.


03-31-2016, 03:46
Right Neil.
Just read it. Now I fully understand.
Still you did not really need the extra damage so all's well that ends well.:clap: