View Full Version : Glorious 1st of June scenario for Rincon 16

08-03-2016, 09:03
Well, as I am GMing a Sails of Glory game at Rincon 16, I am looking at scenarios that I can host using the paltry 30 ships I have. I am seriously looking at the 1 June battle. The order of battle for the French clearly shows the French split into three commands; the van, the center, and the rear. Replicating just the van is about all I can accomplish with my ships. Even then, you have to reach down into the frigates or up into the first raters to complete a reenactment of the actions of the van on that glorious day. The french van consisted of 9 ships of the line, 8 of which were third rates with one first rate right in the middle of the line. The English equivalent was exactly the same.Owning one each of every ship Ares makes (minus the kick starters) means that there are 32 french and 28 english ships represented by 16 french models and 14 english models. The rates of the models are as follows:

French: 3 - first rates, 3 - third rates, 6 - fifth rates, 2 - unrated = 14 ships total (Kickstarter repaints, which I don't have bring the total number to 16)

English: 4- first rates, 4 - third rates, 5 - fifth rates, 2 - unrated = 15 ships total (again, no Kickstarters)

Remembering that I need 8 third rates and 1 first rate for each side, that means that I am short 5 third rates for the French and 4 third rates for the English.

I am experimenting with filling the third rates with 1st and 3 rate ships by using burdens. First raters have a burden of 6. Third raters have a burden of 5. The fifth raters have a burden of either 3 or 2. The French frigates with a burden of 3 are the Hebe class and the English frigates with a burden of 3 are the Concorde and Charmonte class. Balancing each side so that they are "equivalent" to the actual ships of the van means that I came up with about 1116 points for the French and about 1032 points for the English. A difference of about one frigate, or .8% difference, which I consider negligible. The French forces are slightly more powerful, but the British have the weather gauge, so I think the forces are pretty equal.

I'm using basic rules, of course but can anybody tell me if I am "in the ballpark" of the force used in the van of that battle? Is there a better way to substitute third rates using just the models included in the first and second wave? Should I use a couple of first rates and a couple of fifth rates to replace the missing third rates? or should I use all fifth rates?

David Manley
08-03-2016, 09:29
Ken, if you are hamstrung by the models you have why not say it is a battle inspired by the Glorious 1st and give it a humorous title such as the not quite so glorious 2nd of June?

08-03-2016, 09:54
Ken, if you are hamstrung by the models you have why not say it is a battle inspired by the Glorious 1st and give it a humorous title such as the not quite so glorious 2nd of June?

Good idea. I was also fooling around with replicating the engagements that happened prior to the main engagement in May. I want to give a sense of historical perspective to players new to the game and give them sailing orders and strategies that mimic what happened that day. I was going to start the game by assigning players to ships or letting them choose among the ships themselves and then have them all get in their jolly boats to meet in the admirals cabin aboard the flag ship Royal Sovereign to explain what the weather gauge means and how to approach an enemy ship ready to rake it the minute you turn towards it. Then, let them at it to command their ships to glory. Rather than just pit, say a frigate and a third rater against an equal force, the historical aspect helps get the players motivated and feeling like they are trying to accomplish something for the greater good and, I'm sure a few will actually start studying the real battle and draw them into what makes sails of glory such a good game. I read the postings of the record setting Glorious 1st and while it is nice to have the exact same ships used in the actual battle, the stats sails of glory uses are simple reductions of what the actual namesake ships were capable of (sorry, ended in a preposition). And even those frankly, are dead wrong, and are just poor approximations anyway. The object is to keep it light, have some histrionics as well as some history, and make sure everybody has a good time. Putting the game in a historical context, no matter how far fetched the "simulation", is desirable. I just want to know if i'm close enough with my points that it won't be a blowout for one side or the other. Do I dare add more first raters? Should I stick with only frigates to replace third raters? Or should I get as close to the number of cannons on each side in the van?

08-04-2016, 15:24
Combining light ships with the SOLs can be tricky. If the enemy SOLs are distracted, then the frigates will sometimes have a chance to shine. But going straight up its a pretty unfair fight

Also it can be fun to give the lighter ships special mission capabilities, like towing away crippled ships or reinforcing depleted crews

OK, so here's me brainstorming how I might set up this game:

Give the British all 8 SOLs

Give the French all their SOLs plus the two heavy frigates, for a total of eight in their main line. Then give them a second support line to leeward with the 4 lighter frigates (adjust if the points don't work out close enough by either removing some of the frigates, or adding in the sloops).

Once the Brits have been worn down a bit, the light frigates will have a much better chance to contribute without getting totally clobbered. They can help even up the odds and make for some interesting tactical situations

Good luck, it sounds like fun!

08-04-2016, 16:50
Good luck, it sounds like fun!

Yup. I plan on having a great time (as I always do at Rincon). I created an Order of Battle for the June 1st van, here's what it looks like:


Now, who could resist commanding any of those ships. I set it up like the original van, but it looked weird with four - third rates, a first rate, and then a bunch of frigates. So, I moved the first rates forward and placed a third rater behind the flagships. So the order goes: III-III-III-I-III-V-V-V-V. It actually looks right because the Hebe class frigates are bigger than the other frigates. I expect the frigates to go after each other in the beginning, and afterwards, because of their speed, they could actually outrace the bigger ships and cause damage to them, grab prizes, and such.

08-04-2016, 17:13
What I have left for latecomers are 14 ships. 6 first rates, including HMS Victory and fifth rate (OK, 4th rate) USS Constitution, and the frigates and unrated ships. I can patchwork games with those ships to introduce landlubbers to the game.

08-04-2016, 17:19
I cant wait to see pictures of this event!

08-05-2016, 00:34
I also think a fictional scenario has merits. Either way I look forward to the pictures of The Glorious 1st of June, or the 2nd of June.

08-06-2016, 09:38
The more I look at the order of battle, the more I like the fictional scenario idea. The french OB could actually come straight from the second battle of Finisterre, with 8 ships of the line and the frigates trailing the rearmost SOL. The British OB is a horse of a different color. It looks more like Admiral Howe's flying squadron in the actions just prior to the 1 July except with frigates added to even up the score. I think that the frigates could be the key to this battle simply because they can fill holes between ships as the battle deteriorates into a melee, and make a raking finishing blow on a heavily damaged ship that is engaged with other ships. The tactics of using frigates late in the battle to fill holes in the line was well known, as was having the frigates trail the rear of the line. Tactics for line battles were constantly changing during this period and were never set in stone , so my OB for this scenario is at least plausible. Should be good fun. I'll keep tweaking it and if any of you have suggestions, I would love to hear from you.