View Full Version : March AAR The Sacrifical Lamb.

04-15-2018, 13:44


Captain McBride wondered just why he was called into the Governor's Residency Madras. Firstly his ship HEIC Nottingham was undergoing a refit, and second he was about begin his leave after three years on the Indian Ocean station.
He waited to find out his fate as officials came and went through the opulent waiting area.


Then his name was called.

As soon as the flunky had shepherded him into the Board room he realized that this was no ordinary meeting.


Present were not only the Governors and his advisor, but a Royal Naval Admiral, and two members of his Lords and Masters The HEIC Directors.

As soon as the double doors were closed behind him by the flunky the Governor opened the batting.

" Please do sit down Captain McBride, and help yourself to the port. I believe you know the gentlemen assembled here excepting Admiral Sir Dudley Pound and his Flag Lieutenant Silas Brass."
As soon as the introductions had been properly made, the Governor got straight to business.

" I will now ask Admiral Pound to appraise you of the situation."

The Admiral rose to his feet.

"As the other gentlemen present are aware Captain the Royal Navy and the Honourable Company have a problem in common in the form of a French Frigate marauding along the South African coast. As you are aware, we are preparing to take the French strongholds in that area, and both our supplies and the HEIC Merchantmen are being systematically cut out by this very fast Frigate.


All our attempts to catch the rogue are thwarted, because as soon as our ships show a topsail above the horizon he scuttles his prize and then shows us a clean pair of heels by making off to sea. Even Frigates lurking in coastal bays cannot make sail swiftly enough to catch him.

I am aware that you are about to leave for England, but as the Captain with the most experience in these waters we asked you here to seek your advice on any ideas you may have about bringing monsieur to heel."
David gave it some thought for a few minutes, and then answered.
"Well gentlemen as I see it to complete the job I will need two Royal Naval Sloops, 200 Marines, six 36 lbr Carronades and a................."
"Yes, yes Captain."
Within an hour of discussion the plot was hatched to catch that damned elusive Frenchman.



04-17-2018, 14:04
AAR: The sacrificial lamb.37164

A week later found David cruising along the Mozambique channel in a heavily disguised merchantman packing six extras 36lbr Carronades, with a full Naval crew, and 200 Marines packed below decks. This was his second passage along this particular stretch of coast and so far no French marauder had emerged to snap up the juicy prize.

It was another three days before the topman reported the sight of sails in a bay to the West just a dawn broke.


In order to avoid spooking the other vessel McBride ordered a very sloppy crew to set the morning sails very badly and then just enough to hold the Frenchman to long chaser shot range.


McBride's crew were gradually crowding on more sail, but also with a submerged sail to cause drag, which made it look as if they could barely hold their own, as the other ship now clearly identifiable as A Frigate clawed its way out of the bay in pursuit.


By mid morning it had overhauled the Merchantman enough to drop a shot about half a cable behind the transom. McBride judged that it was now close enough for the next act in his decoying charade.



Pretending to be panicked by the shot, David ordered the helm put up as if to seek sanctuary in the next bay. The sloppy performance convincing the French Captain that he had a simple capture within his grasp.
Firing his other chase gun, he came about in pursuit.


Far too late he spotted the lurking Sloop and put up his helm, firing with his forrard port battery into the stern of the Merchantman as he turned.


McBride had a mast damaged and the steersman struck down, which slowed his planned response.
Nevertheless, Commander Guinea in the Fairy came up into the wind smartly and got a salvo into the Frigate damaging its steering and causing it to lose way.


The French forrard guns now replied but only caused desultory damage to Fairy.


This exchange had now given David the extra time needed to carry out his delayed plan. Tacking across the Frigates bow, he delivered a full raking broadside with the ships guns and also the extra Carronades which he had shipped from Madras.


As the shot howled across the Frenchman's decks cutting down men and scything through the standing rigging the French Captain suddenly realized that he had caught a Tiger by the tail.
In the next couple of minutes McBride closed the jaws of his trap. Completing his tack placed him on the beam of the Frigate, with his second Sloop Swan now in action crossing the Frenchman's bow.


Accepting the inevitable broadside from the French ship McBride bided his time and took in sails.
The French Dryade took another pasting from Fairy.


Then a raking broadside from Commander Peter Shilling's Swan which cut down even more of the crew and started a fire amidships.


Exchanges from the Marines took out further crew members.



All taken aback with rudder damaged and still on fire the Frenchman had nowhere to go, as McBride tried to get his ship into a boarding position so that he could unleash his 200 Marines across the Frenchman's decks before the fire completed its destruction.


Finding this impossible, the three attackers started to angle away, before the Frenchman could blow up.

Seeing this the French Captain was forced to lower his colours to prevent further casualties amongst his already decimated crew.


The British now launched boats and crossing bravely to the frigate boarded her aiding the French matelotes to subdue the fire.


Mission accomplished, Captain McBride escorted his ravaged prize towed by HMS Swan to the Cape, on his way to a well earned spot of leave back in England.



04-17-2018, 14:05
Letters of Marque. Butcher's Bill.


Merchantman Rose.........................................................

a. Hull boxes to be repaired… 4…………..
b. Crew boxes to be recruited… NIL …………..
c. Captain's name …………………………. David McBride
i. Returned to port (RtP)………… RTP …………
ii. Captured (C)…………………… NO…………
iii. Killed in action (KIA)……………NO……….
iv. Wounded (W)............................NO............


Victim war ships (each)
a. Type… FRIGATE………………………….
b. Burden… 4……………………….
c. Hull boxes undamaged… 1…….
d. Crew boxes uncovered… NIL…….
e. Sunk or captured…… CAPTURED…………

Ancillary ships.




04-17-2018, 14:51
A very interesting confrontation, Rob. Your background scenery really makes the game stand out. :salute:

04-17-2018, 15:40
Thanks Jim.
Funny thing was I was aiming to do the Great boarding action with my 200 Marines and a lot of descriptive deck action. Never expected the two Sloops to punch above their weight and virtually resolve the action whilst Rose wallowed trying to get her rudder and sails under control. Never got close enough to grapple even in that cul de sac that the Frenchman found himself.
C'est la vie.

04-17-2018, 17:08
When I did this scenario I had a similar problem as the merchantman could not close the deal on boarding their Marines as well. Great action -- really enjoyed the AAR.

04-18-2018, 01:37
Thanks Bill.
I am looking forward to sailing Neil's April mission this Thursday.