View Full Version : The Trojan Horse

Capn Duff
05-29-2018, 14:15
You are the Captain of a 74 ship of the line patrolling a stretch of water between two large ports in the Caribbean.
Over the past few months an enemy 64 gun ship has been raiding commerce in this area and you have been dispatched as part of a Squadron to stop this depredation.
After a week of sailing back and forth your lookout spotted 3 longboats adrift on the ocean at dawn and you stop to pick up the survivors of what looks like a shipwreck.
The men are all put below and you have discussions with the leader.
His story is a ship of war stopped their ship and put them adrift yesterday evening then sailed off in a westerly direction, you immediately set off to give chase while the captain went to see to his men.
A few hours later a sail was sighted and within a further hour it was identified as the enemy raider.
As you drew closer the enemy ship turned to fight, a strange thing as you out gun the vessel.
As you gave the order “beat to quarters” a commotion broke out below deck and soon struggling men spilled out onto the main deck, the so called survivors were attacking your crew.
A quick check of the enemy ship showed him at full sail heading for you gunports open.
A trap.

You will need two ships of the line for this scenario, preferably a 74 and a 64, if you dont have a 64 use another 74 but knock off the first box.

The two ships are set up on a standard sail mat and placed opposite sides of the short edges, wind as you want but in a way to give the 64 green zone.

The “survivors” picked up are actually part of the crew from the raider ship and so you have three enemy crew on board and need to clear these before going to quarters.

A boarding action will take place after you have planned your first two cards.
You cannot load your guns until the boarders have been dealt with.
You will not get an initial broadside bonus due to the enemy presence on board.

The initial boarding action will take place after the movement of the first card and will consist of three rounds of combat following standard rules.
If the enemy boarders are not all dispatched another three rounds will take place each turn until the boarders are destroyed. After the first turn boarding action you will draw an extra counter due to marines and more crew

While there are enemy boarders alive you will plan the ships card but will not move until all enemy have been removed.

The turn after the enemy crew had been secured you will still plan a move and can load your guns but not move, you are hunting down the odd enemy on board.

The following turn you can act as normal and engage the enemy ship as per the rules.

The enemy captain will engage you as soon as able but will only use standard ball and will try to board you if possible.

The enemy ship will have two box’s already missing from the crew. They were over crewed due to her mission.

Can you survive the Trojan horse and stop the enemy ship.

05-29-2018, 14:43
What an interesting scenario!
So simple but really captiv(e)ating!

05-30-2018, 22:18
That is a daring plan requiring men to go on what is virtually a suicide mission. However,I have a couple of questions, Chris.

When fighting a boarding action normally each crew delivers a number of damage counters equal to the burden of their own ship. What did you use as the value of the burden of the longboats, please? I would think that it should be 1 in total for all three.

Also, when the raider fires its cannons at your ship, how did you apportion crew damage between your crew and the boarders, please?

Capn Duff
06-11-2018, 04:51
Hi David, apologies for the delay in answering your questions, unfortunately real life has taken over a bit of late.

I used as you surmised, a burden of 1 for each long boat, a 64 ship had an approx crew of between 280 and 350 men, looking at the ships released. most ships have a crew box of 10 which gives a box of crew being around 28 - 35. a longboat I believe could carry around 20 - 25, someone correct me here if this is not correct, so around 60 men in three boats, this would give two boxs but I added a third box for the boarders to signify the initial confusion and surprise. However if this is too much in your opinion by all means reduce it to two box's.

As for the enemy ship firing, here we can assume that a boarder has been loitering on deck and as soon as the raider is sighted returns below to start the uprising.
Once the uprising starts a number will try to sow confusion on deck by trying to get to the Captain and officers on the poop deck, while others will make for the armoury and magazine.
The enemy Captain will have already arranged with the dummy crew this and will be trying to get back quickly to support his boarders. However as he comes closer and sees no signal he will assume things have not gone to plan and will be attacking a heavier ship and will open fire trying to get them to strike and to get into boarding range asap.
However if this does not appeal to you you can make the enemy ship fire only at the rigging and sails.

I hope the above answers your questions and gives the rational behind the scenario strengths.
Anything else ask away and I will try and give a rational for it.

06-11-2018, 08:49
For my boarding actions, I have always sent two boxes away for anything below Third Rate, but only one to contain a ship which has already surrendered. The problem I have is if a ship hits a boat with shot you are short of boarders, so three boats would have a better chance. Also remember the chaps in the tops will have a swivel or two for just this type of event and will not be involved in any commotion on deck, so successful boarding is not a foregone conclusion.