View Full Version : Historical Scenario: Action of 20-10-1778 - The Anglo-French War

08-06-2018, 07:12
20th October 1778

Players: 1-3

Gaming surface: One game mat (98 cm x 67 cm). Wind comes from the West.

French Player: Triton (64). Use a French 64-gun ship model but use a British 64-gun ship track (e.g. HMS Vigilant) or else use the original French ship track but give the ship a burden of 5. In either case, cover the last box on the ship damage track and use manoeuvre deck J. The ship is placed within half-ruler distance from the northern edge of the game mat and within 3/8ís and 3/4ís of the width of the gaming area.

British Player: HMS Jupiter (50), replaced by any Portland-class ship, but the veer is reduced from 7 to 6 .
HMS Medea (28), an Enterprise-class ship. Use any Amazon-class ship, but cover the first two boxes in the ship damage track and the first box in the crew damage track. Additionally, at long range (A on the ruler) any damage counters with a leak are treated as zeroes (the player may use the Aiming High rule to avoid this). The Medea was armed with 24 9-pounders and 4 3-pounders, whereas a typical Amazon-class ship was armed with 26 12-pounders and 6 6-pounders. The French Triton had maybe about 23 inches of wood at the waterline and the penetration of the 9-pounders at long range would have been about 20 inches or less.
The British ships are placed within a half-ruler distance from the southern edge of the game mat and within 3/8ís and 3/4ís of the width of the gaming area.


Special rules: If any ship uses full sails during the game and are fired upon they take one extra C damage counter.
Do not use the First Broadside rule, unless you want a very quick action!
In the action a squall of wind and rain arrived, coinciding with nightfall, after about 2 1/2 hours of battle. To reflect this, after 10 turns start applying the Variable Wind Strength optional rule to see if the wind strength changes, but only apply increases to wind strength Ė do not apply any decreases. After the squall arrives, reduce all damage counters at A-range broadsides by 1/2 (rounding up), after all other modifiers have been applied. After 20 turns the squall arrives and the wind strength is automatically increased to strong. After the squall arrives, if the enemy ships are separated by more than one ruler distance, the battle ends and the winning conditions are applied.

Winning conditions: The British win a major victory if the Triton strikes or is captured or destroyed and neither British ship is destroyed. The British win a minor victory if the Triton withdraws or if the Triton strikes or is captured or destroyed and one of the British ships is destroyed. The French win a major victory if the Triton captures or destroys one or both British ships and does not surrender or get destroyed itself. The French win a minor victory if both British ships withdraw. If both sides are at more than one ruler distance from each other after the squall arrives (i.e. when the wind strength increases to strong), the ships are considered to no longer be able to see each other and the outcome of the action is a draw. A player may choose to withdraw a ship by exiting it anywhere along the playerís side of the gaming area at any time (French along the northern edge and British along the southern edge). If a ship exits along any other side, it is considered to be captured or destroyed.

Points values:


Ship Cost
Hull damage
Good Aim
Intuitive Captain
Skilful Tactician

64-gun 3rd rate

Note: Triton was a French 64-gun with stats similar to one of the British 64-gun ships in the game. Use the ship log from one of the British 64-gun ships and manoeuvre deck J.
If playing the Triton solo or against a new player, accept the challenge! Otherwise, consider adding other abilities for a more balanced battle.


Ship Cost
Hull damage
Crew damage
Leaks as 0ís
Reduced veer




Historical outcome: For more information see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_of_20_October_1778 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_of_20_October_1778)

Designerís notes: Choosing ship stats for the Triton required a little thought. To balance gameplay a little bit, I wanted to give the ship an advantage given that it is fighting against two British ships, albeit weaker ones. The Ares 64-gun French ships were likely weaker than the Triton was since they had a burden of about 1100, while the Triton had 1241. This justifies giving it an in-game burden of 5, but removing the last box, which puts it about half-way between the French 64-gun ships and the British 64-gun ships (with a burden of around 1350) available in the game. Since Triton was an older ship (launched 1947), it might have had poorer handling capabilities compared to the more modern Artesiens; thus, it made sense to use the J manoeuvre deck of the bigger British 64-gun ships.
The next step was to determine the broadside strength. Here the guns on the Triton match the Artesien class ships available in Ares series. However, this felt like it was a little bit too weak to go up against the two British ships. Strengthening it a little to balance this scenario felt right and using one of the 64-gun British ship stats seemed like a good option.
HMS Leopard could be used as-is, though I decided to reduce its veer, based on community discussions. Using an Amazon-class ship, but covering two damage boxes and one crew box, felt like a good representation of the Enterprise-class ship, HMS Medea. Given the Medeaís weaker guns, removing the ability to cause leaks at long range also felt sensible.

08-06-2018, 08:47
:salute:What are you trying to say here Andrew.:question::sad:

"Since Triton was an older ship (launched 1947), it might have had poorer handling capabilities."
I was launched in 1947 and there is nothing wrong whatever with my handling capabilities! :happy::steer::help::clap:

08-06-2018, 09:35
Haha! I did write 'might' to reduce the risk of causing offense! Perhaps I should leave the erroneous date for posterity?

08-06-2018, 12:26
I should leave it. The actual Scenario looks intriguing. I will have to try it out myself Andrew. Then we can see if my handling capabilities are still what my imagination says, or if the old hull has suffered from years of erosion, and barnacles.:shock:

08-13-2018, 06:21
Given the Medea’s weaker guns, removing the ability to cause leaks at long range also felt sensible.

Not that it's not reasonable but the "long range" in SoG isn't very long considering the movement speeds.
Also the sloops have no such penalty and are armed with even smaller guns.

08-15-2018, 15:38
I guess I was just looking for a reasonable way to reduce the strength of the British side slightly for this particular scenario since it's two ships against one. So the intent is not necessarily to introduce a house rule for the game as a whole - though I could imagine doing so for some of the smaller ships in the game. In the other historical scenario I posted, the North Channel Naval Duel, I added a similar house rule to reflect the situation in the original battle, but for both A and B range.

Looking at the thread https://sailsofglory.org/showthread.php?3230-Actual-Length-of-a-Turn, I've understood that the scales for movement, time and range in the game don't quite match up.