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View Full Version : AAR. October Mission Solo Scenario.



Bligh
01-02-2019, 15:20
Captain David McBride stepped back from the Bulwarks and relaxed his stance. The French Packet which he had been chasing up the Mozambique channel since early that morning was now safely heaved to under the Guns of HEIC. Nottingham, and His Second Lt. John Carstairs together with the detachment of Bombay Marines had complete control of the enemy ship with little damage save the fallen Mizzen mast which had brought the chase to such a precipitate end.


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McBride made a mental note to reward Bentinck and his gun crew for their excellent work on the long nine bow chaser. A sovereign a man and double Rum ration should see them well pleased with their day's work.

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Casting his eye over the ship he could see the Master, carpenter and their men already putting right the slight damage done by the only round that had come aboard from the stern chaser of their prize. One man wounded seemed a good return on the ship they now had in hand. Just how good he had yet to find out.

With another glance across the water, McBride left the deck and repaired to his Cabin to await the arrival of the French Captain and the formal surrender. He had only just summoned his steward Rowley to bring in the Madeira when he felt the touch of the returning Longboat, and a few minutes later the stamp of the Marine sentry outside his door announced the arrival of his First Lt. Richard Pullford with the French Captain.

Pullford introduced the Frenchman as Lt. Jean Duplex of the French Mercantile Marine. The formalities being over David invited Duplex to join him in a meal together with his First Officer.
Half way through the meal there was a commotion outside the cabin door. He could hear the deep voice of the Sentry and the answering even more gruff reply of the Boatswain.
After a few seconds there was a knock on the door and the Boatswain stood framed in the doorway accompanied by the Marine.

"Beggin yer pardon Capain sir but I fink you are urgently needed on deck. I wus sent down to arsk cause the young Genelmen are wi Mr. Carstairs on the Frenchie."
Giving a silent curse, McBride put down his glass of wine, and muttering an apology to the Officers, followed the Boatswain up onto the Main deck.

Here he was greeted by the sight of a seaman from the French Packet firmly held between two of his hands. " This here Frog says he has somfink important to tell yer sir." the Boatswain intoned.
"Right man out with it then." replied McBride still none too pleased at having his meal going cold.
The "Frenchman" introduced himself to the Captain as l°ytnant Esben Thrane of the ěst Indiaman Thor. Taken by the French Frigate Circe, he was drafted into the Packet as Boatswain's Mate rather than be sent to the Isle de Reunion and prisoner of war camp. No lover of the French he was quick to pass on all he had learned of French intentions in the Indian Ocean including one piece of information which threw all McBride's plans into the melting pot.

It appeared that in a secluded harbour not three days sailing distance from Nottingham's position and waiting for the dark of the Moon to slip through the straits was a French Sloop, escorted by a Frigate. Their orders to deliver an enemy Agent, plus a substantial amount of Gold bullion to recruit troops for an invasion of the Carnatic States.

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McBride's conundrum was threefold. Did he believe Thrane, or was he planted to lure the Nottingham into a trap under the guns of the enemy. With the dark of the moon five days hence, he had barely time to reach the port and reconnoiter. There was certainly no time to repair and dispatch the prize to inform the Governor at either Bombay Castle nor alert Admiral Pound at the Cape.

After deliberating over the charts in his cabin for an hour or more, he came to the decision that the only option was to grasp the nettle, and with a plan of action coalescing in his mind he gave Mr Pullford orders to set all plain sail, and steer a course toward the enemy harbour.

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Bligh.

Bligh
01-02-2019, 15:23
October Mission AAR. Cutting it fine.


McBride decided to recon the enemy position a few days before the dark of the Moon, What he saw caused him to change his plan of action, as he obviously did not have sufficient Marines to capture the two substantial forts covering the bay.

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There was also a Boom across the entrance and guard boat on hand.
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Two nights later, and two days before the ships were destined to sail, the Nottingham slipped along the coast to the East of the forts.
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As the forts came into view, the Moon was just setting.
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McBride slipped in even closer.
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And then set his sales so as to lose way and drop a kedge anchor just off the forts.
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Silently his ships boats made their way into the inlet.
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They successfully slipped past the forts without raising an alarm .
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As they neared the boom the crews hearts were in there mouths.
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Lt Pullford in the leading boat, listened out for any sound of the guard boat, and finally gave the word for the Boatswain's men to saw through the Boom.This was eventually also achieved without arousing suspicion.
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As the boats with muffled oars and rowlocks greased with slush entered the inner harbour, the revels of the seamen could be clearly heard across the water as they enjoyed themselves in the seaports many taverns and Bawdy Houses.
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As they came alongside the Sloop and Frigate, The boats feathered oars. It was obvious to Pullford that most of the crew must be in town, and if any Anchor watch were aboard they were also well into their cups. Splitting his men up One boat of sailors boarded the Sloop whilst Pullford lead the other part of the crew and the Marines to take the Frigate.

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With great trepidation they scaled the ships sides expecting a warm welcome. To their surprise no enemy were awake on either ship, and both were taken and readied for sailing in absolute silence.
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Soon, with the Anchor cables cut to avoid the sound of the clanking pawls being heard as they were raised, they were underway with the boats in tow.
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However as the Sloop slipped past the Boom disaster struck. The patrol boat's crew having refreshed themselves at the lookout tower now discovered the cut Boom and fired a signal rocker to alert the forts.
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Both ships could now be made out from the Forts, and in a ruse de Garre Pullford fired his chaser at the sloop as if he were giving chase in the Frigate.
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The sloop ran close in under the guns of the fort which could not depress enough to hit.
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However, as she cleared the entrance, bothe Forts came to life and fired on the Sloop, doing very little in the dark with their first ranging shots.
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Pullford now added to the drama by again firing his chaser at the Sloop. He had almost run the gauntlet of the forts by sheer deception.
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By now the false dawn was in the offing .and HEIC Nottingham added to the chaos by getting underway and firing a broadside at the nearest Fort.
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Whilst not achieving much damage it did slow down the fort's gunners in reloading.
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All three ships were now running out to sea and Pullford raised his colours which could now be made out by both forts to be British over the French tricolor.
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This drew some desultory fire onto his vessel which missed.but distracted the aim of the fort's gunners.
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McBride gave the other fort a farewell salutation as he came about and shepherded his prizes out to sea.
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He took a slight amount of damage in return.
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Pullford also had a slight altercation with the other fort as he cleared the area and daylight started to outline the ships.
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By the time the forts had reloaded and heated shot was available the small flotilla was well out of range, and McBride could breath a sigh of relief that all his Officers and men were safely restored to their ships.
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The only thing to dissapoint Mcbride as they sailed away was that the enemy Agent had been ashore roistering with the crew and thus escaped being detained.
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Bligh.

Bligh
01-02-2019, 15:24
The Butcher's Bill.

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Bligh.

Wentworth
01-04-2019, 14:37
Rousing AAR -- I was on the edge of my seat -- one quick question -- I'm planning on playing this scenario within the next week or so -- does the harbor patrol boat move and if so, by how much?

Bligh
01-04-2019, 14:59
You don't need to worry about the patrol boat Bill.

Unless you draw the "Disaster" card as yo breach the Boom or on leaving the inner harbour they will be having a crafty drink at the tower on the end of the sea wall.

If yo get to the Ships and draw a Disaster card, you will have to board according to the rules and fight the crew. If as I did you get alongside without alerting anyone, just draw a blue chit to see if an anchor watch is aboard, a 0 means they are asleep or drunk if so you just need to overcome them. A figure means you take a hit as they are ready for your attack, and you then draw against their one card as is usual. However, the Port will be alerted by the fighting and you can expect firing from the forts, after three moves, once they have got organized. There will be no double shot from them on the first move and no first time advantage as they have to find your range in the dark. After six moves they may have heated shot ready, but it takes two moves to load and fire heated shot just like it does for double because of the difficulty of handling it and the danger.

As you can see the further in you can penetrate without drawing the Disaster card the better.

This of course is only one way to tackle the nut. After all you do have a couple of days to set up the mission before the ships sail. Hint hint!

Rob.