AAR: When the Fog Lifts - The other way Mr. Collins

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His mission, searching for a messenger's ship, would by some frigate captains be considered boring work, but for Commander Peter Harrington it was a welcome change from his blockade duty. It was a frigate called Courageuse, a 32 gun ship as his own HMS Castor, and it had been sighted sailing for those waters. But the weather had worsened and before the sun set a heavy fog had rolled in. Despite a steady wind, the fog had stubbornly clung to the ship all night, but as the first rays of the sun fell upon the main top it finally started to give way. Harrington thought that it looked like the golden rays set the fog on fire. His thoughts were interrupted by a call from the top.

- "Frigate to larboard!" came from above. As all landsmen's heads turned to stare, the able seamen started for their stations even before the order came.
- "Beat to quarters! Run out the larboard guns!" and with a little calmer voice he continued "I do believe it is our prey, the Courageuse." Turning to the man at the wheel he added "Bring us to bear, if you please."

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I rolled a 2 on the D8 and 11 on the D12

The ships started a circling motion.

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Turn 1

- "She's too far off for any effective fire for the gunners, sir" It came from the first lieutenant Brandon, lowering his glass.
- "Very well. Take us into the wind. I see he tries to beat us to it. Hard starboard!"
Castor turned impressively quick. Harrington gave the order "Tack ship and take us closer." adding a little more thoughtful "I want to make sure she won't get away from us."

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Turn 2

Both ships tacked and turned to close with each others. The enemy frigate came around setting course straight for the Castor. Not much elegance in his dance, Harrington thought to himself. Let's change the beat of the music.

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Turn 4

- "That's better, now hard larboard and bring the guns to bear. I believe we can rake her."
Using all the nimbleness of his ship the wheel turned and she came around.

- "Aim high. Aim for the sails. On the up roll. FIRE!"

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Turn 5, I miscalculated the bonus for raking. It should have been 2 instead of 1, but I had a good draw anyway.

- "We've brought down his foremast, sir. And made large holes in his mains'l too, sir. He won't get away now." the lieutenant said cockily.
- "Steady as she goes. Reload guns."

- "Reload, damn you! Reload as if the devil was at your backs!" he roared at full lungs. Disappointed he muttered to himself, "Damn! I fired to early. A close range raking now... but it's that dragging mast that turns her. We wouldn't have got this chance if it hadn't been brought down, I'm sure of it."

Turn 6, I wish I had had Reloading Captain. Short range rake!

- "They can't manoeuvre dragging that mast.", lieutenant Brandon remarked.

Turn 7, Oups...

- "She's tacking again! Watch out! Fire broadside! Where's those damn marines." as Harrington said it, there were crackling from the tops, almost immediately drowned by the broadside and the answering fire from the french frigate turning slightly to starboard as she lay on a collision course."
- "Brace!" was heard as the bowsprit of the Courageaux entangled itself in the forestays.

Firing turn 7, I had forgot to plan muskets for the AI, but I let them fire them anyway, as I let them fire the forward arc broadside. It was that kind of situation you don't save it for a better position.

- "Prepare boarders! We must carry her by boarding!" Harrington shouted, adding "Baddeley, fetch my pistols!"
- "Already 'er, sir."
- "She's burning, sir" Are you sure we should board her?" the lieutenant said but he was ignored.
- "All hands follow me!" he shouted, running fore, "We're boarding her!"

Turn 8, muskets preceded the boarding and did one crew damage each, but I forgot to take a photo...

Charging over to the Genereaux There were hard fighting, but when the french men saw their captain hiding in his cabin their hart left the fight. As the ship struck it's colours the fight died down and Harrington hurried into the captains cabin. There he found the captain trying to burn all his papers on a small candle, making sure the fire wouldn't spread. There was much paper and not much ash.
- "Cease burning those paper and hand over your sword, sir. We have your ship."

HMS Castor was lazily running on just topsails to accompany her price, the Courageuse with the jury rigged foremast and a small price crew led by Castors first lieutenant Christopher Brandon.
- "I wonder how big a price that good frigate will catch..." Baddeley pondered in a murmur as he approached Commander Harrington standing unusually straight on the quarter deck. "Your tea, sir" he said loudly holding out a tray.
- "Thank you. I shall take it in my cabin" Commander Harrington said leaving the quarterdeck.
- "He could have bloody well told me before I got it up here." Baddeley muttered to himself.

The final damage to the ships

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  1. Popsical's Avatar
    Huzzah! Up the British! Down the French! Good show Jonas.