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Thread: AAR - Solo Scenario - May, 2015 - Who Fired the First Shot . . . This Time!

  1. #1
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    Default AAR - Solo Scenario - May, 2015 - Who Fired the First Shot . . . This Time!

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    To: John Barry, Captain HMS Duguay
    Richard Dale, Captain HMS Superb;
    Stephen Decatur, Captain HMS Vanguard
    From: Jonathon Young, Commodore Squadron Commander

    Re: Order for surveillance of French squadron, 21 August 1795

    Mr. Barry is to take the newly captured French 74, HMS Duguay in company with HMS Superb and HMS Vanguard to shadow the French squadron embarking from Brest in two days time. Mr. Decatur is to employ his yacht Witch to any extent necessary to monitor the French ships without being detected. For this service he will be recompensed 1, 2s per diem.

    Rumors are flying about an impending war with France, but no declaration has been made as of yet. If war is declared, I will send word and you may act accordingly.

    J. Young,
    Squadron Commander

    To: Richard Dale, Captain HMS Superb;
    Stephen Decatur, Captain HMS Vanguard
    From: John Barry, Captain Acting Squadron Commander

    Re: Order for surveillance of French squadron, 21 August 1795

    We will form in line below the horizon line. Mr. Dale will lead the way, but stay out of the French sight until or unless ordered to do otherwise.

    Mr. Decatur, will guard our rear. Please send Mr. Christopher Clark, midshipman HMS Vanguard, in your yacht, Witch, to the horizon between our squadron and theirs. Witch should mimic a private vessel from one of the Italian kingdoms.

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    Should a warship try to intercept either the Frenchmen or ourselves, we will, on my order, lay in a course that will bring us to the French side to coincide with the arrival of the warship.

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    If the message is war we will turn and attack the rear most ship. Watch for my signals as things may get confusing.

    John Barry; Acting Commodore

    To: Jonathon Young, Commodore Squadron Commander
    From: 1st Lt. James Fennimore, Commander of the survivors of HMS Goliath

    Re: After Action Report for 26 August 1795

    It is with regret that I must bring to you sad tidings. Captain Isaac Chauncey was killed in one of the final exchanges with Genereux. He was heroic throughout the action and may have been the Englishman who was most responsible for our victory.

    As ordered the Goliath set out to find Captain Barry’s Squadron to bring them news that war had indeed broken out between France and Great Britain. Goliath enjoyed a moderate wind coming steadily from the southwest, the sea had a slight chop to it, and the sky had nary a cloud in its expanse. The captain had a huge green flag raised on the main mast to show that war was at our heels again.

    We found the squadron already forming a line-of-battle south of the French line by a distance of about one cannon shot.

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    I watched as, first, Genereux, then Commerce de Marseille turned to the southeast trying to cross our lead ship's, HMS Superb’s, bow. Superb, Duguay, and Vanguard reversed direction in unison, oh what a sight.

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    That was when I saw the danger Barry was going to have. The final two French ‘74s broke their formation, turning not quite due south to place themselves in position to cross in front of each of the British ships for clear raking shots.

    The captain needed to draw Genereaux and hopefully Marseille away from our main formation. Goliath made a tight turn to starboard and gave the lead Frenchman our full portside broadside.

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    The enemy used their starboard forward division on Goliath in return, then surprised us by turning into us as if to ram our portside.

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    Goliath did scrape Genereux, portside to portside, but did not run afoul . . .

    To: Jonathon Young, Commodore; Squadron Commander
    From: Lt. Ezekiel Fulbryte, Acting Commander HMS Duguay

    Re: After Action Report for 26 August 1795

    It is with great regret that I must bring to you the news of Captain John Barry. He was killed in one of the final exchanges with Aquilon. There is much that we owe to Capt. Barry, not the least of which is the plan for dealing with this French squadron.

    Our squadron was in a line heading due east. HMS Superb captained by Richard Dale came first, then our ship, HMS Duguay, and finally Stephen Decatur in HMS Vanguard. Just over the horizon was a squadron of four French ships of the line. The largest of the group was a ship with, at least, 100 guns. The French out numbered us and out gunned us, but we had the weather gage and that could make all the difference.

    Between the two squadrons was Decatur’s personal yacht, Witch. Midshipman Christopher Clark, of HMS Vanguard, commanded her. Her job was to keep our force in contact with the French. Should a warship arrive he was to hold his position and wait for the rest of the squadron to join him. He was, at all cost, to completely avoid combat. Witch was far too valuable to risk and far too small to do any good.

    At the beginning of the morning watch our lookout spied a sail four points off the starboard bow and heading in our direction. The questions were; was she French or British, and were we at war? The morning wore on and as the newcomer got closer, we noticed that she was a sizable vessel, at least a “74.” British or French it was time to let our presents be known.

    Captain Barry ordered a change in course for the whole squadron so that we would intercept the French. As we passed Mr. Clark, the order was given for the yacht to join us. The British line fell in with the French one cannon shot to the south and held that position as the lone ship moved closer. Orders were given to be ready to attack the rear of the opponents’ line, for now we could tell the ship was British made.

    We ate our mid-day meal in shifts and watched for any signs of whether it was war or peace. We could recognize the ship as HMS Goliath and saw her raise the green banner that meant war was declared. When Goliath was close enough to be of support, the captain ordered the opening maneuvers to begin. Each of our three ships made a sharp turn to starboard and they were to hold that turn until the head wind caught our sails and put us in position to attack “Le Berwick” without interference from the rest of the French line.

    The French had some tricks up their sleeves too. Genereux lead their line in a course that would cross our lead ship’s bow. Commerce de Marseille followed as we expected but the last two, Aquilon and Le Berwick, made their turn in unison with Marseille to form a line abreast. Our ships, all except Vanguard, abandoned their turns so that they would come along side of the French, broadside to broadside.

    Vanguard collided with Duguay and got entangled with her and Superb entangled herself with Le Berwick. The whole thing looked like a scene from “The Dockside Constabulary.”

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    Superb and Le Berwick were able to disentangle, neither wanting to board the other. Duguay and Vanguard had to endure several broadsides from passing Frenchmen before they could extricate themselves. Duguay was able to respond, but Vanguard was helpless. Aquilon was caught in irons but used the adverse winds to tack more quickly presenting her portside to Capt. Decatur’s ship and ours. The Frenchman and Duguay opened up at exactly the same moment.

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    A hearty cheer came from both of His Majesty’s Entangled Ships when we were able to move and finally glide apart. I was beginning to wonder if we were fated to be tied to Vanguard for the rest of the fight.

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    Le Berwick, heavily damaged, was able to limp away toward the west from the fight occurring to her stern. It only took a small broadside from Goliath to cause her to strike her colors.

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    Vanguard and Duguay continued their turns, each going in opposite directions. Our ship headed west, into the wind, while Vanguard headed east, into the fray. All three ships of the shadow squadron ships opened fire on Aquilon causing great damage . . .

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    To: Jonathon Young, Commodore Squadron Commander
    From: 1st Lt. James Fennimore, Commander of the survivors of HMS Goliath

    Re: After Action Report for 26 August 1795 . . .

    . . . Goliath bumped into Marseille. We did not entangle but both ships let loose with terrific broadsides, Goliath getting the worst of it. Marseille held her course and moved out of the fight.

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    Marseille was not seen again. Did she run away? She was not hurt that much in the exchange with Goliath. We will probably never know.

    With Marseille apparently gone, our ship only had Genereux to worry about. The Frenchman was in far better shape than we were. Goliath only had to holdout a short while because two of our British ships were racing to our rescue. The port side of our ship erupted in billowing smoke as we raked the bow of the Genereux.

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    The Captain swung us around to give Genereux our starboard side when we got hammered by the French.

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    Fire shot up from below decks and our captain lay dead, a two-foot splinter lodged in his neck.

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    It was my command now even for a short while. I ordered everyone into the boats and off the ship except for the starboard rear division. We took one albeit pitiful shot at Genereux and abandoned ship.

    Sitting in a whaleboat watching as the fire consumed my first command and the body of my mentor, Isaac Chauncey, was the longest, saddest time in my life. I gathered what was left of the crew and headed for Le Berwick . . .

    To: Jonathon Young, Commodore Squadron Commander
    From: Lt. Roger Clark Williams, Acting Commander HMS Vanguard

    Re: After Action Report for 26 August 1795

    It is with regret that I must bring to you sad tidings. Captain Stephen Decatur was severely injured in one of the final exchanges with Genereux. He lead our crew gallantly throughout the battle, but was not destined to witness the capture of the final French ship, the one that sent him to the surgeon’s table . . .

    . . . The Captain made a sharp jibe to starboard and leveled a full broadside at short range into the hull of Aquilon just as Duguay and Superb added their load of iron.

    Leaving Aquilon to Capt. Barry’s ship, our ship raced to the aid of Goliath accompanied by Superb. Chauncey had taken a great deal of damage, but was, surprisingly, still afloat. Capt. Decatur wished to draw Genereux’s fire before Goliath went under. Alas, we were too late. I watched her as she dipped below the waves. I knew the news of survivors would be heart wrenching because there were too few lifeboats afloat. We sped on.

    Our ship past Berwick and there she was. Genereux was heading straight for us, a perfect racking shot.

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    When the smoke thinned out, I saw that the Frenchman had spun his wheel; turn into the wind, and fired.

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    The Captain screamed and fell to the deck unconscious. Wilkins and Jennings took him to the surgeons. Genereux was pushed back and collided with Berwick. Their captain must have seen the futility of his situation and struck his flag.

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    Moments later Aquilon struck to Duguay and it was over. I didn’t know how we paid the butcher until later. Two captains dead, Decatur severely wounded and far too many good sailors gone to God.


    Lt. Roger Clark Williams
    Acting Commander
    HMS Vanguard

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    Repair for 1 scenario

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    Ready for action

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    Ready for action

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    Captured, Ready for action

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    Captured, Ready for action

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    Left the board, who knows when she will show up.

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    Captured, Repair for 1 scenario

    Capt. Barry: Killed in Action; Captured, Aquilon (74) and Captain; Acting Commander, Lt. Ezekiel Fulbryte (1 pt.)
    Capt. Capt. Dale: Returned to Port; Acting Commodore of the Shadow Squadron After the Action
    Capt. Chauncey: Killed in Action; Captured, Berwick (74); Acting Commander, Lt. James Fennimore; Captured, French Captain (1 pt.)
    Capt. Decatur: Severe Wound (miss 2 scenarios); Captured Genereux (74) and Captain; Acting Commander, Lt. Roger Clark Williams (1 pt.)

    We Won (3 pts.)
    Total (6 pts.)

    French Sunk Goliath (1 pt.)
    Total (1 pt.)

    1. How are the points for winning divided among the captains?
    2. Are the two dead captains just eliminated from the game or are they replaced?
    3. Do the acting commanders that replace captains KIA get the victory points the captains would have had if they had survived?
    Last edited by Bos'n; 10-06-2015 at 16:02.

    Rules are rough approximations of what you think I might do!

  2. #2
    Master & Commander

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    Feb 2013
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    I would say if you want to promote your temporary commander to Captains then so be it and they will replace the dead ones. You may distribute the remaining points equally or to 1 or more commanders as you see fit.

    If you wish new captains that can be arranged too just pm me their names and I'll add to your roster.


  3. #3
    Admiral of the Blue.

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    Nov 2011
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    What a blood bath Bob.
    Worthy of many a famous British Victory.
    I enjoyed reading every Captain's report of the encounter, and what an innovative idea that was to be sure.
    Well done sir.


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