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Thread: AAR: Jun - Intercept

  1. #1
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    Default AAR: Jun - Intercept

    HMS Venus strained through hard weather on the Baltic sea. The captain of the frigate Johan Puke stepped out onto the quarterdeck. He looked at the set sails and their trim and found no corrections necessary. Only topsails, fore staysail and spanker were set due to the high winds and quite heavy sea. He looked up at the gray sky and knew it could start raining at any moment. Bringing his new looking glass he climbed the fore ratlines to have a look at the horizon. The ship swayed heavily in the gusty wind. As if warned to be extra vigilant by the approaching captain the lookout hailed "Skepp i sikte!" when he was half way up. The noise of the wind made Johan wonder if it could be heard on deck below. Reaching the top he settled, searching the horizon in the direction the topman was pointing. It was hard to see with his bare eyes, but with his excellent glass Johan could even see some details of the sighted ship, though partly obscured by rain somewhere in between. It flew Russian colours. It had about as much sails set as HMS Venus. Not many ships would carry much more than a storm sail in the relatively hard weather unless there was a pressing matter. That, and it being a frigate made him sure of it being the ship he was sent to capture. He muttered "Det måste vara dem." and turned to the lookout. "Tappa för helvete inte bort dem!" he shouted, telling the sailor making sure that the he wouldn't loose the other ship.

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    Johan returned to his quarterdeck and ordered an adjustment of the course to intercept the Russian ship. It would be carrying someone important heading for St Petersburg. There had long been rumours of an influential spy in Stockholm helping the Russians but no one knew who. Probably someone that would cause some kind of scandal if exposed. From reading the documents he had had the good fortune to capture earlier he knew the spy was Danish, not Russian, and he suspected the spy to be a woman. It hadn't been mentioned but he thought the documents had been written in a feminine hand, and its content was such you would not let anyone else write it.

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    Johan decided to risk setting the topgallant sail to gain even more speed and get in front of the Russian ship. Looking at the master he said "Må det bära eller brista." with a devilish smile. The more careful captain of the Russian ship was slightly distanced but as Johan saw a tear appear he immediately gave the order to let fly the sheet. The flapping sail still risked to get more damage and was taken in by the experienced seamen. He had gotten the distance he had wished for. It was time to move in for the kill.

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    "Håll babord" the Captain shouted to the helmsman who acknowledged with a nod. Turning to the gun captains Johan screamed "Höj! Rikta högt!" pointing upward to emphasis his order. He wanted to do as much damage to the enemy's rigging as possible to make sure they didn't escape.

    As the opportunity presented itself Johan roared at the top of his lungs "FYR!"

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    The guns of the full broadside spoke even higher than the wind but the smoke quickly passed over HMS Venus and vanished to lee, quickly dispersing. The 24 pound cannon balls hit high and made holes in the mizzen topsail, but more importantly the main topmast gave a cracking sound and tore away.

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    "Dikt styrbord!" he told the helmsman but rather than hearing him over the winds howling with the guns still ringing in his ears he understood the gesture of turning the wheel. A single musket shot rang out from the Russian ship but the large waves and hard wind made it go wild. The range was too long.

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    Turning to larboard Johan lined up the broadside with the enemy frigate waiting for the roll. The heavy sea helped elevate the guns. The broadside rippled along the ship causing many casualties among the Russian seamen trying to repair the rigging. Their replying broadside was not without casualties, but the worst damage was that the helmsman reported that the wheel suddenly spun freely. Johan sent a jungman below to see if the rudder could be steered by using the rudder stock. It was slower and hard to get heard over the din of the battle but worked. Johan didn't want to take men from the guns to rig new chains for the wheel.

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    Continuing his larboard turn Johan passed closely in front of the Russian frigate. They had finished the repairs of the rig. Muskets rang out on both ships but neither had much effect, perhaps a few casualties on the Кронштадт.

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    Johan commanded "Dikt styrbord! Bordare redo!" and the frigate came round. The starboard guns fired as they bore. Still aiming high even though so close several holes appeared in the sails and several larboard foremast shrouds snapped. Several cannonballs from Kronstadt made holes in the bulwark of HMS Venus.

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    Some of the smoke from the guns twirled and stayed a little between the ships despite the hard wind. HMH Venus continued her starboard turn while the foremast of the Kronstadt came crashing down preventing her from steering effectively. Kronstadt hit the HMS Venus about midships and slid forward with a loud crash the bowsprit getting caught in the rigging. Still grappling hooks flew and secured the two frigates together.

    Looking back at the boarding party one last time, Johan raised his blade high and screamed "För Konung och fädernesland!" well knowing that not all had any love for the King. He leaped up on the bulwark and continued over to the Russian ship's rail. He sidestepped a boarding pike and jumped down thrusting with his sword. At the same moment a shot rang out and the Russian with the pike was already dead when his sword caught him. There were many Russians surrounding him but large Swedish båtsmän came pouring over from HMS Venus behind him. More shots rang out and men fell on both sides.

    The Swedish held on to the initiative and pushed forward, driving the Russian sailors in front of them. When having their backs against the wall at the end of the quarterdeck the Russians surrendered and the deck and upper gundeck was in the hands of the Swedish. The Russian colours were lowered and replaced by a Swedish ensign brought along.

    A Swedish seaman looked down a hatch and immediately caught a pistol bullet. "Hämta granater!" Johan shouted, "Vi måste rensa de djävla från nedgångarna!" about clearing the hatchways. A soldier looking a tad short appeared by his side and held out a grenade. It was one of the replacements from Drottningens regemente that had been picked up in Finland. The grenade was lit and dropped down the hatchway. As soon as it exploded Swedes jumped down. As the short soldier was about to follow Johan put his hand on his shoulder and said "Nej, inte ni. Med mig!" Johan headed toward the captains cabin, followed by the båtsman and a few more sailors. "Vad heter ni?" Johan asked the new båtsman. "Petter Hagberg." came the answer coarse from powder smoke and shouting. As Johan opened the first door a Russian lunged out with a sword. Johan jumped aside and it lightly stabbed the båtsman square in the chest. He looked surprised and shot the Russian square in the face, clutching his chest. Johan raised his pistol and sword and entered.

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    The fight was over. Johan stood in the great cabin of the Kronstadt with a confused look on his face. The Russian captain hadn't surrendered. He lay dying on the floor of the great cabin. The surgeon had been fetched to see if he could save him but quickly concluded he could do nothing to save his life. He then shifted his attention to the wounded båtsman who had stated that there was no need to have his wound looked to but at the insistence of the surgeon the soldier finally yielded and had turned out to be a woman. She was actually called Brita Cristina Nilsdotter Hagberg and had enlisted to be with her husband who had subsequently been captured by the Russians. Johan found that Brita had turned out to be a resourceful soldier. He did not want loose any crew and especially not any who's competent but he was sure women were not allowed to be fighting men. He didn't know what to do. Add to that that he had found no civilian nor any women at all on the Russian ship.

    But then he realized that Brita might not be the only one thinking of dressing like a man. He ordered that all Russian prisoners be paraded on deck. Having assured himself from the surgeon that she was well enough he let Brita inspect them. Her sharp eye soon found its prey. It surprised Johan as the disguised spy they looked for was tall enough to be of a good length for a man at six foot. He invited her to join him for dinner aboard HMS Venus being careful to keep her under guard.

    Dressed in a dress and having tidied up her quickly cut off blond hair the Danish spy looked beautiful. Her smile over the wineglass in the light of the lanterns when they were eating a cold dinner, the stove had still not been lit in the hard weather, made him realize just how dangerous she really was...
    Last edited by TexaS; 05-21-2018 at 03:05.

  2. #2
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Yet another First rate action backed up by an equally good story line Jonas.
    You should write a book!
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  3. #3
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    Thank you.

    My step dad has published a few books so I know how nearly impossible it is to get anything published. I'm not wasting my time on that.

    As a note: I used the rules that lets you replace some of the chits drawn with the red chits. It's a really bad deal as you risk getting zeros when exchanging hits, but in this case I thought it would be interesting to try.

  4. #4
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    I love your Swedish navy ships. They really stand out in a game dominated by the three superpowers.

  5. #5
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexaS View Post
    Thank you.


    As a note: I used the rules that lets you replace some of the chits drawn with the red chits. It's a really bad deal as you risk getting zeros when exchanging hits, but in this case I thought it would be interesting to try.
    I have never tried the firing high rule myself, but if you say it's no good I'm glad that I did not use it.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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