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Thread: Bataille d'Aboukir (1798) at Doncaster 2017

  1. #1

    Default Bataille d'Aboukir (1798) at Doncaster 2017

    Bonjour.

    This ist he AAR of the Battle of the Nile or en francais la Bataille d'Aboukir that took place at the Doncaster Convention 2017.

    For scenario setup and rules have a look here:


    http://www.sailsofglory.org/showthre...nario-for-Cons

    Friday evening. Rob set up the coastline of Abukir Bay in a room oft he South Yorkshire museum.
    Weeks before he asked me, to surprise the gamers with an original coastline and buildt such beautiful terrain tiles for this game.
    Solid work like we expect from Rob, he studied old drawings, pictures and researched about the terrain.
    The result was breathtaking and a highlight of the mission. Thank you very much!




    A closeup on the Egypt settlement.



    Game designer Andrea Agiolino himself watches the setup.
    In the background at the table Neil & Eileen and some of Chris‘ SoG ship boxes




    It’s the 31.July 1798 (15.September 2017) the French fleet that brought an army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte to Egypt anchores in a line in the bay of Abukir.

    From the right tot he left:

    Guerrier 74 guns
    Conquerant 74 guns
    Spartiate 74 guns
    Aquilon 74 guns
    Peuple Souverain 74 guns
    Franklin 80 guns
    Orient 120 guns (flagship), Sven (Comte de Brueys)
    Tonnant 84 guns

    …the line was longer, but only 8 French ships displayed

    In the background the French frigate Serieuse 32 guns

    At this point I have to announce the kindness of Chris (CapnDuff) who provided 17 full rigged ships for this scenario. Thank you very much Chris this was another highlight oft he mission , that made it that special!




    The French anchored near to shoals and sandbanks to prevent any attackes to get between the line and the coast.
    The French where that shure, that some of their ships, the Guerrier & the Conquerant did not clear the portside gunports from stuff & materials used during the anchorage.




    1.August 1798 afternoon, (16.September 2017 morning) the Royal Navy under Nelson’s command arrived at the scene.

    Here some of the captains with US LL member Karl Evoy.
    Simon with his pirate hat, explains the strategy.
    Rob offered the RN captains some glasses with port wine. Me, in command oft he French line was offered a glass with Cognac.
    A very stylish start!




    The Royal Navy sailed into the bay in a straight line and managed to get between the coast and the French line!
    Quel surprise!


    RN order of sail and captains:

    HMS Vanguard 74 guns, Chris (Hedeby) Admiral Nelson
    HMS Goliath 74 guns, Simon (Ensing Patch)
    HMS Zealous 74 guns, Andrea (Angiolillo)
    HMS Orion 74 guns, Neil (Union Jack)
    HMS Audacious 74 guns, Gary (McDorf)
    HMS Minotaur 74 guns, Andy (sealegs)
    HMS Defence 74 guns, Chris (CapnDuff)
    HMS Leander 50 guns, Rob (Bligh)




    The RN sails deeper into the bay. The flagship HMS Vanguard (Chris Hedeby) checked the small French frigate and left the leading of the line HMS Goliath (Simon).

    HMS Zealous (Andrea) had finished off the badly damaged Guerrier with musket fire.

    On the picture from the left: Andrea, Neil, Gary, Chris (CapnDuff)




    The other four RN captains from the left: Andy, Chris Hedeby, Rob, Simon



    Battle continued. More French ships sunk.

    Conquerant by a combined broadside of HMS Minotaur (Andy) and HMS Leander (Rob).

    Spartiate by HMS Audacious (Gary)

    …and the RN had a first loss. HMS Goliath (Simon) was sunk after catching most of the French first broadsides. Respect Simon, you softened the French line and did your part.

    HMS Zealous (Andrea), badly damaged too, turned to the coast to avoid being sunk by the French ships.

    It was clear that the first RN ships had the most ungratefull job to encounter one fresh/undamaged French ship after the other.

    The picture shows that the mighty 1st rate Orient had joined the battle.




    Closeup. HMS Orion (Neil), anchored right to the Aquilon, exchanging broadsides.

    HMS Vanguard executed her surprise maneuver towards the Orient.




    Closeup: Four fresh RN ships heading for action.

    The sunk French ships were nicely displayed by some Langton miniatures.




    A few turns later. HMS Vanguard is lost. Bow racked by the Orient and heavy hit by the Tonnant, the flagship sank, but dealt out a fatal blow to the Orient and set her on fire!



    Due to a scenario rule, all special damages did not count, except fire damage to the Orient.
    From turn 14 the 1st rate suffered each turn a box to fire damage.
    This special miniature was given tot he Doncaster Con by the US forum member Nightmoss.
    Thank you very much for another highlight of the mission!




    Aquilon was fought down by HMS Orion (Neil) and HMS Leander (Rob).

    HMS Audacious (Gary) and the Peuple Souverain exchanged broadsides.

    …and then it happened: Instead sailing into a bowrake position for the Peuple souverain, the captian of HMS Leander confused portside with starboard and turned away from the French line!

    Now I know what the yellow sign is for...




    The captain of HMS Leander explained his view of the situation to the audience.



    Always look on the bright side of life… …and remember that the last laugh is at you.



    After 3 hours of gaming and 20 turns, the burning Orient was finished off by HMS Minotaur (Andy). Six of the Orient’s eleven boxe were closed by fire before.

    Peuple Souverain was defeated by crew losses after a boarding action of HMS Orion (Neil) and a lucky last shot that closed the last crew member box.

    Franklin was defeatet by HMS Defense (Chris CapnDuff)

    Extra points were earned by HMS Vanguard (Chris Hedeby) by handling the French firgate Seriuese gentle in the first, and sunk her in the second when the Frenchmam surprisingly opened fire at the HMS Vanguard.

    The fate of HMS Leander (Rob) was a little vague. Sunk by the Peuple Souverain? …or did the Portland class survived?

    Anyways we had great time together in Doncaster and I hope the guys liked the cooperative scenario de la Bataille d'Aboukir. I enjoyed it that much.

    At last a view on the Port and Cognac chests which supplied us with motivating drinks.





    Special thanks at last to Rob (Bligh) who granted all RN captains a nice little medal and the defeated French Admiral (me) a shiny new Legion d'Honeur medal.
    Last edited by Comte de Brueys; 10-03-2018 at 22:08.

  2. #2

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    Here are some more pictures of the scenario, made by Rob.

    He catched some moments I wasn't able to photograph.

    http://www.sailsofglory.org/showthre...Apre-Doncaster

    If any of the participating players have more pictures, please post them here.

    Thank you.

  3. #3
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    Very good looks like fun game to have participated in.

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    Comte de Brueys having generously and graciously extended his accolades to all our victorious captains, it only remains for me to return the compliment. His scenario mechanism and the way he put into effect, his control of the entire French Fleet whilst also casting a weather eye over the shenanigans of the British, entitled him not only to his glass of Cognac but also earned him his well deserved Legion Medal. This is the most enjoyable battle in which I have taken part, enhanced as it was by the "Band of Brothers" alongside with whom I had the honour to fight.


    Bligh.
    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.

  5. #5
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    Great AAR!

  6. #6

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    You did contribute to the result, Jonas.

  7. #7
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    Thank you, Sven.

  8. #8
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    I certainly had a good time, cheers!
    No-one expects a ship full of dwarves.

  9. #9

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    Yes you had.

    Fought down the Spartiate and helped to destroy the Peuple Souverain.

  10. #10
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    Ohhhhhh wish I was there, that was a good after action report. Sounds like a good event.

    Shane

  11. #11
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    There is always next year Shane.
    My spies did whisper something about Trafalgar.
    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.

  12. #12

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    It has been a real pleasure to take part in this game. Great organization, superb game equipement, and most of all a load of fun in very good company.
    Trafalgar you say? We struggled to put as many Trafalgar ships as we could in our releasaes, and you are great anyway in filling the gaps. That battle is the reference for the whole game. I am sure it will be another masterpiece of a scenario!

  13. #13
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Very kind of you to say so Andrea.
    Sven always puts on a good game, and the good company and fun is what I think the game should be about.
    Trafalgar might be stretching our resources, but with Chris to help us I'm sure we can rise to the occasion.
    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.

  14. #14
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    For a Trafalgar game I have the following.
    British fleet, out of 27 ship of the line I am missing 6
    Franco/Spanish out of 33 ships of the line I am missing 7, including of course the Santissima.
    Ships in both fleets are named with a number of tweaks, similar size class etc and my list includes the forth coming series, when it gets here

  15. #15

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    I don't think ships ar the limiting factor (amongst just a few of us we have way more than enough)

    Its players that we are short of

  16. #16
    Captain of the Fleet
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    Quite right Dave, I have myself enough ships in my collection to field both sides, its specifically names I havent done yet.

  17. #17

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    Chris, I would recommend a kind of workshop thread for Trafalgar.

    I get a lot of inspiration and useful contributions from the forumers here for Abukir.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiolillo View Post
    It has been a real pleasure to take part in this game. Great organization, superb game equipement, and most of all a load of fun in very good.
    Thank you Andrea.

    You captains filled this scenario with life.
    Last edited by Comte de Brueys; 10-03-2018 at 22:08.

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    The leader of our gallant band was noticeably absent from the ship captains briefing some days before we were to take on the French fleet reportedly anchored in Aboukir Bay. However I am sure that the precedings would be passed on for his final approval. So, plans made, we knew how to defeat the French. Back to our ships gallant captains all and death to the French. We made our final toast of a superb vintage port and departed for our commands.

    (They do say no plan survives first contact with the enemy........ours went awry before that!)

    "I can't make out the signal from the flagship sir".
    "Can anyone make sense of it then?" I asked.
    "Something about a pair of Bristol canons sir".
    "Damnation can't anyone follow a plan!".

    With that I ordered full sail and followed HMS Goliath and Zealous as the flag ship sailed on into the bay towards a lone French frigate!

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    Goliath, Vanguard and Zealous came perilously close to colliding! I ordered Orion in closer.
    "Why can't people follow a simple. brilliantly conceived plan?"

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    "Whats the flagship doing if you please?"
    "She's taking on Orient Sir, alone".
    "Is the admiral mad? Don't answer that".

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    Having sailed within pistol shot We engaged Aquilon to port as Leander engaged from starboard. (At least one of the captains remembered the plan!) HMS Zealous. heavily damaged, removed herself from the line of battle.

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    "Sir Vanguard, she's engaged Orient, the French flagship is afire".
    "What of Vanguard?"
    "Lost sir, lost".

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    "Steer in front of Peuple Souvrain, we'll give her a rake and then board her for good measure".
    "Aye Aye sir".

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    They've struck sir, they've struck".
    "So it would seem and the remaining French ships have struck too. The day is ours. Huzzah".

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    "T'would 'ave been better if we'd stuck to the plan.........." I said to no one in particular.

  20. #20
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    What a hoot Neil!
    Of course I could not possibly comment.
    Bligh.
    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.

  21. #21

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    Nice addition, Neil.

    Great game.

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    Sven it was an admiral game, alas our poor Admiral was all at sea and his ship could reload and fire twice as fast as the French!

    In the words of the great Pepe le Peux 'pouvre qui pouvre'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Comte de Brueys View Post
    Nice addition, Neil.

    Great game.

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    Good job he went down with his ship and we won. I daren't think what the Admiralty would have said had we lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    What a hoot Neil!
    Of course I could not possibly comment.
    Bligh.

  24. #24
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    The Admiralty sir would have lied as usual.
    Bligh.
    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.

  25. #25
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    Admiralty or Admiral?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    The Admiralty sir would have lied as usual.
    Bligh.

  26. #26
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    Definitely Admiralty Neil.
    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.

  27. #27
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    Does anyone know, were the French anchored fore and aft, so they stayed in their tidy row, or were they set up so they could pivot on spring lines?

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    Does anyone know, were the French anchored fore and aft, so they stayed in their tidy row, or were they set up so they could pivot on spring lines?
    "All the ships were anchored at the bow. In order to hold a ship in position, the anchor cable had to be as near horizontal as possible, otherwise it would easily lose its grip on the bottom, particularly in sand or mud. This in turn meant long cables of four or five times the depth of the water. Anchored with a single anchor, the ships would swing with the wind (there is no tide in the Mediterranean), so allowance had to be made to ensure the ship would not swing into the shallower water. Moreover, there had to be large gaps - of about 160 yards at the Nile - between the ships so the lenghty cables did not get entangled as the ships moved. Thus the line of battle was at least a mile and a half long."
    (Mark Adkin, The Trafalgar Companion, Section five: Nelson - The Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798, page 285-286).
    Last edited by Angiolillo; 12-03-2018 at 23:29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiolillo View Post
    "All the ships were anchored at the bow. In order to hold a ship in position, the anchor cable had to be as near horizontal as possible, otherwise it would easily lose its grip on the bottom, particularly in sand or mud. This in turn meant long cables of four or five times the depth of the water. Anchored with a single anchor, the ships would swing with the wind (there is no tide in the Mediterranean), so allowance had to be made to ensure the ship would not swing into the shallower water. Moreover, there had to be large gaps - of about 160 yards at the Nile - between the ships so the lenghty cables did not get entangled as the ships moved. Thus the line of battle was at least a mile and a half long."
    (Mark Adkin, The Trafalgar Companion, Section five: Nelson - The Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798, page 285-286).
    Thanks, Angiolillo! I've always wondered about that. I've heard they were undermanned, so they probably couldn't have afforded the crew to man the capstans anyway.

    I've been coming up with springing rules for SoG which I will post here when I'm satisfied with them.

  30. #30

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    That book is awesome! So full of great details.
    I do not have it at hand now, but this night I read that French ships were undermanned during the battle because most lances were ashore with crews on land (maybe looking for supplies?) and there was not time enough to row back to ships. So probably they were regularly manned when they set anchors, amd they landed later.

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    I have added this book to my Christmas list...

  32. #32
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    They were actually ferrying supplies to the army of Napoleon, and to add to the problem many of the decks were strewn with stores waiting for trans-shipment. this is probably the reason for the fire on Orient.
    De Brueys felt secure because he new he would only have to man the Starboard Batteries, and that Nelson would not attack so late in the day. By the following day enough sailors would have returned to man these guns.

    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.

  33. #33

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    Dobbs, have a look here:

    https://www.sailsofglory.org/showthr...nario-for-Cons

    It's the discussion thread for the Abukir mission. Lots of details & maps.

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    I was working on my springing rules, and this popped into my head: If the ships at the Nile were only anchored at the bow, and there was no tide or current affecting them, then why didn't they weathercock toward the wind? I haven't looked into it, and just thought I'd throw it up here for discussion.

    According to the postings here, the ships were roughly facing west, but the wind was from the NNW.

  35. #35
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    For springing rules I used Deft Captain from our Campaign special abilities list with slight alterations.

    Before any ships have moved, the Captain can rotate the ship. Keep the anchored corner of the ship fixed and rotate diagonally opposite corner up to the width of the ruler. May be used twice per game.

    I also employ this rule for Gun Brigs.

    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.

  36. #36
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    My springing rules are going to be a little more elaborate,... but where do I find this Campaign Special Abilities list?

  37. #37
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    How do you define a gun brig?

  38. #38
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    A gun-brig.

    This was a small brig-rigged warship that enjoyed popularity in the (British) Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, during which large numbers were purchased or built. In general these were vessels of under 200 tons burthen, and thus smaller than the more common Cherokee-class brig-sloops or the even larger Cruizer-class brig-sloops. The gun-brigs generally carried 12 guns, comprising two long guns in the chase position and ten carronades on the broadsides.

    Development.

    The earliest gun-brigs were shallow-draught vessels. Initially they were not brigs at all, but were classed as 'gunvessels' and carried a schooner or brigantine rig. They were re-rigged as brigs about 1796 and re-classed under the new term 'gun-brig'. They were designed as much to row as to sail, and carried their primary armament firing forward - a pair of long 18-pounders or 24-pounders, weapons which in any practical sense could only be trained and fired with the vessel under oars.

    The 1797 batch introduced means to improve their sailing ability. Each was fitted with a Schank drop keel, and lighter bow chasers replaced the heavy pair of guns firing forward over the bows; in later vessels one of the bow chasers would be moved aft to become a stern chaser, both of these guns then being mounted on the centreline and able to pivot. The broadside weapons consisted of 18-pounder carronades mounted on slides along both sides.

    The later gun-brigs developed from this beginning into smaller versions of the brig-sloops with increased draught and seaworthiness, but were less suited for inshore warfare. Compared with the flat-bottomed hulls of the 1794-1800 designs, by the time of the Confounder class the hulls had achieved a relatively sharp cross-section, as performance under sail had become a more important consideration than ease of rowing. By now they were clearly seen as small versions of the brig-sloop rather than enlarged gunboats.

    Deployment.

    The early gun-brigs were seen as inshore and coastal vessels, and saw their first service in coastal operations, notably in the Channel, where they sought out French coastal shipping. As their numbers grew and more seaworthy designs emerged, they were deployed worldwide, notably in the Baltic where many were involved in confrontations with the myriad of Danish gunboats during the Gunboat War, but also on such distant stations as the East Indies.

    Complement.

    The purpose-built gun-brigs were all established with a complement of 50 men, and maintained this level throughout their main period of operation, although the actual number carried varied with availability. The final batch saw the complement raised to 60. Each gun-brig had a lieutenant in command (unlike brig-sloops, which were under commanders), and while he was the only commissioned officer aboard, he was assisted by a midshipman and a number of warrant officers - a master's mate (ranked as 'master and pilot') to share the watches, carpenter's mate, gunner's mate, boatswain's mate and surgeon's mate. Other petty officers included a ropemaker, sailmaker, clerk, quartermaster and quartermaster's mate. There were fifteen marines on board - a sergeant to command, a corporal, and thirteen privates. The rest of the crew were ranked as seamen - able seamen, ordinary seamen or landsmen.
    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.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    My springing rules are going to be a little more elaborate,... but where do I find this Campaign Special Abilities list?
    Post number two here Dobbs.

    https://sailsofglory.org/showthread....-Solo-Campaign

    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.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    I was working on my springing rules, and this popped into my head: If the ships at the Nile were only anchored at the bow, and there was no tide or current affecting them, then why didn't they weathercock toward the wind? I haven't looked into it, and just thought I'd throw it up here for discussion.

    According to the postings here, the ships were roughly facing west, but the wind was from the NNW.
    As an additional point, a few of the British ships anchored in gaps in the French line to rake the French ships. If the French ships were anchored on single anchors by the bow, and pointing roughly into the wind, if the British didn't use springs, why didn't they just fall in line with the French fleet, since an anchored boat wants to put its bow to the wind?

    Springs aren't very difficult to set up, but I've just never heard them mentioned at the Nile, and it seems like something history would record...

    There's a lot more to it than the books let on. Typically, you turn into the wind, coast to a stop, drop the hook, and let the wind carry you backwards as it sets.

    I'm thinking that Leander did things a little differently, but how?
    Last edited by Dobbs; 12-08-2018 at 20:30.

  41. #41
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    Well, it didn't take much digging. I see that source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, mentions that both sides used spring lines at the Nile.

  42. #42
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    I assumed that the British ships did so hence my question to Sven about if it was in his rules for the Nile.
    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.

  43. #43

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    No special rules for this in my scenario.

    It's a question of space on the game board.

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