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Thread: Convoys

  1. #1
    Captain of the Fleet
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    Default Convoys

    Now I have completed the rigging of all my ships I am now turning my attention to some merchantmen for convoy scenarios.
    My intention is to use some of my old 1/1200 two decker and smaller frigates as these merchantmen, as they are a smaller scale Im hoping they will look the part instead of being warships.

    Which leads me to a question.

    How many ships would be usable, gamewise, to represent a convoy.

    2, 3 to 5 or 6 to 10.

    I think more than 10 would be unwieldy and would get in the way of the action as I envisage the merchantmen being eye candy rather than playing pieces, but what do you think ?

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral of the Red.
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    H.M. East India Company ships were armed and several gave a good account of themselves in fights.

  3. #3
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    A Frigate and a couple of Sloops would often convoy 3 or 4 small traders and a couple of Indiamen. Pirates or Privateers working in pairs or a threesome would try to distract the Naval vessels whilst one of them swooped down on the lame duck of the convoy and cut it out. That would be the most often found scenario. The Indiamen if handled well would be able to protect each other unless several enemy Corvettes were involved. In the Indies pretending to be Line of battle ships a convoy even saw off a French National Squadron.
    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.

  4. #4

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    Just an historical question beside:

    Didn‘t those East Indiamen sailing alone, most of the time because the other trading ships were that slow?

    I know we can design our convoys the way we wan‘t.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    A Frigate and a couple of Sloops would often convoy 3 or 4 small traders and a couple of Indiamen. Pirates or Privateers working in pairs or a threesome would try to distract the Naval vessels whilst one of them swooped down on the lame duck of the convoy and cut it out. That would be the most often found scenario. The Indiamen if handled well would be able to protect each other unless several enemy Corvettes were involved. In the Indies pretending to be Line of battle ships a convoy even saw off a French National Squadron.
    Rob.
    I know about the incident with the French squadron from one of your previous posts, but can you point me to a source on the other stuff? I haven't gotten far into the Chatterton book, is it in there?

  6. #6
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Not really, just general information picked up from books here and there on the exploits of some of the great Frigate Captains, and The records of voyages of East Indiamen. Very often other Ships tagged along with Convoys arranged by the Board of Admiralty for the East India Company, until they were well past Cape Finisterre. Then they often went their own way. Sometimes this break up was off Gib, or the Azores for those bound for the Cape and the Caribbean. Other groups would sail in a group as Sven said, but usually with some escort, as the Insurance underwriters often insisted upon this. Any ship breaking away, to go faster and solo would lose its insurance cover.
    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.

  7. #7
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    Interesting!

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