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Thread: Scenario: April 1799 – The first battle of Toulon

  1. #1
    Landsman
    Germany

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    NRW
    Log Entries
    18
    Name
    Achim

    Default Scenario: April 1799 – The first battle of Toulon

    Scenario created by Uwe aka JackAubrey1805, translation by Achim aka Argo

    Editorial
    The scenario was originally written in German, therefore, a German version is also available. Just drop Uwe (JackAubrey1805) or me a PM. Das Szenario liegt auch in Deutsch vor, für eine deutsche Version schickt Uwe (JackAubrey1805) oder mir eine PM.
    Uwe has created a number of scenarios for the "Mediterranean campaign" of our SoG-team, which are based on each other and he is still creating new ones. Whenever I have time I will try to translate more parts of our campaign. The following prologue was mainly written as "attunement" for our team for the purpose to set the scenario into the right order among the others. It is not relevant for the game itself. So if you are just interested in the scenario you can skip the prologue and start directly with the "scenario conditions".

    Prologue
    For nearly two months a French convoy consisting of transporters with fresh supplies for Napoleon’s army in Egypt and its escorting squadron of battleships are stuck in Toulon harbor. The British fleet of vice-admiral Duckworth has always been on patrol on the horizon.
    The French commander in charge, Vice-admiral Pierre de Villeneuve received information from his commanding officer admiral Comte de Brueys that he can expect the arrival of a powerful French armed fleet from Malta/Egypt by Mid-April at the latest.
    It is Mid-April now but no additional French warships have arrived yet. The bad weather and rough sea of the last weeks could be responsible for their delay. At the same time the British blockade forces surprisingly leave so that the roads of Toulon become open.
    Villeneuve sees this as a sign that either the plan of his commanding officer has succeeded: To lure the British fleet to Menorca in order to successfully unite the French escort squadron of Toulon with the fleet coming back from Malta to gather a strong force which is capable to conduct the supply transporters safely to Egypt - or that his admiral is already close, right behind the horizon. After all, Comte de Brueys is coming back to Toulon with heavy forces: Among them the l’Orient, which was already victorious against Nelson in May 1798 in the convoy battle in the west of Corsica (Scenario: May 1798 - the convoy battle of Corsica, at the moment this description is only available in German. English version may follow when there is more time for translations ;-) ).
    As the weather is expected to get better, Villeneuve gives order to clear port for the whole fleet – all transporters and the escort squadron consisting of 3 heavy SotL and four frigates. He sets one frigate at the front position of the transporter convoy and one at its end.
    The two others are sailing in front of his squadron.

    However, the British vice-admiral Duckworth ignored the orders which instructed him to unite with admiral Nelson’s forces at the coast of Menorca. He sailed southwards - just beyond range of sight from Toulon - but remained in the area. At least, he sends his frigates to Menorca to make the admiralty believe that he follows their instructions. In his view a threat for Menorca can only be expected from Toulon. From secret agents he got knowledge of the French fleet in the harbor which is ready to depart. His forces are strong enough to keep up with almost every enemy in the area: 3 standard 74-guns SotL and 2 64-guns SotL.

    So it was bound to happen that after Villeneuve has left Toulon and is heading south the frigate that leads his squadron spots the British forces.
    Cursing the day Villeneuve instructs the convoy to fall off eastwards - with only two frigates as an escort - in order to reach Genoa. So, even if he himself should fail, the convoy may still be able to escape. He needs to keep the British fleet away until nightfall so that the convoy can escape in the shelter of the dark. He beats to quarters and sets course in direction of the British squadron…

    A little later Duckworth is spotting the French forces. He gives order to go to full sails and heads towards the enemy instantly. He suspects the transport fleet right behind the warships – but there is no way for him to verify. The only chance he considers to start the search and the chase of the convoy is fighting down the French squadron before nightfall – He commands "All men, clear the decks for action"!
    (In Duckworth’s view Menorca is the only destination to make sense for the transport fleet. Therefore, the information about the convoy heading east would be of immense importance.)

    Scenario conditions

    Where

    Off Toulon, French Mediterranean

    When
    April 1799

    Gaming surface
    Two SoG standard game mats, put together at the long sides. Summed measures: Length 134 cm, Width 98 cm. North – South at the long sides, East – West at the short sides.

    Wind
    Strong – but variable wind conditions
    Direction West – but variable wind conditions.

    Duration

    9 rounds

    Pierre de Villeneuve’s squadron (640 points)
    • Formidable 80-guns SotL (flagship) – SGN115B
    • Aquilon 74-guns SotL – SGN102B
    • Redoutable 74-guns SotL – SGNKS02 or any SGN102 model – Redoutable’s ship log can be found in download section
    • Carmagnole 40-guns frigate – SGN105A
    • Proserpine 40-guns frigate – SGN105B

    Vice-Admiral Duckworth’s squadron (634 points)

    • HMS Bellerophon 74-guns SotL (flagship) – SGNKS04 or any SGN104 model – Bellerophon’s ship log can be found in download section
    • HMS Majestic 74-guns SotL – SGN104C
    • HMS Bellona 74-guns SotL SGN104B
    • HMS America 64-guns SotL SGN114B
    • HMS Caton 64-guns SotL SGN109C

    Setup

    The ships are placed one after another vice-versa, beginning with the British player. British ships in a line South-North, French ships in a line North-South. The first ship has to be placed right next to the Southern (British) or Northern (French) edge, at least one A-ruler length from the western border of the gaming surface. The angle can be set according to the preference of the players.
    Both players have to place their ships in one line. Distance between the ships: C/D-ruler-length. The ships may deviate a halve basewidth in East/West direction from the following ship.
    One French frigate is not part of the line and can be placed anywhere in the Northern 40-cm area.
    The sequence of ships can be chosen by the players, apart from one exception: The British flagship is the first ship of the British battle line. The British are no cowards!

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    Setup example, French side in the front, British side in the back. The 40cm-Area (see “British goals”) the British ships have to reach is highlighted in light blue.

    French goals
    Villeneuve can only prevent the British from spotting the convoy by immediately intercepting the British forces. He assumes that Duckworth has still some frigates at his disposal that are waiting behind the SotL (which in fact is not the case because they had been sent to Menorca).
    Villeneuve’s goal is to stop the British forces and prevent any British ship from reaching the last third (40 cm) of the battlefield. If this plan succeeds until nightfall the convoy will not be spotted and the French players will get a moral bonus for the next battle (Scenario: April 1799 – The second battle of Toulon).
    Additionally, Villeneuve is expecting the arrival of his commanding officer to finally defeat the British fleet…

    British goals
    The British vice-admiral Duckworth suspects the transport fleet behind the French squadron – but cannot be sure of this. If possible, he tries to outmaneuver the French in order to reach the last third (40 cm) of the battle area. If at least one of his ship succeeds, Nelson will receive information about the convoy heading east and Duckworth will be promoted to admiral right thereafter.
    The precise victory conditions of spotting the convoy are as follows:

    Round 1 – Round 6:
    A ship has to reach with its main mast the northern 40 cm area of the gaming surface. The ship has to survive the next round (to set the signal). The entire ship’s base must be inside the gaming area.

    Round 7 – Round 9:
    A ship has to reach with its main mast the eastern half of the northern 40 cm area of the gaming surface (as the convoy is heading eastward and nightfall is about to come it can only be spotted from the eastern part of the game mat). The ship has to survive the next round (to set the signal). The entire ship’s base must be inside the gaming area.

    Duckworth’s second goal is the elimination of the French squadron. He does not know where Nelson is at the moment, whether he and his fleet are located in striking distance or can be found still near Menorca. He does not expect any help, so he has pledged his crewmen to fight up to the last man standing. Therefore, all British forces have a moral bonus in boarding actions.
    At least one British ship as to survive round 9.

    British moral bonus
    The British crews are motivated to fight until the last man, therefore, they have a bonus in boarding actions. The first damage counter they would have to suffer from shall be ignored, and in the first round of boarding the British player draws two instead of one E-counter.

    End of scenario
    After round 9 the night has come, and the fighting stops. All ships need to set anchor on their last position immediately. During the next three rounds they are allowed to carry out “peaceful” actions like repair, extinguish fire or pump water. In every round they are entitled of one extra action. During nighttime the wounded are taken care of and for every ship two crew damage markers may be removed.

    Epilogue
    So, after a busy night filled with executing repairs and the enemy still in vicinity, the dawn comes up again. And suddenly there are new sails spotted in different positions on the horizon. Transporters? Men-of-war? Reinforcements? The enemy?...

    (AAR follows…)



  2. #2
    Midshipman
    UK

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    North Derbyshire
    Log Entries
    106
    Name
    John

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    A nice scenario, the victory conditions are well thought through to give what I would expect to be a very different sort of game.
    I'm looking forward to reading the AAR and seeing more of the campaign come to light.

  3. #3
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
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    Name
    Rob

    Default

    This is an excellent example not only of a well conceived and believable scenario, but also one with a vast varieties of outcome. Well done not only Uwe for contriving it, but also yourself Achim, for giving us such an explicit introduction and description of the idea. I look forward not only to reading your AAR but also following the rest of your campaign with interest.
    Have no doubt that i will be playing this game myself in the future.

    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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