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

  1. #1

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    Mar 2016
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    Default AAR: April 1799 – The first battle of Toulon

    The scenario description can be found in the “Scenarios” section:

    Players: Uwe aka JackAubrey1805 (England), Achim aka Argo (France)

    Setup Overview:

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    England on the left side, France on the right side

    British line:

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    British line, from left to right: HMS Caton, HMS America, HMS Bellona, HMS Majestic, HMS Bellerophon (flagship, 1st ship of the line)

    French line:
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    French line, from left to right: Redoutable, Aquilon, Formidable, Proserpine (the ship in use here is the Dryade, should be Proserpine). Not part of the line, in the front: Carmagnole.

    Round 1
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    Wind conditions: Strong wind from the west

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    Round 1, Movement Overview

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    Round 1, British movements:
    HMS Bellerophon moves slightly upwind, HMS Majestic and HMS America enhancing lateral distance to their leading ships for better maneuverability. All ships with full sails.

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    Round 1, French movements:
    Redoutable moves hard to port
    Aquilon and Formidable enhancing lateral distance to their leading ships for better maneuverability,
    Proserpine (Dryade model) is leaving the line.

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    Round 1, actions: Vice-Admiral Duckworth hesitates to give the command to fire because he wants to be sure to bring his main battery into firing range (houserule: You FIRST have to announce the “Fire” command for each broadside and SECOND you are allowed to measure distance and angles). – A fatal mistake…
    HMS Bellerohon is hit by a first broadside double shot from the stern battery of the Redoutable which causes massive damage.

    Round 2
    No changes in wind conditions.

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    Round 2, movement overview

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    Round 2, movement details:
    Redoutable moves back to starboard, Aquilon moves to starboard to block the way for HMS Bellerophon.
    HMS Majestic changes course slightly to east (course card just visible at the left edge of the picture).

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    Round 2, actions:
    HMS Bellerophon and Aquilon collide which each other and have to draw C-damage tokens (houserule).
    Now Duckworth gives the order to open fire for the starboard battery and to aim on the Aquilon. Same does HMS Majestic for her portside battery (houserule: If you have an enemy target in range and firing arc you are allowed to fire, even if you have a friendly ship in the same range and firing arc).

    As result of the massive strafing two fires break out on the Aquilon.

    Aquilon opens fire against HMS Bellerophon with her portside battery, and as result HMS Bellerophon has to draw her last damage counters, with an open fire and a leak on board.

    The Captain of HMS Majestic is shocked as he realizes that he has maneuvered his ship in a position for a perfect bow rake from the Redoutable, but luck is on his side – Redoutable is reloading.

    Round 3

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    The wind might change to South-West.
    At the beginning of Round 3 HMS Bellerophon sinks.

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    Round 3, movements:
    HMS Majestic turns slightly to North-East to get behind the Redoutable, which is changing her course to south. The heavily burning Aquilion is pushed to south (red card) with her crew desperately fighting against the two fires.
    With Formidable and HMS Bellona the next two SotL are now advancing into firing range.

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    Round 3, actions:
    HMS Bellona and HMS Majestic open fire on both sides, (HMS Majestic continuous fire on portside),
    Aquilon fires back with continuous fire on her portside. The reloaded Redoutable fires a full broadside into HMS Majestic, Formidable has HMS-Bellona in A-Range for her starboard front battery and also opens fire. The Carmagnole tries to support the SotL and opens for with her starboard stern battery against HMS Majestic – just in A-ruler-range.

    The outcome is devastating for both opponents:
    A fire breaks out on the Formidable after being raked by HMS Majestic.
    The Redoutable is hit by two full broadsides from HMS Majestic and HMS Bellona, which convert the formerly undamaged ship into a dismasted wreck immediately. Water is pouring in through three leaks, she is doomed to sink.
    But HMS Majestic will meet the same fate. A little slower, but it is obvious that she will not survive another three rounds. Water is pouring in through two leaks into the heavily damaged hull faster than it can be pumped out and the leaks can be repaired.
    HMS Bellona also suffers from two leaks, but because the ship is except from that almost undamaged there is a good chance for her to continue fighting.

    Round 4

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    Wind changes from west to south-west.
    Aquilon and Redoutable sink immediately at the beginning of round 4. The situation is getting difficult for France.

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    Round 4, movements:
    HMS Majestic changes course to North. She will sink at the beginning of the next round and has no chance to reach the “target area” to spot the convoy.
    Formidable tries to block the way for HMS Bellona, which is moving to east.
    HMS America and HMS Caton are closing in. The two French frigates which were held back up to now, also lower their distance to the battle area.

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    Round 4, action: HMS Bellona and Formidable fire with continuous fire on each other, HMS America is close enough to open fire against the Formidable. The Formidable is in a perfect position for a stern rake on the HMS Majestic, but for she will sink anyway at the beginning of the next round Villeneuve gives the order to save the first broadside for a more dangerous opponent.

    Round 5
    No changes in wind conditions.
    At the beginning of round 5 HMS Majestic sinks.

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    And now the British squadron is hit by a heavy blow of fate: Maybe the hull of the more than 30 years old HMS Bellona was hit one more time too often: As the captain has to draw the third leak marker he draws the “sinking ship”-marker instead. HMS Bellona sinks like a stone and disappears from the waves immediately.

    Only half of the ships from both squadrons have survived: Now it is one French 80-guns SotL and two frigates against two British 64-guns SotL. But the tactical situation for France is difficult: The Formidable has either to tack about or to jibe to reach close combat range again. A difficult task in the limited remaining time with the limited maneuverability of the heavy 80-guns-ship. But time is also running out for England. So sign of the convoy has been spotted yet!

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    Round 5, movements:
    Both British ships are sailing with full sails to the North.
    The Carmagnole is pushed to the East (red card), Formidable goes as hard to starboard as possible with a veer of 3, Proserpine tries to block the eastern part of the gaming surface for the advancing British ships.

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    Round 5, action: Formidable is reloading, HMS Caton fires a full first broadside against the Formidable which causes severe damage: a broken mast and a leak.

    Round 6
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    We might again see backing winds again…

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    Round 6, movements: HMS America changes slowly course to North-East, keeping an offset to HMS Caton to be able to fire.
    Proserpine goes hard to starboard (red Card).
    Formidable is tacking about, but the heavy ship maneuvers like a swimming wardrobe.
    Unfortunately the overzealous Captain of the Carmagnole forgets to lower his sails to avoid a collision with his flagship. The frigate crushes in the portside of the Formidable. A disaster for the French squadron, but both ships only suffer minor damage (red tokens).

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    Round 6, action: the HMS Caton fires with continuous fire against the Formidable, HMS America with her bow battery against the Proserpine. Formidable fires back, but none of the broadsides cause severe damage.

    Round 7
    No changes in wind conditions.

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    Round 7, movements: Good luck for France: Formidable and Carmagnole are not entangled. But In the chaos of the emerging collision Villeneuve ordered a “normal” maneuver card instead of a “broken mast” maneuver. Therefore a broken mast maneuver card is drawn by chance: Instead of moving hard to starboard the Formidable just sails straight on – and has no chance to get into combat range again.
    Carmagnole moves hard to starboard to support the Proserpine, which stands now alone against the two British SotL. HMS Caton changes course hard to starboard, either to come clear of the Proserpine or to board her, so that the passage will become finally clear for HMS America.
    The Proserpine tries to block the way for the both British ships – if she would have been the first ship to move the plan perhaps might have succeeded (at least, she would have been able to rake HMS Caton), but she is the last one to move…

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    Round 7, action: Proserpine crushes in the bow of HMS Caton and has to suffer from broadsides from HMS Caton and HMS America which cause heavy damage on the frigate (second rudder damage which is treated as a broken mast damage, and in addition a second broken mast. But at least the HMS Caton is stopped and has almost no chance to reach the target zone in the remaining two rounds. But the passage is now clear for HMS America.

    Round 8
    No change in wind conditions.

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    Round 8, movements: HMS Caton and Proserpine are entangled. In a desperate attempt the Carmagole is changing her course to North-East and tries to somehow come into firing range against HMS America – which is changing course to East.

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    Round 8, action: Both frigates fire broadsides against the British ships, which answer with continuous fire. Fires break out on HMS Caton and HMS America, but HMS America cannot be stopped. The crew of HMS Caton tries to board the Proserpine, and because of the British bonus for boarding actions the balance in crew strength quickly turns into an advantage for the British side, but they are not able to finally take over the frigate.

    Round 9

    No change in wind conditions.

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    Round 9 (not 11, sorry for the “overhead” round marker), movements:
    HMS Caton and Proserpine are still entangled, Carmagnole tries to catch up with HMS America.
    HMS America is sailing with full sails eastward…

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    Round 9, action: Continuous fire, but no heavy damage. The remaining crew of the Proserpine desperately tries to parry the boarding attempt of the HMS Caton crew, but has no success. The Proserpine is taken over by the British!

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    And finally, in the last rays of sunlight, the lookout in the main mast of HMS America spots something - in the East, almost not visible against the dark horizon. Sails. A lot of sails. THE FRENCH CONVOY!
    (Target area the British ships have to reach is marked red).

    The Butcher's Bill

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    HMS Bellerophon – sunk

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    Redoutable and Aquilon – sunk

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    HMS Majestic – sunk

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    HMS Bellona – sunk

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    Proserpine – boarded and taken over by the HMS Caton crew

    The next morning
    The situation at the next morning, after overnight repairs and recovery of injured crew members:
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    Carmagnole – Full crew, no damage

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    Formidable – battered, but still able to fight

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    HMS Caton – minor damage, but has transferred crew to now HMS Proserpine

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    HMS Proserpine – still damaged, small crew (from HMS Caton)

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    HMS America – minor damage, full crew
    Last edited by Argo; 10-10-2019 at 14:46.

  2. #2
    Clerk of the Acts

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Hughe AAR, comrades...

    Great 2 parted scenario. I‘m curios for the next part.

  3. #3
    Admiral of the Blue.

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    Nov 2011
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    Splendid AAR. Achim.

    Even an old sea dog like me can take away several improvements to my own presentation.

    1. Displaying the round by marker.
    2. Numbering each round on the AAR accordingly.
    3. Explaining all the action in a round in one picture.
    4. Showing a photo of the wind indicator when anything significant happens.
    In all a very well presented and well organized presentation.

    Well worthy of Rep.

    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

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Very nice job
    I really enjoyed that pictures from the action

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    That's a large engagement!
    Very nice AAR.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Thank you guys.
    It was a great game and we had a lot of fun.
    The work on part two has begun.


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