Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: AAR - May 2015 Mission Who Fired the First Shot by ShadowDragon

  1. #1

    Default AAR - May 2015 Mission Who Fired the First Shot by ShadowDragon


    Who fired the first shot

    My version of the 2015 Campaign scenario, Who fired the first shot, by Union Jack:

    https://sailsofglory.org/showthread....the-first-shot

    “No good deed goes unpunished,” muttered Gabriel to no one in particular as he scanned the horizon for the ship that would put an end to the anxious waiting….but start the bloodshed. The British commander, Admiral James Wellesley, had been greatly appreciative of Gabriel’s and Anamaria’s information on the secret collaboration between the Spanish and the French. It could only mean that Spain was joining the war on the side of France.

    Until they could be reinforced Wellesley would be outnumbered if French and Spanish fleets should unite. Wellesley could use the help of the pirates, …er, buccaneers – no matter how unsavory it was to deal with their sort. When Gabriel and Anamaria hesitated, he threatened them, “Be sure you choose the winning side.” To which Gabriel replied, “The side we choose will be the winning side.” But Wellesley had more to offer or threaten than just words – a renewed Letter of Marque or cancelling their existing one.

    Even if the British were currently in a ‘pickle’ they’d eventually reinforce Wellesley’s small fleet and then they could make life difficult for Gabriel, Anamaria and their pirate brethren. They agreed to support Wellesley. So, it was that Gabriel and a thousand pirates were aboard the Orient at the tail end of a small British squadron of two ships – the HMS Zealous and the HMS Bellona. Captain Alan Cunningham of the Zealous was the squadron commander. He wasted no time in expressing his distaste with a pirate ship joining his squadron, but Wellesley had insisted. The Zealous and Bellona were 74’s and no match for the Spanish 1st raters. They needed the Orient.

    Cunningham had the Orient posted at the rear of the squadron in the belief that the action would be over quickly and all honours would accrue to the British ships. It suited Gabriel to be as far as possible from Cunningham.

    So it was that two British ships and a pirate ship were sailing parallel to a Spanish squadron of four ships including two 1st rate ships – the Real Carlos and the Santa Ana. Each side waiting for news that war had been declared.

    Name:  T0.jpg
Views: 14
Size:  107.0 KB


    How peculiar, thought Gabriel, that ‘respectable’ people should worry about niceties like who fired the first shot or not while tolerating the enslavement of fellow human beings. The one good thing that the Jacobins did was to end slavery in all French territories and colonies. At least they recognized the hypocrisy of such an ‘institution’ existing alongside their declaration of rights – of being born free and remaining free with equal rights. Now ‘freedom’ that’s something that spoke to the heart of every pirate.

    All eyes scanned the horizon for a ship – would it be friend or foe with news of war or not. First a mast and then the ship…but which ship?

    Name:  T1.jpg
Views: 18
Size:  113.5 KB


    The Spanish squadron turned to cross the line of the British and pirates ships. One by one they’d come under fire of the large Spanish 1st rates. Why didn’t Cunningham turn to cut the Spanish in half? He had the wind gauge. A pirate enterprise was one of profit and loss and it seemed to Gabriel that there’d be much loss and little profit in continuing with the ‘plan’.

    “I’ll be in Hades before I’ll follow the orders of an English gentleman to a glorious disaster. Helmsman, steer us four points to port.”

    Name:  T2.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  146.2 KB


    “What in blazes is that villain doing – breaking the line? Deserting us, no doubt.” Captain Cunningham was livid.

    Name:  T3.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  135.2 KB


    To avoid colliding with the lead Spanish ship, the San Juan, the Zealous veered to port – cutting the Spanish line between the San Juan and the next ship the Real Carlos.

    Name:  T4.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  137.8 KB


    Now, thought Gabriel, fire both broadsides and you’ll rake both the Spaniards.

    Name:  T5.jpg
Views: 16
Size:  135.7 KB


    Whether Cunningham would have fired the first shot or not will never be known. The newcomer was the HMS Agamemnon. She ran up the signal that it was War and in the San Juan opened fired her. Suddenly all ships in the van of both fleets were ablaze. The Zealous raked both the San Juan and the Real Carlos but the San Juan raked the Bellona who also had to endure the heavy broadside of the Real Carlos. All three of the Bellona’s masts were down. With her crew desperately struggling to fight fires and seal leaks, the Bellona struck her colours – the first loss of the battle. The Bellona had paid a heavy price for Captain Cunningham’s plan.

    Name:  T6.jpg
Views: 16
Size:  166.2 KB


    The HMS Bellona after the 'salutes' of the San Juan and Real Carlos.

    Name:  HMS Defence 1794.jpg
Views: 12
Size:  152.8 KB


    The Zealous and the Real Carlos were close and the fire of the marines was deadly. [I forgot that they were withing musketry range until after I put all the chits from the cannons on to the logs. So I needed another photo – otherwise the same turn as the previous photo.]

    Name:  T7.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  159.9 KB


    The HMS Agamemnon struck back at the San Juan. That would be Horatio Attenbridge, thought Gabriel, a good man – an independent thinker. Good enough to be a pirate. Further down the line the Zealous had passed the Spanish line and was taking fire from both the Real Carlos and the Santa Ana.

    Name:  T8.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  155.8 KB


    Seeing that the Real Carlos had suffered heavily, Horatio head straight for her. A desperate action was needed for else all three of His Majesty’s ships would be lost.

    Name:  T9.jpg
Views: 16
Size:  155.6 KB


    The Real Carlos was grappled and the marines and crew of the Agamemnon swarmed over her sides – the Spanish crew was at the mercy of the Jack Tars. The Real Carlos struck her colours – the second loss of the battle.

    Name:  T10.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  155.1 KB


    The Zealous paired off against the San Juan leaving the Agamemnon to engage the powerful and, as yet, unharmed Santa Ana.

    Name:  T11.jpg
Views: 18
Size:  134.8 KB


    So where was Gabriel and the Orient while all this was happening? When the firing started between the vans, the Orient was across the stern of the rear of the Spanish squadron – the San Agustin. Did the Orient fired before or after the Agamemnon’s signal? Without a doubt Gabriel would have fired in any event – formal declaration or not, he had seen the evidence of the port of San Los Hope. The Orient was a match for the Real Carlos and the Santa Ana, So with the cry of “hoist the black colours”, she fired and her broadside raked the San Agustin from stem to stern – bodies were smashed and cannons overturned.

    Name:  T12.jpg
Views: 17
Size:  118.8 KB


    The San Agustin was listing badly. Gabriel could see that the Orient’s help was needed further up the line. He knew and liked Horatio Attenbridge. The Orient would go to the aid of the Agamemnon but that meant dispatching the San Agustin quickly.

    Name:  T13.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  120.7 KB


    It wasn’t the best position from which to fire, but the San Agustin was badly damaged. A partial salvo from the Orient and the San Agustin struck – the third loss of the battle.

    Name:  T14.jpg
Views: 16
Size:  127.2 KB


    While the Agamemnon was manoeuvring to engage the Santa Ana, the Orient rounded the surrendered San Agustin and fired on the Santa Ana with her forward, starboard battery. Some damage was done but the Santa Ana was a powerful ship and as yet undamaged.

    Name:  T15.jpg
Views: 16
Size:  145.8 KB


    The Agamemnon was nearer the Santa Ana and engaged her at close range, but the Agamemnon had suffered earlier from the San Juan and the Santa Ana’s starboard battery had not yet fired. A tremendous broadside took out the main and fore masts of the Agamemnon. She struck – the fourth loss of the battle.

    Name:  T16.jpg
Views: 14
Size:  154.1 KB


    The Orient avenged the Agamemnon. It was long range but the broadside raked the Santa Ana – taking out her mizzenmast.

    Name:  T17.jpg
Views: 17
Size:  142.2 KB


    But the Santa Ana still had fight in her.

    Name:  T18.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  154.5 KB


    The guns of the Orient and the Santa Ana thundered again. A cannonball from the Santa Ana decapitated the Orient’s helm and damaged the wheel, but the Orient’s broadside wrecked havoc on the Santa Ana. With two fires raging and a diminished crew, the Santa Ana struck – the sixth loss of the battle. [Not the fifth? No, sixth – we must return to the fight between the HMS Zealous and the San Juan.]

    Name:  T19.jpg
Views: 16
Size:  176.5 KB


    Just before the Agamemnon had disentangled from the Real Carlos one last salvo had damaged the San Juan’s mizzenmast. Seeing an easy prize, the Zealous pursued her.

    Name:  T21.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  133.8 KB


    But the San Juan still had some fight in her. She returned fire. The Zealous was holed below the waterline.

    Name:  T22.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  145.1 KB

    Cunningham could see no British colours flying – the Agamemnon was lost and likely the battle. With most of the crew killed or wounded he had to make a choice – fire one last broadside or attend to the water rushing into the ship. He chose to fire – and with that the San Juan struck – the fifth loss of the battle.

    Name:  T23.jpg
Views: 16
Size:  124.0 KB


    The Orient’s crew took time to get her steering working again, and in the meantime the Zealous returned to put a prize crew on the Santa Ana and claim her for His Majesty’s Royal Navy.

    Name:  T20.jpg
Views: 16
Size:  124.4 KB


    When they returned to port, Cunningham claimed that the Santa Ana had not yet struck until she was boarded by the crew of the Zealous; and that the Orient’s crew had hung back and avoided the fight. Eyebrows were raised but none would take the side of a pirate against an officers in the Royal Navy – except for Horatio but he was badly wounded on the Agamemnon with the wreck of the Bellona blocking his view.

    Oh well, thought Gabriel, we didn’t need another lumbering 1st rate ship – the Orient is bad enough. Still she could have been sold for more than a few pieces of gold. At least they had the San Agustin – she’d be a fine addition to their pirate navy.

    At the battle's end:

    Name:  After the battle.jpg
Views: 11
Size:  147.8 KB


    Ship logs and notes on surrendered ships

    Bellona had 3 mast hits = surrendered (as per rules)
    Agamemnon on fire with 1 hull box left with just 1 action available dedicated to firefighting = surrendered (not capable of further engagement)

    Name:  UK.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  193.7 KB Name:  Pirate.jpg
Views: 14
Size:  196.4 KB

    San Agustin was down to 1 hull box, rolled a '1' for morale = surrendered
    Real Carlos had all crew boxes covered = surrendered
    San Juan had all crew boxes covered = surrendered
    Santa Ana had two fire hits, so 4 fire chits by the time the crew put out one fire, with limited actions available and needing 2 turns to put out the last fire, and just 2 hull boxes left = surrendered (not capable of further engagement)

    Name:  SP 1.jpg
Views: 16
Size:  229.5 KB Name:  SP 2.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  202.9 KB
    Last edited by ShadowDragon; 02-21-2021 at 10:23.

  2. #2
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    17,789
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    My word Paul, that was a real swashbuckling humdinger of an action. Most enjoyable and I love the way you worked your pirate ship into the action. That Cunningham wants a boot up the jacksie. If he were in my Squadron he would be hauled over the coals for his inept action jeopardising his ships. The only thing I don't quite get is the number of surrenders when you look at the ship logs after the battle.
    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

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    My word Paul, that was a real swashbuckling humdinger of an action. Most enjoyable and I love the way you worked your pirate ship into the action. That Cunningham wants a boot up the jacksie. If he were in my Squadron he would be hauled over the coals for his inept action jeopardising his ships. The only thing I don't quite get is the number of surrenders when you look at the ship logs after the battle.
    Rob.
    Thanks for the rep, Rob.

    Cunningham = always need villain to give the heroes angst for a good story

    I've edited my post to explain why ships surrendered. This was:

    San Juan and Real Carlos are obvious from the logs = all crew boxes covered
    HMS Bellona (need to look close to see the 3 mast counters) = 3 concurrent mast hits
    San Agustin had 1 hull box and rolled for morale which came up surrendered = poor morale with 1 hull box left

    The HMS Agamemnon and Santa Ana are less obvious, but each has 1 fire chit in the special damage box by the time they would put out the fires all hull boxes would have been covered. Since I played actions it limits what ships can do at that stage and if they're only fighting fires, for example, I just had them surrender.

  4. #4
    Admiral of the Blue.
    Baron
    England

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Notts
    Log Entries
    17,789
    Blog Entries
    22
    Name
    Rob

    Default

    Thanks for that Paul. I missed the mast hits, not having ever had three in all the time I was playing I never looked for them. I guessed the fires were terminal but wanted to make sure you had not sold yourself short.

    Great stuff.
    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.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Thanks for that Paul. I missed the mast hits, not having ever had three in all the time I was playing I never looked for them. I guessed the fires were terminal but wanted to make sure you had not sold yourself short.

    Great stuff.
    Rob.
    Yes, it was quite something to draw 3 mast hits on the same target in one turn. I had just opened up an extra pack of ship logs and chits just for this scenario, so my first reaction was....uh-oh, did I mix these up enough. I meant to include a picture of a de-masted ship just to emphasize the 'effect' of Cunningham's 'plan' - although the story was an after the game to 'explain' the results.

    Quite a lot of mast hits in the game: for the RN the HMS Bellona had 3 at once, and the HMS Agamemnon had 2 at the end but a whole lot of other problems. On the Spanish side, the Santa Ana, the Real Carlos and the San Juan all suffered a mast hit. So 8 mast hits in total.

    Added in pics of a couple of period paintings with damaged ships. One is the HMS Defence, 1794.
    Last edited by ShadowDragon; 02-21-2021 at 10:24.

  6. #6
    Midshipman
    UK

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    North Derbyshire
    Log Entries
    281
    Name
    John

    Default

    Well it's hard not to think the pirates hung back a little, but hell - they are pirates why wouldn't they.

    A cracking action, death to the Dons and wealth to the Pirates.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Well it's hard not to think the pirates hung back a little, but hell - they are pirates why wouldn't they.

    A cracking action, death to the Dons and wealth to the Pirates.
    Maybe there was another plan in between hanging back and rushing in to destruction. It's all after the fact story creation...oops, the secret is out. I had hoped the Orient would cut in between the San Agustin and the Santa Ana, but, lordy do those 1st rates lumber along. Gabriel will be happy to go back to the Argonauta or even better a frigate, the Hermione. But for this story it had to be the Orient.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •