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Thread: AAR. The battle of Cape Ortagal.

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    Default AAR. The battle of Cape Ortagal.

    My own tribute to Trafalgar Day, was to set up a re-enactment, not of the battle itself, but of the aftermath fought on the 4th of November between a British Squadron under the command of Captain Sir Richard Strachan, and the ships under the command of Rear Admiral Dumanoir le Pelley who had escaped from the Battle of Trafalgar with most of the French part of the Van under his command during the battle...

    The action started with the sighting of the French by the British Frigate Phoenix commanded by Captain Thomas Baker. Dumanoir gave chase, and Baker drew them onto the British Squadron. Strachan then began a pursuit of the French which stretched out over the next night.
    On the morning of the third of November Strachan was joined by the extra frigate Santa Margarita, and the chase continued. It went on all that day and the next night with the British gradually adding extra ships to the squadron as they caught up. Two of the frigates, closed on the rear of the French squadron at about 5.45 on the morning of the 4th of November and the battle commenced.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:30.
    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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    The positions of ships as shown on map one.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:30.
    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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    The pursuing British Frigates opened fire at long range on the French rear.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:30.
    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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    Scipion takes serious damage from HMS Revolutionairre and a small conflagration starts.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:30.
    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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    And Mont Blanc also takes damage from HMS Santa Margarita.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:30.
    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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    Their reply from the stern chasers is insubstantial.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:30.
    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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    The wind which has been blowing from the West North West now veers into the North East.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:29.
    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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    This allows the French Squadron to change formation into Battle Line although still being harried by the chasing Frigates at their heels, as the dispersed British Line begins to draw nearer.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:29.
    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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    Having put out the fire, Scipion is again raked by Revolutionairre.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:29.
    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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    Her reply was desultory to say the least.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:29.
    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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    The position was now developing into a somewhat similar position as shown on map two.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:28.
    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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    Santa Margarita now began to come about onto the same heading as Scipion.
    And had time to double shot her broadside which almost took all the fight out of the 74 without any further ado.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:28.
    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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    Scipion’s reply from her rear battery was hurtful but not totally disabling to the Santa Margarita.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:28.
    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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    Her other full broadside was more effective on the approaching ship of the British Van,
    The 80 gun HMS Caesar whos captain deemed that the ship was not yet in a position to make a telling reply.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:28.
    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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    A couple of moves later the overall situation was thus with the British Line forming parallel to the French, with the French admiral hoisting the signal for his ships to tack in succession.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:28.
    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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    The action at the Battle line now became general.
    HMS Hero exchanged opening broadsides with Mont Blanc at long range and set her on fire in two places.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:28.
    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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    Whilst Caesar in the van served out much the same to her opposite number the 80 gun French Flagship Formidable although it was not her opening broadside, she still started one fire on the Frenchman’s deck.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:27.
    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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    In return Formidable’s broadside was somewhat less effective.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:27.
    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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    The wounded Scipion was even less successful against Hero.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:27.
    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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    She also tried her hand against the Revolutionairre
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:27.
    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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    As you can see Scipion had now shot its bolt and surrendered to the Frigates forthwith.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:27.
    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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    A remarkable success for the frigate force.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:23.
    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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    The French now commenced their evolution to come about and take on the British in a pass by.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:22.
    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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    Unlike the moves shown in the actual battle they have already lost their rearmost 74 and the British Frigates have to circumnavigate the derelict Scipion.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:22.
    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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    The whole battle now starts to diverge from the historical action. The Frigates are too far in the rear to harry the enemy for some time and crowd on sail to attempt to catch up, and it is also obvious that the much slower Namur still has not caught up with the line of battle.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:22.
    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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    Steadily the French approach the British squadron, and it seems that the encounter is to be three on three with the Frigates now out of the picture, and Namur’s escort dispatched to close the gap between the other Frigates and the British battle line.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:22.
    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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    As the French start to pass the British van, and open fire, the frigates start to come about in pursuit.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:21.
    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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    This is as close as we got to the rest of the action in the actual battle as can be seen from the map. With Scipion out of the equation, the Frigates can start turning much sooner than in the actual action.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:21.
    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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    Hero commences the action with a broadside which badly mauls the as yet unengaged Dugay Trouin, maiming many of her crew and starting no fewer than two fires.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:20.
    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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    The riposte is equally savage as the French 74 pours her first broadside into the already injured Hero, shredding sails, bringing down masts and also setting her on fire, with crewmen falling in all parts of the vessel including the fighting tops.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:20.
    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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    All action ceases on the Hero as the stricken ship drifts out of the battle line, and the Dugay Trouin presses on unable to stop and take the surrender of the British ship.

    Score ONE ALL.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:20.
    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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    Not for long, however, as the Caesar now extracts a terrible revenge upon her counterpart the Formidable, with a tremendous broadside which catches her just as she comes out of tacking. Two fires, plus a mast and rudder damage, is included in the hammering which is dealt out to the French Flagship at point blank range.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:20.
    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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    Not having completed her turn, she is only able to reply with her forrard section of guns, and does considerably less damage to her adversary than she received.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:20.
    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.

  34. #34
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    As she moves on down the line, the fire takes hold fanned by the cross wind.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:19.
    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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    Here is the overall picture at this stage of the battle compared to the actual map 4.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:19.
    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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    As the now reloading Dugay Trouin passes the HMS Courageux she is treated to its first double shotted broadside.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:17.
    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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    The fire which breaks out on her foredeck plus incredible overkill as evidenced by the bottom line of extra chits not used forces her inevitable surrender to Courageux.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:16.
    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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    The remains of a proud ship.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:16.
    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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    As Mont Blanc finally reaches the battle HMS Caesar turns to port and cutting across her stern delivers a double shotted broadside.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:16.
    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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    Although she replied with her rearmost guns, she had been too badly damaged earlier in the battle and had suffered loss of morale due to witnessing the surrender of her Flagship.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:16.
    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.

  41. #41
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    Within minutes, as the smoke cleared her flag came down and Sir Richard Strachan accepted her surrender, thus concluding the battle.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:16.
    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.

  42. #42
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    Afterword.

    The final positions of the ships can be compared with the actual battle map, and you can clearly see that the enactment made much more heavy weather of it from the French standpoint than in the real battle.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:15.
    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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    The points which astounded me most were the efficiency of the British Frigates in hounding the French rear, and the number of fires in the game which certainly played a serious part in the French defeat. I have never seen so many fire cards drawn even in battles as large as Trafalgar or the Nile.
    Here is a picture of the number drawn.
    As the battle developed circumstances forced the AI to make differing decisions to those made in the historical action and it diverged more and more as the game unfolded as can be seen from the maps. All in all an enjoyable game, and one which took a different approach from the normal.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:15.
    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.

  44. #44
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    The Butchers Bill.

    French.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-26-2021 at 11:15.
    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.

  45. #45
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    British.

















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    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.

  46. #46
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    Great action Rob, will cross this one off my Doncaster list

  47. #47
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    I was actually going to do this at Doncaster next year Chris.

    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.

  48. #48
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    What a marvellous AAR. Very well fought indeed. It is a bit of a bother to me though that those British ships have French and Spanish names. Presumably they were captured at some point? They should have all been renamed with proper English names eg. HMS Alfie, HMS Roast Beef etc etc. What do you think?

  49. #49
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    Either captures or named in memory of prior captures.
    --Diamondback
    PMH, SME, TLA, BBB
    Historical Consultant to Ares, Wings and Sails - Unless otherwise noted, all comments are strictly Personal Opinion ONLY and not to be taken as official Company Policy.

  50. #50
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    If you have a look here, you can find out all about the captains the battle and at the bottom the Battle order. Hover over the ships names and click and it will take you to the ships biography.

    https://sailsofglory.org/showthread....ight=hms+namur

    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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