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Thread: AAR: „Plundering the Town – modified plus Houserules”

  1. #1
    Ordinary Seaman

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    Mar 2016
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    Default AAR: „Plundering the Town – modified plus Houserules”

    Last week we brought SoG back on the table again, after almost two years of “pandemic break”. With three persons we played the “plundering the town”-scenario from the 2014 contest:
    We used the following modifications:

    British Setup
    The British player starts with two squadrons.

    British Squadron 1
    Three ships at the southern end of the upper map: HMS Bellerophon (SGNKS04), HMS Royal Sovereign (SGN108A) and HMS Superb (SGN104C).

    British Squadron 2
    Three British ships entering the game area from the northern end of the upper map: HMS Bellona (SGN104B), HMS Goliath (SGN104B), HMS Vanguard (BaseGame).

    British Reinforcements
    For the first two ships the British player loses, he gets a Bellona/Elizabeth-Class SotL as reinforcement. It is placed into one of the setup zones (depending on the squadron which has to be reinforced) the round after the loss. In the “placement round” it must not move or perform actions, nor can it be attacked. From the next on round the reinforcement is fully active.

    Spanish setup
    Town and fortifications as described in the scenario.

    Spanish reinforcements
    In the round after the first shot is fired San Juan Nepomuceno (SGN112A) and Bahama (SGN112B) appear in the setup zone of British squadron 2.


    Extinguish fire action
    The “extinguish fire” action marker may be placed in advance without an active fire on board. The “fire brigade” crew members are already awaiting action and can react faster. The fire is eliminated at the end of the next round, so the ship gets only one permanent damage from the fire.

    First broadside
    The “first broadside-rule” is modified as follows:
    The normal number of damage counters is drawn, but for every “0” counter a second counter may be taken. Second “0” counters have to be counted as “0”, no third ones may be taken.

    Reduced collision damage
    In case of a collision between ships, each ship takes two “C”-counters damage. If one of the ships participating in the collision has a “boarding”-action counter placed, the crew was already aware of the collision and tried to avoid the worst damage. The player may put one of the two “C”-damage counters back into the bag.
    In case a ship runs around it takes half of its burden (rounded down) B-damage counters.

    Landing actions
    In difference to the original scenario rules, a landing of troops may also be performed if the ship is closer than one ruler width from the landing site, it may even be aground.

    All photos are taken at the end of the round.


    British squadron 1 in the South, British squadron 2 in the North. One ship of squadron 2 still out of the gaming area. Wind from the West, wind strength is “medium”.

    Round 1

    British forces are moving in, squadron 2 now complete in the gaming area.

    Round 2

    Fort San Luis has opened fire against HMS Superb. The order from the flagship to HMS Superb: Attack Saint Luis Fort and Cruz Grande Fort to cover the advance of HMS Royal Sovereign.

    British Squadron 2 moving closer.

    Round 3

    HMS Superb gets continuous fire from Fort San Luis. HMS Royal Sovereign is advancing into the bay, HMS Bellerophon is heading to the western shore of the town.

    The first Spanish SotL (the Bahama) appears in the Gaming area.

    Round 4

    HMS Superb still gets continuous fire from Fort San Luis, but answers now with a full fist broadside loaded with double shots. HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Bellerophon are heading towards to the landing zones.

    The 2nd Spanish SotL (San Juan Nepomuceno) appears in the gaming area, HMS Bellona starts with a tacking maneuver to face the enemy.

    Round 5

    Wind strength increases to “strong”, and we might see backing winds in the next rounds.

    Artillery duel between San Luis Fort plus Cruz Grande Fort and HMS Superb. The Superb bravely fulfils her orders but suffers from heavy damage.

    San Jose Fort opens fire on HMS Royal Sovereign

    HMS Bellerophon opens fire on Maranzillo Fort. The fort cannot fire back yet.

    All ships of the 2nd British squadron are tacking or jibing to face the Spanish enemy.

    Round 6

    HMS Superb is hit by continuous fire from the two forts and has no free actions left to fire back.

    HMS Bellerophon gets one hit point from the already heavy damaged Maranzillo Fort. San José Fort is hit by a double shot first broadside from HMS Royal Sovereign. The Royal Sovereign gets little damage from continuous fire.

    The battle between the British squadron 2 and the Spanish reinforcements starts with a first broadside from HMS Goliath against the Bahama.

    Round 7

    Trying to sail out of the firing range from the two forts, HMS Superb gets her final hits.

    HMS Bellerophon and HMS Royal Sovereign have almost reached the landing zones of the town, HMS Royal Sovereign has opened fire on the town.

    The battle between British squadron 2 and the Spanish reinforcements has escalated: HMS Bellona and HMS Goliath have collided during their jibing maneuvers and take two “C” damage tokens each, HMS Vanguard won’t manage her tacking maneuver within the gaming area in the next turn.
    The Bahama suffers from fire from HMS Vanguard and HMS Goliath, HMS Goliath gets hits from the Bahama and HMS Bellona is raked with a first Broadside from San Juan Nepomuceno.

    Round 8

    At begin of round 8 the wind backs.

    HMS Royal Sovereign plays the last movement card of her anchoring maneuver, but she is too fast and runs aground. The grounding causes three “B”-damage tokens immediately after the movement phase. However, the position where she crashes into the shoreline is excellent: She can continuously fire at the town, even with musketry fire, but is outside the western firing arc of the town. And she is close enough to the landing site so she can start landing troops the next round.

    HMS Bellerophon is anchoring close enough to the beach of San Felipe castle, so she can also start landing troops the next round. The artillery and musketry duel between the forts, the town and the two ships continues.

    HMS Bellona and HMS Goliath collide a second time, but again with only little damage.

    San Juan Nepomuceno has to take a first starboard broadside from HMS Bellona, both Spanish ships and HMS Goliath are shooting with continuous fire but all cause only minor damage. Except from a fire that breaks out on the Bahama.
    HMS Vanguard was not completely inside the gaming area at the end of her movement and therefore is eliminated from the game and counts as “surrendered”.

    Round 9

    The town suffers heavy losses of men. In addition both ships now land troops, so the town has to draw two additional crew damage counters (not on the photo).

    At the left edge and at the bottom edge of the picture the two British reinforcements for HMS Superb and HMS Vanguard are visible. HMS Bellona and HMS Goliath have been entangled in her last collision and cannot move. Therefore the Bahama has moved in a position for a stern rake against the HMS Goliath, but only in “A”-Range and with continuous fire. The San Juan Nepomuceno is hit by a first starboard broadside in “A”-Range from the HMS Goliath, getting two leak damages.

    Round 10

    The wind veers to west.

    Not much defence from the town any more.

    HMS Bellona and HMS Goliath still entangled, the HMS Zealous (one of the two reinforcements) and Bahama are exchanging broadsides. San Juan Nepomuceno reloads her starboard broadside.

    At the end of round 10 the town surrenders and the game ends.

    The butcher's bill

    The town

    The Bahama is seriously damaged, she would not survive many more rounds.

    The San Juan Nepomuceno is still a threat, but has to spend many actions for pumping water and repairing two leaks.

    Maranzillo Fort and San José Fort.

    San Luis Fort and Cruz Grande Fort

    HMS Goliath: The situation looks worse than it actually is, the can remove one hull damage by pumping out water and a second hull damage through repairs.

    HMS Bellona is still capable of fighting.

    HMS Vanguard (reinforcement) is undamaged.

    HMS Zealous (reinforcement) almost undamaged.

    HMS Royal Sovereign: Much damage, many crew losses, especially due to the landing operation, but she has fulfilled her job.

    HMS Bellerophon: Mostly crew damage due to landing operations.


    With the “empowering” of the British forces (using one 1st rate and only 3rd rates) and the house rules applied the mission of plundering the town is a goal which can be achieved realistically.
    Maybe the Spanish forces could have made some more damage if they had used more reload actions instead of using continuous fire, but I think it would not have changed the overall outcome.
    The western shoreline with Maranzillo Fort and San Felipe Castle does not have enough defences to stand against a powerful enemy. The Spanish governor to enhance the fortifications there.
    The lack of the British frigates in the Scenario makes it difficult for the Spanish player to sink four British ships to achieve a tactical victory.
    In the next AAR I will try to remember to leave the movement cards in the game area before taking the photos so that the ship movements are easier to retrace.

    “Mission accomplished – a salute to Lord Nelson!”
    Attached Images Attached Images                                            

  2. #2
    Admiral of the Fleet.

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    My word Achim, what a mammoth game to start your post Covid season with.
    I am overwhelmed by the scale of the action and, your presentation was immaculate too.
    Thank you very much for sharing this scenario and AAR with us here on the Anchorage.
    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
    Ordinary Seaman

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Thank you Rob
    It was a great day and we had a lot of fun setting sails again!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    South Australia
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    What a bloody and close run thing that battle was. Great AAR thanks for posting.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    North Derbyshire
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    Achim that was a great read through, I really enjoyed it. I've not used fortifications much in my games and they looked to be tough opposition.

    The Commander of squadron 1 did a great job, storming the town in real style.



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