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Thread: Royalists vs Parliament in the Dutch Antilles

  1. #1

    Default Royalists vs Parliament in the Dutch Antilles


    Blake had been pursuing the vagabond, Prince Rupert, from Lisbon to the Caribbean. Blake had just two serviceable ships – the St. George (54 heavy guns) and the Leopard (56 guns), captained by Robert Moulton. Fortunately, Blake had been joined by the Admiralty of the Maze ship, the 60-gun Wassenaar accompanied by a small ship, the Valckenburch (8 light guns). The Dutch privateer, van der Veere, with this four ships (Haarlem (40 guns), Zierickzee (30 light guns), Franicker (24 light guns) and Bredamme (20 light guns) also agreed to join Blake’s pursuit – although Blake thought some of van der Veere’s captain were somewhat less enthusiastically than their commander.

    Against Blake’s better judgement, the fleet at the instance of van der Veere anchored for the night off the Paraguaná Peninsula, south of Aruba and west of Curaçao.

    0500: A light breeze from the southeast – a leeward shore! Hopefully the fleet would be underway quickly, but as the morning mist cleared, Blake saw that his fears were warranted; Five windward ships were bearing down on the Blake’s unprepared fleet. To the west were two ships – Prince Rupert’s Constant Reformation (52 heavy guns) and Prince Maurice’s Convertine (46 guns). More easterly were three Portuguese ships – the Santissimo Sacramento (46 guns), the Nossa Senhora da Conceição do Porto (38 guns) and the Santa Catarina (26 guns). Unbeknownst to Blake the Portuguese saw an opportunity by joining with Rupert to punish the Dutch privateers that had been plaguing their merchantmen.

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    0520: The first of Blake’s command underway were the Wassenaar and the Haarlem. Blake pointing at the Dutch ships berated (or less polite words to that effect) his veteran crew that they could be bested – yet again – by the Dutch. Meanwhile the Convertine and Nossa Senhora raced ahead to engage the Wassenaar before she could be supported.

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    0540: The Convertine and Nossa Senhora opened fire at effective range and inflicted a mere 3 hits on the Wassenaar (one shy of a catastrophic hit). The Wassenaar’s return fire was equally unimpressive – only 2 hits on the Nossa Senhora. Blake’s blasphemy had its effect and the St. George was underway.

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    0600: The van der Veere’s Haarlem had joined the St. George in trapping the Convertine as her crew frantically tried to reload their guns. The fire from St. George’s heavy guns and the raking fire from Haarlem devastated the Convertine with 7 hits. With her masts destroyed the Convertine was helpless. Elsewhere the Santa Catarina joined the fight against the Wassenaar but managed a single hit.

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    0620: All of the ships – except van der Veere’s light frigates – were fully engaged. Robert Moulton’s Leopard was perfectly positioned to rake the Nossa Senhora at murder range while the Wassenaar and van der Veere’s Haarlem pulverized here from larboard and starboard sides. The Haarlem fired both broadsides as she was still in a position to rake the Convertine, but the Haarlem was itself raked by Rupert’s flagship, the Constant Reformation. The Nossa Senhora tried to emulate the Haarlem by also firing both broadsides against the Haarlem and the Wassenaar. The St. George had managed to quickly reload and fire yet another broadside to the discomfort of Maurice’s Convertine.

    The results: The Convertine has holed and suffered another 7 hits – enough to put Convertine out of action. The Nossa Senhora managed only 2 hits each against Wassenaar and Haarlem. Constant Reformation added another 6 hits to Haarlem. However, the fireworks belonged to Nossa Senhora – 2 hits from Haarlem, 4 hits from Wassenaar and 7 hits from Leopard – a total of 13 hits. The Nossa Senhora exploded. Burning debris rained down on the nearby ships – 6 hits on Haarlem, 6 hits on Leopard, 4 hits on Wassenaar, 5 hits on Santissimo Sacramento, 3 hits on Santa Catarina and 3 hits on Constant Reformation. The Haarlem was out of action.

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    0640: Most ships were in shocked after the explosion of Nossa Senhora in a cluster of ships. Constant Reformation was the exception. She quickly reloaded and fired at St. George inflicting 3 hits. Santissimo Sacramento found herself trapped in the debris of Nossa Senhora.

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    However, the last of van der Veere’s light frigates, the Franicker, was finally underway. Too much jenever, perhaps?

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    0700: The Santa Catarina bravely took on the larger Leopard but trading broadsides was a losing game. The Santa Catarina suffered 3 hits to the Leopard’s 1 hit. Santa Catarina was holed and listed badly to larboard. The Santissimo Sacramento succeeded in freeing itself from the debris to fire its first broadside against the Wassenaar. The Wassenaar returned fire. The exchange was an even 4 points each – but each suffered catastrophic hits. Many of Sacramento’s guns were put out of action, but the Wassenaar’s magazine was hit and exploded and she was reduced to a burning hulk. The Leopard suffered 2 hits and the Santa Catarina and Sacramento one hit each from burning debris.

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    0720: The two Portuguese ships were relentless. Quickly reloading they fired again at Leopard and inflicted another 3 hits on the English ship.

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    0740: The plucky Santa Catarina’s crew worked hard to repair their ship and keep in her in action. Another quick reload and she scored another hit on the Leopard – there was little else she could do with half of her guns out of action due to flooding. The Leopard failed to grapple her foe and consoled herself with a full broadside that inflicted 4 hits and holed the Santa Catarina adding to her larboard list. Still the Santa Catarina would not yield but fought on. Constant Reformation had more luck – a broadside at murder range scored 4 hits and holed the St. George causing her to slow and list to starboard.

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    0800: Finally the Leopard grappled and boarded the heavily damaged Santa Catarina. Despite the desperate odds the Portuguese fought to the last before surrendering their ship. The boarding action score was 16 to an incredible 10 – a difference of six (1 point loss for the Leopard and 4 for the Santa Catarina – just enough to put her at 12 damage points). The Royalists will say it was an act of courage while the Commonwealth slander said it was poor seamanship, but Prince Rupert’s larger Constant Reformation collided with St. George. The Royalist ship suffered only 3 points but Blake’s flagship took 10 points of damage, enough to sink her. With the Sacramento badily hurt and the Dutch frigates quickly closing, Prince Rupert signalled to the Sacramento that they should break off the fight. Fortunately the Sacramento had rescued his brother, Prince Maurice, as she passed by the wreckage of Convertine.

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    Little did Rupert know, but the van der Veere’s frigate captains had decided that surveying the carnage that there was likely not a good profit margin in continuing the fight. After plucking a wet van der Veere from the water, the privateers turned away for more lucrative prey. Moulton welcomed Blake aboard the Leopard. They would have to be happy with sailing away with the sole prize from the battle – even if it was a heavily damaged one, but Prince Rupert had escaped once again….for now.

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    Despite being windward and having surprised Blake’s fleet, Rupert managed to fail every single initiative roll. This meant that Blake’s ships were often able to position themselves for very effective fire against the Royalist and Portuguese ships. Rupert only won the initiative on the final turn when his ships were not in a position to do anything with it.

    Final Damage:
    Royalists-Portuguese
    Constant Reformation: 6 damage (18 left)
    Convertine: 12 damage (0 left), Dismasted and Holed
    Santissimo Sacramento: 2 damage (10 left), Gun damage
    Nossa Senhora: 12 damage (0 left), Holed and Exploded
    Santa Catarina: 8 hull damage / 4 crew hits – captured, Holed and Listing
    642 points lost out of 1172 (55%)

    Commonwealth-Dutch
    St. George: 16 damage (0 left), Holed and Listing
    Leopard – 7 hull damage / 1 crew (8 left)
    Valckenburch – No damage
    Haarlem – 12 damage (0 left), Gun damage
    Frigates – Zierickzee, Franicker and Bredamme all had no damage.
    903 points lost out of 1308 (69%)

    Net result was a Draw as both fleets failed their morale on the final turn.

  2. #2
    Admiral of the Fleet.
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    Thanks for a very exciting and also informative AAR Dispatch Paul. It was great to see these earlier ships in action against each other.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Thanks for a very exciting and also informative AAR Dispatch Paul. It was great to see these earlier ships in action against each other.
    Rob.
    Glad you enjoyed the game, Rob.

    The rules work well for larger fleet actions. SoG is good for about 4 per side in a solo game (i.e., I can manage 8 in total). More than that I get flustered and tired. The above game was 13 ships in total and I finished it in less than a relaxed 3 hours. However, SoG has more "within a ship" detail.

  4. #4
    Able Seaman
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    As always, your AAR is eloquent and exciting......and your ships make me green with envy!!!

    Mike

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by MWBell View Post
    As always, your AAR is eloquent and exciting......and your ships make me green with envy!!!

    Mike
    Thanks, Mike. I have to admit that the ship building comes with a certain amount of cussing as an "input". It is getting less though - why rigging can even be a little meditative.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    Thanks, Mike. I have to admit that the ship building comes with a certain amount of cussing as an "input". It is getting less though - why rigging can even be a little meditative.
    You mean painfully meditative like sitting on a bed of nails?

    I know it would drive me crazy to painstaikingly paint models and attach miniature rigging and ratlines.
    I admire not only the beautiful models which result but also the patience and discipline required for their making.

    Lt. Bush
    "Jeder Krieg, auch der siegreiche, ist ein Unglück für das eigene Volk, denn kein Landerwerb, keine Milliarden können Menschenleben ersetzen und die Trauer der Familien aufwiegen."
    Helmuth von Moltke d. Ä.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by William Bush View Post
    You mean painfully meditative like sitting on a bed of nails?

    I know it would drive me crazy to painstaikingly paint models and attach miniature rigging and ratlines.
    I admire not only the beautiful models which result but also the patience and discipline required for their making.

    Lt. Bush
    Not at all like a meditation on a bed of nails.

    I've been painting minis for years and years. These days the problems have to do with aging eyes and sometimes eye crud floating in front of where I want to focus. Rigging is quite a relaxing activity once I figured out what works for me on a particular model. The ratlines? Sometimes they can be frustrating due to the shape of the masts and sails on a model.

  8. #8
    Midshipman
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    Not at all like a meditation on a bed of nails.

    ... These days the problems have to do with aging eyes and sometimes eye crud floating in front of where I want to focus.
    I begin to feel with you as such troubles slowly seem to develop for me as well:
    In another wargame I begin to struggle with the minuscule font size of vehicle type designations.

    Lt. Bush
    "Jeder Krieg, auch der siegreiche, ist ein Unglück für das eigene Volk, denn kein Landerwerb, keine Milliarden können Menschenleben ersetzen und die Trauer der Familien aufwiegen."
    Helmuth von Moltke d. Ä.

  9. #9
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    Well that was an exciting report, I got completely lost as to which ship was on whose side as they blazed away at each other, but you made the action very vivid indeed.

    You've also made an excellent job on the painting and rigging so another round of applause for that as well.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Well that was an exciting report, I got completely lost as to which ship was on whose side as they blazed away at each other, but you made the action very vivid indeed.

    You've also made an excellent job on the painting and rigging so another round of applause for that as well.
    Thanks, John of Derbyshire. Civil war do tend to get confusing as to which ship is on which side. Better with playing the French on one side. They have white flags.

  11. #11
    Midshipman
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    Thanks, John of Derbyshire. Civil war do tend to get confusing as to which ship is on which side. Better with playing the French on one side. They have white flags.
    That's below the belt.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    That's below the belt.
    White is just easy to spot. What ever else do you think?

  13. #13
    Admiral of the Fleet.
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    I find the names of the ships on the bases hard to decipher when they are on the table, hence the little name indicators that you may spot in my games.

    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.

  14. #14
    Able Seaman
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    Glad you enjoyed the game, Rob.

    The rules work well for larger fleet actions. SoG is good for about 4 per side in a solo game (i.e., I can manage 8 in total). More than that I get flustered and tired. The above game was 13 ships in total and I finished it in less than a relaxed 3 hours. However, SoG has more "within a ship" detail.
    Sorry, I forgot to ask; what rules exactly do you use for a game of that size that can allow a "less than a relaxed 3 hours"? I've got to know.

  15. #15

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    :
    Quote Originally Posted by MWBell View Post
    Sorry, I forgot to ask; what rules exactly do you use for a game of that size that can allow a "less than a relaxed 3 hours"? I've got to know.
    “Mad for War” - available from League of Augsburg (UK) or Warfare Miniatures (USA)

    ...and that should have been “less than 3 relaxed hours”. “Less than a relaxed...” would be imply “not relaxed”.

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