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Thread: The Above Average First of May

  1. #1
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    Default The Above Average First of May

    The fleets had spotted each other before sunset and had spent the night arranging their lines of battle. Dawn broke, revealing the two lines paralleling, just out of gun range.
    As luck would have it, the British had the weathergauge.

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    This is a little exercise I have set up. The water scrolls as necessary. By my understanding, the British rules of engagement forbid breaking the line ahead formation unless the admiral orders engage at will? Did the French have any such rule?

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    Two turns in, and just inside range for the great guns. Will the firing begin?

    Thoughts on strategy for either side appreciated. This is going to take while.

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    This is a splendid sight!

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    By my understanding, the British rules of engagement forbid breaking the line ahead formation unless the admiral orders engage at will?
    Thoughts on strategy for either side appreciated. This is going to take while.
    Remember Nelson!
    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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    I am right, that naval doctrine was to just sailing parallel lines and blast each other? Thinking outside the line was extremely discouraged? Nelson just won when he did it, which is hard to criticize.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 05-02-2023 at 11:21.

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    And when he actually did it when the directive to him was to sail in line.
    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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    For this engagement, I'm going to play by the book as long as the fleets can hold the line. That being said, the first broadside has happened and there are numerous rudder hits, which add some random steering in my house rules.

    Pictures will follow once I get more cotton balls for smoke. I ran out of cotton balls! Gun cotton?

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    It will be most enjoyable to follow I'm sure Dobbs.
    That is about as big a battle as I have ever taken on on my table at home, and that taxed my memory over two days to get every move correct even with photos of each card played to help.

    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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    Thanks for the rep, Paul!

    Rob, the liners are the only ships I'm actually plotting, though there are 16 of them. The four frigates are just relaying signals and are there for color. I've found that so far, maneuvering is easy enough. It's the damage draw that takes 20 minutes!

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    Frigates in a battle line are much more use generally for signals unless you are lucky enough to get across the stern of the back marker, but the general consensus of liners to leave Frigates alone unless they got naughty was the accepted thing. Your battle line will be enough to handle anyway. Just ensure enough room to avoid a mass pileup if ships ahead collide. Remember that the one at the back of a pileup is always the one held to blame by the insurers. Lloyds of London can be quite tough on this.
    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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    The fleets exchange opening broadsides.

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    A dramatic angle

    In this exchange, ships targeted their counterparts in the opposite line. For the most part, the liners just soaked up the damage. There were a number of rudder hits which affect movement for the next two turns.

    At the back of the line, the British 64 Agamemnon hit the French 64 Protee hard, significantly reducing her ability to contribute to the engagement.

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    Both lines start to look a little ragged as crews struggle with damaged rudders. Leading the French line, Orient is struggling with two rudder hits jamming the rudder to starboard.

    Second in the British line, Royal Sovereign is hampered by her mizzen mast falling to leeward.

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    Meanwhile at the back of the line, with her counterpart on the ropes, Agamemnon's captain sees an opportunity and breaks the line.

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    The two fleets manage to maintain some form of line ahead as the gun crews run out and fire again. Some ships have been jogged out of range by their uncooperative rudders.

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    Agamemnon stays out of the 74 Jonquil's broadside and roughs up Protee some more.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 05-04-2023 at 03:47.

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    Royal George, having forereached on Orient bears off flying the signal, "engage enemy more closely."

    The lines are starting to recover from the opening broadside.

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    Meanwhile in the back, Agamemnon lets fly with her double shotted opening port broadside. Jonquil roughs Agamemnon up a little in return, but Agamemnon's broadside reduces Jonquil and brings down her whole mizzen mast.

    To be continued...
    Last edited by Dobbs; 05-04-2023 at 03:42.

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    Posts 12 and 13 are only showing up as attatchments Dobbs.
    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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    This looks splendid. Well done Dobbs.

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    The battle continues...

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    Orient has suffered a rudder hit and sagged off to leeward. Royal George closes range and prepares for major fisticuffs. Next in line, Genereux pairs off with Royal Sovereign, then Foudroyant vs. the 2nd rate Temeraire. Montagne is engaged in a slugfest with Zealous and Outrageous.

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    In the main body, Defense has paired up with Argonauta. Bellona engages Audacieux.

    In the rear, Agamemnon has broken the French line and is now working on getting back to the British one. Jonquil struggles with her broken mizzenmast.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 05-13-2023 at 16:04.

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    In the calm while both sides reload, the British van and main body press their attack.

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    In the rear, Agamemnon works to extract herself from the French line (I have begun to play that if a ship's base doesn't contact the other ship's hull there is no collision. With my thinner bases this isn't too visually jarring.)

    At this point no one ship has been damaged to the point of being unable to contribute to the action. Protee has had a tough time of it, as has Jonquil, but both are still able to keep the line. Numerous ships have lost sails or masts but are able to maintain speed nonetheless (speed is an optimistic term - the British are moving faster at around 5 knots).
    Last edited by Dobbs; 05-13-2023 at 18:22.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    In the rear, Agamemnon works to extract herself from the French line (I have begun to play that if a ship's base doesn't contact the other ship's hull there is no collision. With my thinner bases this isn't too visually jarring.)
    I like this idea Dobbs. I will put it to Captains Kiwi and Smithers on our next game to see if we are willing to include it in our rules.


    (speed is an optimistic term - the British are moving faster at around 5 knots).
    Ah! is this the effect of holding the wind gauge Dobbs?

    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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    The British moving a knot faster than the French was merely an aspect of the ships. My house rules are played without cards and enable ships to sail as slow as a knot. Sailing with battle sails, the British 1st rates are a knot faster than the French 1sts. The slowest ship establishes the speed of the line.

    Having the weathergauge definitely is an advantage tactically as the fleet to weather can lunge, whereas the leeward fleet becomes slower if it turns toward the windward fleet.

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    In regard to my overlapping bases rule, I am planning to make a little riser to support the non-overlapping end of a ship's base so that it sits level. Something like that might make it more appealing to your captains, Rob.

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    It certainly does Dobbs.
    They have never looked back since I introduced your nonslip bases to all my ships.
    Not looking back can, however, be dangerous in pirate infested waters.

    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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    Royal George has shot ahead of the British line since Royal Sovereign has lost speed and slowed the line. Aboard Royal George, the crew lets the sails luff and the ship’s speed begins to drop to let her sisters catch up.

    Aboard Orient, the crew struggles with a badly damaged rudder and a fallen mast as the ship sags more to leeward.

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    Meanwhile at the back of the line, Agamemnon luffs up and delivers partial broadsides to port and starboard. Jonquil broadside damages Agamemnon's rudder, which will make her maneuver more complicated.

    So far, the line ahead formation is proving to be a strong defensive position, while breaking it definitely has its rewards as well as risks.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 02-08-2024 at 18:02.

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    Sails luffing, Royal George comes to a complete stop in front of Orient. The rest of the British line continues to follow Royal Sovereign as she struggles to catch Royal George. Meanwhile, Temeraire, the third in line swings wide of Royal Sovereign, while trying to maintain an open field of fire.

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    At the back of the line, Bellona decides to follow Agamemnon's example and breaks out of the British line. Agamemnon turns out of her feint and continues to struggle with her damaged rudder. Protee runs up to her, close enough for small arms, but not close enough to board.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 05-15-2023 at 18:23.

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    Orient's crew manages to wrestle her into a decent firing position. Unfortunately for her, this exchange costs her the rudder entirely. The French van is starting to crumble, but the center is holding strong. The British van is doing great, but their center is starting to feel the strain.

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    In the rear, Bellona breaks the French line. Protee tries to board Agamemnon but doesn't quite reach her.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 05-16-2023 at 17:02.

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    Looks great, Dobbs.
    After your contribution/posting, I firmly resolved to prepare such a battle for our next meeting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackAubrey1805 View Post
    Looks great, Dobbs.
    After your contribution/posting, I firmly resolved to prepare such a battle for our next meeting.
    Please don't forget to bring us some photographs of your action when you play it Uwe.

    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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    One of the things that has made my fleets' maneuvering and management easier is that I have been playing that you must choose the ship speeds a turn ahead but plot course on the current turn.

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    Yet another great innovation Dobbs. That will also be put to the crew at Chez Bligh.
    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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    I like this idea as a simplification. Post them under house rules.
    I'm still looking for advantages if the ships are organized in squadrons.
    THAT would be very fitting. I would open a thread for squadron rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackAubrey1805 View Post
    I like this idea as a simplification. Post them under house rules.
    I'm still looking for advantages if the ships are organized in squadrons.
    THAT would be very fitting. I would open a thread for squadron rules.
    You may do that with pleasure Uwe.
    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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    I missed taking a picture of the front of the line this turn, but everyone is reloading anyhow. At the rear, Bellona crosses to the lee of the French and suffers for it. Agamemnon and Protee exchange shots as Protee closes the gap in the French line. Agamemnon is running perilously low on crew, but Protee doesn't have much strength left in her broadsides.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 05-19-2023 at 07:43.

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    In the van, Orient has completely lost steering and her main topmast has fallen. Genereux is pummeled in her uneven fight with Royal Sovereign, and loses her fore and mizzen masts. Foudroyant is unable to fire a meaningful broadside to port anymore and has lost her fore topmast and mizzenmast. In her fight with Montagne, Defense has almost had her complete starboard broadside stove in, and has lost her fore top and t'gallant sails.

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    In the rear, Bellona has suffered for her audacity, but continues trying to subdue Jonquil. Agamemnon is growing weary of the fight, but may still manage to bring Jonquil down. Protee is a wreck with her mizzen topmast trailing on her leeward side.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 05-19-2023 at 15:23.

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    Seems fairly evenly balanced then Dobbs.
    It will be interesting to see how it all ends.

    Rob.
    Last edited by Bligh; 07-03-2023 at 01:53.
    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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    Wow, Dobbs...this is a GREAT AAR!

    I really like the scale of the action. How are you able to make it work, since you've covered your table from the outset? How do you track forward movement?

    I presume you've also streamlined the crew actions considerably.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    In regard to my overlapping bases rule, I am planning to make a little riser to support the non-overlapping end of a ship's base so that it sits level. Something like that might make it more appealing to your captains, Rob.
    A quick trip to the hardware store for some large washers or nuts of appropriate thickness might do ya quick, easy and cheap. :) Even though I can't get in there as much as I used to while my aunt was driving, I still get Christmas cards from my old town's Harbor Freight from all the business I did there.
    --Diamondback
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    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.

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    Mike, the table length was a challenge. I could really only play a turn or two without backing the last ship up to the edge of the table and then moving each ship of both fleets the same distance. It didn't take THAT long.

    I don't use crew actions. I figure that the deteriorating ship damage reflects the decrease in the crew actions enough for me.

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    Unfortunately for the engagement, Suzanne and I have headed back to sea again for real, and both fleets went back in their boxes. On the next turn, Orient was going to signal a reverse to try and bring the other broadsides to bear. It would have been interesting. The French van was taking a beating, but the British middle was falling apart. I'm thinking I was a turn or two from a free for all.

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    Here's a link to how my movement game mechanics work:

    https://www.sailsofglory.org/showthr...locks-Syndrome

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    It certainly does Dobbs.
    They have never looked back since I introduced your nonslip bases to all my ships.
    Not looking back can, however, be dangerous in pirate infested waters.

    Rob.
    Hmm...nonslip bases?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MWBell View Post
    Hmm...nonslip bases?
    I went to Walmart and bought craft foam that is adhesive on one side. Two layers fills an unmodified base perfectly and offers a little drag on the playing surface.

    I think I might have to try a smear of rubber cement on my low profile bases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    Here's a link to how my movement game mechanics work:

    https://www.sailsofglory.org/showthr...locks-Syndrome
    Just reviewed your system. Veeerrrry interesting...

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    I went to Walmart and bought craft foam that is adhesive on one side. Two layers fills an unmodified base perfectly and offers a little drag on the playing surface.

    I think I might have to try a smear of rubber cement on my low profile bases.
    Do you happen to have a pic?

  43. #43
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    I looked in vain for a picture, but I started cutting my bases down more than 5 years ago. Bligh might have one...?

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    Although an exhaustive search was undertaken none of my files had a picture Mike. I will take a few shots and post them up for you.
    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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    Here is a shot of the cut blue foam and a packing of card to just make the foam protrude a little whwn inserted into the model baseI cut the foam snug so that it will stay in place without needing glue. The holes are made with a leather punch.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Bligh; 07-04-2023 at 13:49.
    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 card is placed in first.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Bligh; 07-04-2023 at 13:49.
    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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    Then the foam is squeezed in. This foam is the hardest foam you can get very akin to mouse mat material.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Bligh; 07-04-2023 at 13:49.
    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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    Here it is with the ship added. You can see it just protruding below the plastic base. Do not cut it too tight or it will tend to bend and the ship will not lie flat on the table. Very careful fitting is essential. Probably not so critical if you can obtain Dobbs' self adhesive foam.
    I could not find it over this side of the pond.

    Rob.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    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.

  49. #49
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    That's pretty much it, as Rob says, the Walmart stuff is perfect in two layers.

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