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Thread: Shore-Coastal Scenarios

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    Default Shore-Coastal Scenarios

    The goal of this thread is to capture thinking on shore scenarios or engagements that incorporate forces or targets along coastlines, e.g. bombarding a coastal fortress, attacking a port, being fired upon by shore batteries. Topics could include historical or created engagements, rules, playing surface components, etc.

    As folks share about historical scenarios, I will try to find corresponding links and put them in this original post so we can have information gathered in one place. I will group them thematically and chronologically.

    U.S. War of Independence
    Battle of Nassau: http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/...-Of-Nassau.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Nassau
    Battle of Grand Turk: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Grand_Turk

    Napoleonic Wars
    Capture of gun tower at Mariel, Cuba: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles..._Navy_officer)
    Cutting out of San Pedro de Apostol: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Comus_(1806)

    War of 1812
    Battle(s) of Fort Bowyer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Bowyer; http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fortbowyer.html

    Non-historical
    Post #17: getting a ship into port
    Posts #20-21: fighting at anchor
    Last edited by 7eat51; 05-08-2013 at 06:21. Reason: Added additional events

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7eat51 View Post
    The goal of this thread is to capture thinking on shore scenarios or engagements that incorporate forces or targets along coastlines, e.g. bombarding a coastal fortress, attacking a port, being fired upon by shore batteries. Topics could include historical or created engagements, rules, playing surface components, etc.
    This could or would entail small boat actions, shore batteries, signal stations, gun boats, like the ordeals encountered moving 24 pounders up treacherous slopes to bring fire down on the shore forts in Corsica. A singular notable feat accomplished by the Royal Navy that was declared impossible by the Army.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volunteer View Post
    This could or would entail small boat actions, shore batteries, signal stations, gun boats, like the ordeals encountered moving 24 pounders up treacherous slopes to bring fire down on the shore forts in Corsica. A singular notable feat accomplished by the Royal Navy that was declared impossible by the Army.
    I wonder what it would be like to have a scenario that starts in the middle of setting up a gun position like you mentioned here. For example, in the beginning of the scenario, small boat actions can occur while a group is simultaneously setting up a shore battery. After so many turns, the gun battery becomes operative. However, if the attacking force fires upon the battery, it could delay the turn when the battery becomes operative as well as diminish its attack strength. I recognize that the real-time of given turns probably would be problematic, but from a strategical-tactical point of view, the scenario could prove interesting. One interesting twist is that the gun battery is somewhat a stationary target, i.e. not affected by wind nor does the attacking ships have to be concerned with how the battery might move like it would be with the defending boats. I am not sure if this is what you were thinking in your post, but your post got me thinking.

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    I don't know what objective you want to attack with the ships?

    Normaly a ship of the line had often the same firepower as a normal army.

    The problem with costal batteries is, that they fire from (real) fortified and often higher positions, shoot more precise and use nasty ammo like heatened cannonballs, etc...

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    We've run many, many coastal scenarios like this. Cutting out operations are fun, sending in boats to take out a merchantman or small warship under cover of shore batteries (and pitting landing parties ashore to engage the batteries themselves)

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Manley View Post
    We've run many, many coastal scenarios like this. Cutting out operations are fun, sending in boats to take out a merchantman or small warship under cover of shore batteries (and pitting landing parties ashore to engage the batteries themselves)
    I didn't even think of landing parties. That would add a whole new dimension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Comte de Brueys View Post
    I don't know what objective you want to attack with the ships?

    Normaly a ship of the line had often the same firepower as a normal army.

    The problem with costal batteries is, that they fire from (real) fortified and often higher positions, shoot more precise and use nasty ammo like heatened cannonballs, etc...
    I think there are several options one could go with. With small boat operations, the corresponding coastal battery could be small or, as mentioned, not ready to engage until after x-amount of turns. With larger batteries, using the fire power of the SOLs you mentioned would be an option, especially if given multiple objectives, e.g. sink a given ship in port under the watch of a battery. The attacking force could be constructed in such a way as to have enough forces to engage ships and the battery, or to engage the battery while a single ship enters the port without going down in the entrance, and thus blocking future ships from subsequently entering.

    If there is a way of assigning point values to ships and batteries, one could develop "fair" fights, or create challenging scenarios that have a higher probability of failure and simply see what one can do. I don't think it is always necessary for a fair fight to make a given play session interesting, as long as the odds of surviving enough turns to do something is there. A given scenario could be designed with worst-, most likely, and best-case scenarios, and some sort of fog-of-war mechanism. Or both sides setup with what they think will most likely occur in the future. They do so in ignorance of what the other side is doing. Then the game begins. A force might decide to land a party and then cross over to the battery, etc. - somewhat akin to Lawrence of Arabia.

    Objectives:
    Take out the battery itself.
    Take out ships under a battery's protection.
    Attack a port under a battery's protection.
    Attack a port under the protection of ships.
    Some combination thereof.
    Last edited by 7eat51; 02-28-2013 at 14:33.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7eat51 View Post
    I didn't even think of landing parties. That would add a whole new dimension.
    Landing parties are what I had in mind when talking about small boat actions, shore batteries, signal stations and gun boats, including the cutting out actions David is talking about. This is the true flavor of the Napoleonic naval period. I remember one of Forester's books where Hornblower took his ship in close to shore and destroyed an entire column of French Italian troops. Wow, what a great scenario. The troops set up artillery at several points to shoot back as Hornblower turned to make another run, even scoring some hits. One of S. Thomas Russell's books covered the landing party at Corsica that set up the guns that drove the French garrisons out of the two forts that commanded the harbor, a true story. There are so many possibilities to refight historical actions as well as created scenarios. I certainly wish you gentlemen were nearby so we could get to it!

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    Your recounting of fiction will make me think about scenarios as I read through the novels I am collecting. It will be enjoyable sharing ideas with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Volunteer View Post
    I certainly wish you gentlemen were nearby so we could get to it!
    The feeling is mutual!

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    As I was researching this day in naval history (2 March), I came across this:

    1776 – American Revolutionary War: Patriot militia units arrest the Royal Governor of Georgia James Wright and attempt to prevent capture of supply ships in the Battle of the Rice Boats.

    This seeded an idea for another form of shore scenario. A ship or ships could try to capture a strategic target, including people onshore, and in the process, engage other ships, shore batteries, marines, etc.

    I cannot help but believe that the possibilities are limited by imagination alone. Given the ability to structure different levels of victory conditions, so many options become feasible for an enjoyable game.

    Over the next few weeks, as I work through some books and history blurbs, I will try my hand at designing a scenario and post it for you feedback. I realize that we don't have the SoG game yet, but this could prove, at minimum, to be an interesting exercise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7eat51 View Post
    As I was researching this day in naval history (2 March), I came across this:
    Uhh Eric? Today is March 1st, tomorrow is March 2nd......unless you are Berthier in Australia. Just saying....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volunteer View Post
    Uhh Eric? Today is March 1st, tomorrow is March 2nd......unless you are Berthier in Australia. Just saying....
    I should have said while I was researching for the This Day in History …

    When I take breaks from work or at the end of the day, I research articles on events for several upcoming days. Turns out, thinking about those posts is actually a fun way to learn about history. I wonder what a history class would be like if a teacher had his/her students do this for every day while focusing on topics of interest to the students. Though I start with naval actions, I find myself looking up related historical facts, etc.

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    The Battles of Fort Bowyer in the War of 1812 might provide some scenario fodder, as might some of the naval battles in the northern half of Lake Erie as part of the US invasion of Canada.

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    The Battle of Grand Turk during the American War of independence is another interesting historical battle involving land and sea components.

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    As folks share about historical scenarios, I will try to find corresponding links and put them in the original post so we can have information gathered in one place. I will group them thematically and chronologically.

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    very interesting lots of great ideas

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    I concur. Having links to possible scenarios based on historical fact in one place would a great resource.

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    Hi All,
    O.K. Maybe not historical. But one fun scenario I've played a number of times, is get the ship into port. The shore-line and port had a fort and four land batteries to keep fleet 1 away until the closeing moves of the game. Fleet 2 picked one ship they must get into port (Strongest/fastest?). Fleet 1 knows which ship it must stop. Played on a 6x4 table, Fleet 2 comes on the short (4ft) table end first. Fleet 2 can use one or both long table sides (moves 2nd), The port is in the middle of the shore-line on 2nd short side. The best game we played was by adding 2 small islands. The only rule add-on we made was gaving the shore batteries and fort 10cm longer range

    .Name:  photo of harbour.JPG
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    Both fleets had 12/13 mixed sizes of ships
    Be safe
    Rory
    Last edited by Devsdoc; 04-04-2013 at 15:08.

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    Thanks Rory. Added a category for non-historical and added your post #.

    Now, when can we come over and play?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volunteer View Post
    Uhh Eric? Today is March 1st, tomorrow is March 2nd......unless you are Berthier in Australia. Just saying....
    Good one Vol! We try to stay one day ahead of the rest of the world seems to still be working fine, mind you it took me a month to see this post!

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    I’ve been tossing a scenario idea around in my head the last couple days that may fall in this category. It's not historical, but plausible. I’m pretty new to this stuff so please bear with me if this is rife with problems.

    Using some terrain elements create an island or land feature on the map, one ship for each opponent, rate of each to be determined. One ship is at single anchor on the leeward side of the terrain, thus pointing into the wind. In addition, the captain and a predetermined complement of the crew is ashore. The attacking ship with a full complement is under sail and approaching from windward. The attacker starts within sight, but maybe X number of movement turns out of range of the anchored ship.

    Obviously, the anchored vessel will be at a severe disadvantage. The attacker has the weather gauge while the anchored vessel will be taken aback as soon as they get underway. In addition, the ship log and actions will have to reflect the reduced crew complement.

    To balance the scenario, perhaps a point system can be included. For example, give the anchored vessel the option to earn points if they hold position for X number of turns within X range of shore to recover the shore party at any time. They will be sitting ducks at minimum sail or anchored during this time but can complete other actions during these turns.

    If the anchored vessel elects to get underway without the shore party, the attacking vessel earns points if they can keep their opponent X distance from shore for X number of consecutive turns. The intent here being to encourage the disadvantaged ship to stay and fight.

    Either vessel is the clear winner if they can overcome their opponent. Points determine the winner if either ship flees.

    Variants can include mismatched ships, a shore battery, reefs or sand bars limiting movement, etc. I haven’t seen the rules, movement cards or Captain and Crew decks from Ares yet so additional modifications to the scenario can probably be made to round out the action a bit. i.e. an exceptional first officer for the anchored ship, allowing the shore party to participate in a boarding action, allowing the attacking vessel to land their own shore party, or a smaller surface action between the launch crews of the opposing forces.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. Just spit-balling here and got on a bit of a roll. I’m done now. Talk among yourselves.
    Thanks.

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    Talking Fighting at anchor

    Towards the end of the period of sailing navies, a number of fights took place between defending fleets or squadron anchored close to the shore or in harbours, and attacking fleets forced to sail to within range while under fire.
    Such battles tended to be decisive, as a wind which was fair to allow the attackers to enter a harbour or anchorage would let neither side out again. As it would normally be more profitable for the attackers to blockade the enemy until they were forced to sortie to accept battle in open water, such attacks were usually forced by lack of time, e.g. by shortage of supplies, the threatened onset of bad weather or the need to coordinate operations with an army on land.
    The defenders could expect to enjoy several advantages. As they would not need to manoeuvre under sail, most of the ships' crews could man the guns. If properly prepared, the ships would have "springs"; extra cables bound to the anchor cables, which they could haul in or let out to veer the ship to bring its guns to bear over a wide arc. If close to a naval establishment (such as at the Battle of Copenhagen), they could rely on boats from the shore to bring extra ammunition or replacements for casualties and if in range the defending ships could be aided by coastal gun batteries.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_t...he_Age_of_Sail

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    I seem to recall that Hat figures did a box set of plastic 1/72 scale sailors , marines and ships cannon, if you can get a couple of boxes you could try a skirmish game using these as boarding parties or landing parties, if you want to add more dimension to Sails.

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