The other night my friend Kyle came over, bringing along some recently acquired ships from eBay. Using the Trafalgar rules from Warhammer Historical, we established a scenario set in 1778. The French have stolen a marine chronometer from the British and are transporting it back to Paris aboard Triton. The Admiralty has received word of this and dispatched a small force to retrieve it. Kyle elected to play as French, and so I played British.
We assembled a few extra boards in the basement to make an impromptu gaming table. Not ideal...but I'm working on a solution. That, however, is a post for another time.
The French ships move to attack the oncoming British.
With HMS Diana in the lead, the British sail towards their French foes.
While Diana sails off to engage and distract the French, Bellerophon and Drake sail around the far side of the island in an attempt to surprise the enemy.
While maneuvering to counter the British, Marquis collides with Revere! Both ships are temporarily out of action until their crews can sort out the mess.
The French ship Venus opens fire on HMS Diana, initiating the battle!
Diana returns fire!
Venus and Diana pass close together...
With the British ship distracted, Triton attempts to make a run for it.
That is, however, until HMS Bellerophon finally rounds the island and opens fire! The French ship takes some damage but continues sailing.
A lucky shot sets Venus ablaze! Before long her crew has either died or abandoned ship, leaving the French vessel to drift aimlessly.
Revere turns to engage Bellerophon. Severely outgunned, how will the French ship fair?
Revere broadsides both Bellerophon and Diana! The latter ship is disabled and out of action.
Meanwhile, the chase is on! HMS Drake spots Triton through the billowing smoke from Venus. Her captain sets sail in a desperate attempt to stop the French ship. Revere's captain orders a pursuit.
Clearing the burning wreckage of Venus, Triton begins cutting across the bow of Drake.
Before the British can do anything, however, Revere's captain rams HMS Drake in the stern! This action causes major damage to both ships.
"Go between them? Are you crazy?!?"
Seeing no other means of escape, Triton's captain boldly decides to sail his ship between Drake and Revere.
"I said DON'T go between them!!"
The bold move failed, as soon Triton was also involved in the collision. Damage sustained to Drake and Revere is enough to sink them.
Though seriously damaged, Triton is eventually able to clear herself of the wreckage and make a dash for safety. With Bellerophon too far off to catch her, the French have won the day. But Bellerophon's captain will not forget. It's still a long way to Paris...
All in all, this was a really fun game! The rules made it so the ships had to move each turn. This did a great job of capturing the nature of naval warfare. Since there was a great deal of movement, there was a great deal of strategy required. This is a game that we will definitely be playing more of!