So with four members turning up to our usual watering hole in the relentless rain we grabbed our backstays and clewed up our fores'ls and set off
Steves rather spiffing 1/1200 ships were on the table and the rules were a set called Trafalgar- which I had never seen before. This last not surprising since it had been a good few years since I had played Napoleonic Naval though it has always interested me off and on over he years- C.S. Forester and Dudley Pope's fault, devil a doubt, with a side order of Alexander Kent and perhaps a soupcon of Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo!
|Early in the Action- The French Austerlitz places itself in the path of the Royal Navy. while the rest of the French try to tack|
However enough of the frivolity and on with the action
The French Squadron facing the stalwart tars of the Royal Navy considered of thee 74s and the Austerlitz- first rate manned as usual by a lubberly crew- Shaun and Andrew !! Under my own hand were 2 74s a 64 and Victory - a first rate, I also had the Surprise- frigate 32 which was carrying important despatches and needed to be seen out of harm's way until it could show the French a clean pair of heels and glory of glories I had the wind !
|Discussion of who can do what to whom and from which angle.|
No it wasn't the beer. I had the weather gauge which gave me a reasonable and unexpected advantage in the upcoming contest. I had my four ships in line ahead with the 64 leading ad Victory at the rear shielding the Surprise from the French ships.. With the wind against them the French had something of a task, but of course the wind can change and we did get a fog bank which fortunately dissipated before any harm could be done. the opening rounds were fired bu Austerlitz and replied to by my little 64 in a vain attempt to slow Austerlitz down to try to slip Surprize through the gap and away. This didn't happen - round one to the French .
|Austerlitz in the centre of the picture getting a spanking .|
However despite losing a fore mast the gallant 64 bow raked the Austerlitz twice and since the French first rate also received a stern rake from Colossus 74 she became a floating wreck - scuppers awash wi' blood. Yes Gentle Reader the odious cubes were actually running my way for a change! Shock Horror - how unusual, but rather nice.
|yes there is a lump in the sea which is also a funny colour as I could not find my blue cloth|
So I hear you ask what were there rest of the French doing all this time. Short answer- trying to turn round against the wind. Not easy indeed mostly impossible especially as the wind stayed steady. Yet despite this there was more for the Royal navy to do. A miscalculation on my part led to Surprise losing a fore mast and later its main to French fire though it cost the French one of their 74s as Victory - slower than the others(was he bottom foul?) finally came to the rescue and escorted the limping , but still mobile, Surprise away from the action.
I was pretty impressed with the rules- there were bits I didn't grasp which almost led to a fit of pique but Steve explained slowly using nice short words so I got it in the end ! I will happily have another go with these- even if I don't get the wind !
As usual thanks to Landlady Jean for superb Beef butties and chips and to Landlord Eric for Consett Brewery's White Hot - an excellent "session beer" for convivial toping whilst playing a spendid and different game.
Ships were all from Steve's collection and are Langton miniatures. Lovely models.