Thursday, 11 May 2017

Toulon 1744

Next battle on our austrian sucession campaign is a naval one, the combined navy of France and Spain clash against the blockading british off Toulon. Scenario scale is roughly 2:1.
Both fleets have a line of  74s with fireships and frigates, the english have more 90s but the french more frigates. It was gamed with my Empire of the Seas rulebook using the same points per side.
Wind came from the backround (east) but then rolled north (left).
 Frenchies led by de la Bruyère aboard le Térrible
 Spanish rearguard with the three decker San Felipe commanded by admiral Navarro
 The brits are led by admiral Matthews in Namur (3 decks) with Lestock as second in command aboard the second rate HMS Neptune in the rear and another three decker, HMS Barfleur, reinforcing the vanguard. Historically Matthews and Lestock hated each other, with the rear refusing to commit in the battle, thankfully for the interests of George II, during this game, the british fleet was controlled by only one player.
 The english veer to starboard to close on the enemy, their light ships keep back

 The allies form two wedges à la Nelson
 Then the brits turn into the wind, presenting their broadsides to the enemy and firing first
 One allied fireship strikes to long range bombardment

 But soon the remaining one crashes against the line and blows up!

 The two ships in range of the explosion lose one damage and are aflame
 The allies then attack at the tips of the wedges while keeping some ships back
 Lestock's flag HMS Neptune damages a spanish badly enough for her to strike to the next brit
 The brits also use their fireships against the gaps in their line causing some damage

 Even to themselves!

 The combat soon turns into the familiar yardarm to yardarm struggle
 A british man o' war is swamped by french and strikes
 Under relentless fire from the passing english line a french surrenders with all her guns dismounted
 Burning from the fireship blast, an allied frigate also strikes
 The three decker HMS Barfleur becomes entangled with another of his brothers in the middle of vengeful french, a bad place if any! 
 Decided not to be undone by his rival, Lestock, admiral Matthews breaks the allied line, all guns blazing. He then veers hard to starboard enveloping a doomed two decker
 Under fire by no less than four british ships, the poor french strikes
 Lestock is boarded by a suicidaly brave spanish frigate!
 Another french strikes to the ship astern of the disentangled Barfleur 
 Barfleur comes to grips with le Térrible
 A point blank duel ensues, the french flagship weathering apalling storms of roundshot

 Another french is plumelled by two british and surrenders
 While a spanish, that was about to board a weakened british, is devastated by Matthews and his ships, who come to the rescue of their beleguarded comrade
 The reckless stunt against lestock didn't end well
 However, a second brit strikes to the San Felipe, after being in a bording action with her for all the battle, at least she has kept the spanish flag from joining the general action
 The battle ends with the allied van intact, but their center and rear cut to pieces
The results speak for themselves: with 9 british prizes for the paltry allied 2 (27 to 9 in points)it is a great victory for the Royal Navy, that has turned around the actual outcome.
By massing against one of the two wedges and keeping the other distracted with some bait, the brits have destroyed half of the enemy fleet at little cost to themselves. The double wedge also created a gap between them where the british could pass, firing both broadsides, and then cut the rear of one or the other, since no forces were left to plug it.


  1. C'est magnifique! Et très impressionnant!

  2. Et plus jouable qu'avec le double de vassieaux (le jeu de Trafalgar)