Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Saintes 1782

 The final battle of the minicampaign is the Saintes, both fleets are sailing on opposite course from each other, the british have the edge in number and weight of ships, with no less than four three deckers. Admiral de Grasse has just ben issued with a fresh first rate, le Bretagne, to replace the captured Ville de Paris in a previous game.
 Both sides begin within gun range
 The french have some extra punch in their van

 De Grasse aboard Bretagne

  The british van under admiral Drake aboard HMS Barfleur
 Admiral Rodney leds the british fleet from HMS Formidable, with the 90 gun HMS Namur ahead
 The french start by extending their line
 And opening a deadly fire
 A french group has detached from the main force, and is pounced upon by the brits in the van
 Formidable crosses the T of the enemy line
 The jack tars try to cut the enmy line trough a gap in the center
 Formidable pounds the enemy with her triple batteries
 Getting into close quarters, the british fleet attempts a risky move
 In the british van the ships become embroiled in a fast paced engagement
 Formidable and Namur move down the enmy line sanwitching the ships there
 The heading french man o' war is the first to strike
 Then the one astern
 Another ship of the line surrenders to point blank barrages
 As does another one, under the fire of three opponents
 The Barfleur rakes a poor 74, reducing her to matchwood
 Not everything goes the britons way, a mauled ship burns out, the fire reaches the powder store while the crew jumps for dear life into the water
 Another brit has had enough
 And yet another
 In the last turn, another french strikes beset by three enemies
 The battle ends after roughly half an hour of real time combat
 The outcome: six french lost for four english, quite a balanced result 24-16, and the closest game in quite a while to grace the pages of this blog
The final episode of the engagement is down to the burning british ship, blowing to kindom come
The press is quick to capitalize on any victory no matter how small. After such a string of defeats the british colonies in the caribbean are more than safe, remaining crown posessions despite the defeats further up north in the revolutionary war. 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

St Kitts 1782

St Kitts is the third battle of the minicampaign, the british fleet (right) is anchored inside a bay and the french (left) are coming from offtable to give them a bloody nose
The Pluton heads the french formation, opening fire on the hindmost brit
The target answers with her broadsides
More french concentrate on the british rear, putting the ships there in trouble
Admiral Hood then orders his center and van to turn around, rushing to the rescue of the exposed ships, since they are anchored can only move once this turn picking up speed in the next 

The bully frenchmen get some hurt too, one of the ships is even set aflame
Forming up, the french make their move
In the british rear one ship strikes under the continous hammering
Having formed up a second line the english sail down to the scrap
Heading the new line is the 98 gun HMS Prince George

The ships close in to engage at point blank range
The french fleet moves on a passing course to the enemy line, while a single ships moves around the cape to fire on the british rear

A single briton inflitrates the frog formation
While the Royal george crashes into a two decker, ravaging it with her massive firepower, when the smoke and splinters settle the french has lowered her flag
Taking her chance a brit veers to starboard and rakes an opponent

De Grasse on the Ville de Paris punishes the upstart british infiltrator
The english rear is lagging behind, acting as a kind of reserve
The two lines have now engaged, firing at close range for maximum effect
Not to be outdone, Hood's Barfleur goes straight for de Grasse, opening up at close range
In the center of the fight a french burns to a crisp
And with a loud bang blows up, spreading fire and destruction to friend and foe alike
The french center has formed a second line, intent on skirting around the bloody melee to fall upon the enemy rear

Keeping away from harm a french man o' war fires on the enemy
A wide gap has opened behind the Ville the Paris, the brits take their chance, passing behind her and raking the doomed ships as they go
Another french surrenders under massed fire
Overview of the battle after one hour of "historic" time has passed
Hot engagement in the center, with some vessels from both sides keeping their distance
The french form now a double line opening up at extreme range

A british vessels surrenders, the fire reaches below decks despite the frantic attempts of the crew
Hood orders his reserve to bust the incoming french, cutting the T of the formation
Alone amongst the british a french gives up
After being raked twice, the Ville the Paris surrenders to the boarders from HMS Barfelur
The fire reaches the powder magazine...
...and the ship goes BOOM!
Both sides take a respite from the action to witness the giant explosion; but as the smoke fades the guns roar again over the death choked waves
The annoying french near the cape is recieving a dose of her own mediciene
The two new lines engage briskly
After an hour and a quarter of actual time, the remnants of the french fleet pack up and sail away, De Grasse is invited to the british admiral's table for dinner, following up on D'Estaign's footsteps
Final outcome: eight french lost for two british, in points 33-8: another victory for the Royal Navy!
Mass media is quick to capitalize on the propagandistic highlights of the encounter