Wednesday 7 September 2016

Battle of the Medes islands

Sail ahoy!
 First playtest of Empire of the Seas.
Setting: a french squadron has come out of Marseille heading to Cartagena just to be intercepted by a fleet from Mahon in the Medes Islands near the catalonian coast. We rolled the face off scenario with 70cmt between the fleets, some islands, shoals and stormy weather in the Mediterranean (of which we totally forgot!).

Opposing fleets

French: Marquis de la Marie
White, Vengeur, Marquis d'Ambilmont
Orange, Jason, Jean Isaac de la Clocheterie
Green, Ardent, Charles de Marigny
Red, Caton, Comte de Frambord
Blue, Provence, Louis de Lombard (flagship)

British: Francis Mcangus
HMS Bienfaisant, black, John Mcbride (flagship)
HMS Yarmouth, orange, Nathaniel Bateman
HMS Trident, white, John Thomas
HMS Intrepid, green, Henry St John
HMS Striling Castle, red, Robert Carkett
 Frenchies on the lardboard bow sir!

 The fleets advancing with wind astern (port of the picture)

 The british divided in two groups while the french kept together
 Two french veered off to face the brits to starboard

 The brits drew a nice line around the lighthouse island
 The french obliged with a parallel line, firing the first (and ineffectual broadside)
 HMS Stirling Castle and Bienfaisant caught l'Ardent in a disappointing crossfire
 Engagement astern between the two islands
 Le Jason was a bit damaged
 L'ardent crashes with HMS Bienfaisant giving her a useless broadside

 Le Venguer crosses the Bienfaisant's bow causing crippling damage
 The rest of the french veer starboard to finish the british flagship
 The brits are a bit too slow to react and will soon fall out of range
 Admiral Mcangus orders boarders away stripping l'Ardent of one damage
 But the rest of the french guns set the Bienfaisant alight
 Finally le Vengeur makes her strike, the crew fails to put out the fire and she'll blow up in three turns
 The french admiral has been taking some damage  at his column's rear and now la Provence has only one remaining damage and is burning lively
 While the clock ticks down l'Ardent's crew try desperatelly to detach themselves from the burning hulk, they didn't manage it which made us reconsider the ungrappling rules.
 Almost there!
 La Provence managed to put down the fire after captain Lombard sent all men to the pumps

 The Stirling Castle drops anchor astern of l'Ardent to take revenge for her flagship
 The HMS Bienfaisant blows up!
 The fire quickly spreads to l'Ardent which explodes too, setting the Castle on flame!
 The french fleet attempts to form a line between the big island and the sandbank
 Hurray! The Stirling Castle strips the last damage from la Provence making her strike. Cpt. Robert Carkett sure dodged a court martial for letting his admiral blow up thanks to this
 Now the french had to sink the Castle in the last turn or victory would go to the brits
 They threw all they had into her...
... but Carkett held on with just one damage giving victory to the brits!

French 5 - British 9
Game played under 2.5 hours and the 30 minutes due to being our first game. Best ships: french Vengeur, british Stirling Castle.

Suggestions from my opponent and my own gameplay experience made me make some changes in the rules:

Smaller turn template of just two segments, the present is too big & unwieldy.
Ungrappling at 4+, 3+ if crew does nothing else, separate ship 1 cm from obstacle if ungrappled.
Anyone can measure anything at any time.
Chainshot takes out a mast with one or more 6+ rolled for broadside.
In irons: prow pointing to windward table edge, running stern pointing windward, abeam other.
Better written rules for anchoring and markers.

Soon to be added to the rulebook.

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