Sunday 24 October 2021


Last thursday it was the anniversary of this famous battle so we replayed it during the weekend. The two british columns come from windward straight to the francospanish line
As happened in the last time we fought this scenario my father spreads his flet to port and starboard.
Precise fire from Collinwood's Royal Sovereign destroys a french ship, the first casualty of the game
The combined fleet moves to counter the columns, splitting the battle in two distinct fronts
As usual the combat devolves in a confuse melee where ships engage yardarm to yardarm
Up in the north the HMS Africa is engaged by two foes that will make short work of her
In the southern front menawhile the british ships of the line have manoeuvred to bring all guns to bear
Whereas in the north Nelson's column is becoming increasingly surrounded
Finally the Africa surrenders to a french vessel, the first british to do so
Collinwood has become entangled with a french ship, that had cannily moved in front of him to stop the Sovereign in her tracks for the rest of the game
Nelson also crashes into a spanish two decker and starts a boarding action
But the day has turned against the english crown, and as another british ship strikes the flag the allies close their trap
A lone english ship drifts enveloped in flames
And blows up spreding damage and blazing fire to all nearby ships including the HMS Victory
Wile the british frigates come to plug the gap behind Collinwood's group both sides open fire
Alas their attack proved to be too daring, and the HMS pickle is annihilated by a broadside

The final nail in the coffin is Nelson's death, as his ship is battered by a lone frigate the crew is unable to control the blaze and the HMS Victory explodes in an enormous fireball
To pour more salt in the wound Collinwood is then shot down by a spanish sniper
The combined fleet suffers some loss too, but it's too late to turn the game
By now the formidable Santíssima Trinidad has entered the fray, her of sailors seizing the HMS Neptune after a bloody assault 
And with a final loss to the british the battle ends...
... in an incredible allied victory!

Refitted Retribution


I've been playing a lot of Armada II lately and I felt that it was high time to rectify the mistakes that I made when assembling my imperial battleship. For unfathomable reasons I put two launch bays instead of a third gun battery on the sides, so I replaced that and gave her an ink wash on some gold spots.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Nal Hutta Assault


Crisis on the Outer Rim! The Confederation of Indepentent Systems has invaded the Nal Hutta and is coercing the hutts to collaborate with them. Should the secret hyperlane routes that they share with the Republic fall on separatist hands the Clone Wars will be all but lost, so Admiral Yularen and the 501 legion race to the planet to lift the blockade and deliver the besieged crime lords.
The republicans have to reach the surface and land an invasion force to recover the planet
The newly painted Acclamator is hit by the Subjugator's massive cannon, but thanks to bracing she only loses one damage
As ever the space between the fleets becomes a melee of gunships, torpedoes and fighters
After a turn on all ahead full the venators and the mandator open fire on the foe with their serried batteries of heavy turbolasers
Despite the fighter cover some LAATS sneak into the subjugator heavy cruiser and set her abalaze
Yularen moves the fleet closer to Nal Hutta, pinning the enemy against the gravity well
After several turns holding back and launching waves of bombers the lucrehulk is in range of the venators, that exact bloody retribution on the lumbering  battleship
Meanwhile two squadrons of Y wings from te Acclamator have managed to dodge the vulture fighters and cripple the munificent frigate
Blasted by turbolaser fire a providence destroyer is hulked by a torpedo salvo
The Mandator's formidable firepower wrecks next the ravaged munifcent
The separatists try to retaliate practiacally destroying a command venator with several hyena bomber waves, but she survives thanks to bracing
Another transport also escapes from an almost certain death
Finnaly with the enemy within striking range of Nal Hutta and half his fleet crippled or destroyed the separatist admiral decides to cut his losses and jump to hyperspace

Saturday 16 October 2021


The acclamators were the first warships of the newly founded Grand Army of the Republic. Originally built to transport the clone legions and their vehicles of war to a theatre of war, the vessels could land on a planet to provide covering fire and a safe landing zone on any separatist planet. However the design would prove lacking in space combat, and was relegated to a secondary role with the development of the bigger and more heavily armed Venators.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Lepanto 1571


So last thursday was 450 years of the battle of Lepanto, and this weekend we have managed to play it at 1:10 scale. The rules were my own Empire of the Seas, and the objective quite straightforward: destroy more vessels than the enemy to win!
The christians got the initiative, and led by the formidable galleass they moved to engage the turks
As both fleets close the muslims attack with both their wings leaving the center behind
Happy to take advantage of such a blunder the Holy League masses their ships against the flanks 
Don Juan de Austria aboard la Real (gold edged red galley, second by the left) leds the attack on the enemy in this day that will decide the fate of the Mediterranean
Close range volleys cause mayheim on the ottoman decks 

Closer to the foe the artillery is twice as effective, giving quite an edge to the first side to come within pistol shot of the enemy
Realizing his mistake the ottoman player moves the reserve, clashing with the galleass and her escorts

Now all vessels are engaged with the exception of the galiots from the turkish rearguard, that jockey for position behind the battleline
First to strike is a muslim galley, boarded by venetian sailors and captured
The redoubtable tercio marines also join the battle, boarding and ravaging the foe from the spanish (red) vessels, their superior training and equipment proving to be the decisive factor in many a combat
The cowardly ottoman admiral Ali Baja backs oars after suffering at the hands of the galleass
Meanwhile the fresh muslim galleys begin to gang up on the depleted vessels of the center, throwing  the christians against the ropes
However the galleass proves to be a devastating weapon of war, punishing the muslims with her fire and repulsing a desperate boarding action
As the quality of the spanish soldiers and the weight of fire begins to tell, galley after galley are captured by the victorious Holy league
Most of the ottoman right has been destroyed, with the desperate corsair Sirocco (left) locked in combat with a far supperior genoese vessel
With their job done the christian left wing sails around the line of captured hulks
Things aren't looking that good in the center, where a mass of turks attack the galleass, while on the right a lone galley must face a vengeful squadron of galiots 

After finishing their opponents the galleys weel and come to the rescue of their beleguarded companions, weakening the boarders with close range fire
Undaunted and undefeated the christian MVP charges on her own against the foe, blasting front, left and right with all three batteries
After some rounds of fire Don Juan and his men board the ravaged muslim galleys to wrap up the game
There had to be some loss however, and a venetian galley is overpowered by Ali Reis

Far from the main action two vessels engage in a brutal close quarter battle that, despite being a sideshow to the clash of both fleets, is no less important for those involved
Reluctant to let the enemy admiral escape the spanish pursue his flagship, the Sultana
However a nearby galley explodes, showering the spaniards with burning remains and parts of bodies
Another muslim hulk blows up
Luckily all vessels had retreated from the vicinity to watch the fireworks from a safe distance
Venetian arrogance is a bit too much and the galleass is grievously wounded by the cannonade
Some muslims try to escape to fight another day, but are mercilessly hunted down by the enemy
The turk center is also surrounded and cut to pieces
Finally Ali Baja mets his doom, killed by grapeshot from a blazing spanish galley
In comparison Don Juan's Real hasn't suffered any damage, and even captures an enemy vessel
The second christian galley to be destroyed, all alone without friendly help
But nothing can turn the tide now, and after the death of their admiral a couple of muslim vessels give up the fight and are boarded, much to the rejoicing of the christians enslaved on board

¡And so the battle ends in a resounding catholic victory!
Non nobis domine, non nobis, sed ad nomine tuo da gloriam
Next day we went to the naval museum to see the awesome replica of la Real built in 1971. You don't realize how big this ships were until you are in front of one

The vessel was profusely decorated with paintings and reliefs evocative of don Juan's inminent victory
Travelling in style
The museum is actually located on the sheds were the galleys and other vessels were built, encompassing a long period from the middle and ages until the middle of the 18th century.