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.


  1. Great looking game Francesc, and that real ship is awesome :)

  2. thanks, your Murat wasn't bad either