Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Close Action: De Ternay vs Graves

Second game at Guns of August was Close Action, the De Ternay vs Graves scenario. I was admiral of the French side.

In this scenario, the French start in line ahead, close hauled, with the wind on their port; the English are also in line ahead, broad reaching with the wind to their starboard, and with their first ship about 30 hexes windward of the first French ship. My plan was to go ahead for one game turn, then turn right in succession and let the English come to us (That's not the ideal plan for this situation; however, the game started late, I wasn't familiar with the other players' experience and expertise, and I didn't have much time for the briefing. I figured it was better to go for "simple and get people into a fight" rather than "theoretical optimum, complex, and bored players").

The English almost immediately took the "fireworks" formation, with six ships going in three directions and no discernable plan to it. And my lead ship never turned to starboard; he just kept going straight ahead, and we kept following, beautifully in line. Unfortunately that meant our two lead ships got doubled; this was exacerbated when the leader tried to tack while he was too close to the enemy, and made himself a stationary target. Meanwhile, a rogue Englishman sailed down my line and cut in front of me. I had to turn into the wind to avoid a collision, but managed to grapple him, and my greater weight of metal (plus rakes from my cohorts as they sailed past) was more than he could deal with; he was 3 crew boxes from striking when the game ended. When time was called, we had 49 points (and would certainly take one of their ships); they had 64 (and would take one of ours, and quite possibly a second). Not the best game I've ever had, from an admiral's perspective, but given the starting position and our scratch team of captains, we did pretty well.

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