Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sails of Glory - Magnetic Isles

Last Wednesday at the club I umpired a Sails of Glory game between Stephen N (commanding the French) and Mark B (the British), two ships aside.  I only took the one photo:

My pimped up French ship about to deliver one of the winning broadsides.

I finally finished painting the masts and yards as well as adding a wash to the sails.  I am very happy with the result.  The next challenge was to come up with an alternative base.  The only course of action was for the peg to go...

My depegged Sails of Glory ship (Genereaux/Aquilon) sailing into the harbour at Vernazza.

Back on its plinth.

Off the plinth.

Secret weapon.

Steel paper added to the plinth under the information card.

Mounted on alternative base.  The wind direction marks have been only painted for beating and running (in white rather than the card's orange).

The ship stays in place through use of some steel paper on the alternative base.

Using fire marker as a template as well.  Just centre on main mast.  Cuts down on clutter on the base and looks effective too.

Sitting Ducks

I was to have had a game yesterday, but it had to be postponed, so I thought I would try the solitaire scenario: Sitting Ducks. 

"Cannards assis" the French commander of the 74 gun Aquilon cried, when, in company with the frigate Courageuse, heading south in a strong westerly, he spotted the British 3rd rate HMS Defence and frigate HMS Meleager sitting at anchor, sheltering in the Isles Magnétique.

Trying to gain an advantage the French ships turned down wind in an attempt to get around to the rear of the British, to perform the "râteau arrière".

"Sacre bleu!"
The wind drops and with reduced sails the Courageuse runs into the rear of the Aquilon.  The damage is serious.  The Aquilon loses crew, rudder and a mast, while the Courageuse loses crew, rudder and suffers hull damage.  

Running repairs commence and after a wobbly bit of sailing the Aquilon regains its mizzen mast.  The Courageuse is busy repairing hull damage...

"Watch out for the reef" signals the Aquilon. 

But the Courageuse takes too long translating the signal and crashes on to the reef.  Just to make things worse, and to give the British something to do apart from laughing, it is right under the British guns and suffers two murderous broadsides, raking the Courageuse through the bow.

The Courageuse starts taking on water, but this is of little concern as it is firmly stuck on the reef.

"Argh!"  The Captain of the Aquilon finds his ship heading to another reef.  
Meanwhile the British reload...

But there is no need, the Aquilon runs aground as well.  It is stuck fast in the face of the guns of the HMS Meleager.  The French captain wisely strikes his colours and curses the allure of the Magnetic Islands.

I hadn't expected the scenario to be so difficult, but realise my problem was in thinking the ships were moving about twice as fast as they actually were and as a result turning too soon.  The wind dropping and reducing and then raising sail also helped confuse things as well as not being sure when a ship would be reaching or beating. 

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