The game was to be Blood and Plunder and I really wanted to try out a proper ship to ship action. My 28mm forces are still in the process of being painted up but I do have two nice 15mm, scratch-built, ships gifted to me by my good friend Uriah the Boat-builder.
The models don't exactly fit the rule-book profiles so I had to do a bit of tweaking here. Essentially I had a single masted sloop of two decks and a brigantine of two masts and two decks. Decks here refer to deck 'areas' and not the classical definition of one deck on top of another.
The Brigantine is armed with 6 light guns and I gave this to Happy Dan Le Pew and his French Flibustiers. I played 100 points, which meant I had enough a unit of marins to crew the guns and a unit of flibustiers.
The sloop, I crewed with an English militia force under Lucky Jack Quilp. The sloop carried no guns making the basic ship cheaper in points. In addition, the cheaper militia units meant I had enough points for 2 units of militia and 2 units of freebooters. Here I wanted to test the viability of a solely musket armed force against one sporting cannon (even if they wee only light guns).
It wasn't until I put the figures on the table that I had assigned the bigger force to the smaller ship - not the brightest idea!
|End of move one and first blood to the English. Note the small sloop packed to the gunnels with musket men.|
|The English sweep the opposing gun deck with musketry|
|The more nimble English circle the French|
More musketry from the English and the flibustiers were forced to go prone to seek cover.
|The English close for the kill.|
|To the victor the spoils!|
So what did I learn? Mainly I discovered how difficult it is to crew a ship effectively. Small units are fragile and to make matters worse the English had four units to the French two. A consequence of this was that the French were working with two initiative cards per turn against the English four - ouch!
All in all a good game, a splendid evenings entertainment and a welcome break from reality.