Salty Dogs at Sea!
Naval Battle off Macho Grande!

This battle report was written by Jay Stribling who was one of those lost at sea - sunk during the game and Ed Sansing who was the victorious French admiral, the Marquis de Chardonay. We used a variant of the rules from the old Avalon Hill boardgame Wooden Ships and Iron Men adapted by John Stangel. The very nicely painted 1/1200 ships were Langton Miniatures, also belonging to John Stangel.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The British Commanders before the battle - completely confident as sons of Albion! Battle was to show that this confidence was misplaced.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The lead French ship, Guillaume Tell, continues to fire on the British and the others move under full sail trying to cross behind the British.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The Guillaume Tell is now the target of both British. The gallant had crew dashed forward and engaged the British, allowing the other 2 ships to maneuver for move favorable firing positions. After the battle the French commander was heard to mutter "I've got to get those brakes fixed."

Photo by Ed Sansing

The Guillaume Tell is now fouled with the enemy. The Centaur and Achilles have achieved good positions and open fire. There were three Frenchies in this battle and two Britishers.

Photo by Ed Sansing

In the next turn the British ship fires both broadsides. Unfortunately, in the next turn, only ONE can be reloaded.

A Letter from one of the Players' Great, great, great....

Dearest Rebecca,

I am pleased to report to you that I have safely arrived in the Caribbean and am currently ensconced at the Spanish port of Macho Grande. The port is actually rather nice, and has a lovely fort overlooking the harbor, where I am staying. The fort of the Blessed Virgin Mother, known simply as "tu Madre" to the locals, is nicely accommodated, and has ample space for the large number of British Guests that the Spanish are currently entertaining downstairs. I have not been this relaxed since the Terror.

We had a bit of a tussle with some British ships before entering the harbor. Our flotilla had been somewhat dispersed by some unpleasant weather, and my ship, the Centaure, along with the Achille and Admiral Chardonay's Guillaume Tell, had reformed and were making for the Port. Unfortunately a couple of British ships, the Mars and Superb, had sought to interrupt our journey and manged to interpose themselves between us and our destination. Chardonay quickly ordered us to break line and directly engage the British. This was most unfortunate because as Centaure and Achille beat upwind, Chardonay was left to fight both British vessels alone. The Guillaume Tell put up a valiant resistance, after which the crew promptly mutinied, cast the admiral overboard, and set about trying to democratically elect a new captain. I had always wondered why a Royalist such as Chardonay was allowed to keep his head after all these years. Apparently he was popular at dinner parties.

Letter Continued Below

Photo by Ed Sansing

The two ships closest to the viewer are French and are engaging the two British ships which are frantically trying to avoid fouling each other. The British Admiral (John Murdaugh) was signalling with flags "Get out of my way" while the other British ship's captain (Jay Stribling) was muttering about "old farts who cannot steer"...

Photo by Ed Sansing

The Guillaume Tell is again fouled with the HMS Superb. Not long after this the Guillaume Tell struck her colors due to the large amount battle damage she had suffered. The Centaur next closed on the Superb and defeated her.

The Letter - Continued

Even with Guillaume Tell out of action Achille and Centaure were able to resolve the affair. The Earl of Cheddar, actually a rather pleasant gentleman despite being British and a Royalist, had become entangled with the Guillaume and was unable to free Mars before we were able to sail astern of her and deliver fire. She struck shortly afterward. Captain De Burgundy on Achille did not fare as well as we, falling in a boarding action to Superb under the command of Lord Stilton. As with Cheddar, Stilton became entangled, and was unable to free his vessel before we could bring fire to bear on his bow. Superb eventually fell to a boarding action initiated from Centaure, with her crew surrendering after a hard fought action.

I expect I will stay in port several days before we set out again. I received a couple of scrapes from our tussle with Superb (not to worry) and the surgeons say that after a couple of months most of my hair should grow back. The crew is enjoying their shore leave and have been hard at work trying to retrieve salvage from Guillaume Tell and Mars, both of which went aground on the reefs after our engagement with the British. even with the loss of the Guillaume, we were able to take Superb prize and my share of the prize money should be sufficient for you to get that china cabinet you have been talking about.

I will write again soon

Vive Le France
Long Live the Emperor
Yada Yada Yada


J. A. S. de Cabernet
Captain, Centaure

Photo by Ed Sansing

The two French ships still active gang up on the last British ship. This game lasted 24 turns, which is a long game when orders need to be plotted each turn.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Two defeated ships, 1 French and 1 British, drift slowly toward the shore at the end of the battle. The ships drifted at a rate of 2 inches every other turn. The reef was four inches away at game's end. Oh well, they are just little lead ships after all!

A bit more to come!

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