Friday, October 02, 2009

The Greatest Ingominy

Really, I must be letting every one of my countrymen down as a result of this, I lost a game of Trafalgar, with the British, against the French; the French!

Ok, maybe overstating it a bit; though several members of the club told my opponent to go home and think very seriously about what he had done. The average British gamer will it seems accept the defeat of his or her majesty’s armies, but the Navy is somehow sacrosanct. To put it to the sword, especially with the traditional enemy is a step too far.

But you can’t argue with results. I set up both fleets to be even handed 500 point forces, no dodgy choices (hot ammunition and so forth), just a single ship of the line each, a pair of frigates and one or two unrated vessels. So the blame is not on any abuse of the rules.

My deployment at the start left me sailing away from the enemy at first, hoping to bait him in to splitting his fleet, but instead ensured I split my own. My mistake for sure. But then when I got a little opportunity, thanks to the wind changing, the dice intervened to ensure even my most perfectly placed broadsides bounced harmlessly off the enemy ships.

The French held the tactical high ground throughout most of the game, although forced to withdraw one ship due to the wind (i.e. it fell off the edge of the ‘world’, it sailed off the table); and having their flagship ‘in irons’ for two turns, they managed to destroy the British fleet piecemeal, sinking two vessels outright and leaving two others, including the HMS London, my flagship, as hulks. Only one frigate managed to escape.

As ever the models used were the ‘Pirates’ card models. The nicely painted blue board is a recent club innovation; a common sense solution, simply paint the underside of a normal board blue.

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