Monday, 25 March 2013
Trial Games at Club
So for the second game they took two 64 gun 3rd rates each. This Time it was Grahams turn to suffer. After some initial turns of manoeuvring and getting into range Tim was able to bring the broadsides of his two ships onto one of Grahams. While Graham was out of ark to return fire. he made them count and although it was not an instant ship death like the previous game had done enough damage to cripple Grahams ship "Grey Lady" and to stop it from being able to steer until he could get the steerage repaired. Which he failed to do for a couple of turns so the ship had to just carry on in a straight line which meant that Tim could pound it some more with one ship, the other going in the wrong direction and therefore literally two ships that passed in the night (ok it was daylight but you know what I mean). This second ship of Tim's "El Lusitania" moved into ark of Grahams other ship and it too suffered steerage damage and was stuck facing into the wind, unable to change course until it finally managed to repair the damaged rudder controls. All the while Graham was dropping shot all over it.
So as Patrick had now been observing the game and both Tim and Graham had one relatively undamaged ship each and one ship sinking each (Graham from a severely breached hull and Tim's ship on fire but without sufficient crew to put all the fires out in the repair phase) Both Myself and Patrick bought another 3rd rate each to control. Both the picture pertain to that encounter. It was a chaotic cat fight with each captain reacting to the other sides positions and trying to out-manoeuvre them. The last few turns though saw me dispatch Patricks ship, The ship was relatively intact and would make a good prise, as I had mostly (by fluke) managed to kill crew and not damage the ship. even his command structure, was in good shape. At the cost of one of my masts (which reduced speed and manoeuvrability my ships master gunner, carpenter and with a chain of command so full of holes it was more sieve like than chain like. Grahams ship had likewise lost a mast and most of his crew and was trying to "limp" of the table. The final two turns saw Tim shine. He completely outmanoeuvred me managed to Stern Rake me (he must have learnt how to do that in the first game), which again surprisingly resulted in both Joker criticals being drawn. And then he boarded me. My crew now so reduced as to be rolling just 2 d6 put up a good fight against Tim's intact Marines but as Tim managed to score 3 "kills" to my two, I literally had no crew left so he carried the day and I struck my colours!
Conclusion: Firstly It was a lot of fun. The rules work well, but we all thought that controlling more that 3 ships was beyond us (at least at this stage). The rules are simple and straight forward even intuitive but give a sufficient level of challenge. This make the games playable as games arher than exact detail simulations. To me this is the right approach.
Given the size of the ships (40mmx 20mm bases) My ship starting the game late still managed to travel 4 and a half feet down the table with the wind and about 9 inches tacking back into the wind. Which tells me that the ship size is about right for a game on the boards I have started to make. (Big smile on my face). There are a number of tweaks I need to make to take the game from club level to show level. Things to indicate full or half sail settings, measuring sticks and better Phase activation cards spring to mind as well as a couple of stands for sinking of sunken ships would also be nice.
So what next? As I need to get a couple of bits and bobs to do the next stage of the boards I will give them a break for a week or two, knowing that the game will work in a show setting. As I still have plenty of time, Broadside is on 9th June, there is now no need to rush and I will look to get everything finished mid May so we can get a practice game in with the full set up and everything looking groovy!
Thanks for reading, I hope you found something of interest, and I will do my next blog post on Wednesday. All the best Clint