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Thread: 2015 02 Our Ships were British Oak, and hearts of oak our men

  1. #1
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    Default 2015 02 Our Ships were British Oak, and hearts of oak our men

    Our Ships were British Oak, and hearts of oak our men.

    This is the Feb 2015 solo campaign scenario as seen through the eyes of the young Aspirant Jean Vagabond


    Well Baptiste, if you would care to throw a couple of logs on the fire maybe I could tell you about Capitaine
    Roubert and the Genereux, one of the finest ships in the French Navy and the most devastating broadside I had ever seen.

    Yes another Brandy would be nice but could you make it the vintage of 98, Iím very partial to that year. Yes, yes my young friend, I know itís expensive but the story I have to tell will make it seem well worth the expense, besides the rest of these fine fellows here will know you are a man of substance and good taste and that is a reputation to cultivate. Much like my own reputation as a brave French sea dog has been gained in sweat, blood and bravery over many hard years at sea and can never be taken away.

    Ahh the 98 vintage is truly a great one, it warms these old bones, just another sip and I will start my tale.

    I was an Aspirant then, I think the English call the post a Midshipman which is a strange term, but then the English are a strange race. I had just been transferred to the Genereux, my father had some influence with the Navy, I was never sure what it was, as he was the Doorkeeper at Madam Fifiís the finest Brothel in Paris but it was enough to get me onto the Genereux and thatís where I had my start in life.

    We had instructions to blockade the English in a small port, or open anchorage, itís a long time ago and I donít remember small details so well anymore.
    We didnít know what we would find there but Capitaine Roubert was a bold and brave fellow, Vagabond he said to me, he knew my name and I was so proud, Vagabond my lad we will beard the Englishman in his bed. How do you think we should go about this business he asked me. Me - just an Aspirant, but he valued my opinion back then did Capitaine Roubert, and this was before I won renown and favour with my famous exploits. Well Capitaine I started to say when he shouted orders to the helmsman to alter course to 270í and gave a string of orders to the Premier Lieutenant. Well he said to me, we will approach the harbour, keeping the island between us and them, it will be dark soon and they will not see us. I shall land a storming party on the island and take their forts and turn the guns onto the English if they try and escape. But Sir, I started to say before he interrupted by issuing more orders to the Premier Lieutenant. Capitaine Roubert strolled off before I could explain how he should deal with any English ships we found there.

    I saw land as we approached and eventually made out the island against the darkness of the backcloth of the mainland, this is harder than it might appear to you landsmen but believe me it is a thing a sailor learns fast or drowns soon.


    We hove too, that is we turned the ship into the wind and it gently pushed us backwards, but by cunning use of the rudder and the sails we held our position off the island. I approached the Capitaine and asked if I could lead the landing party, he smiled gently and shook his head, no my lad, you are far more valuable on board the ship and he let the Sous Lieutenant lead the men ashore. He did a good job, maybe not as swift and gallant as I would have been but before too long they had taken both of the small forts and imprisoned the garrisons, almost without a shot being fired.


    We found out from the garrison that there was only one British ship there, but the bad news was that she was the Royal George a 100 gun ship I believe and we only carried 74 guns, it was going to be a real test of courage and seamanship but our Capitaine was not in the least dismayed, we have the wind with us and that is worth 50 guns he said to me as he passed.


    We knew the Royal George would beat out of the anchorage but we didnít know which side of the Island she would pass. When daylight broke we could see she was beating out of the south west channel, it was very narrow and I donít suppose their Captain would have tried that manoeuvre if it hadnít been absolutely necessary.

    Capitaine Roubert spoke to the Premier Lieutenant and Genereux turned to starboard and picked up speed.


    This happened just as the British ship turned to larboard to avoid the headland and came straight towards us.

    Tirer shouted our Capitaine and all the starboard guns fired, our ship staggered from the explosive roar of the broadside and the Royal George disappeared from view in a cloud of smoke.
    As luck would have it, the western most fortification fired their guns at the same time, both of us raking the enemy ship to devastating effect.


    It was a tremendous strike.


    The Royal George was holed below the water line, the Main mast was shot through and toppled into the water, the crew were decimated but much worse than all of that was the fire. We must have hit a powder magazine or maybe the galley stove, whatever it was a huge gout of flame gushed up into the air and I could see men running around, some jumped overboard and started to try and get to the island, but most could not even swim. They were my enemy but it was heartbreaking to see such devastation inflicted on fellow seamen.


    The damage after one broadside was frightening but the fire would cause 3 damage points each turn and would rage until it was put out, the problem was that the crew numbers had been halved, there were not enough of them to extinguish the fire before the ship burned to the water line. All was lost.


    We continued to turn to starboard as we reloaded our guns, but every one of us could see the Royal George was doomed, would Capitaine Roubert order another broadside into to our stricken enemy?

    The Royal George meanwhile had tried to turn to starboard and away from the island before she ran aground, a brave and maybe foolish move under the circumstances.


    Her Captain must have realized that his ship could not survive and so he turned again and ran her aground, the crew leaping off into the shallows as she quickly burned to the water line.


    The Royal George was killed by fire, Iíve never seen such devastation in such a short time in all my years at sea. What do you mean Baptiste, no I did not deceive you into thinking the brandy would last any longer than the story, they were both gone in a very short time.


    This was the Genereuxís card, no damage and the 2 missing crew were the ones sent ashore to take and then man the forts guns.

    A famous and dreadful victory, Captain Roubert was promoted and I remained behind on the Genereux to make a name for myself, but Baptiste that story will have to be told another day, itís time I took these weary bones to my bed, storytelling and 98 Brandy always makes me weary and happy at the same time.

    Adieu my friend.

    My apologies to any French speakers for butchering their language and if any one can point me to details of French Napoleonic Naval Ranks I would much appreciate it.
    Bon Voyage.
    Last edited by Vagabond; 02-27-2020 at 15:08.

  2. #2

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    What a strike!

    Nice AAR.

  3. #3
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    As requested.

    Aspirant. Midshipman; or Naval Cadet.

    Enseigne de vaisseau de deuxiŤme classe. Acting Sub-Lieutenant.

    Enseigne de vaisseau de premiŤre classe. Sub-Lieutenant

    Lieutenant de vaisseau. Lieutenant.

    Capitaine de corvette. Lieutenant Commander.

    Capitaine de frigate. Commander.

    Capitaine de vaisseau. Captain.

    Contre-amiral. Rear Admiral.

    Vice-amiral. Vice Admiral.

    Vice-amiral d'escardre. Fleet Vice Admiral.

    Amiral. Admiral.


    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Just a thought John.
    If you intend to do at least five missions from the 2015 Solo games, and post them in the correct thread, I can then give you the medal for that year if you let me know once you have completed the five.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    As requested.

    Aspirant. Midshipman; or Naval Cadet.

    Enseigne de vaisseau de deuxiŤme classe. Acting Sub-Lieutenant.

    Enseigne de vaisseau de premiŤre classe. Sub-Lieutenant

    Lieutenant de vaisseau. Lieutenant.

    Capitaine de corvette. Lieutenant Commander.

    Capitaine de frigate. Commander.

    Capitaine de vaisseau. Captain.

    Contre-amiral. Rear Admiral.

    Vice-amiral. Vice Admiral.

    Vice-amiral d'escardre. Fleet Vice Admiral.

    Amiral. Admiral.


    Rob.
    Thanks for the info, much appreciated.
    Cheers

    Rob it is my intention to play out the solo games but I'm not sure if I shall post them here though.
    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Comte de Brueys View Post
    What a strike!

    Nice AAR.
    Thanks Sven, 3 fires was a killer.

  7. #7
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    It would be a great pity if you did not share even some of the ones you do with the shipmates here John.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    It was great to read this with nice photos and great terrain. It made me think back on my own play of the scenario and how things played out differently. Those fires really are a killer. I do hope you post more of the scenarios you play even though I know it's a lot of work.

    I would suggest moving this to the 2015 campaign though as it's the scenarios and not when they were played that it reflects. I think it helps to keep things organized to have them at one place.

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    No worries Sven.
    I have copied it into the 2015 scenarios for John.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Another nice Vagabond story! Another case of the 98 just ordered.

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    John, I nicked your old guy telling war stories idea for my WoG OTT campaign AAR. Although there’s the risk the guy gets killed off in a later AAR, I got some ideas to get out of that ‘dead’ end. :)

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    Thanks Jonas, I'm pleased you enjoyed it, I'm down on the coast of Spain noth of Benidorm and today walked along the cliffs to the Castell de la Grandella a small fortification built originally to warn and defend a small cove against pirates. The British destroyed it in the Napoleonic wars but the cliff scenery is spectacular, it reminds me of Robs scenery, I'm very seriously thinking about trying to replicate it, the stone is a wonderful ochre colour.

    Rob thanks for copying this to the 2015 section, if I write up any more of these I'll put them there if you think thats the best place.

    Paul I didn't realise there was any of the 98 vintage left, it is 1798, not the much newer 1898. By all means pinch the old guy idea, I borrowed it from Arthur Conan Doyle and his Brigadier Gerard stories, I guess the difference is that Jean Vagabond is not flying an aircraft and so never likely to be killed in one of these stories, unlike his English relative 2nd Lt John Vagabond who writes in the 1st person because there's no guarantee that he will out live WW1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Thanks Jonas, I'm pleased you enjoyed it, I'm down on the coast of Spain noth of Benidorm and today walked along the cliffs to the Castell de la Grandella a small fortification built originally to warn and defend a small cove against pirates. The British destroyed it in the Napoleonic wars but the cliff scenery is spectacular, it reminds me of Robs scenery, I'm very seriously thinking about trying to replicate it, the stone is a wonderful ochre colour.

    Rob thanks for copying this to the 2015 section, if I write up any more of these I'll put them there if you think thats the best place.

    Paul I didn't realise there was any of the 98 vintage left, it is 1798, not the much newer 1898. By all means pinch the old guy idea, I borrowed it from Arthur Conan Doyle and his Brigadier Gerard stories, I guess the difference is that Jean Vagabond is not flying an aircraft and so never likely to be killed in one of these stories, unlike his English relative 2nd Lt John Vagabond who writes in the 1st person because there's no guarantee that he will out live WW1.
    I guess it’s not an entirely novel idea for novels. There are options....old guy has nicked stories belonging to someone else (yup, I’m sure that’s never happened); pilot thought to be dead but nursed to health by beautiful young French woman whose father just happens to own a vineyard / winery; and so forth...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    I guess it’s not an entirely novel idea for novels. There are options....old guy has nicked stories belonging to someone else (yup, I’m sure that’s never happened); pilot thought to be dead but nursed to health by beautiful young French woman whose father just happens to own a vineyard / winery; and so forth...
    ...of course, said pilot is presumed dead by Canadian / British authorities but actually stays in France after the war flying planes, marrying the French woman and helping out with her family’s wine harvest. He and the family escape France to Spain ahead of the German 1940 invasion, eventually emigrate to Australia where they link up with a former squadron mate and buy a vineyard / winery.

    If I think hard enough I will come up with some kind of storyline.

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    Stranger things in heaven and earth Horatio!

    A college friend of mine who happened to be a motor bike fanatic decided to take time out after graduating before taking a job and do the Grand Tour on his bike. OK. so this was Italy and not France, a motor bike rather than an aeroplane, but somehow he came off and was quite badly injured outside the gates of a rather large Estate. Taken in by the owner, and nursed back to health by her, they ended up getting married.

    It can happen in real life. Must remember to include it in my next AAR.

    Oh! I forgot to mention that the Estate had a vineyard.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Stranger things in heaven and earth Horatio!

    A college friend of mine who happened to be a motor bike fanatic decided to take time out after graduating before taking a job and do the Grand Tour on his bike. OK. so this was Italy and not France, a motor bike rather than an aeroplane, but somehow he came off and was quite badly injured outside the gates of a rather large Estate. Taken in by the owner, and nursed back to health by her, they ended up getting married.

    It can happen in real life. Must remember to include it in my next AAR.

    Oh! I forgot to mention that the Estate had a vineyard.

    Rob.
    Too funny!

    Also funny is how I had ideas for the characters but how these ideas changed once I played the game and started writing up the AAR. Some things stayed. The main character is still from Northern Alberta where I grew up and another character is a tribute to my late uncle who joined the Air Force at the beginning of WWII as a mechanic, transferred to aircrew, became a pilot, was good enough at flying to be kept as an instructor, bought a small airways shortly after the war and flew people like Bing Crosby and Neil Armstrong to fishing camps in the north. Are you still reading WoG OTT AAR or are you fully submerged in SoG...realizing submerged might not Ďgo downí well.

    Must do a SoG AAR next.

  17. #17
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    Immersed rather than submerged Paul. I ain't quite sunk in all the admin yet.
    I should be doing a couple of AARs for WWI and II that have been hanging fire for a while (now you have me doing it!) as soon as I get time to add the write up plus one for the Malta scenario which is at least two years old if not more. One of my Beaufighter Pilots is based on a friend of my Dad's who flew them in WWII.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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