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Thread: AAR - The Long Journey Home - by ShadowDragon

  1. #1

    Default AAR - The Long Journey Home - by ShadowDragon


    The Long Journey Home
    My version of the 2014 Campaign scenario, The Long Journey Home, by Union Jack:
    https://sailsofglory.org/showthread....g-journey-home


    Gabriel called up to the lookout, “Anything yet?” “No, capitaine.” It would be there – a vessel larger than the Hermione, guarding the straight between the islands. Gabriel knew Lamontagne’s game – send in a hound to flush the quarry, Gabriel and the Hermione, into the arms of the hunters. For two days they had been chased by the fast, light frigate, the Ambuscade. For two days they have evaded the Ambuscade but Gabriel had given them the slip by passing through a narrow straight – impassable at low tide and dangerous at high tide unless one knew the passage. The captain of the Ambuscade was new to the Caribbean squadron, and being unfamiliar with the waters, did not chance the passage but took the long route around one of the islands. Eventually the Ambuscade would overtake the Hermione but if the Hermione could make it past the inevitable net of heavy ships waiting for them before then the advantage would be with the Hermione.

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    “A ship”, cried the lookout. “Which one?” “The Duc de Duras.” They were in luck; of all the vessels they could have met, the Duc de Duras was their best foe – or worst from the perspective of their hunters. A converted merchantman, it was barely a 4th rate ship plus the crew was green; while heavier than the Hermione, Gabriel was confident they could make it past the Duc but only if the Ambuscade was late to the fight. And it was just one vessel – clearly Lamontagne had not thought it likely that they’d make for South America.

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    The Duc had spotted them and was heading in their direction. How did the aspiring career of a French naval officer come to this? Gabriel Parese - a declared outlaw – a pirate – bah! More like Gabriel Parese the fugitive from justice, if the verdicts of the Committee of Public Safety could be called ‘justice’. Did anything good ever come from a group called a ‘Committee’? A euphemism for a group of self-righteous busybodies intent on eliminating anyone who thought differently than them.

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    The wind was against the Hermione and Gabriel used every trick he had to get the most speed he could from his vessel (thanks, Dobbs for the work on side-slips for that trick), but the Duc de Duras had the advantage and bore down on the Hermione as it struggled up wind. This was it – do or die. It had no choice in this after the fishing vessel had discovered them in the cove of the uninhabited island where they took refuge after the treasure hunt and the encounter with the Carmagnole. While they got news from the fishermen, Gabriel expected that they’d report the location of the Hermione to Lamontagne – correctly it would seem. If they fisherman had brought good news that might have been something. No, it was all bad. A group of terrorizing radicals, called the Committee of Public Safety ruled France. The king had been executed. Southern and Western France, where many of the crew had families, was in revolt. Lamontagne had denounced Gabriel to the Committee, but not just Gabriel. He had also denounced the, now recently deceased – or executed, squadron commander for having let Gabriel escape. And the worst news was that Lamontagne, that evil snake, was promoted to Admiral and was now squadron commander.

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    The Duc de Duras turned to give the Hermione the opening shot – a full broadside but at long range, but the green crew had misjudged the roll of their ship in the sharp turn and the salvo fell short.

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    Adding to its woes the captain of the Duc had turned into the wind and the Duc was now in the irons. Gabriel would take full advantage of that – as long as they didn’t know about that ‘red-card trick’ of backing into a tight turn. Gabriel had been fooled by that one in the past and wouldn’t be fooled this time. The Duc’s captain had given Gabriel two trump cards.

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    “The Embuscade,” cried the lookout. Gabriel sighed. That would be one trump card trumped by the Embuscade. It had made better time than Gabriel thought. He had hoped they would be past the straight and that night would fall before the Embuscade caught up.

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    The wind shifted to the west. The Hermione was now reaching – and a darn good thing given how the Hermione laboured under the weight of all the stores they took on in case they could not find a haven somewhere. Even better, the ‘red-card trick’ worked to the disadvantage of the Duc de Duras, It was pushed down wind and presented the Hermione a raking shot – and it was impolite to not take the offer of a raking shot. The Hermione’s experienced gunners made the Duc pay for its mistakes – the Hermione’s shot wrecked havoc – sails, rudder and, worst of all, a fire broke out on the Duc.

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    The Duc’s crew might be green, but they were not lacking in courage. They returned fire from their stern battery. Gabriel saluted them – their aim was better than last time and the Hermione took damage, but it was manageable – for now.

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    The Hermione made for the open passage while the Embuscade and the Duc de Duras tried a ‘pincer movement” – even if they hadn’t heard of 20th century armoured, manoeuvre warfare where it became a very popular tactic.

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    With the shift in the wind, the Duc’s captain misjudged his relative speed with the Hermione and turned too soon (actually an edge of the mat problem and not an AI choice) giving the Hermione another raking shot. A good shot if not as dramatic as the last one. Gabriel saw that the Duc’s crew had extinguished the fire. While the Duc as his foe he was not unhappy about that. They didn’t need to sink the vessel of fellow countrymen. They just needed to escape them.

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    It would soon be night and the light was starting to fade. The Duc turned and was in position to fire their forward port battery at the Hermione. It was not a great threat but a single lucky shot could enough to thwart their escape. Again Lady Fortuna smiled on the Hermione. Gabriel could hear the frantic cries of the Duc’s officers as the inexperienced crew tried to lay their guns and fire on the Hermione as it passed. The Hermione’s crew waited for it – then nothing. The moment had passed. [Note this the only occasion in the game when the inexperienced crew had an effect. I used the ‘inexperienced’ optional rule to try it out and to even the odds between the Hermione and the Duc de Duras as they were supposed to be equivalent.]

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    The Hermione was past the Duc de Duras, but the Embuscade was yet unscathed and catching up fast but again Lady Fortuna handed Gabriel and the Hermione a trump card. The clumsy Duc de Duras turned straight into the path of the Embuscade. The Hermione’s crew let out a cheer as they heard the smashing of rigging and the curses of sailors at their two opponents collided. It would be night and their hunters would not catch them now.

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    They would head for South America where more than one town governor was susceptible to bribery and would provide them with a safe port – for awhile. They’d need to keep moving. The Golden Age of Piracy as past and, with the trickle of gold from the Americas, the rewards were poor. All nations had less tolerance to privateers. They had the treasure but a frigate was expensive. They’d need another source of revenue.

    Then there was the war. France was at war with everyone – Prussia, Austria, Holland, England, Spain and even the person of Gabriel. While France might be at war with Gabriel, but Gabriel would be at war with Lamontagne. True Gabriel had the larger share of the Spanish galleon’s treasure but Lamontange could pay for ships and crew from the French treasury and keep his portion for himself.

    Notes: I used Dobbs's AI. Plus the Hermione's card was flipped to the wrong side in the photo, but the stats are the same.

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  2. #2
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Nice one Paul. That certainly gave the persuers the run around. This is often the flaw with the AI ships, but then when you look at the way the player controlled ships often perform it is not so radically different.
    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.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Nice one Paul. That certainly gave the persuers the run around. This is often the flaw with the AI ships, but then when you look at the way the player controlled ships often perform it is not so radically different.
    Rob.
    No it's not so different. I've certainly plotted move - both in SoG and WoG - only to be caught flat-footed (is that right for air and sea combat games - flat-footed???). And thanks for the rep.

  4. #4
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    Well done Paul, beat them again, although how Gabriel is going to pay his crew and maintains his ship is a bit of a conundrum.

    I like your counters showing the fall of shot, I'd seen Robs plastic ones and thought about getting some but I think I'll copy your idea. Im nothing if not cheap.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Well done Paul, beat them again, although how Gabriel is going to pay his crew and maintains his ship is a bit of a conundrum.

    I like your counters showing the fall of shot, I'd seen Robs plastic ones and thought about getting some but I think I'll copy your idea. Im nothing if not cheap.
    Gabriel will need to sort a few things out for the 2015 campaign - even if it means coming to some kind of understanding with the ‘English’.

    I’m with you on cheap. Nothing as cheap as a photoshopped marker.

    Thanks for the rep.

  6. #6
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Several French Émigré Captains did assist the Royal Navy, either serving directly or under Letter of Marque as independent units. That may explain why Jon Vagabond is so nice and cosy under the new Royalist Regime in his later years, or of course he may become a Bonapartist once the Directory comes to an end.

    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.

  7. #7
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Re the shot markers, I love them Paul, and also the way you enhance them with the trajectory of the balls in flight. The only reason I picked the plastic ones was because they could be rough handled at the shows participation games.
    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.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Several French Émigré Captains did assist the Royal Navy, either serving directly or under Letter of Marque as independent units. That may explain why Jon Vagabond is so nice and cosy under the new Royalist Regime in his later years, or of course he may become a Bonapartist once the Directory comes to an end.

    Rob.
    It will be something along that lines; although the relationship will be a strained one. It's really by default - the United States won't deal with pirates, Lamontagne - Gabriel's arch-nemesis leads the French in the region and the Spanish might logically demand their gold back. To survive a pirate needs at least one of the big sea-dogs in the ocean on his (or her side).

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Re the shot markers, I love them Paul, and also the way you enhance them with the trajectory of the balls in flight. The only reason I picked the plastic ones was because they could be rough handled at the shows participation games.
    Rob.
    Photoshopped fall of shot markers are very durable but they don't travel well to show participation games.

  10. #10
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    Maybe he could go to work for the Brazilian or Chilean revolutionaries?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    Maybe he could go to work for the Brazilian or Chilean revolutionaries?
    Perhaps in due course...but those are options.

  12. #12
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    As you know I have the ships and scenery for that one to take sail, When we did the Campaign about Napoleon's escape from St. Helena and Corcoran’s pursuit of him into the Pacific.

    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.

  13. #13
    Clerk of the Acts
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    Great AAR, Paul and I like the displayed canon shots.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Comte de Brueys View Post
    Great AAR, Paul and I like the displayed canon shots.
    Thanks, Sven...and thanks for the rep.

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