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Thread: 2015 Solo Mission - Fishermans Shoals by ShadowDragon

  1. #1

    Default 2015 Solo Mission - Fishermans Shoals by ShadowDragon


    Fisherman’s Shoals

    My version of the 2015 Campaign scenario, Fisheman’s Shoals, by Union Jack:

    https://sailsofglory.org/showthread....hermans-Shoals

    Note - I've fretted about this one for far too long, so used some plasticine for the shoals. While not terrific it looked better than it appears in the photos - oh well.

    Gabriel stood in the fo’c’sle of the Hermione, peering intently into the waters of Fisherman’s shoals. He knew these waters well but that meant keeping an eye for how the sand bars may have shifted. He has used Fisherman’s shoals many times to shake the pursuit of a French, Spanish or American warship – and that is just what he hoped to do now.

    Not far behind, not more than three cables, was Le Succès – no doubt her Captain hoped to collect on the 5,000 franc reward for killing or capturing the dreaded pirate, Gabriel de Bergerac. The measly 5,000 franc reward – posted by his arch enemy, Amiral Armand Lemontagne – incensed Gabriel. He was worth much more than that; so to make a point he offered 50,000 francs for Lemontagne – alive of course. There was little satisfaction in taunting a corpse.

    Gabriel had no doubt that the crack crew of the Hermoine could defeat Le Succès but there’d be little profit in that once battle damage was repaired. It was better to lose the pursuing frigate in the treacherous waters. A long sandbar separated the two frigates on parallel courses.

    “She’s holding steady”, called out Chaiya, the Thai first mate, from the stern of the Hermoine – referring to the course of Le Succès. Gabriel sighed; it would have been easier if Le Succès had veered to larboard and run aground but the captain of Le Succès seemed to know his business.

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    “There it is,” shouted Gabriel, “two points to larboard”. Then shortly after, “two points to port”. With that the Hermoine slid neatly through the gap in the sandbars. Now if only the wind would hold – Devil’s Rock was aptly named. Many a ship had been foundered on its rocks.

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    But the wind’s of Devil’s Rock lived up to their reputation and the wind veered to the east, catching the Hermione as she tried to slip back onto her previous course. Blast, thought Gabriel. He glanced back and fortuitously the fickle winds had brought Le Succès under the guns of the Hermione’s port, stern battery.

    “Give her a few rounds, lads – but aim high.”

    The Hermione’s guns barked and rounds thudded into he hull of Le Succès.

    “Was that high?”

    The Hermione’s gun crew looked at their captain sheepishly.

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    Gabriel had little time to waste berating the gunners. Danger lay ahead – a moment’s delay and the Hermoine would be driven onto Devil’s Rock.

    “Make ready….now”, Gabriel commanded the Hermoine’s sailors – and with that the Hermione used the wind and current to tack across the wind. [Note – I used Gabriels’ agility skill for turning the Hermione on a corner by a ruler width. I’m not sure exactly how that would be achieved on a square-rigged ship – but I’m sure Dobbs would have the correct lingo. Also, there seems to be a turn missing or something but I couldn’t quite figure it out when reviewing the photos.]

    Le Succès took the struggles of the Hermione as an opportunity to fire her forward battery at her prey. Fortunately for the Hermione, the crew of Le Succès was better at sailing than gunnery.

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    It was then that Gabriel spied Unité heading towards them. A trap! And, Gabriel had fallen right into it.

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    There was a slim change to avoid being caught in the crossfire of two enemy frigates, but the Hermione would need some luck. Le Succès was slowed having to negotiate the last sandbar between her and Devil’s Rock. Unité had more difficulty. She veered hard to port having only seen the sandbar ahead at the last moment. The Hermione, meanwhile, hugged the rocky shore of Devil’s Rock.

    “That’s a fine bit of sailing, Captain,” Chaiya called out. “Perhaps not quite so close next time.”

    Gabriel smiled. There were not yet safe from the trickery of Devil’s Rock. Once they past the southern point of the Rock, the winds would Inexplicably have shifted.

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    As Unité navigated the southern tip of the sandbar it had avoided, the Hermione attempted a narrow passage – any shift of the wind and the Hermoine would be lost. Both ships took the opportunity to exchange a salute which was a fair and even trade.

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    Fortune was with Gabriel and the Hermione. The wind held steady and the Hermione was through the gap but not yet out of danger.

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    And shift the wind did, but fate smiled on the Hermione as she picked up speed and sailed away from the dangers of the shoals. The Unité was not so lucky as she was driven onto the next sandbar.

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    While Unité’s crew struggled to free her, Le Succès turned sharply to port. Rather than try to catch Hermione by following her path, Le Succès would try to intercept her further to the north. Le Succès and Hermione exchanged fire – proving only that the gunners of Le Succès needed practice and that Gabriel would have to teach his gunners the meaning of ‘aim high”.

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    Hermione had swung to the east of the Giant’s Steps which meant she was safe from her enemies for the moment. The danger would come as Hermione exited Fisherman’s shoals as Le Succès had the inside route. A lucky shot that crippled the Hermione would mean she would have to fight both frigates as the Unité was now not far behind Le Succès.

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    Le Succès turned to close the distance and took a full broadside from Hermione which took out some of Le Succès’ rigging.

    “That’s the way to aim high, lads”, said Gabriel.

    None of the Hermione’s crew dared to say they had not aimed high.

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    As the Hermione made her way to safety, Le Succès fired a full broadside in return – her best salvo of the engagement but it was still not all that effective.

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    With that Hermione set full sails – leaving her foes to make their way out of Fisherman’s Shoals.

    ******************************************************

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  2. #2
    Midshipman
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    That was a good battle with the main enemy being the reefs and shoals for both sides I think. The Brits did well to get away with that after a poor start.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    That was a good battle with the main enemy being the reefs and shoals for both sides I think. The Brits did well to get away with that after a poor start.
    Thanks, Gary. The agility skill came in handy....as did that the wind veering at just the right time. But it really was a battle with reef, shoals and wind. On both sides of the island the wind increased to max level which left a smaller margin for error.

  4. #4
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    A very entertaining and dexterous encounter. If you are a bold captain and the wind favours you there are several choice open to you to escape the trap. If not your ship usually loses this one. In your case your captain took his chanced to very good effect.
    i have wondered about adding Dobbs' tidal rules to this one to test the captains even more, but decided that the game is taxing enough without even more complications.
    Congratulations on your escape.

    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.

  5. #5
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    Nice AAR!

  6. #6

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    Enjoyable AAR!
    "It's not the towering sails, but the unseen wind that moves a ship."
    –English Proverb

  7. #7

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    Thanks for your comments and rep, guys.

    Now for the next scenario - if I can figure it out.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    A very entertaining and dexterous encounter. If you are a bold captain and the wind favours you there are several choice open to you to escape the trap. If not your ship usually loses this one. In your case your captain took his chanced to very good effect.
    i have wondered about adding Dobbs' tidal rules to this one to test the captains even more, but decided that the game is taxing enough without even more complications.
    Congratulations on your escape.

    Rob.
    I toyed with the idea that if the ship went at top speed - either because of full sails or because the wind picked up (as it did for both halves in my my game - that there'd be a chance of running aground even if there was no marked sandbar. I think I just forgot about that as I was playing but it didn't matter so much since top speed made hitting the gaps more challenging.

  9. #9
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    I very much enjoyed your interpretation, Paul! Good to see Gabriel continuing his adventures. I have been looking forward to playing this one myself. I am planning on using my current (tidal) rules. In my telling, the shoals will be "the Race", the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound. The current tips through there, and it is an unsettling place to behold.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    I very much enjoyed your interpretation, Paul! Good to see Gabriel continuing his adventures. I have been looking forward to playing this one myself. I am planning on using my current (tidal) rules. In my telling, the shoals will be "the Race", the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound. The current tips through there, and it is an unsettling place to behold.
    Thanks for the rep, Dobbs. I did use your modified rules for the side slip card.

    Look forward to seeing your AAR with current/tide rules - with all the water channels the scenario calls out for them. I’m pretty sure I would have had three wrecked frigates if I had used currents.

  11. #11
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    This is one of the good things about resurrecting some of these old games Paul.

    With the inclusion of some more sophisticated informal rules which have been developed you can create more interesting aspects in the playing of the scenario.
    I remember when we first looked at Neil's scenario, we felt it was pretty nigh impossible to get through without running aground. As the years role by, with more experience we can now deal with small spaces and variable winds much more adroitly, so an extra element of challenge is welcome.
    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.

  12. #12
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    A very adroit piece of sailing Gabriel, I mean Paul, well done, and an enjoyable write up.

    I thought this scenario was a real challenge, very enjoyable even so. The idea of introducing Dobbs current effects into the game is very appealing and I hope when he has the time we shall see the results.

    I think the next scenario is the one I started to play and realized I didn't understand it at all and gave up. Hope you have a better brain than mine.

    I've just checkrd and for once was right. Becalmed is it's title, I'll be interested to see how you go on with it.
    Cheers
    Last edited by Vagabond; 10-06-2021 at 04:32.

  13. #13
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Have another look at it John and read my report on the action.
    I'm sure we can talk you through it if you have a go.
    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.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    A very adroit piece of sailing Gabriel, I mean Paul, well done, and an enjoyable write up.

    I thought this scenario was a real challenge, very enjoyable even so. The idea of introducing Dobbs current effects into the game is very appealing and I hope when he has the time we shall see the results.

    I think the next scenario is the one I started to play and realized I didn't understand it at all and gave up. Hope you have a better brain than mine.

    I've just checkrd and for once was right. Becalmed is it's title, I'll be interested to see how you go on with it.
    Cheers
    The adroit sailing is Gabriel's since it was his 'captain's ability' that saved the day. Without that my sailing would have seen the Hermoine on the rocks of Devil's Island.

    I have to admit that I'll need to re-read the next mission and Rob's report. i did before but I think I have the general idea. There's still some hazy bits....but some comments on the scenario rules

    "3. Pick a marker at random for the AI ship and that becomes the enemy ship for solo chart movement." - the markers are the black numbers and the 'enemy ship for solo chart movement are, I assume, the direction the AI ship has its crew row towards. Afterwards, I don't know why the AI ship wouldn't treat the player's ship as the enemy ship.

    "5. If a ship touches a numbered marker then randomly draw for the wind direction." - these are the black numbers. If you don't row towards one of these black numbers your ship will be becalmed. It's the only way to some wind.

    "7. That is the wind direction in that segment." - this part I don't understand since the black numbers straddle segments. Is this the segment in which the centre peg of the ship is located?

    "10. Each turn you remain touching a numbered marker you may draw again. Once there is wind it remains until you are fully into the next segment. Then roll a d8 for direction and draw at random again for strength." - so once you get a wind you don't need to roll again until "fully in the next segment". Here I don't know what "fully" means - just the centre peg or the entire ship base. If it's the latter I could see that the ship might never be "fully' in another segment - e.g., the ship is mostly in segment 8 and touches markers 1 and/or 6. It gets wind and then travels along the line between 2 and 3 - never being fully in either 2 or 3. Perhaps it the rule said when it fully leaves the current segment that would make sense.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Have another look at it John and read my report on the action.
    I'm sure we can talk you through it if you have a go.
    Rob.
    Thanks Rob, I think I may pass on this one and now I've checked, the follow on game involved a bomb ketch and I put that on hold as well. I may very well resume in 2016 scenarios.

    I find it hard to believe that my last AAR was back in March, where does the time go.

    Paul the Becalmed mission is worthy of your intricate thought process.

  16. #16
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    That one with the Bomb Ketch can be done with any Sloop John, just up the ships burden strength a bit to allow for the reinforcing beams and don't sail it above fighting sails speed.
    If you decide to do it I have a set of cards for it you can download.

    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.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the offer of the cards Rob, presumably somewhere there are rules for using a bomb ketch, I don't think I've seen them in the main rule book.
    I'll have a look around.

    Even though I've not been active following through the campaign scenarios I seem to have still been buying ships, even though I thought I had put a moratorium on buying more. When I had a proper look it turns out I now own every ship apart from the Spanish and Kickstarters plus some spares, 2 or 3 might be used for wrecks and I've even repainted one.
    I think when I looked at this scenario I didn't have anything that would substite for a Bomb Ketch now I have 3 sloops.

    Cheers

  18. #18
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    Here are Dave Manley's rules for Mortars.

    Mortars in SGN


    By David Manley.

    Bomb vessels may fire mortars at anchored or grounded ships, or shore batteries and other specific
    shore targets.
    Maximum range of a mortar is TWICE the length of the gunnery ruler.
    Minimum range is equal to the length of the gunnery ruler.
    Bomb vessels may only fire their mortar when they are at anchor (NOT when grounded)
    To determine the fall of shot:
    Create two decks of cards. the first deck comprises 9 cards and determines the direction of shot:
    • North
    • South
    • East
    • West
    • North West
    • North East
    • South West
    • South East
    • On Target
    The second set of nine cards determines the deviation:
    • Zero (on target) x1
    • Very Short (C/D) x3
    • Short (B) x5
    Draw one card of each type to determine where the shot lands.
    For second and subsequent shots at the same target, once a very short card has been drawn,
    subsequent shots other than "on target" will be at very short range. Once a shot is "on target" (from
    either deck) the mortar is zeroed in and subsequent shots hit the point of aim.
    If the shot falls on a static ship's base or a battery the target draws four B damage tokens. if a shot
    lands on a moving ship it draws four A damage tokens (but remember moving ships cannot be
    specifically targeted)
    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.

  19. #19
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    And here are my modified rules, borrowing heavily from Dave's as you can see.

    Mortars.

    Bomb vessels may fire mortars at anchored or grounded ships, or shore batteries and other specific shore targets.
    Maximum range of a mortar is TWICE the length of the gunnery ruler.
    Minimum range is equal to the length of the gunnery ruler.
    Bomb vessels may only fire their mortar when they are at anchor (NOT when grounded)
    After anchoring lower a ship boat, one move.
    Carry out your stern anchor, one move. Deploy anchor and attatch spring, one move.
    You may now move the aim of your Bomb Vessel by pivoting one corner the width of the range ruler each movement phase, thus being able to change your target by aiming the ship.


    To determine the fall of shot:
    Create two decks of cards. the first deck comprises 9 cards and determines the direction of shot:


    · North
    · South
    · East
    · West
    · North West

    · North East
    · South West
    · South East
    · On Target

    This works fine, but for quick games we only used four cards.
    Over, under, Left, and right.

    The second set of nine cards determines the deviation:

    · Zero (on target) x1
    · Very Short (C/D) x3
    · Short (B) x5



    Draw one card of each type to determine where the shot lands.

    For second and subsequent shots at the same target, once a very short card has been drawn, subsequent shots other than "on target" will be at very short range. Once a shot is "on target" (from either deck) the mortar is zeroed in and subsequent shots hit the point of aim.

    if the shot falls on a static ship's base or a battery the target draws four B damage tokens. If a shot lands on a moving ship it draws four A damage tokens (but remember moving ships cannot be specifically targeted)

    For a very short miss in front of the target we allowed one crew damage card to simulate shrapnel from the explosion as if the fuse were cut too short and premature ignition had taken place.
    You may also like to add the option of the chance of a ship catching fire or exploding if a direct hit is registered. An extra card can be placed in the deck or the Ares chits can be drawn which is what Captain Kiwi and I have done in the past.

    Bomb Vessel
    Manoeuvre deck A
    Burden 3 (stout construction)
    Veer 7
    Seven damage boxes on hull and crew rows
    1/1/1 - 4 - 1 - M
    1/1/1 - 4 - 1 - M
    1/1/1 - 4 - 1 - M
    1/1/1 - 3 - 1 - M
    1/1/1 - 3 - 1 - M
    1/1/1 - 2 - 1 - -
    1/1/1 - 1 - 0 - -

    (bow gunnery / beam gunnery / stern gunnery - crew actions - musketry - Mortar)

    Reloading the mortar takes one action, as for a normal broadside.
    If firing over an intervening land mass, you would need a spotter ship which was in view of both the Bomb and the target to range in for you by signal flags. In this case the Bomb may only fire every four cards.

    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.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for this Rob, I really appreciate you taking the time to dig this out for me.

    I'm currently flying Pauls WWl scenario and then I need to carry on with my campaign of Jack Aubery playing havoc with Spanish and French Shipping. I managed to get 3 people involved in it and then I hope to get back to Sails. I'll have another look at the Bomb Ketch scenario.

  21. #21
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Just in time.
    We are all out of the office at Partizan tomorrow.
    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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