Monday, 10 June 2013

Disaster at Trafalgar!

This weekend I was invited by Tim Moore to take part in a refight of the battle of Trafalgar at the Staines club. The draw for me was that Tim and his cohorts are fans of "Form Line of Battle", a set of rules which I love (for obvious reasons) but which the demands of time have meant I've not had a chance to play for way too long. So I was more than happy to spend 4 hours on the M4 and A419 for a day's gaming. Being the shy, retiring chap that I am and not wishing to impose on my hosts' hospitality by grabbing a glory-bound command I settled for the rar of the Allied line and Admiral Gravina's squadron. A full report will appear in the NWS newsletter, "All Guns Blazing" in the not-too-distant future, but suffice to say that, for the British, a disaster of near biblical proportions occurred as both the Royal Sovereign and Victory managed to get themselves well detached from their squadrons (Collingwood and Nelson both being extremely keen to close with the enemy) - both flagships were lost, Royal Sovereign admittedly to a series of VERY unlucky die rolls during a  frantic boarding action against one of my Spanish 74s. And so, as Collingwood and Nelson enjoy a dinner in Cadiz as "guests" of Admiral Gravina the inquiry into the disaster begins in the Admiralty.....

The game was a whole load of fun. Excellent models, good company and fought out in extremely good spirits (and with a fine pub just down the road for lunch). I'm so glad I went.

 Tim's "Oil Rig" play aid - must try making a few of these myself....

Two of my 74s in a spot of bother.....

The captured Royal Sovereign is spirited away....


  1. hi Dave,

    Were the Allies playing historically or were their crews, like at Stu's bash recently, on a par with their opponents?
    Nice piccies btw,

  2. Nice looking models. The play aid is a great idea. 'Hats off' to the Gent who designed it .... Jeff

    1. The oil rig has lots of other applications in a surprisingly wide range of games. The variant that David shows lets us quickly decide on movement relative to wind.
      My original oil rig (sadly crushed in an automatically closing car door and not yet recreated) had a spider web design that could read off bearings. Now that was useful in lots of types of games....

  3. @Jeff - all crews as they were historically. If you level up the crew quality the British fleet has a REALLY (virtually suicidally) hard time on the approach. Which is why Nelson tried it against the opponent he was facing and wouldn't have say 20 years before.

  4. I tried my best to advise the British Admirals but they made the same mistakes as last time we played this engagement! OK different Admirals this time but deja-vue. Nelson was advised to feint at the van then cut the line between Santissima Trinidad and Bucentaure. Instead he turned left and was not supported by his seconds. Similarly Collingwood got outran her seconds and tried a piratical boarding action.
    I'll get someone else to umpire next time and do it myself.

  5. Very impressive! A clever table set up too - so obvious once you see it done...