Saturday 18 April 2015

Battle of Presque Isle

It was time for this years St Georges Day (or thereabouts) game. This time its Naval as the Royal Navy take on the US on Lake Erie in the War of 1812. The British objective is to destroy the two currently unarmed American warships, the Lawrence and the Niagara, at anchor near Presque Isle. Both had been unladen of weaponry to enable them to cross the shallows to entry the lake.

Game is being played with Martin's Naval Rules for 1812, which he's been refining for the last couple of years.

The US has numerous vessels and a couple of shore batteries to help them defend. Caledonia, Porcupine, Somers, Ohio, Trippe, Tigress. The US craft all have shallow drafts and can cross over the sandbanks.

The British force consists of six ships, paired off into twos. Matt had the Queen Charlotte and the Chippaway; Kieron, the Lady Prevost and the Little Belt ; Tel the General Hunter, with it's strange mixture of guns, and the Erie.

Both fleets initially concentrated fire on individual ships, with Arial and Prevost  being the initial victims. The longer range American guns were causing significant damage to the British, and killing a few crew and officers across the ships. So the British decided to make use of the favourable wind conditions to close with them.

The Somer is badly mauled when it passed the Charlotte and then becomes entangled with the Erie. The Lady Prevost continues to take minor damage from the surprisingly accurate long range shooting of the West shore battery.

The harassing South Shore battery is neutralized in a couple of turns by Queen Charlotte's concentrated fire. Porcupine captured in a boarding action from the far greater crewed Charlotte. The crew of the Somers refuses to give in and it ends up being sunk. This finally allowed the Erie to become untangled.

The Hunter, attempting to get near the two main target ships, gets stuck on sandbanks but delivered withering fire on the Ariel. The Tigress is also picked on by the British. Queen Charlotte was stern raked a couple of times but her wide rear mitigated the damage.

The freshly captured Porcupine tangled with the barely scratched Caledonia, with the Porky inevitably being recaptured by the Americans. But the inability to untangle themselves lead to both ships being stuck in place. The Gen. Hunter continues to get pounded, losing two guns, and leaving it a bit under gunned on the Starboard side.

Almost all units are badly placed in terms of the wind, which is more detrimental to the Americans. The game was called as a minor British victory, as both the main targets had received fire, and were in a position to be boarded, while the defending ships were pinned in place.

The above is a sample of the ship layout, along with the damage taken as it was at the end of the game.

This wasn't the only game in the hall today, as a 40K Apocalypse Armageddon game was also in full flow. It was not a good day to be an Ork as the Imperials stormed their way to victory.

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