Small Napoleonic fleet action

A small battle report for you all using the signal close action fast play rules with 1:2400 tumbling dice ships. To set the scene, a French squadron has been scatted by a storm and forced to find shelter. The chasing royal navy squadron has been able to bottle up a few of the powerful French ships. The French have taken the offensive in an attempt to make use of the prevailing wind to break the royal navy blockade and run for the open sea.

turn 1

Turn one see the prevailing wind coming from the right table edge. The royal navy squadron is close hauled, sailing as close to the wind as practicable with the squadrons flag the 100 Gun Royal Sovereign at the head of the line. Ahead of the squadron is the 32 gun frigate Alcmene, with the 38 gun Shannon standing out to sea. The French are running for the mouth of the bay there strongest ships a Orient 120 gun and Ocean 120 gun at the lead, Ocean is also the flag. The 32 Gun Embuscade is under the guns of the fort.

turn 2

Turn two sees the first shots of the Action with the lead French ships dealing insignificant damaged to the centre ships of the British line the 74 Gun Defence taking the brunt. The frigates Alcmene and Embuscade begin a private dual, Embuscade taking a long range rake of her bows.

turn 3

Turn three, the French line begins wearing ship to run along the Royal navy’s line, this moment of venerability for the French draws heavy fire from the British ships, but the bigger French ships take the rough handing well. The private dual continues between Alcmene and Embuscade, with both ships exchanging shot and moving for position. At this point Embuscade just about has the upper hand.

turn 4

Turn four, the action between the two lines heats up as shots are traded at close range. The royal navy squadron is forced to come about to attempt cut the French dash off. The dual Alcmene and Embuscade ends dramatically with a very effective stern rake from the Embuscade compelling the captain of the Alcmene to strike. The rake must off hit the ships magazine as moments later the Alcmene explodes rocking the Embuscade (nothing to do with me wanting to use the sinking frigate marker honest)turn 5

Turn 5, The French line is brought in to confusion by tight turn as the royal navy comes about to give chase

turn 6

Turn 6 the British squadron comes about and closes on the disordered French, but all the time taking heavy fire coursing damage that’s stating to mount up. Embuscade makes a brake for the open sea while the Shannon bravely moves to harass the lead ship of the French line.

turn 7

Turn 7, the signal go’s up to engage the enemy independently at close quarters, as the Shannon continues to harry the French escape.

turn 8

Turn 8, the action moves in to a confused melee with the royal Sovereign boarding and carrying the 80 Gun Tonnant. The close canon fire from the 120 Gun French ships forces the unsupported Defence to strike,   as the 64 Gun Agamemnon and 50 Gun Adamant struggle to get in to the fray.


The closing turn sees three badly mauled French ships break free of the action, the Royal navy unable to finish the engagement decisively. Both sides took a pasting in this game and i think over all its hard to call who the victory should go to. The Brits lost a frigate and in the end the two 74’s captain and Defance were forced to strike (all be it with low damage) and the French got away to the open sea. But the French would have been unable to claim ether of the 74 as prizes and have lost the 80 Gun Tonnant. The French also left the Action in no state to continue the fight compared to the comparatively lightly damaged royal navy ships two of which where never fully engaged. So in the end I have to say it was an indecisive draw of a battle probably leading to another chase. but nonetheless good fun game had by all.


About benjaminwalton

I'm a 27 year old wargamer originally from Pendock Worcestershire. I now live in Kingston and work as an architect in Teddington lock. I've been in to wargaming since I was about 9, starting with airfix and revell plastic figures then moving on to games workshop. I'm now manly in to historical naval gaming but I'll play whatever looks like good fun.

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