Historical Fantasy Scenario Flashback Battle

Historical Fantasy Scenario Flashback Battle

This is not a regular battle report. Instead, it’s a “flashback” of sorts. I finally got around to doing a Historical Fantasy Scenario (HFS) battle, the first since 2011. I didn’t have time for a full HFS, but this report will give you an idea of what they were like, back in the day. It’s also rather steeped in nostalgia and my personal collection of ships, but that gives it even more of a historical touch.

It was a classic matchup: the English versus the Franco-Spanish. However, certainly not a reenactment of Trafalgar, though that’s something I hope to do someday.

The fleets were as follows:

English: 22 ships of the line and 6 frigates (28 ships total)

Franco-Spanish (FS): 29 ships of the line and 8 frigates (37 ships total)

(65 ships total; considering that some of my HFS battles involved over 200 ships, imagine this battle but three times its size!)

Going back to my Historical Fantasy Scenarios, square rigged ships with 4 or 5 masts were considered 3 decked ships of the line, meaning they generally carried at least 90 guns. For flavor purposes I would count the number of cannons the ship has (based on the actual artwork), and then pile on as many cannons as possible, even where it became unrealistic. This helped the numbers simulate reality more often, and helped me have a lot of SOL’s (ships of the line). In this battle, the English had nine 3 deckers compared to thirteen in the allied fleet.

Both fleets headed towards each other in double lines of battle, with the frigates at the northern end of the lines. The wind was blowing due south. Of course, being the first HFS action since 2011, and quite possibly the last-ever HFS-style battle, this was no ordinary contest, as the particular ships would prove…

Historical Fantasy Scenario

The original French flagship, La Magnifique. The leader of the French in dozens and dozens of battles, and the first 5 master I ever owned. The first true battleship, she has been preserved in her original form, when I put the masts in backwards. Her mainmast isn’t broken, but merely loose from the time she was constructed. A true legend in her time, La Magnifique has been brought out of retirement to fight once more!

The exact opposite: France’s newest flagship! Le Dauphin Royal was launched just days ago, and a new generation of French sailors eagerly set sail upon the majestic battleship.

The Magnifique and Dauphin Royal headed the two columns of the combined fleet, but directly astern were many of France’s best ships. Here you can see the intimidating but beautiful Ville de Paris and Superbe in the foreground, while behind them the Argonauta was the only Spanish 5 master available for the day’s action.

This shows the rest of the FS fleet, which is quite impressive.

The backs of the main columns, with the 2 deckers eager to form lines of their own or join one of the main columns.

The French frigate squadron, with the ultra-fast Le Mercure in the lead. The Mercure shared the title of “fastest ship afloat” with the pirate schooner Raven back in the old days. Off her starboard quarter sails Le Republicain, a ship whose gun crews are among the best in the French fleet. Behind them are mostly newer arrivals, eager to prove themselves in such a rare opportunity that this was.

One last look at the French for the time being:

Her Majesty’s Navy: 28 of England’s finest warships, out to defend their dominion, which is the world’s oceans. Unlike the French, their strongest column is the one to windward.

Heading the English line: HMS Titan and HMS Dreadnought. The third ship is one the allies didn’t want to see: HMS Gargantuan. Back in 2010 and 2011, times of extremely frequent and intense warfare, the two Gargantuans often dominated the seas as England’s flagships. With her sister ship in drydock and this Gargantuan demoted from the front of the line, she holds a somewhat less powerful position than she did in her glory days. However, she still commands immense respect, especially from those newbies in the allied fleet who would be unwise enough to forget the tales of past conflicts.

England’s frigate squadron. While small back then too, it was never the reason for England’s victories at sea.

A sight the allies dreaded even more than HMS Gargantuan – my first two English ships EVER! Similar to the Magnifique and Gargantuan, HMS Lord Walpole and HMS Birkenhead have been involved in countless battles, and these two have almost always been on the winning side, often teaming up to surround and pulverize larger ships. Probably no two ships in my collection have dealt as much damage as this duo.

Is there a prettier sight to be seen? (other than this in real life haha)

It’s time for WAR!

Some of the French 2 deckers begin to join the lines, while the Spanish 3 deckers disobey orders and fail to join the windward column:

The English lines of battle are in accordance with their battle plan, but will their numerical inferiority doom them?

Open fire! Battle is joined! The Titan and Magnifique exchange furious broadsides, with the Magnifique losing her jib.

The Dauphin Royal fires her cannons for the first time as the Titan comes under fire from both sides. Just beyond them, the frigate battle has begun. The Mercure got ahead of herself and overestimated the speed of her fleetmates, and lost her foremast to a well-placed shot from the Saint James, who then rammed the French schooner at full speed.

England’s flagship has already lost two masts, but she moves on to face Le Superbe:

The Dreadnought punishes the Dauphin as some of the French ship’s shots miss high due to an ill-timed wave.

The Magnifique and Gargantuan meet yet again, but this French admiral has heard the horror stories of past wars and looks to break off the engagement. Up north, the arrival of the other French frigates has signalled a shift in that theater of the battle.

The powerful Republicain comes to the aid of Le Mercure while the Bonifacio dismasts the Minerva.

That swell in the middle of the battle has disrupted things for a moment, but both fleets are in no mood to surrender to the weather!

As per the English strategy, HMS Titan steers away from the allied windward column. The Argonauta and Gaule are afraid of hitting their French comrades in the leeward column, especially when aiming for the rigging, and many gun crews hold their fire temporarily.

In the English leeward column, the Orkney and Burma are slow to get into action. At the upper right and behind the Gargantuan sails HMS Success, a critical part of many English victories. They were especially important when I had 3 of them, but the other two have since been traded to other admirals!

With the Magnifique out in front of the rest of the French column, and the slow Ville de Paris lumbering behind, the captain of the Gargantuan saw his chance. Seizing the initiative, he went with the wind and took his ship out of the line, breaking the French line in the process. The Gargantuan raked the Ville de Paris by the bows, wrecking two of her masts.

With the Titan off fighting the Superbe and the Gargantuan sailing south, the Dreadnought was fighting the southernmost allied 3 deckers by herself. The English roped and grappled their ship to the Dauphin Royal, lashing the two ships together. This caused panic aboard the Argonauta, who soon crashed into the Dauphin’s starboard quarter! The force of the collision carried the Argonauta into the Dreadnought as well.

Here the French have a numbers advantage, but the inexperienced Spanish contingent and fears of friendly fire have led to a stalemate in these early stages of the battle.

The Magnifique lets loose an angry broadside, quickly crippling the Oxley. The next ship in the English leeward column is HMS Concorde, which has one of the fastest-firing crews in the English fleet.

With surprising speed, the Lord Walpole and Birkenhead arrive in the action! The Lord Walpole gives a thunderous broadside to the Delacroix, while the Birkenhead follows.

The middle of the battlefield, where despite the high losses in crew the capital ships are faring relatively well.

The Lord Walpole’s captain was overly aggressive, and tried to go inside the French line. His ship was nearly quick enough for the maneuver, but the Neptune’s jib caught in his rigging! A line was severed, but the Neptune was already colliding with the Lord Walpole’s stern, causing a bit of damage and heeling the ship out of the water.

In the center, the Superbe and Titan have become locked together in an epic duel. At the right, a line of 6 ships deep dominates the battle, with the line alternating French-English at 3 ships each. HMS Success and La Gaule are the latest entrants.

The frigate battle was not going well for the English:

In a rare instance of French seamanship, the Magnifique broke part of the English line to rake two ships at once, causing devastation! At this point she was by far the most easterly allied ship, having basically reached the end of the English formation.

Some of the smaller French SOL’s are set upon by larger English ships:

As chaotic as the battle was getting, a lot of ships had yet to enter the action!

With this overhead shot, you can see that it’s still roughly a line-of-battle affair, but the sheer carnage is threatening to turn things into a pell-mell action.

The battle continues to shift slightly to the south, partly due to the wind.

At the lower right, the Provence would soon become the first allied ship to surrender, while the Intrepide has suffered a double broadside from the Cheshire and 3 decked Burma.

The Lord Walpole has rounded the Neptune only to encounter the L’Heros, while the Birkenhead continues against the Neptune. At the right, the Orkney and Burma have made short work of the Delacroix.

A huge broadside from L’Hercule brings down the King Edward’s mainmast:

The exhausted crew of the Dauphin Royal finally broke free of the Dreadnought, only to run into raking fire from the fresh HMS Leicester!

Only three English frigates still have masts standing, as the French have outmaneuvered and outgunned them from the start. It may have helped that there weren’t any Spanish frigates, as many Spanish SOL’s have yet to enter the main battle or have caused complications for the allies.

Many allied ships have turned southeast in an attempt to join battle, but it may be too late for some of them.

The Magnifique has finally broken free of the fighting to give her crew a short rest, but what she sees is not pleasant: superior English gun crews have led to their dominance in the southern area, while the central area features many shattered French capital ships. As the English columns moved south to crush the French, the Spanish ships with the weather gauge found it difficult to enter the battle, between the logjam in the center and the frigate battle to the north.

The Lord Walpole and Birkenhead sight the Magnifique to the east, and make a beeline towards the flagship, confident in their gun crews.

3 deckers from both sides engage. The Scipion fires upon the Titan, which is now aflame.

The other Spanish 3 deckers finally enter the battle, and the Success is dismasted.

The Concorde duels with the Ville de Paris. Behind them you can see the Hercule and Leicester beating each other to pieces in an evenly matched fight. The fresh HMS Victoria has engaged the battered Dauphin Royal.

The frigate battle is already over! The Saint James was outnumbered 3 to 1, and couldn’t make up the difference. The large crew of the Bonifacio took care of the Patagonia, while the other French frigates surrounded their English counterparts.

War at sea:

Here is generally where the battle reached its peak:

History repeats itself! The battle for the ages: La Magnifique vs HMS Lord Walpole and HMS Birkenhead.

The Ville de Paris was winning her battle against the Concorde, but here the Ajax has begun to fire upon her starboard quarter. At the left, two English 64’s surround a Spanish 3 decker.

Utter devastation. The Hercule and Leicester have dismasted each other but continue to fight. The Dauphin Royal is close to striking her clors to the Victoria. Behind them, the Argonauta has dismasted a small English SOL before being set ablaze by the fresh Belle of Exeter. At the top of the frame, the Dreadnought is slowly winning a battle of attrition against La Gaule, while the French frigates regroup after the English frigates surrender.

The Saint James was in no condition to be taken as a prize, and the French sunk her.

Overeager to get into battle, the Auguste rams one of her allies!

The center of the battle has become very densely packed, with La Valois as the latest entrant. Her and her sister ships are veterans of many battles, but that may not help her against the sheer firepower of HMS King Edward. At the right, the Titan has lost her final mast to Le Superbe, but refuses to surrender.

At the southern edge of the battle, the English have captured 3 French SOL’s.

One of my first four ships ever, the Asesino de la Nave makes the showdown a battle of the classics! The Birkenhead lies derelict, but the Magnifique has been shot to pieces and has half of her crew killed or wounded.

The English continue to clean up in the south, capturing two more French ships. Just north of them, La Toulouse has been dismasted by the mighty HMS Gargantuan. At the right, HMS Victoria delivers a broadside through the stern galleries of the Matthias Vospero.

Carnage in the center:

An ominous sight: the fire aboard the Argonauta spreads, and she drifts south with the wind, crashing into the stern of the Dauphin Royal.

Total carnage!

The entire battlefield, showing the scope of the conflict:

Soon afterwards, ships begin surrendering.

The Argonauta exploded! When the fire reached her powder magazine the big 3 decker blew up, with the force of the explosion capsizing the Dauphin Royal and Hercule and moving the Leicester. The Lord Walpole and Ville de Paris were set aflame by the burning debris.

HMS Success is the first English SOL to surrender, while the English force the Neptune and Delacroix to finally strike their colors.

One of my favorite pictures of the battle, showing the action at mast-level and the beautiful shimmering ocean water.

The end is near…

In a scene of unimaginable carnage of death, the Titan and Superbe refuse to surrender, though their rates of fire have decreased significantly from the battle’s start.

Completely exhausted, both sides retire:

The Magnifique finally surrendered, as did some other French ships.

The Spanish, having had trouble geting into the battle early on, still have some ships with all their masts standing, but the new allied commander has ordered a retreat.

A final look at the debris, carnage, and what may be my last-ever HFS battle:

The English were victorious! They had captured 12 enemy ships, and sunk 3 of them. The Franco-Spanish allies had captured the entire English frigate squadron as well as one ship of the line, while sinking the Saint James, for a total of 6 ships captured and 1 ship sunk. The English had lost 50 masts in the day’s action, while the Franco-Spanish lost 74 masts. At the close of the battle, the English had 17 seaworthy ships (ships with at least one mast still standing), compared to 21 in the allied fleet. However, only 13 of those 21 were ships of the line, and almost none of them 3 deckers, while the English had all 17 ships of the line and a morale advantage. The English had a superior strategy, hitting the French leeward column very hard while delaying the windward column and the Spanish reserve from coming up to help. They also used superior gunnery to prevail. The allies were not entirely coordinated in their efforts, and the insubordination and general lack of ambition in the Spanish fleet was partially to blame in their loss.

I hope this gives you a better idea of how Historical Fantasy Scenarios were done. Of course, collecting gold, launching ships, expanding harbors, and avoiding battle were all major parts of HFS’s, but the battles were the most memorable part. I would say that this battle size was about average for an HFS, though sometimes the number of masts lost was greater or less depending upon the nature of the battle. Of course, this battle pales in comparison to this one, which may be the biggest battle I’ve ever done. That battle featured around 200 ships and almost exactly twice as many fallen masts, so you can begin to imagine the carnage.

December 29th, 2011 – Short HFS + Beginning of 7 fleet game series

A new Historical Fantasy Scenario

Finally, I was able to get my ships out again. Christmas break, so ten days off for me. I have recently acquired an additional 143 ships from three Fairfield boxes, trades on MT, and a DJC booster box, bringing the total to 524 (see Collections thread for details). I put together all of them except for my ROTF SR pack on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and today was able to start a new historical fantasy scenario. As usual, 5 masts, or 20 points worth of treasure, got each faction started. A new development occurred before the start, however. The Cursed had had enough of the Amercursedcorsairebel alliance (Americans, Mercenaries, Cursed, Corsairs, and Rebels combined because they aren’t big enough to be on their own for lack of ships), and defected in a relatively peaceful split, going to the Pirates, who reluctantly agreed, not wanting to be allied with the Cursed, but realizing that it might be necessary to regain the numerical advantage (my new acquisitions put Pirates at 118 ships, while the English took the numbers lead, with 128). The French are now at 75 ships total, the Spanish at 96, and the Cursed at 37. Therefore, the new alliance of the Cursed Pirates gives them 155.

I placed 18 islands, and a handful of fog banks, reefs, and sargasso seas. To change things up, I switched the harbours around. The French are now where the Spanish used to be, in the north. The Spanish are where the Pirates used to be, in the south. The Pirates are where the French used to be, in the southeast, essentially rotating the factions anticlockwise. The Amercs and English stayed put, the Amercs in the northeast and the English in the far west as usual.

All of the fleets started with five one-masters and set them out to gather treasure. The luck of the draw favoured the French, Spanish, and the Cursed Pirates, who had more islands close to their harbour, and also enjoyed finding treasure coins with greater point values than usual. These three factions grew more quickly than the English and Amercs, who weren’t as aggressive as normal. Gold was brought back, counted, and spent as dozens of ships were launched and sent out to find gold in the first handful of “turns” (not using game rules, just going in an order based on harbour locations).

The Spanish and Cursed Pirates soon encountered a problem. Right in between their two harbours (which are somewhat close) is an island that would inevitably be fought over. Sure enough, the Spanish got there first, but the Cursed Pirates got there as they were hauling the gold out to their ships, and you can bet the Cursed Pirates weren’t very happy about the Spaniards taking gold that they thought was rightfully theirs! The Nosso Lar fired on the Spanish galley Sol, and the fight was on! This small frigates-only skirmish didn’t last long, but had enormous consequences, as both sides quickly declared war on each other. Ships raced back to their harbours, new ships were launched, and the new additions set sail for the opponents’ harbour. Since then, the action has been very confused and chaotic, with new ships entering the battle every few hours.

The Spanish are having a hard time so far with the numerical superiority of the Cursed Pirates, but the small number of ships in the Amerc fleet have now attacked the allies from the north after witnessing a Pirate ship-of-the-line (SOL) fire on a Spanish frigate. The Cursed Pirates are in the process of flooding the rapidly expanding battle area with more and more ships. The Spanish are being surrounded on the east, south, and north, while the sea monsters of the alliance recently rose from the depths to sink Spanish ship at their rear, in the west! The battle goes badly for the Spanish, but they have recently made a cry for help to the French, who accepted, eager to help their old allies. Just before this happened, the Amercs chanced upon the new French harbour and these two nations signed an alliance.

It appears as though the Cursed Pirates will now have to fight three factions, but since they are not coordinated in their movements, the Cursed Pirates might just be able to overpower them. Meanwhile, the English have built some ships, but are unaware of the conflict across the sea, and seemingly content for the moment. There is no end in sight for the massive battle between the Cursed Pirates vs the Spanish (as well as the Amercs and eventually the French), so there is much progress to be made.

It was great to get everything back out again, and I hope everyone had a good Christmas! 

Additional Comment:

I am already done with this newest historical fantasy scenario. The Spanish were beaten badly in most areas of the battle, but the Cursed Pirates lost heavily as well. In the north, the frigate battle grew in size as the Amercs entered the fray. This battle the Cursed Pirates would have lost in time, if not for the dismal situation back at the Spanish harbour. The Cursed Pirates had an overwhelming numerical advantage over the Spanish ships stationed at their harbour, and the Spanish fled to the north, getting out just in time. The Cursed Pirates ransacked the harbour, as the Spanish met up with their new allies, the French, in the north. They were then joined by the Amercs and began sailing east, to try to then go south to attack the enemies’ harbour while their forces were divided between there and the Spanish harbour. This did not work, however, as a few stray Pirate ships sighted the large fleet sailing east, and alerted the admirals of this new development. All the Cursed Pirate ships at the Spanish harbour turned to go back to their own harbour, and the nine sea monsters of the Cursed Pirates appeared in front of the allied fleet. Correctly assuming the Cursed Pirates would know they were coming, the allies turned back. The two navies now retreated to their own harbours, and decided to make peace. Only the English didn’t participate in this short but intense war.

Additional Comment:

Today I started a seven-player 40-point game. I tried to use mostly my new stuff, especially in terms of ships, and I am using 20 islands (half mysterious) and 21 terrain. The combatants: English (HMS Victoria and Aberdeen Baron), French (Conquerant, Aquilon), Spanish (Cristal del Obispo and San Pedro), Pirate (Lady’s Scorn, Belladonna, and Lightning), Americans (Blackwatch and Argo), Cursed (Poor Adams, Fallen Angel, and Death’s Anchor), and Mercenary/Corsairs (Forward, Algiers, and Griffin).

The action began, and the English began sailing northwest towards a treasure island. The French, with the Conquerant moving 6S (S+S with helmsman and EA w/reroll) became separated. They realized they were playing more for fun because they had no gold ship(s), so they wanted to create chaos (more of a fun fleet to try out my only Bombardier). The beautiful Cristal del Obispo escorted the San Pedro to the nearest wild island. Then the Pirates departed, followed by the Americans, Cursed, and Mercorsairs, who immediately ran into bad luck-the Algiers was hit by an iceberg, leaving her with two masts.

Three actions quickly developed: The Lady’s Scorn took out two masts on the Forward, but the Forward retaliated with her Fire Shot equipment, scoring a fire mast and another splintered gaff mast. Next turn, the Scorn took out the remaining two masts on the Forward, but now has two fire masts and only her mainmast to guide her.

Meanwhile, just to the north, the Conquerant missed with her flamestrike cannon, but hit with her others, taking out the remaining two masts on the Algiers and one on the Griffin. The galleys fled for home and plan to rescue the Forward. The problem for the French was that the Conquerant was in the way of the English, and so the next turn the HMS Victoria promptly sunk the new ship to get her out of the way.

To the south, it looked as though the Blackwatch and Cristal del Obispo would be content to escort their treasure ships to islands and back home, but the feisty Americans became restless (and reckless, perhaps?). The Blackwatch moved closer to the Spanish ships, but was burned badly. With the help of a helmsman, the Cristal moved S+S+S and took out three masts on the Blackwatch. The Blackwatch has 2L guns with world-hater (TWOS HIT), however, along with EA from Commander Stephen Decatur. The die roll gave the big American gunships two shoot actions, and the guns hit three of four times, taking out three masts on the Cristal, so now both ships have two masts remaining.

To the west, the Cursed one-master Fallen Angel is towing the Death’s Anchor, using it to dismast the American Argo (now with no help because the Blackwatch is too far away), who has been captured by the Poor Adams.

The Lady’s Scorn was able to return home safely and remove her fire masts, sinking the Forward on the way by. The HMS Victoria sunk the Aquilon after finishing the Conquerant, so she single-handedly took out the French fleet. Then the Victoria moved on and sunk both the damaged Barbary galleys, the Algiers and the Griffin.

The duel between the five-masters Cristal del Obispo vs Blackwatch ended with the Blackwatch sinking the Spaniard with her more effective guns. This left the Blackwatch with only one mast, which was quickly eliminated by the Death’s Anchor, and then she was captured by the Poor Adams. The Cursed wanted to tow their new ships (Argo was captured as well) home and repair them and set them loose, but were alarmed to realize the Pirates’ strategy. The Belladonna snuck up on the Spanish harbour and used her ability to take all of the Spaniards’ gold! The San Pedro tried to stop her, but she was rammed and boarded by the swift Lightning. As the San Pedro limped back home to her now-empty harbour, the Cursed appeared to the west of the Pirates looking for a fight just as the newly repaired Lady’s Scorn sailed in from her short battle with the Victoria, who she almost dismasted with four hits. The battle was on, with the Belladonna ramming and boarding the Fallen Angel, taking out her one mast and shipwright she planned to use to repair it. The Lady’s Scorn then missed with all four of her guns!  That’s why it pays to pay for world-haters. The Cursed retaliated as Pirate morale sunk. The Poor Adams sunk the Lady’s Scorn over the next few turns as the Death’s Anchor dismasted both the Lightning and the Belladonna.

Sadly, this brought the action to a close, with four of seven (more than half) fleets now unable to give any possible future actions to their ships (French and Mercorsairs sunk, Pirates sunk and derelict, both American ships captured by the Cursed). Time to count treasure. What wasn’t as exciting as the battles was the superb performance of the English five-master Aberdeen Baron, hauling in coins worth 18 gold, as much as the next two fleets combined! With a large cargo hold, built-in explorer, and the help of a helmsman, this ship was lucky to be unscarred after all the carnage. The Spanish came in second, the San Pedro bringing in gold after the Pirates stole her first runs’ worth. The Pirates came in third with gold aboard the derelict Belladonna. The Cursed came in fourth with two coins aboard the captured Argo. The French, Americans, and Mercorsairs came in dead last with a comination of bad luck and bad strategy. Finally the English won , soon I may start a similar game but with double the fleet sizes (80 points).

August 5th, 2011

The English worked out their peace treaty with the Amercs. The Amercs were forced to abandon their islands they controlled and take everything back to their harbour. The treaty ended the war and determined that the Amercs could not expand to islands, attack the English, or do any kind of enterprising actions.

The Pirates, ready to attack the very well-defended French harbour housing the Franco-Spanish fleet of over 100 ships, were not aware of a massive hurricane brewing to the east. The Pirates attacked, causing incredible carnage and confusion. The Teach and Seleucis sank Allied ships left and right while the Toro did the same to the Pirates.

Then the hurricane struck! Rock them like a hurricane!
Don’t think there’s much else to say. The fleets were annihilated by the bad timing of mother nature. It didn’t help that the wind was blowing due south, forcing ships onto the rocks. Lightning struck down masts as the rain and wind combined to swamp ships, foundering while their crews tried in vain to bail. The few hundred survivors managed to return to their respective harbours, knowing the forgotten war was over. This brings my HFS (historical fantasy scenario) to an end!

I picked up the islands and reefs while putting ships back on the deckplates of their harbours. I was sad, but extremely excited to start my next project: a five-way 500-point game! Cumulatively, 2500 total points! 😮 (2520 if we add the ransom crew +5’s)

The factions for this massive enterprise remain the same. It will be the English v.s. Pirates v.s. Spanish v.s. French v.s. Amercursedcorsairebels. I have already constructed the fleets with crew (had to write all of it down last night, it was quite fun!, never built fleets that big). In total, I am using 151 ships and six sea monsters. Many very prestigious and well-known ships will be participating, including: HMS Grand Temple, HMS Titan, Nautilus, Enterprise, Divine Dragon, El Acorazado, Revenant, Harbinger, Raven, Lechim Namod, El Toro, Darkhawk II, Magnifique, Soleil Royal, Jarvis, and Asesino de la Nave. I am planning on using 20 islands, with ten of them being mysterious. I am also planning on using 5 reefs, 5 fog banks, 4 sargasso seas, 4 icebergs, and 3 whirlpools. I am using all of my unique treasure (22, I think?). Hopefully it will live up to my expectations.

Feel like I’m forgetting something…whatever.

August 1st, 2011

Today was nice and easy, but I will admit that I am biased towards the Royal Navy.

The Amercs had the Terror and the Mobilis, two subs, submerged outside the English harbour so they could keep an eye on them. The English used up most of their reserve monies to ‘complete the fleet’, buying the only ships they had yet to build, the most powerful. They built their five five-masters, awakened(?) the two Luscas (sea monsters, if you didn’t know), and my original HMS Lord Walpole and HMS Birkenhead (my first English ships, they are very special to me). Then they put the two Luscas on underwater surveillance and sure enough, they spotted the two subs from deep in the water. Somehow the Luscas were able to communicate this to the English (any ideas on how?), and the English made the Luscas bring the subs to the surface. The subs were brought to the English admiral, who forced them to surrender or face the incredible broadside of the newly commissioned English flagship, HMS Lord Algernon :cool:. If they submerged, they would just be carried back up by the Luscas.

The English admiral proceeded to replace the Mercenary crew with an English crew, with the sailors using the clothes the Mercs had to play the part beautifully. At gunpoint, the Mercs were forced to tell the English the exact locations of their islands and harbour, as well as directions on how to effectively man and use the submarine. Then, with the Mercs, now officially POW’s, safely put away, the English admiral told the Englishmen what they were going to do.

So the English had their first subs and were embarking to find the Amercs! This brilliant plan would soon come to fruition. The English (as Mercenaries) completely fooled the Amercs and told them about how the English had only a handful of ships, most of them badly seaworthy, the crews were being decimated by scurvy, etc., etc. The Amercs proclaimed victory in their war against the Britons and set out to destroy this weak British fleet! They didn’t send their whole fleet, only a portion of ships of the line, but the fleet was still impressive at 28 SOL’s (including three of their four biggest ships) and 20 frigates. The two subs raced back to tell their comrades of the perfect sequence of events, and once safely ashore, the British sunk the two subs just off the harbour, announcing that sailing ships would rule the seas forever! (I wish)

The Amercs sailed leisurely along, singing sea songs while enjoying each other’s company and making bets on how fast the English would surrender. Some sailors bet they would surrender without firing a shot!

OH MY, OH MY. BIG PROBLEM. All I am going to say is: don’t mess with the Royal Navy. The English had 96 ships, but knew they wouldn’t need them all. They positioned their 17 three deckers, four frigates and the two Luscas to the southeast of the harbour, the wind blowing due north (no doubt a “Protestant wind”, this would be key later on). What happened next was one of the biggest fiascos/routs/dominating performances/whatever you want to call it in history. At night, the four English frigates surrounded the two Bletchleys that had been captured in the last battle and forced them to surrender. The two Luscas picked off the remaining 18 frigates one by one while the rest of the fleet, farther back, had no idea, singing too loudly and celebrating, not hearing the sudden screams of their fellow sailors.

Morning came, and the Amercs were hung-over and not at all ready for battle. After assuming that the frigates had just gone ahead to scout the situation, they decided to wait another day to attack. The English, however, would not. With the unfurling of the sails, the 17 three-deckers came bearing down from windward on the Amerc fleet. Every sailor, officer, and captain in the fleet suddenly had their eyes wide open :eek:. “We have been deceived,” said the Amerc admiral aboard the Enterprise. “Tell the men to load their guns and prepare for battle.” The decks were not even clear when the English swept down on them. The HMS Success and HMS Titan surrounded the USS Stephens, dismasting her and forcing her to surrender. Two HMS Gargantuans surrounded the Enterprise. The other Titan and the HMS Lord Algernon surrounded the 6 masted junk, Divine Dragon, and dismasted her. After ten minutes of furious broadsides, all three had surrendered. The two Luscas and the remaining British ships rounded up the rest of the Amerc ships and forced them to flee to leeward, but they could only go so far. Suddenly the rocks were sighted to the north, giving them the chance to surrender, be dashed on the rocks and killed, or fight a superior enemy and be killed.

At the conclusion, the British had captured 30 ships (including recapturing the three English ships), while sinking another 18. In the following weeks a British fleet told the Amercs to the east of the defeat, repaired the three flagships (now they have the “HMS” Divine Dragon, watch out!), and worked on a peace treaty.

The treaty will probably be worked out soon, and now I concentrate my energies on determining how the Franco-Spanish war with the Pirates should end.

July 29th, 2011

Today, July 29th, I had the biggest battle of my current historical fantasy scenario so far, and it didn’t disappoint.

The Franco-Spanish allies departed from the Spanish harbour with 104 ships, and the Raven made sure they were heading to the French harbour as expected, then she raced off to tell the Pirate admiral and the Pirate squadrons lying in wait just off the French harbour. The Spanish harbour is to the north, and the Pirate harbour is just around a cape directly to the south. The French harbour is to the east of that harbour, so the Allies went east for a bit and then turned southeast. The Allies sailed in a massive formation where the van was shaped as a V, with their 18 frigates out in front scouting for trouble, which they would soon run into. Then came the three-deckers (four-masters in this case), then another line inside of them of ships of the line on both sides of the transport ships, which were two deep and protected on both sides by double lines of SOL’s (ships of the line). This intense and closely packed protection was suggested by the French, who warned the Spanish of how there was a good chance of a surprise attack on the voyage, or maybe the Pirates would be waiting for them in their own harbour! They were taking the relatively short journey very seriously, which would pay off. The transport ships carried the gold (for repairing and building new ships), as well as the infantry troops and artillery pieces.

The Pirates had a line of SOL’s anchored to the west of the French harbour and to the north, creating an L-shaped formation of powerful ships. This was strengthened by a squadron of ships stationed at a nearby island, and by a host of reserves to the south, not to mention the ships still in the Pirate harbour.

The Raven, being the Pirates’ fastest ship, told everyone that the Allies had departed and were now presumably on course to collide with the Pirate fleet. Obviously, an epic battle was inevitable, neither side willing to back down!

The Raven rounded up the other nine Pirate frigates and led them to the northeast, then turned due south with the wind and came down on the foremost Allied ships, forcing them out of the Allied formation. The battle was on! The Allies cleared their decks for action and loaded the guns, knowing full well that they were probably going to soon run full-tilt into an impressive Pirate fleet. What they didn’t count on was not being able to get their transports safely into the harbour. The Pirates had positioned the anchored L they formed so that the first ships of the intersecting lines were tied together at the bows, as well as the ships on down the line, creating a nearly impenetrable wall of firepower, and the leading Allied ships would be exposed to fire from two directions.

The Allies sailed toward the intersection of the L, where directly beyond lay the French harbour, a safe haven away from the chaos and carnage. The frigate battle was progressing, but although the Pirates first had the weather gauge, they were outnumbered two to one. Meanwhile, to the southeast, the Allies’ biggest ships had reached the apex of the L and purposely rammed the two Pirate three-deckers tied together and other ships followed suit and rammed other Pirate ships, but could not break through! As masts fell and the carnage increased, the distances between ships completely evaporated, as almost the entire Allied fleet fell into the L and ships were crushed together in the desperate effort to get through. The Allies had a secret weapon, though. The gigantic crab El Toro suddenly arose from the depths on the other side of the Pirate line and began wreaking havoc on the first Pirate ship, tearing out masts and cutting her anchor cable, sending her drifting to the south, letting the Allies begin to go through the new opening.

The Allies’ weak rear came under attack by the reserve squadron of the Pirates, and they fought desperately to try to keep the Pirates from getting to the transports. The ships in the Allied formation became incredibly cramped and were not able to maneuver. The Raven alerted the Pirate admiral in his harbour of the need for more ships, and the Pirates accordingly sent a dozen ships, nine of them three-deckers. Meanwhile, the Pirate frigates were suffering badly from having to fight both broadsides. The Allied ships continued to break through the Pirate L to the French harbour, only to find Pirate ships manning the otherwise deserted harbour! These ships were not as prepared as others in the battle, as they did not think that the Allies would break through the Pirate line so quickly. The Pirate ships farthest north cut their cables and headed south to the mounting carnage as more and more ships got involved.

The Pirates were losing tons of masts and the east side of their L had completely disintegrated when the Pirate reinforcements of a dozen arrived from their harbour, almost at the same time the two Pirate sea monsters made their appearance. The Teach and Seleucis. The five-master Prussian Crown led the way, with fellow five-master Harbinger directly astern. In an act of pure aggression, the Prussian Crown sailed straight into the frigate battle to try to get to the Allied transports. Friend and foe alike scampered out of the way as the huge three-decker made her entrance. And what an entrance it was! The Prussian Crown smashed her way into the Allied line, her first doubly-shotted broadside sending 110 cannonballs careening through the decks of her poor opponents, a couple of Spanish 64’s, who both were quickly dismasted and on fire. The horrors that befell the Allied rear in this battle were almost indescribable. The three-deckers from the west were joined on the other side of the Allied formation by a handful of Pirate ships from the east side of the L, and the pincer movement was devastating. Hundreds of soldiers lost their lives on the transports as broadside after broadside rained down masts and rigging, starting fires below decks, one of which reached El Pulpo’s powder magazine. The Pulpo exploded!, and sunk the two Allied ships in her immediate vicinity, while setting fire to others. Masts continued to fall as some of the Allied transports made their way into the French harbour.

At the harbour, the Allied escorts had formed a crude opening that they protected Pirate ships from penetrating. El Toro protected the opening and sank any Pirate ships that came too close. This system worked for many of the transports, but the rearmost transports were doomed, courtesy of the Prussian Crown and Harbinger. In a heroic display, the Allies managed to gang up four ships and the injured Toro on the Harbinger, and she lost mast after mast until the Toro finally pulled her under in a suicide mission, two of the most important figures in the battle going out in a blaze of glory :eek:. Other acts of extreme teamwork and determination were present in the Allied fleet. The Asesino de la Nave blew up the larger Xiamen’s Claws, while the Seleucis was killed in a group action of 74’s and 64’s. Some Pirate ships, especially the ones trapped between the harbour and the Allied ships, surrendered. The Pirates did not expect the Allies to fight so hard, and after the admiral on board the Prussian Crown saw the Harbinger go down, he ordered a general retreat. The Allies were too damaged to pursue, it being one of the most exhausting and bloody battles in history!

The Pirates escaped while the Allies tried to make sense of how bad their losses were. They were surprised to discover that they had won a somewhat crushing victory!(The Pirates were also very confident in themselves based on past raids, so it was a huge blow to their morale)

When it was finally sorted out and crews were able to rest for the first time in over 18 hours of hardship, it was clear that the Pirates had not accomplished their goal of decisive victory. The Pirates had lost 155 masts, a truly staggering amount, compared to the Allies’ 102. The Pirates had had six ships sunk, compared with twelve for the Allies(including one important gold transport), but the Allies had captured 18 Pirate ships, while not surrendering any. Two of the three sea monsters were dead. The Allies lost 16 infantry units, as well as two artillery units but many more had reached safety, as well as enough money to repair all of their masts. The Pirates also had an even larger stockpile of money, so they were able to make all of their repairs and build back some of their sunken ships.

The battle was very satisfying, with incredible CARNAGE everywhere :D. The fleets made their repairs and are already ready to go at it again. I have a historical fantasy rule that captured ships can be repaired 100% and then traded in for ships of the winning nations’ unbuilt ships with the same number of masts. In this way the Allies traded in five captured four-masters for four Allied five-masters, the new flagships! (I save the five-masters for last, they’re the most powerful in HFS’s and amazing to me)

The next event in the HFS will be something to do with the Amerc vs English war. I already know what I will do, but you’ll have to wait to find out!

July 27th, 2011

Today I was able to have the battle of the English vs the Amercursedcorsairebels, but not the Pirates vs Franco-Spanish engagement. The English were peacefully sailing through the channel between two reefs and about to skirt around the sprawling Pirate harbour on their way to their new colony, but then they were suddenly ambushed! The Amercs attacked with a roughly similar force (English had 20 ships of the line and three frigates), and took the Britons completely by surprise. With the wind blowing due south, the Amercs attacked from windward as fast as possible, the British forced to fight a uncharacteristically defensive battle (also due to the fact that they had 5 ships with troops/artillery on board that they didn’t want to lose). The British formed a double line of ships on both sides of the five ships packed with troops, but the Amercs did not sail in line-of-battle. They had about six ships attack the British directly, breaking the line and causing chaos. Another half dozen ships went ahead further south to cut off the van of the British line(s).

The battle was not completely pell-mell, as the British were able to keep a disciplined line and protect the transporting ships, but two of their three frigates were captured due to the overwhelming number of Amerc frigates (one-masted galleys, blockade runners, the Griffin (a two-masted galley), and one-masters vs three Bletchleys!). As masts fell and casualties mounted, the British reached the island they intended to conquer and found a Pirate fleet stationed there, in order to cut off the Franco-Spanish fleet! Realizing the venture had failed, the English admiral aboard the Leicester (he later had to shift his flag to the HMS King Edward due to the Leicester being dismasted by the USS Stephens and Louisiana) signaled for the fleet to tack around to the northwest and then retreat west and begin the journey back to their harbour.

As they began to tack, three things happened. The British were determined not to let the entire enterprise be a failure, and their shots began to tell more often. As they tacked, they gained the weather gage and the smoke from their cannons drifted south to confuse the Amerc ships and cover their escape. The third thing was not in the Brits’ favour, though. The Cursed sea monster Lechim Namod arose from the depths 😮 and quickly sunk one of the ships with troops on her, the Belle of Exeter. As the British made their way away from the battle, the Amercs being too weary and blind to pursue (along with gathering up their derelicts so they didn’t drift too far south and be dashed on the rocks), the HMS King John fell behind slightly and was also sunk by the Namod.

In the aftermath of the battle, both sides claimed victory. The Amercs had dealt a huge blow to English morale, and they were able to capture three ships and sink two more. Despite that the English expedition had failed, they had inflicted so much damage that the Amercs had to abandon the island they were stationed at and head home for repairs (only one ship had not lost at least one mast). The English had knocked down 49 masts, and had lost 34 in return.

The Amercs returned to their harbour, only a short journey northward, and shadowed the fleeing English with three submerged subs. Then they put a group of ships that didn’t participate in the battle back on duty at their island. The English returned home disappointed, and after they had docked had no idea they were under surveillance by the three subs.

Meanwhile, the Franco-Spanish finished up their preparations for their expedition under the watchful eye of the Raven. I should have that battle tomorrow.

July 26th, 2011

So today I had the English depart to collect treasure from a far-off island. The Amercs have a full fleet and were looking for a fight, so they scouted the area around their colonies and the Terror sighted the English fleet heading back to their harbour. She stayed submerged and alerted her fleet at the island, then went to the Amerc harbour and asked for some reinforcements, which the admiral of the fleet gladly provided. Then they returned to the island and put many frigates and a trio of subs on surveillance to watch to see if the English returned to take over the wild island. Sure enough, they came back with an impressive force of 20 ships of the line, still unaware of the Amercs’ plan to attack. Hopefully that engagement will happen tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Franco-Spanish prepared for their massive journey to the French harbour, taking all their troops, artillery, and supplies with them. The Pirates prepared quite well for the upcoming battle, which will be by far the largest yet. The Pirates sent the Raven to the Spanish harbour to spy on the Franco-Spanish and report back to the Pirates when they departed, the allies not seeing the Raven in the fog:rolleyes:. The Pirates also staked out the French harbour and are lying in wait offshore with another 30 ships of the line, not including reserves.

If things go as planned, both battles should happen tomorrow, and it will especially be interesting to see who wins the bigger fight, and if the victor can force a decisive action.

Good night! 😀

July 24th, 2011 – The First Battle Report by A7XfanBen

Just a thread where people can share their experiences. A thank you to CCMike for the original inspiration.

So I haven’t talked about it here yet, but my historical fantasy scenario has been going well. I start with 20 points worth of masts(each mast costs 4 gold, so that’s five masts at the beginning). Repairs cost 2 gold per mast. I am currently using a dozen islands. I am using the infantry and artillery units from Risk for land troops on islands and for harbour defense(2 gold for infantry and 6 for artillery).

The fleets built themselves up with some gold-running and launching of ships. The Pirates went after the French in their harbour and though they inflicted impressive damage(over 60 masts lost), the French held on through two raids. The English went after the Spanish in their harbour, but were more timid than usual and the raids were inconclusive(English just feeling out the opposing fleet I guess). The nations repaired and were ready to go today. By the way, the other faction I’m using is the only pre-set alliance, a combination of the Americans, Mercenaries, Cursed, Corsair, and Jade Rebellion (I don’t have enough of these for them to hold their own in a fleet action).

Battle-weary and expecting another raid, the French gathered their troops and remaining gold and made a beeline northwest into unfamiliar territory (their harbour is the furthest east, and due west is the Pirate harbour). Sure enough, the Pirates were approaching with another force. The Raven, out in front of the Pirates’ fleet, scouted the situation and was stunned to find the harbour empty! She immediately hoisted the signal flags, and the Pirate admiral gave the order for a general chase, to the north. As the French sighted the Spanish harbour, they came under attack on their rear by the Pirate van! The Pirates caught up, but they were too late, as the Spanish hastily agreed to a new alliance with their old friends. Disappointed, and facing a superior force (albeit temporarily), the Pirates made the journey home and along the way discovered a treasure-laden island. They used this treasure to increase their store of repair money and ‘complete the fleet’. Now they have all of the 102 ships that I have of their faction, not to mention the scary sea monsters Seleucis and Teach!

Meanwhile, the newly allied Franco-Spanish tried to get organized in the cramped Spanish harbour. The English were somewhat inactive, although they did have a small treasure expedition that netted them a handful of ships, including their three junks. The only faction(s?) not at war is the Amercursedcorsairebels (O_O), and they were also able to complete their fleet, which is certainly the most diverse, containing sea monsters, junks(including the 6-master Divine Dragon), schooners, submarines and galleys.

Any suggestions on how to start wars/battles other than just being overly aggressive? (doesn’t have to correspond to this scenario, just trying to gather ideas) I was thinking of having the Franco-Spanish fleet of 91 ships of the line and 18 frigates going to the French harbour to try to confuse the Pirates (now at 92/10), then having the Pirates get lucky and intercept them, but this would seem to put the French in another unlucky position.

PS: the Divine Dragon was my first big junk, and she is awesome! Soon I’ll build the HMS Grand Temple.