One of the aspects of designing the game is the building of scenarios and researching those actions that fit right in the project as I envision it.
For a standard initial scenario I picked an action from the year 1686.
Year of Our Lord 1686
Sunday, 31 October
Wind blows from the West with a Fresh Breeze.
The ‘Caesar‘, an East Co. Indiaman armed with ‘big guns’, is passing south of the Road when it spies ships beating upwind intent on hailing.
Francisco Galán, leader of the squadron – Escuadrón Vizcayno – and commanding the flagship, the frigate ‘N.S. del Rosario y las Animas‘ signals that the ship ahead is flying the ‘cross of Burgundy’ but has not responded to the signal guns, thus action is needed.
The ‘Caesar‘ is flying Full sails and Before the wind ( running ). Both Biscay ships in Fighting sails and Close haul. Capt. Edmond Wright notes in the log being under action against ‘pyrates’.
The two Spanish ships stay on course and sail Ahead.
The English captain decides to gather sails after she went ahead. Two Strain are added to the Caesar due to the combination of – on station keeping the best sail angle and then to go aloft to gather sails.
Capn. Wright, having appraised that the Caesar big guns may win the action decisively orders to change to Broad reach. The rig crews hastily adjust. The ‘San Nicolás‘ passes astern of the flagship as this turns to Beam to cut the enemy heading.
The boarding company on the ‘N.S. del Rosario…’ is ordered to prepare for boarding while on the ‘Caesar‘ there’s an entire company of 100 soldiers of the Lord Viscount Montgomery’s Regiment. These are ordered to man the rails – Boarding ready.
All ships intent on decisive action. The flagship of the Biscayans turns to Close haul, tempting the enemy to come closer which it does as it approaches from windward. Francisco de Aguirre, commanding the ‘San Nicolás‘ orders ahead and straight into the wind astern of the ‘Caesar‘.
Guns are rolled out but only Aguirre’s has angle.
Gun fire erupts from the Starboard side of the ‘San Nicolás‘ aiming low…Some shot hit but nothing serious enough to shake the confidence of the ‘Caesar’ crew – no Shock results.
End of Turn 3. Part of the Strain is removed ( 1 ) in all ships and any damage resulting from Gunnery is applied now ( damage is simultaneous and do not effect capabilities during the same turn ).
Capn. Galán orders the ‘N.S. del Rosario‘ ahead and change tack to port but the timing is just too tight and it fails. The crew is hard pressed to keep her from falling off back.
Having gathered too much Wind the ‘Caesar‘ takes off fast and Turn is hard ( that’s Clubs ! ), the crew keeps her in control with a mix of backsails and other tricks albeit at cost of accumulation of Strain as the Sailing masters make them move ‘ahead of the wind’.
Capn’ Aguirre’s ‘San Nicolás‘ completes the Tacking successfully and sees that another opportunity to fire at ‘musket range’. Orders to Aim high.
Shot flies through the standing rigging and sails but with no notable effect.
Complicated situation evolves. The ‘San Nicolás‘ adjusts to beam and sails ahead. Crew strains but worth taking to windward . The ‘Caesar‘ draw is only Ahead or Sail change, is carrying too much wind still. Capn’ Wright decides to put all hands on controlling her. Strain rises !!
Capn’ Galán’s ‘N.S. Rosario‘ finishes the change of tack and puts the guns on bear aiming high. Significant damage is noticed ! ‘Caesar‘ adds Rigging Damage.
Seamanship is being displayed by both sides in abundance, and while Captain Wright could effectively have escaped the area it would signal a victory for the enemy. Finally the ‘Caesar‘ big guns are put to work against the Spanish flagship, which replies in kind.
The gun crews of the ‘N.S. Rosario‘ are ordered again to Aim High while the ‘Caesar‘ aims low, intent on sealing the deal. More rigging damage registered. The Spanish frigate endures a fairly accurate broadside from the enemy, the crew remains unshaken.
All ships crews are feeling the pressure but on the top of their tasks and perform marvellous manoeuvring ( cards helping ! ). Capn’ Aguirre tries a hasty stern pass before attempting to board from the enemy starboard but the English crew responded with perfect Tacking. Guns roar.
‘San Nicolás‘ crew aims low, having not enough elevation to aim high. The ‘Caesar‘ big guns focus the enemy gun ports. While some more of the shroud fittings and more chain lock is hit on the ‘Caesar‘, rigging suffers, the reply is utterly devastating.
Capitán Aguirre amidst the bloodshed orders an immediate change of tack and try to Grapple the enemy. The manoeuvre is performed admirably but the Grappling attempt fails.
Complex plays calculating best positions, or maybe the least worst. Actions end with the ‘N.S. Rosario‘ able to grapple the ‘Caesar‘ – the suit is called Swords for a reason. Given the boarding from the broadside, both ship’s batteries will fire. No captain can do much wrong…
The boarding company of the Spanish ship jumps to the English ship deck. Guns roar from both ships and Capn’ Galán knows that it may injury some of the crew; so in boarding discard the “best” result – was the Ace. End score is equal. Both sides are giving as much as taking.
The situation on the ‘Caesar‘ is fairly steady except the rigging has been suffering. Even at this range the roots of the mast may be hit ( not on purpose but they are in the way of the shot ).
Both ships of the ‘Escuadron Viscayno‘ situation. The important ship is definitely the flagship, the ‘N.S. Rosario‘ which is locked in boarding action. The ‘San Nicolás‘ though must be careful and maybe stand down and recover from all the Shock.
That’s it for today’s AAR. I won’t spoil how this ended in the game.
Historically the ‘Caesar‘ was victorious and the commander Francisco García Galán died of mortal wounds.
Thank you for reading.
The game is still being designed and fine tuned.