Monthly Meeting Saturday 8 May 2004

after action report


Well, we had a good turn out for the May meeting, a total of 25 attendees, several of whom were visitors, including ex-member, Tim Goodchild, visiting from Singapore and 3 enthusiastic boardgamers, Sam, Anthony and Horace, introduced by Lawrence Hung.  It was also good to catch up with ex-member, Andrew Chan, visiting from Australia.  


Two large games were played, 28mm French-Indo China and 15mm Seven Years War, plus a host of others.


Two boardgames were in evidence, a multi-player game of Avalon Hill's Wooden Ships and Iron Men and Columbia's Hammer of the Scots. First, Lawrence Hung's report of the former game:


“Captain, enemy in sight!” Able Seaman Peter Munn shouted out to Captain James A. Gordon in anxiety.  Gordon, on board of the Royal Navy frigate Active, took his lens and said calmly “ Battle stations! Tell Captain Hoste and Captain Whitby we are under attack.”


13 March, 1811 , cruising around the tiny island of Lissa , the British fleet was confident in holding Napoleon off the coast of Austria .  Remember Trafalgar.   Hearing the news of the French approaching, Captain Hoste, overall commander of the small British force, snubbed the abilities of the French in the control of the sea.  He trusted his elite seamen.  They were experienced, well trained and in high spirits.


“Alright, check the wind gauge and raise the pennants, full sail.” said Hoste. It was going to be an all out frigate combat.  Amphion and Volage were just stood by "Active".  "Aye aye sir!" Lieutenant Anthony Lee responded. 


Admiral Dubourdieu had a bad feeling as the French navy made a contact with the British.  "How many ships, Lieutenant?" "4, Sir" Lieutenant Horace Pascal replied.  Dubourdieu was worried.  Horace was a green officer.  He did not know what to expect.  The fleets were manned by many "mousse", i.e., boys as early as 13 years old as Napoleon could only field the Navy with the young and innocent, after all the war torn campaigns on land.  "At least, we have the numbers..." The French and the allied Venetian had 3 frigates each.  The Venetians were headed by Admiral Laurent Hungier.  They contained "Corona", "Carolina" and "Ballona". 


Carolina closed in the British Volage, really fast from behind.  They exchanged fire heavily.  Carolina was badly damaged but Volage was sunk.  Corona came to grapple Cerebus and sent in the crew on board.  Bloody fight.  Laurent captured Cerebus as a prize and went after Amphion and Active, whose gallant fighting with the French.  Dubourdieu commanded Flore, Favourite and Danse.  Favourite had a collision with Active on to a reef, and was sunk not long after an evasive manoeuvre.  Outnumbered, Amphion had almost all the guns destroyed and Captain Hoste surrendered to the French.  Captain Whitby was killed with the sinking of Volage. 


"Vive la France !!"   Dubourdieu couldn't believe they could beat the British with numbers alone.  They learnt the lesson at Trafalgar well and put it back on the British.  With enveloping manoeuvring from the north and south, the British fleet was surrounded and had no room to escape the ring of fire.  "Your Highness, we had a major victory over the island of Lissa.  Send this message, Horace." Dubourdieu handed out the note to his young lieutenant.                    


A brief review of two games of Hammer of the Scots played by Sam and Andrzej.  In the first game Andrzej took the part of the Scots and after coordinating his forces took Sterling castle only to have the year end due to both players playing event cards on the same turn.  From then it was downhill all the way,  with the English taking and keeping the initiative and bringing the game to a conclusion in 1301 - the quickest Scottish defeat on record!  


In the second game the sides were reversed, with Andrzej thirsting for revenge . . . it was not to be, however.  Despite getting off to a good start, the English never managed to pin down the Scots to a decisive battle, although a minor Scottish lapse did allow the English to corner Wallace in Dunbar and eliminate him from the game.  The arrival of the Scottish king in 1303 allowed the Scots to regain some of the territory lost to the English earlier in the campaign, such that at the end of 1305 (the Braveheart scenario) the English only had a one noble lead on the Scots (equivalent to the narrowest of marginal victories to the English in the Braveheart scenario), play however continued into the full campaign.  Slowly, but surely, the Scots gained control of northern Scotland and pushed the struggling English further and further south.  Despite wresting Bruce from English control in 1313 through the timely play of of the Herald event card, the Scots narrowly missed gaining control of all the nobles, the English hanging on to their sole noble, Galloway, at the end of 1314, thus avoiding total defeat by the the skin of their teeth.  Congratulations to Sam on two well fought games!



Report on the French Indo-China battle coming soon, in the meantime, some photos:



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