1812 off the Coast of New England
Sean McKinney spent 8 years as a midshipman in the King's Navy while trying to pass the Lieutenants exam. He finally realized God was calling him to a less violent life. Thus he became (through a family friend)a merchant captain. Still, he never lost site of the fact that he had been a military man and actually trained his crews on cannon fire.
One day out of Providence the lookout on the John Hale sights a sail moving quickly in there direction.
McKinney determines that the ship is a privateer and opens fire as she is reefing her sails.
( there are three types of sail from full to battle. Each game turn is divided into 3 phases of a minute a piece. This allows ships to move and have some ability to react without requiring written orders. I really like this though Beat To Quarters had it first. If ships are loaded they can fire at anytime during the turn. Each nation takes a different number of phases to reload. Thus the USN and RN will fire more frequently. You CAN fire at sails and can actually take down individual parts. At first this seemed daunting but by my second game it flowed and I really like the detail. All charts are D12 based for some reason. I changed the combat chart to D6s without much trouble though so I can roll my country specific dice! )
The Sandpiper lost her jib due to the John Hale's fire. but still manage to come around for a stern rake.
(Where to place your crew becomes a decision in this game. With almost any casualties at all you will not be able to load your guns, repair sails and hulls so you have to make tough decisions. )
Captain McKinney continued to fire but his 6 pounders were just outgunned by the privateers 12 pounders. He was contiplating his hull damage when his thoughts were interrupted by a tremendous crash! His mainmast had come crashing down.
(Tacking is relatively detailed but takes into account square sail vrs fore and aft and even allows variability for "crank" and "weatherly" ships.)
With his mainmast lost Capt McKinney signaled for the colors to be lowered. How he wished he had been in a Man-O-War!
I really enjoyed this game. It flowed much smoother the second time and only took an hour to play. This game has the most detail of any game Aos game I have played but it flows along better than most including KMH and WSIM. I could see you would be limited to several ships per side. There are optional rules for everything under the sun rivaling Command at Sea in completeness. There is day/ night/ marines/ tides/ towers/ boats/ boarding and the list goes on. So far I am very impressed!
I continue my pirate adventures as well. I attempted Donnybrook again but think I will go back to Sagabrook.