Monday, May 18, 2020

The engagement off Proktor Shoals, 1538, Part 2

Continuing with the next ship during the Venetian phase of Turn 3, the Dolphin uses one action to turn 45 degrees, and the second to row forwards. It's unloaded cannon can now bear on the Panther. 

The Wyvern opts to roll all three dice, but gets a dreaded "1" on the black die! Consulting the "All at Sea" Bad Things Gonna Happen table, a roll of "6" yields "Belay that order!"
"If any successful activation dice were rolled, one must be re-rolled. 

The one successful activation (red 6) was re-rolled, and passed. The Wyvern uses its one activation to reload it's cannon. It couldda been worse... MUCH worse!

Moving to the other side of the Island, The Saltire uses its one activation to shoot with its soldiers, but fails to do any damage. 

The Griffon gets 2 activations it adds 1 to its rolls due to being near the Flazgship, Saltire).  The opposing, already crippled Sea Horse is grapled...

and a boarding party dispatched. Against the odds, Turkish spears repulse the over confident Venetians. they should have gotten a black die of their own for that, I see now. GM anti-Moslem bias allegations are made by the Captain of the Sea Horse, Ali Houp.

The Kraken fails all three of its dice, causing a Turnover of the initiative to the Ottomans. 

Situation at the start of the Ottoman phase, Turn 4. 

The Venetian turn was... disappointing, giving them some breathing room.  The Ottomans lead of with their flagship, the Crescent. It scores 3 successes!

The crescent shoots with its soldiers, re-loads its cannon, and lets fly with that as well! Both hit, adding a second and a third black die to the repertoire of the Fleur de Lis!

Next, the Panther shoots at the Wyvern. Perhaps stung by the allegations of Captain Houp, the GM miscalculates this shot as a double, causing 2 hits to the Wyvern and a critical; the actual total should have been 6 + 3 + 1 = 10 vs. 3 +3 = 6, one hit, no critical. The critical hit 2D6 roll is a 2, which translates to "Captain hit!" the Wyvern will be -1 to all activation rolls for the rest of the game. 
"Serves 'em right, the cheaters!", Houp is heard to mutter. 

The (Red) Bull is full of energy, rolling up three nice, big fat successes!

The Bull reloads its canon and shoots at the Kraken, and also reloads its soldiers. It scores one hit, giving the Kraken the joy of its very own black die!
I have changed how I mark loaded status for the soldiers; the white and black smoke was getting too confusing. Henceforth, when the soldiers are loaded, the suitable figures are placed on the forecastle of the ship; when they have shot, they are placed back on the main deck. Simple!

The Lion can't manage a single success, and narrowly avoid rolling a dreaded black 1, causing a turnover

Situation at the start of the Venetian phase of Turn 4. 

The Venetians lead off with their Flagship, the Saltire. Remember, flagships automatically pass at least one activation each turn. Their cannon reloads and shoots at the Lion, but misses.

The Griffon manages 2 successes (within distance of the Flag adds 1 to all activation dice. 

They shoot with their soldiers and hit (4 +3 +1 close range = 8 vs 5 +3 -1 [crippled] =7. It's a good thing because their boarding action would have been a tie (net up one for attackers and down 1 for defenders) in which case BOTH ships would get a black die. With 4 black dice and grappled to an enemy vessel, the Sea Horse strikes!

Shifting to the other side of Proktor Island, the Dolphin manages 2 successes. It reloads and shoots it's cannon at the Panther, and score a hit!

Back across the channel, the Kraken reloads and shoots its cannon at the Bull, but misses. 

The crippled Fleur never the less manages 3 successes with three black dice!

It uses one to shoot at the larger Crescent, but misses. It uses two activations to call out "Carpenters and Surgeons!", and "repairs" one black die, exchanging it for a red one. Note that the first black die cannot be repaired off. 

Also crippled, the Wyvern manages only one success (her Captain was hit last round (there he is afloat amongst the dice), and thus she must subtract 1 from all of her activation rolls. A black "1" is also rolled! A "6" on the All at Sea table then "belays" even that order, so she does nothing. 

Situation at the start of Turn 5; the Venetians have their share of black dice now, too! However, the Ottomans have one ship sunk and one that has struck, while all of the ships of the Serene Republic are still afloat... even if some only barely!

The Ottomans lead off with their Laterna, and reload and shoot at the damaged Fleur; with modifiers for close range,  and adding 4 for Combat for  Laterna instead of the usual 3, it's modified score is actually higher than the target. However, since it is not double and the roll is odd, the shot misses. 

The Panther acts next; with 2 successes it reloads its cannon and shoots at the crippled Wyvern. Te heavy 24 pound ball rips through the length of the unfortunate ship, and she is hulled (a 4th black die sinks the ship). 

The Wyvern slips beneath the waves, as captured in a period painting...  rats optional, Gary!

The Bull reloads and shoots her cannon but misses the torreador (Kraken). 

The Lion fires and reloads her cannon, but also misses (final score higher but odd and not double). 

Situation at the end of the Ottoman phase of Turn 5. 

The Saltire reloads and fires her cannon, but misses (once again higher but odd and not double). 

The Dolphin reloads her cannon and fires, but also misses!

With two actions, the Griffon cuts the Grapple, leaving the abandoned Sea Horse drifting. 

The Krtaken relaods her cannon, fires, and yet another Venetian ship misses. The Dodge is beginning to think that perhaps sweeping the drunks from the city and into the Gunnery corps of the Fleet was perhaps not his best idea ever... 

The Fleur rolls a dreaded Black 1; this results in a FIRE on board (actually, this was my mistake, getting excited and rolling on the Critical damage table instead of the All at Sea table". I'm an equal opportunity duffer, yes I am!). Be that as it may, thick black smoke is seem issuing from the stricken ship!

Situation at the start of Turn 6, Ottoman phase. The Turkish flagship, the Crescent scores 3 successes. 

It uses 2 to row backwards; the Admiral has no desire to be anywhere near the burning enemy ship, and be the target of a fire ship attack, explosion, or whatever other pyrotechnic perils might emanate from the unfortunate Fleur. It uses its remaining activation to reload its canon... just in case! 

The Panther has to roll for its Black 1; a "5" (on the right table this time, a quick learner I am!) results in "mistaken identity", the ship must fire at the nearest ship, freind or foe. That being a foe, it happily obliges, but misses by a wide margin. The flames shooting out of the Fleur must have distracted the gunner!

Across the channel, the thus far pristine Bull rolls up 3 actions, and uses one to reload her cannons, one to fire them, and one to shoot with her soldiers. Both hit, and just like that the Kraken now has three black dice and is crippled.!

The Lion with 2 actions reloads her canon and fires, but misses. "Are you guys perhaps... Venetians", Captain Abou sneers at his hapless gunners!

Situation at the start of the Venetian phase of Turn 6. 

To start their turn, the Venetians MUST check for their burning ship, the Fleur. To do so, they roll on the Critical damage table, and add 3; 4 + 3 = 7, HULL DAMAGE! The burning Fleur acquires its 3rd black die, and is crippled!

The Fleur rolls 2 successes; it takes three to put out a fire. A black 1 is also rolled; 3 on the All at Sea table is Hard to Port, and the ticking bomb changes it's heading 45 degrees.

Considering her dire circumstances, the Fleur Rows into the shallows around Proktor Island, gambling that her crew may be able to reach its shores before the ship burns up completely. 
(I see here I made another mistake, as burning ships may not take ANY other action except putting out the fire. Eh, it makes a better narrative this way!)

The Dolphin acts next, but can only manage a single success; with the odds on this side of the channel looking unfavorable, and her cannon unloaded, what to do? 
"Ramming Speed, if you please, Mr. Cristobal!", bellows out Captain Blyanelli. 
On the Ramming table, the Dolphin gets a bonus for striking the target amidships; the roll of 4 results in one hit on the Panther. Any rammed ship must also check for Oar damage; it rolls three dice, and it rolls at least 2 successes, there is no damage; otherwise, it's speed is reduced. A second oar damage result will leave it dead in the water. The ramming ship only has to check for oar damage if it rams a target that can also ram in the bow arc. That is not the case here. 

The Saltire rolls a single success, and meekly reloads her Cannon. 

The Griffon, fresh off her capture of the Sea Horse, plays copy cat. With 2 success, she turns 45 degrees hard to Port and rams the Bull. Or was that Baaaah Raaam Ewe?!
In any event, the roll of 3 on the Ramming table, with the modifier for ramming amidships results in  not one but two damage to the Bull; she also fails her Oar check roll, and now has Oar damage as well. Ouch!

The crippled Kraken rolls 2 actions, and uses them for repairs; one red die is regained and one black die removed. 

Gulls's eye view of the action at the end of Turn 6.

To be continued....


  1. Good God, that's a lot of dice rolling.

  2. Yes, there is a lot of dice rolling, but the game plays much faster than it seems with taking a shot of each individual ships actions!

  3. Really enjoying the battle and the close up photos of your fleets. Not used to seeing naval battles where ships go head-to-head.

    1. With cannons only in the front, that's the usual engagement for Galley warfare, which usually wound up b being almost like a melee on land once the ships grappled and boarding actions took place. Very different from an Age of Sail game!

  4. Epic!! Spectacular and superb battle...except for the Wyvern may be...

    1. Ships can last a long time in this game, or go to Davey Jones' Locker very quickly!

  5. Splendid, good to see the Turks making a fight of it!(in spite of the dodgy ref!)
    Best Iain

    1. They weren't giving up easily, that's for sure!

  6. Great narrative I am really enjoying this blow by blow account. I have never really enjoyed the few naval games I have played, but this era might be different....

    1. This era is quite different from Age of Sail games. I am still looking for a set I really like for those. I have a couple of candidates to try out. The rules (Galleys and Galleons) are simple, but do require decisions all the time. You also have 4 modes of combat - cannon, small arms fire, boarding, and ramming!

  7. Nice report on this phase Peter and it does look very different to an age of sail game. I keep waiting for them to cross the 'T', but reading your explanation I can see why that's not going to happen.

    1. Yes, the Galleys have NO broadside guns, just a single large gun ion the bow. The Galleass (seen in the background on some shots) was the first oared ship to carry any significant broadside armament.

  8. Wonderful looking table and models Peter - spectacular in fact!

  9. Thanks, Carlo. I had fun doing the game!