Saturday 30 April 2022

All at Sea - Bob's French Squadron Launched and Ready for Sea Trials, Plus Some French First-Rates & Legionary Exeter (May 7th)

La Marseillaise has been played a few times this week in JJ's Shipyard as three third-rates, three frigates and two first-rates have rolled down the slips, rigged and fitted and now ready for sea duties.

JJ's Wargames - All at Sea, Bob's British Squadron

Picking up from my post in February, work has continued to put together some fleets for my friend and fellow clubmate Bob, which started with the build of the British Navy boxset from Warlord Games and has continued with this the French Navy set.

However Bob's first-rate was commandeered by the home administration, during a time of war, for service next month at Legionary in Exeter; where we will be playing the first battle in our French Revolution and Napoleonic War naval campaign, using the rules Kiss Me Hardy and the naval board game Sovereign of the Seas from Compass Games.

The first turn for the year 1793 has been played on Vassal and resulted in our first battle of the campaign when the veteran Admiral, Lord Howe led his fleet into the Indian Ocean in pursuit of a French squadron led by Commodore Rosily and successfully intercepted him off Madras which we will play at the show and sees twelve ships aside in action that needed four French first-rates and thus the build of the two extra models featured here.

The positions in the Indian Ocean in our campaign game for the end of 1793, with Howe's former Channel Squadron, since renamed the East Indies Squadron having sailed the globe to successfully intercept Commodore Rosily's Toulon squadron out of La Reunion on a raid to the Coromandel coast. Note both navies deployed frigate concentrations in this very important area.

The two evenly matched (at least in numbers) squadrons which will fight out our display game at Legionary in Exeter next month
Legionary Show - Exeter

So on with the presentation of the new models set to join our wider club collections:

French First Rates

These two new additions to the collection will enable me to field four of these leviathans as required including the mighty L'Orient which serves as my fleet flagship. With a planned build for Bob to replace his model seen here and another build for another keen naval pal, Jack whose collection I'm due to start work on the club should soon have six such models ready to serve as needed during our campaign.

For next month's game these models are already based up with their pennant numbers indicating the French 110-gun Republique and Terrible.

The Warlord model really captures the look of these great ships and with four of them among the French line in our upcoming game should make for an impressive array.

Bob's Third-Rates

The French fleet box set includes three third-rates that were in the line of the Combined fleet at Trafalgar including Vice Admiral Villeneuve's flagship, Bucentaure and Captain Lucas' Redoutable.

L'Aigle - 74-guns

Bucentaure 80-guns 

Redoutable 74-guns

Bob's Frigates
Likewise the box set also includes three well know French frigates, two Trafalgar veterans if you build L'Hermione as the 1804 version, not the one that featured in the American War of Independence and has been rebuilt in recent years as a replica.

L'Hermione 40-guns

Comete 38-guns

Themis 40-guns

I intend to carry on with fleet build for friends when I start work on Jack's collection in the next build, plus Bob's first rate, aiming to get at least three of us in the Devon Wargames Group with working collections that we can play at club and will combine those builds with my forthcoming work on the Dutch fleet for Camperdown, so lots to do in 2022.

Next up: An AAR on the Battle of Madras 1793 our first campaign game played at Legionary in Exeter on 7th May. If you're going to the show, and you'd like to know more about the collection, come and say hello.

More anon