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"Post Captain Solo Battle" Topic


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807 hits since 6 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

John Tyson06 Apr 2018 8:00 p.m. PST

This is my second solo game using the Post Captain rules. I have found these to be mostly very historical (for this land lubber anyway) and satisfying set of rules, especially for solo play. I use acrylic markers to designate boardsides (red/orange flames &smoke), previously fired and reloading markers (simple smoke), and flames when a ship catches fire. I use just card stock and my writing for sunk, strike, etc.

Scale is 1:1200.

Here is a brief summery of my twenty (20) turn Post Captain battle.
The order of battle:
French
"Republicain" (Red Check hull) 110-gun (1st Rate)
"Pluton" (Ochre hull) 74-gun (3rd Rate)
"Scipion" (Red hull) 74-gun (3rd Rate)
"Artemise" (Red Check hull) 32-gun (5th Rate)

British
"Victory" (White flag) 100-gun (1st Rate)
"Captain" (Red flag) 74-gun (3rd Rate)
"Thunderer" (White flag) 74-gun (3rd Rate)
"Seahorse" (Red flag) 38-gun (5th Rate)

The opening position with the French having the weather gauge.
(Please forgive my paperwork on the table. Distracting, I know.)


French

British

Both fleets closing, the frigates getting out of the way as the battleships form line of battle.


"Thunderer" gets in the opening shot with a bow rake on "Republicain."

Shortly, both fleets are exchanging broadsides.

It's not long until the battle turns into a general melee, both sides loosing any semblance of formation. The battle turns into a swirl of maneuver to bring guns to bear; broadside roar!

First, "Captain" stuck her colors.

Then, "Pluton" sunk from numerous British hull shots.

Demasted and taking stern rakes from the French battleships, "Victory" was forced to strike.

Later, a lucky shot from a "Seahorse" carronade set the "Republican" on fire! After four turns of fighting the fire and unable to extinguish the flame, the French admiral ordered the crew to abandon the flag ship.

Although both sides were battered, another lucky long range stern rake shot from one a "Seahorse" long 18 caused the French frigate "Artemise" to loose her main mast, whereupon she stuck her colors.

With "Republicain" abandoned, "Pluton" sunk, and "Artemise" stiking her colors, the much battered "Scipion" elects to withdraw.

The British were able to recover the "Victory" and "Captain" which had struck, and the captain of "Thunderer," the largest British ship remaining, was thus enabled to declare a British VICTORY!!

Let us not overlook the gallant little frigate "Seahorse." She accounted for setting the 110-gun "Repulicain" ablaze, and demasting the 32-gun frigate "Artemise" sealing the victory.


Mates, what appropriate laurels should the Admiralty shower upon the gallant "Seahorse"????


Thanks for looking at my little sea battle using Post Captain rules. It was a most enjoyable game.

God bless,
John Tyson

Lascaris06 Apr 2018 8:18 p.m. PST

Very nice AAR. I enjoyed it. I might have to pick up Post Captain to give a try.

Devious07 Apr 2018 4:10 a.m. PST

For the captain, it would depend on who he knew in the Admiralty or if he was well connected (much like today)otherwise he was only doing his duty.

ODGW Kenny Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Apr 2018 5:44 a.m. PST

Most Excellent AAR! Thank you for sharing!

I'd like to encourage you to also post this AAR on the ODGW Forums where others who play Post Captain can see.


Player forum link

AAR forum link


Most appreciated
--ODGW

John Tyson07 Apr 2018 11:43 a.m. PST

ODGW Kenny,

I did post this AAR over on the ODGW AAR forum. It took 5 posts to get it all in due to ODGW photo limitations.

Thanks for the suggestion.

God bless,
John T.

John Tyson07 Apr 2018 12:04 p.m. PST

Devious "For the captain, it would depend on who he knew in the Admiralty or if he was well connected (much like today)otherwise he was only doing his duty."

I would have hoped the captain of "Seahorse" to be promoted to Commodore and the first lieutenant to Commander. But, maybe that is too much to expect.

God bless,
John T.

BrianW07 Apr 2018 3:34 p.m. PST

John T.,
A very nice report indeed! I see that you're using the ODGW clear bases. How do you like them, and how are you storing the ships?

EDIT: Paperwork on the table is the bane of our existence! I have yet to find a way to avoid it.
BWW

ODGW Kenny Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Apr 2018 4:13 p.m. PST

Thank you John!

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2018 4:30 p.m. PST

I can't believe a ship actually sank! Seems mine always strike before the damage gets that bad. 😀

Nice report and pictures.

John Tyson07 Apr 2018 5:09 p.m. PST

Stew, "Pluton" kept passing its command checks! And, "Republicain" caught fire from a long range 32-pdr carronade shot from "Seahorse." One of the carronades rolled a "1" on a D12, then hit rolled a "12" for a Critical Hit and another "12" indicating a fire had started. War's Hell!!

John Tyson07 Apr 2018 5:15 p.m. PST

BrianW wrote:
"A very nice report indeed! I see that you're using the ODGW clear bases. How do you like them, and how are you storing the ships?"

Brian, I like the ODGW bases. They do provide stability and do make measuring easy. I just wish they weren't so reflective. I've thought about trying to give them a clear matte varnish to reduce the glare. What do you think?

I store my twelve (12) ships on a glass shelf in a big glass fronted curio cabinet. The same cabinet I keep my approx 4,000 15mm Napoleonic soldiers. Carry them to and from the gaming table on a cookie tray.

jowady08 Apr 2018 9:25 a.m. PST

I wonder about "Post Captain". It seems like fun but the endings of most of the battles that I have read here on AARs are decidedly ahistorical.

BrianW08 Apr 2018 10:39 a.m. PST

John,
I don't really know how to make the bases any less glossy. When I've gotten matte varnish on clear bases (accidentally, to be sure) the response was more of a fogging than any reduction of gloss. I transport my ships using a magnetic box, so can't use clear bases.

That is a nice cabinet! I've wanted to do something like that, but our home is not amenable to it; too many grandkids.

BrianW08 Apr 2018 11:00 a.m. PST

jowady,
My experiences with Post Captain have not been so extreme. Odd things can happen, but nothing that hasn't been mentioned in historical accounts. I will say that, from reading John's account, he had more than his share of unusual occurrences. Also under these rules, once a line is formed an individual ship can't just pull out and maneuver independently unless that ship's captain makes a command check against his rating (with a healthy negative modifier). It's not easy to do, but can be done.

Blutarski08 Apr 2018 11:31 a.m. PST

JT wrote "Republicain" caught fire from a long range 32-pdr carronade shot from "Seahorse." One of the carronades rolled a "1" on a D12, then hit rolled a "12" for a Critical Hit and another "12" indicating a fire had started.


I get the 1 in 12 required for a carronade to hit at long range, and the 1 in 12 chance for the hit to result in a critical, and the 1 in 12 chance that the critical hit = a fire.

A couple of questions:

1 When you say "one of the carronades", does that literally refer to a single gun, or does it represent some number of guns rolled for as a group?

2 According to the AAR, once alight, the "Republicain" abandoned ship after four turns of fighting the fire. What amount of time does one game turn represent?

3 Was the abandonment of the "Republicain" forced by a failed morale/reaction test or was it voluntary on the part of the player?


B

John Tyson08 Apr 2018 11:48 a.m. PST

jowady, it seems to me that Post Captain rules do try to make these little battles as historical as possible. Now, I don't have a lot of experience with 'Sail' rules. The only other rules I've used was "Wooden Ships & Iron Men." The "Republicain" catching fire and "Pluton" sinking were long odds---but happened.

There was another very long odds occurence, which left me scratching my head. "Victory's" crack crew fired a broadside from less than 100 yards (3 inches) and the 32's failed to score a hit, the 24's failed, the 12's failed, and the 68 carronade failed to score. The French 74 escaped a full 100-gun broadside without a single hit!?!? That couldn't happen with "Wooden Ships & Iron Men."

Again, however, I think Post Captain does a commendable job of keeping things pretty historical.

God bless,
John T.

John Tyson08 Apr 2018 12:24 p.m. PST

JT wrote "Republicain" caught fire from a long range 32-pdr carronade shot from "Seahorse." One of the carronades rolled a "1" on a D12, then hit rolled a "12" for a Critical Hit and another "12" indicating a fire had started.


I get the 1 in 12 required for a carronade to hit at long range, and the 1 in 12 chance for the hit to result in a critical, and the 1 in 12 chance that the critical hit = a fire.

Blutarski wrote A couple of questions:

1 When you say "one of the carronades", does that literally refer to a single gun, or does it represent some number of guns rolled for as a group?

2 According to the AAR, once alight, the "Republicain" abandoned ship after four turns of fighting the fire. What amount of time does one game turn represent?

3 Was the abandonment of the "Republicain" forced by a failed morale/reaction test or was it voluntary on the part of the player?


B

Blutarski,

1 "Seahorse" rolled three (3) D12 dice for the three (3) carronade factors, or one die for each factor. One of those three rolls was a one (1), scoring a hit.
I'm not sure how many guns each gun factor represents.

2 In the "Post Captain" rules, each turn is supposed to represent approximately three (3) minutes. The rules state that if after four (4) turns, the crew fails to extinguish the fire, the crew must abandon ship (page 1-16, para 6.3 Critical Hits Fire).

3 "Republicain's" crew tried to put out the fire each turn for 4 turns and all 4 turns failed, thus abandon ship. To extinguish the fire a D12 roll of 1-3 is needed (Chart 2A, Repair chart – Fire). A D12 roll of 12: Ship Explodes!

God bless,
John T.

Blutarski08 Apr 2018 3:02 p.m. PST

Hi John T -
Foolish me. I could have answered my own question by simply checking one of my references for the armament of HMS Seahorse. Apparently not enough coffee this morning. It turns out that Seahorse carried a total of 14 x 32lbr carronades on her quarterdeck and forecastle, giving a broadside of 7 such guns. Each carronade die throw therefore presumably represents the fire of two guns.

If my math is correct, it appears that …..
Every 30 hits in a game = a 1 in 5 chance of a fire.
Every 40 hits in a game = a 1 in 4 chance of a fire.
Every 100 hits in a game = a 1 in 2 chance of a fire.
Every 150 hits in a game = a 2 in 3 chance of a fire.

And re fire-fighting, if I'm doing my math correctly …..
If a D12 score of 1-3 in four throws is required to defeat a fire, while any score of 12 blows up the ship, it appears that about forty percent of all ships afire will either be abandoned or blow up.

Interesting …..

B

BrianW09 Apr 2018 1:43 p.m. PST

B,
Sorry to take so long for answering, but I spent today in a round of doctor's appointments.

A gun box in Post Captain represents a varying number of guns. It normally represents three guns on board, unless it is specifically a single gun such as the 68# carronade aboard HMS Victory. For a land emplacement, each box represents two guns due to increased stability. So, the Seahorse would have two carronade boxes per side and the extra is ignored.

To start a fire, you would have to roll a 9(firing high) or a 12 (firing low) to get a critical hit. Then, you have to roll a 12 on the Critical Hit Table for a fire to break out. According to Anydice.com, the chances of getting fire are either 2.78% or .69%, once again depending on high or low firing. That's after you've actually scored a hit, which is no easy matter itself.

To extinguish the fire, you do have to roll 1=3 on a d12. That is modified by crew quality, so that an elite crew can roll a 1-4, green crews need a 1-2 and raw crews need a 1. Each turn is three minutes though, so by the time everyone goes overboard, they've been trying to extinguish the fire for 12 minutes. The ship doesn't explode right away; the players rolls a d12 after abandonment, with 1=explosion on the first turn, 1-2 on the second turn and so forth. The 12=explosion only applies while actually fighting the fire.

So, while fire is a big deal, it's rarer than the AAR would make it sound. In the games I've played, I've only seen one ship catch fire and it was quickly extinguished.

John Tyson09 Apr 2018 3:23 p.m. PST

Thanks, Brian.

It is true that in my first two solo battles that almost all of my French broadsides using the 'up roll,' firing at the rigging, and all of my British broadsides using the 'downroll,' firing at the hull. Only when a ship was demasted or most rigging gone, did I have the French fire at the hull. I don't believe I had a single time that the British fired on the up roll (rigging). I did this on purpose to see if there was any big advantage at firing at the rigging or firing at the hull. I found out both have their advantages and disadvantages. No command checks for rigging loss, but still, a ship with little or no mobility was so venerable.

As a note: in my first solo battle, the French won in at fight with British having one 38-gun frigate and two 74's; the French having only an 80-gun and a 74-gun.

In both battles the British had crack crews and the French regular crews.

Thanks!

God bless,
John T.

John Tyson09 Apr 2018 8:28 p.m. PST

In Post Captain, the 38-gun "Seahorse" has three (3) carronade factors (boxes) per side.

Blutarski10 Apr 2018 4:38 a.m. PST

Hi Brian – Thanks for the rules insights. I do not own the rules, so forgive another stupid question. How many hull hits (more or less) are required to subdue a 74 gun ship?

B

BrianW10 Apr 2018 9:21 a.m. PST

John,
Well, if that's how the game designers rated her, then I stand corrected. In designing scenarios, I round one gun down, and 2 guns up. So, Blutarski's comment about 14 x 32# carronades made me divide them the way I did. If he'd said 16 carronades, then I would have gone with three per side.

Blutarski,
It's not a stupid question if you don't own the rules. The simple answer is "between 9-10 depending on the ship." The better answer is more complicated than that.

For instance, a British 74 Common (Bellona class) has 9 hull boxes. Going from left to right on the ship sheet, 4 boxes are black and 5 are blue. All hull box hits are considered to be at or near the waterline, and so are considered flooding hits. Once hull damage crosses to the blue boxes though, you MUST assign crew to the pumps, or lose 1/2 hull box every turn due to excess flooding. Repairs can be made, and a hull box is fixed on a 1-6 after one turn of work. If you roll a 11-12 though, you lose an additional hull box.

Hull hits are not easy to get though. First, you roll a d12 for each gun box to see if you hit. At 400 yards (12" with 1/1200 models), a ship of the line firing a 32-36# gun at another ship of the line only hits on a 1-2. After determining hits, you then roll on the damage table with a d12. If firing on the downroll, only a 1,2 or 4 gets a hull hit; on the uproll only a 1 causes hull damage. It's actually easier to do than to explain.

As an aside, if you fired that same 32-36# gun at a 5th rate at 400 yards, the hit chance is 1-4. So the to hit roll is not just "to hit," but to do hit AND do significant damage.

Required disclaimer: I am nothing more than a satisfied customer of ODGW; they don't pay me for anything.

Charlie 12 Inactive Member10 Apr 2018 6:31 p.m. PST

As to fire…

In the 100+ playtest games (with Lord only knows how many hits), we only had ONE instance of a ship burning to point of blowing up. And, maybe, a handful of fires (which were put out before things went pear shaped!). So, empirically speaking, fires are a very, very rare occurrence. Of course, the one that did blow up was a French 3 decker in the middle of a full on melee. Dramatic? You bet!

As to the odds of such happening, there is only a 1 in 12 chance of a critical and then a 1 in 12 chance of a fire result (that applies whether its on the up roll or down roll). So the odds are slim (1 in 144 or .69%). You have to be incredibly lucky (or unlucky, depending on your POV) to get that result.

As been pointed out already, the overwhelming majority of actions end with one side striking after failing morale or, at least in my group, accepting the fact that the situation is hopeless and striking without needing a die roll.

John Tyson10 May 2018 1:45 p.m. PST

Charlie 12, as long as the odds are, in my very next solo sea battle I had a British ship catch fire and explode!

Early in the battle the French attack the British line.


"HMS Thunderer" is stern raked by "Pluton."


Then "HMS Thunderer" is stern raked by "Scipion."


"Scipion's" broadside causes "Thunderer" to catch fire.


While "Thunderer's" crew is fighting the fire, "Thunderer" EXPLODES!!!

The explosion caused much damage to "HMS Captain's" rigging.

In this solo battle of six French against six British, the French were victorious!! The explosion of "Thunderer" did much to contribute to the British defeat.

God bless,
John T.

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2018 12:11 p.m. PST

I didn't realize that this thread was updated!
Nice pictures and battle.

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2018 6:40 p.m. PST

Post Captain is the first set of rules I own that I haven't had to change anything. I play them straight out of the box.
Great set.
Nice report BTW

Joe

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