Need some scenario advice, please.

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BrianW
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Need some scenario advice, please.

Post by BrianW »

So, a local museum has asked our group to put on some naval wargaming scenarios in conjunction with a display they are having. The catch is, they have to be related to American history in some way. As we all know, there are no large battles with American sailing ships, and they want my sailing ships to be there. Consequently, I am doing the Battle of Chesapeake Bay (5 Sept, 1781).

Most of the issues around the battle are easy to handle with KMH. Several of the British ships were in poor shape, so they will be poor sailors. All of the French ships were short of crew, because they had to leave some behind in the hurry to get out to sea. Consequently, they won't be able to use all their gun dice for firing. The problem comes with National Characteristics. These are not the Frenchmen of the Revolution; the officers are good and aggressive, the men are well-trained and they gave as good or better than they got from the British in this battle. It seems that I have two options here:
1) Make them all either elite or average Sans Culottes, or
2) Make them JJT like the British, but without some of the bonuses.

There's no doubt that deGrasse was a better admiral than Graves. However, since this is a participation game for the public, I won't be using the admiral quality rules from the Special. Any opinions on how to handle the other issues that I've mentioned above?
Thanks,
BWW
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991

Archdukek
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Re: Need some scenario advice, please.

Post by Archdukek »

I agree that the distinctions in the rules between French and British fleets shouldn't automatically apply in this case. They are more geared towards the Napoleonic wars.
At the risk of complicating matters have you considered treating the best ships on both sides as JLTs with the poorer ships Sans Culottes? Might be confusing for any public participants though.

I think I would go with option 1 but adjust the factors a little for the best ships, say give them boarders or make the crew more determined.
John

BrianW
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:40 pm
Location: near Houston Texas, USA
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Re: Need some scenario advice, please.

Post by BrianW »

John,
I had thought about treating the French as JJTs, but without some of the bonuses that they normally get and then making some of the British SCs. However, like you said, I think it might be too confusing for the public. I suspect the fact that the Royal Navy doesn't automatically win against the French might be hard enough for them. Right now, I am leaning towards option 1, like you suggested.
BWW
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991

BrianW
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:40 pm
Location: near Houston Texas, USA
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Re: Need some scenario advice, please.

Post by BrianW »

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that I plan to have every turn represent about 5 minutes. The firing doesn't start until 4:15, and sunset is at 6:30. So, this will be a reminder to the British player that he has to attack. The plan is to have a clock, and advance the hands after each turn.
BWW
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991

Archdukek
Posts: 5205
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: Need some scenario advice, please.

Post by Archdukek »

One thing I have done when introducing the rules at the Deep Fried Lard event is to allow both sides to manoeuvre for a couple of turns to get the hang of things then reposition the ships and start the game proper.
With complete beginners I would be tempted to start them relatively close together so that they can get down to blowing lumps off each other as soon as possible. Not terribly subtle I know.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
John

BrianW
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Location: near Houston Texas, USA
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Re: Need some scenario advice, please.

Post by BrianW »

Actually I WAS thinking about starting them a couple of moves outside maximum range. This will let the British players decide whether or not to try and bear down, or ease towards the French. That way they get both some maneuver, followed shortly by the shooty part.
BWW
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991

Archdukek
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: Need some scenario advice, please.

Post by Archdukek »

Fair enough, but in that case, if you are dealing with the general public/complete beginners, can I suggest you consider designating one of your group to act as Sailing Master for each side. Let him plot the course , at least initially, having received the order from the ship's Captain.
"Lay us along side that damned Frenchmen, Mr Bates." might be one such order on the day. Or " Put us on a course to intercept the enemy."
Obviously this depends entirely on your judgement as to how quickly the public concerned can grasp the rules.
Personally I've found that sometimes the younger the better. I had a 10 year old flying rings around me and his uncle last time I ran a game of Algy for the public. Good fun.
John

BrianW
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:40 pm
Location: near Houston Texas, USA
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Re: Need some scenario advice, please.

Post by BrianW »

Oh, I do like that idea!
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991

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