Friday 14 June 2024

Action Off Kinsale

Last night I set up a two-player game of Galleys & Galleons at the club. Newcomer June opted to give it a try.

I ran a scenario that followed on from this weekend's ECW action, based very, very loosely on another historical what-if. Actually to be fair I set up a simple combination of ships and added some basic traits  to keep things interesting, then pasted a thin veneer of history over it to make it look like I'd researched everything.

So in 1649 Prince Rupert's Royalist naval squadron was holed up in the port of Kinsale in Ireland. In reality they headed off on a bold privateering expedition around the Atlantic, which took them as far as Africa. In this game, as they leave the port on a favourable wind some elements of the squadron encounter a Commonwealth squadron under William Penn*

The squadrons were as follows:


Constant Reformation - Q3 C4 - Square Rig, Flagship, Chaser Guns, Trained Gun Crews
Convertine - Q3 C3 - Square Rig, Trained Gun Crews
Swallow - Q3 C3 - Square Rig, Trained Gun Crews
Satisfaction - Q3 C2 - Square Rig, Carronades, Yare


Assurance - Q3 C4 - Square Rig, Flagship, Chaser Guns, Drilled Soldiers
Constant Warwick - Q3 C3 - Square Rig, Drilled Soldiers
Phoenix - Q3 C3 - Square Rig, Drilled Soldiers
Greyhound - Q3 C2 - Square Rig, Razee

(Basically the Royalists are better at shooting, whilst the Commonwealth have larger crews and are better in a boarding action)

Here's the position a few turns in, with both squadrons heading towards each other. June took the Commonwealth and came on in a surprisingly neat line. My ships were more scattered and I formed them into two parallel lines, hoping to run along both sides of her line.

June pulled her ships into two lines as the wind shifted in my favour. She fired the opening shot of the game with Assurance trying a long-range chaser shot at Constant Reformation.

Constant Reformation returned the favour.

Assurance veered away and fired a well-aimed broadside at Constant Reformation, damaging it. This would come back to haunt me.

The two squadrons were now intermingled. Constant Reformation returned fire on Assurance, but only did light damage.

Elsewhere Swallow ranged up alongside the small Commonwealth vessel Greyhound, and its first broadside inflicted massive damage.

June played to the Commonwealth's strengths, running Constant Warwick into Convertine and boarding. To offset her advantage I grappled the little Satisfaction to the Commonwealth ship.

June brought up the damaged Greyhound and grappled it to Satisfaction. A series of to-and-fro boarding actions now took place, with both sides taking and scoring hits.

Satisfaction boarded Greyhound which really had little fight left in it and struck. First blood to the Royalists!

Grappled from two sides, Constant Warwick put up a bold fight, but eventually struck to Convertine. 2-0 to the Royalists.

However Constant Warwick was very badly mauled, and Assurance was coming up on its starboard beam.

Swallow had swung around back towards the fight, and took some damage from Phoenix. That was too much for the crew, who struck.

(Yes, it was a roll of '1' on the All At Sea table)

Assurance grappled Convertine and prepared to board, but Convertine was too badly damaged to repel boarders and struck to the Commonwealth flag. So now we were both down by two ships.

The loss of the Convertine seemed to cause some confusion in the Royalist squadron; thanks to some terrible rolls (another '1' on the All At Sea Table, caused by that first point of damage inflicted) Constant Reformation, which was turning to engage the Commonwealth flag, decided enough was enough, and struck its colours!

(A ship rolling a '1' on the table will strike if the nearest vessel is that of an enemy - Constant Reformation was closer to Assurance  than it was to Satisfaction by a bee's dick. But that was enough. It's a good reason to try an maintain tight formations)

This now left the little Satisfaction alone against two relatively undamaged Commonwealth ships. Sensibly I decided to flee.

So a victory to June's Commonwealth vessels in her first game! I was left cursing the bad luck of those two All At Sea rolls.

*Not the William Penn, but the William Penn's father.


  1. Nice. I must admit, I know big fat zero about the naval side of the ECW.

    1. I don't think that there's a huge amount *to* know about. Since the fleet pretty much declared for Parliament it was mostly about stopping aid being delivered to the Royalists on their part (so blockades) and a bit of privateering on the Royalist side (with the Scilly Isles being a bit of a nest of privateers).


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