At the club last night I took part in a most enjoyable Napoleonic Naval game organised and umpired by the redoubtable Mr Fox - who also very kindly supplied the beautifully detailed models from his collection. The rules are a fast play set that first appeared in a magazine and have benefited from some in house tweaking, again under the tender mercies of Mr Fox. The action was based on an incident from the Seven Years War and featured a French squadron, having broken out from Toulon being intercepted by the Royal Navy. All but one of the French vessels managed to escape with the lost ship gallantly engaging the pursuing British and gaining valuable time enabling the remaining ships to head unscathed for the dubious delights of Brest. The highlight of this action was the harrying of the British by the two French frigates - they kept to the naval tradition of not firing at all so the British 'gentlemen' would not stoop to such underhanded behaviour as to engage them - actually 'harrying' should be better translated as 'getting in the way of'! Whilst all this was going on the rest of the French squadron, contrary to the usual 'death or glory' instincts of its commander (aka me!), sailed serenely off into the sunset having not fired a shot all evening!
It was great fun and many thanks to Mr Fox for laying the game on and to the participants for making it such an enjoyable evening.
As a naval gaming period the 'wind and water' era of course has much to commend it. I would love to tackle something from this period but could not ever see me emulating the superb models Mr Fox has built - fully rigged I hasten to add - unless I could come up with a scratchbuilt alternative. I have mentioned that the next phase of the ACW naval project would see me tackling models with masts and spars and so should this work out I may well revisit this at some point. I am sure I have seen a chapter in a naval wargaming book describing how to scratchbuild an man of war from the sailing era so should any reader have a copy of the same then I would really appreciate a scan or copy of the same.