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Glorious Out-of-the-Box Sails - February 2014

Posted by Andy on March 4, 2014 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The members of this club have always been fond of Ares Games' Wings of Glory and Wings of War series, with their pre-painted airplanes and simple, card-driven maneuver and damage chit draw sub-systems. It was thereore natural, when the Kickstarter for their new Sails of Glory was announced, that I had to invest in it. The game and sixteen Napoleonic era pre-painted sailing ships later, I learned the rules and then ran a few test games at home.

Having planned to GM this new game at OwlCon, I was disappointed when someone else beat me to it, volunteering to run the game on Friday night at Rice. Later, when he had to cancel his participation in the con, I jumped at the chance to run the game in his stead.

When planning the early 2014 calendar for the club, and realizing the fourth Monday in February fell immediately after OwlCon, it was natural to pull out this ready-to-run game for our post-OwlCon meetup. Much to my surprise we had a great turn out of gamers for Monday night, February 24th.

In the end we were able to field a total of thirteen ships, including three British first rates and three British frigates versus three French first rates and four French frigates. We used Advanced rules, with a chance for wind change, and each player controlled two ships. This was a knock down fight as both battle lines faced off accross the table. We set the initial wind direction across the width of the table, so neither side started with an unfair advantage, and it wasn't long before both fleets were closing and unloading round shot at each other.

The French line closed on the Brtish line, which was sailing at a 45 degree angle off the bow.  The ships in the middle of the British line were thus able to fire on the lead French ship with relative impunity.  Two flanking French frigates ran either side of the French line to try and mess with British tactics.

The middle of the table quickly became confused as shots were exchanged, most broadsides being loaded with round shot.  Not once in this fracas was a boarding action pulled off, despite a few collisions on both sides.

In the end everyone had a chance to learn the Advanced rules and become familiar with handling their ships.  This game will definitely become an annual fixture in our club calendar as it is simple, fast, and fun, AND filled with a lot of period character and age-of-sail goodness.