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Lowestoffe & Dido v Minerve & Artemise 04/05/16 solo play through: More video footage
By popular demand on YouTube (by our newest member to the forum nonetheless), I've today filmed a encounter to meet the demand for 'more' action.  Sadly, not quite Trafalgar yet!  I do actually have the first scenario in editing again (based on a different play through) which I intend more as a 'highlights' video.  But that will take a number of weeks.  So, in the mean time, over the next few days I will be uploading a full game play video for the second scenario in the game.  Inspired by my ongoing game with Mario, it will feature newly learnt tactics.

Without spoiling the result, all I can say, is it was a tight affair.  And I find with this scenario, both sides have equal opportunity.  Sometimes the French win, sometimes the British.  But how this scenario goes is very good, it's a slow start to the battle, but by the end, I'm wondering, how did all that damage occur and when ?!

I'm very happy with how I've picked up most of the rules, as I watch back perhaps there's an odd slippage where cards were not played or so forth, but I'm a lot more confident in the rules already, even only having the game for less than 1 month.

First video is being uploaded now, more to follow the next few evenings, so look out on the YouTube channel, and I will post here when it's complete.

All best!
Admiral Inwood.

Here is the first video, as a primer and teaser of the action that is to follow - the first few tentative turns:

p.s. (no need to mention the error that the second full sails try should have been modified for being a frigate, I spotted that one Smile  Interestingly, the first attempt was the correct one! That's just the way it goes sometimes).
I have now set up a playlist for this battle and added 2 new videos. I can't work out whether the British are chasing the French down or the French are drawing the British in.

But it's getting nearer now to some close action, the shots are getting ever closer now.
The final video is uploaded, hope some may enjoy the series. 

I will now turn my attention to practicing close action and admirals orders (2 battles already completed of Mars v Hercules - the French winning both times, partially due to a round 1 broadside before close action).  Cape Henry was the usual mess, and I got one and a half turns in - abandoned after 2 hours due to me being unable to keep it set up - I need to start when I'm fresh and have a whole day to play.  The first attempt at Admirals Orders and the French Green squadron attempts a bear up, bear away, and the 3rd ship crashes into the 4th ship. They should have just played At the Ready (I think the order is).  Meanwhile the blue squadron abandons them, and the British go Full Sails and gain an early advantage - but by turn two, with the free broadside AO, the French could do some damage with the Green squadron gaining the initiative.

Looking forward to restarting that scenario.
So, with commanding a squadron and going into Close Action you now know all the rules. Congratulations. Smile

However I would like to draw your attention to the two examples, also published on the Strategema-Games web site:
(You probably found them already, but....)

1. Close Manoeuvre and Close Action.

2. Squadrons commanded by Admiral's Order Cards.

With all the cool videos you produced so far, I am now looking forward to see your next videos demonstrating squadrons and close combats.

Alles Gute

Attached Files
ahhja .pdf   Sample_02_Squadrons.pdf (Size: 1.9 MB / Downloads: 5)
ahhja .pdf   Sample_03_CloseAction.pdf (Size: 1.03 MB / Downloads: 2)
Hi Mario - I hadn't seen these examples, but very useful thank you.

I'll tell you something interesting about Cape Henry.  Even in my first scenario I realised it would be a good move for Green Squadron to go Tacking (as per your example).  The mistake I made was to play one 'follow admiral's order', and the rest all to 'in line admirals order'.  Starting with the two furthest right, they moved OK.  Then it came to Eveille, well, of course as soon as she turned up and then bear away, the next hex is to crash straight into Provence.  And after the pain of playing a friendly close combat action, I then realized she couldn't end up in formation in any case as all MP were used up.  So I had to re-set :-), so, I played the correct cards, but wrong orders... Still, for a Midshipman it's not a bad first attempt.

As for the Red Squadron I put them all to full sail.  I just wanted to check, there are not enough tokens for all to go full sail on the map? Not an issue, I simply move the first ship, and then use their token for the last ship.  Is that why more tokens are included within Sealed Despatches?  (you'll notice on the products page I'd be interested in seeing a full inventory list and photos for the expansion sets to know what they add to the game). Perhaps I just didnt find the last 'full sails' token that was in the box.  I like that you can play full sails at half normal points, and also you still have to check on the usual table, so it adds in variety to shake up the formation a bit, as some will get additional MP and some will be slowed.  

Now, for the French remaining squadron, I wanted them to follow the same order as the Green Squadron. I then noted that the Admiral can issue 2 orders but NOT a substitute.  So can not use a follow order/substitute card.  Therefore, the order to also tack was NOT possible for that squadron?  In the event, I played a dummy order, and then let them have free moves, of which, they simply used reaching.  

For turn two I noticed a interesting strategy, the British could use a 'Leeway' order (I think it is), where they get two moves for free to move away from the wind direction.  It was very good for them at that point as the French green squadron activated first, and the British would have been able to move two hex away from the wind, and then reach up to fire rakes at the bow of the Green Squadron.  

Two hours and with light falling, I left the game at that point.  

I will have a look at the detailed examples, and then I will know if I'm playing the game right.  Thanks very much for these.  

Thanks for the comment on the videos too.  I liked making those ones a bit more as the rules are clearer in them this time.  I'm thinking at one point I might try a 'campaign' where I can play each scenario in year order, and add up the victory points over each scenario, to see over all the scenarios who can win.  But as always, the limiting factor is time and space, as it's not easy to get a spare few hours to play these games at the moment and some like Cape Henry I can imagine as a 6+ hour attempt for a beginner.  But over time, I think that's my aim. And of course, I'd like to sneak in Trafalgar, just before Cape Ortegel.  Depending on the details for the Algeciras I'm certainly thinking of that and now also debating whether the two additional scenarios in the Ltd Edition base set are worth this (and if I was patient enough to wait, they would have been, but I am not patient!).  As an aside, I may be starting to learn a Napoleonic land game soon too, so that will hinder my AO updates, but I definitely see AO as a long term game to enjoy and I rated this 10/10 on BGG now. When I've finished more games, I will do a full review on there.  Hope that this game continues to get a lot of support and new add on content, though I appreciate why things take time to make due to the hand crafting.
Excellent close combat example.  I've learnt a major rule here:

- In the close combat scenario, I wouldn't have treated the first turn as a rake.  I would have thought Hercule would have had to bear away to be in a direct line (i.e the ships would need to be at a 90 degree right angle to each other, now I know, as long as they see the stern or bow directly, they can fire at a 45 (135) degree angle too.  Perhaps some clarity needed in the official rules about what direct is or is not, as it meant something different to me, than it does others.  

- I also didn't realise in close combat you can play a response to the start position card.  I thought you had to start with one round of close combat and firing (in this case) before the cards started to be lay.

- I learnt that if you fill up a row in close action, the affected ship has to drop  a close action card (max 1 per turn, regardless of number of rows filled) - I completely overlooked that aspect.

Luckily, I was playing the rest correct, so the rules are good. However, upon first read of the rules, my initial confusion was around - How do I know how many sailors and marines I have on board?  When it stated if one is killed you started losing SC or RC, I started to link the two, I thought perhaps 1 RC = 1 sailor, and 1 SC = 1 marine.  So, if you had 8 sc left, you had 8 marines on board.  It wasn't until the end of chapter and playing through I worked out, it was based on how many sailors and marines are pictured on the card, nothing to do with the ship itself.  I didn't know if you would make the game so that, you start with a set number of crew at the beginning of the game, and that crew got depleted thoughout the game via shots and close combat, and crew was represented by sc and r.  But it's not.  So perhaps explain clearly up front, how a player is to know how many marines and sailors are fighting.
For the squadron rules, can you clarify:

The French can NOT play one order as their AO plus a "substitute AO"?  As the commander can play 2 AO only (The substitute card is NOT classed as a AO), so, if he uses an AO with one squadron, he cant get the other squadron to perform the same action?

[MJ:  "Substitute" must be seen as a kind of a sub-class of an "Admiral's Order".
So, if you have an Admiral, who is allowed to play TWO Admiral's Orders, you can either play:
- One AO Card for the first squadron, another AO Card for the second squadron
- One AO Card for the first squadron, a Substitute Card for the second squadron, telling it should do the same as the first squadron

If you have an Admiral, who is allowed to play ONE Admiral's Order + ONE Substitute, you can only play this:

- One AO Card for the first squadron, a Substitute Card for the second squadron, telling it should do the same as the first squadron

(Which one is the first and which one is the second squadron, is fully up to you...
And, yes, you can always play "Dummy Order" to any squadron, in order not to let your opponent know, which squadron receives a "real AO" or a "Substitute".)

In the green squadron first move, all ships following AO get Bear Up and Bear Away as free moves, so why/where does it state that the second activated ship that is following AO in line gets the "Bear Up" for free, but has to pay a card to use "Bear Away"?  As when the AO is activated for the last two ships, they get the moves for 'free'.

[MJ: You can find this on the Tacking Admiral's Order Card.
In the small table it is written that a ship with captain's order "Follow AO" receives the "Bear Up" and the "Bear Away" for free, while a ship with "InLine AO" only receives the "Bear Up" for free. Still it is allowed to play the "Bear Away" as an MC, but you need to have it in your hand to do so.
That's why it is much saver to put "Follow AO" to all ships, but it is more expensive, too.
So it all depends on the Captain's Orders. In the roll of the Squadron Commander, you must decide which Captain's Order to give to each ship.
You can take the save approach or you take the more risky approach to have some ships tack in line, using "Follow AO". The risky approach provides you more available MCs, you might want to use for other manoeuvres or to fire broadsides, while tacking. So it is all up to you.]

In Provence v Europe chain shot, they are 2 hex away, looks like firing directly into the bow of Europe.  Why isn't the Rake bonus applied or is it applied (hence 3 die rolled), as it doesn't state it specifically, where as the other exchanges directly say its a Rake in the example description?

[MJ: To fire in a direct line into the bow, provides an additional dice.
To fire in a direct line into the stern, provides an additional dice AND +2 FirePower.
In the example it is not described explicitly, that it was a bow-rake. Just the extra die is mentioned. ]

In turn 2, I'm confused with Robust firing, that they don't have to pay for the next broadside?  Provence is 4 hex away from Neptune.  So, the rule actually is, you can fire within 3 hex one side, perhaps move 7 or 10+ hex away, yet still fire the other broadside for free, as long as the new target is within 3 hex?

[MJ: Exactly. To gain this British special bonus, it is not required to fire from the same hex. It just requires to have both targets in range 0-3. ]

Good examples though, very useful.
Please find my comments in the message above.

Alles Gute
Thanks for the clarification - more interesting tactics to consider - whether to play the more expensive Follow AO and get less manouvre cards, or risk that you draw the right cards!

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