The bodies of many a sailor now reside in Davey Jones’ locker.
In our game of Fighting Sail we had a fleet of pirate ships, sailing under a French letter of marque, led by Mark ‘Black Ned the Nobbler’ Harris and Bob ‘The Scourge’ Collman harassing the British colony of the Regency Isles somewhere in the Caribbean. Coming to the colonist’s rescue were two flotillas of British ships under the command of Tony ‘Admiral Dalrymple’ Gibbs and Stephen ‘Barely Able Seaman’ Tucker.
This was the first time any of us had played Fighting Sail. It falls very much in the ‘game’ category rather than ‘simulation’ and for a non-naval man such as myself that is a positive boon.
It’s a very simple game. Good navigation rules (according to Mark, and he’s the club’s naval man) and bloody and brutal cannon rules.
In our game the privateers came out from the islands and confronted the British. The British fleet had larger vessels and engaged the pirates with cannons. The privateers steadily swung their ships around, but not before Bob accidentally engaged one of his own ships with a broadside.
In the end it would be a British victory – those damned pirate dogs turning sail and making off to whatever rum-soaked hole it is they came from.
Fighting Sail proved to be a very enjoyable game. If you want to have fun, want to feel like you are playing a sailing game, but not of a mind of having to know how to actually sail a ship to be able to play a game then it I’m sure you would also enjoy it.
Danor Jax had only ever wanted a quiet life. He had reluctantly joined the Imperial Information Office largely because it was steady work and they let him do what he loved, working with data streams. His had been a quiet life monitoring the equipment at the communications relay station and operating the cryptographic decoders when the need arose. That all ended when Darth Vader made a surprise visit to the station. Watching his senior officer being choked and then thrown into a bulkhead using the force should have made Danor cower out of fear. But that day something in Danor snapped, the Empire and all it stood for came into sharp focus and he knew he had to do something about it. As soon as the dark lord had departed Danor downloaded and decoded as much Imperial data from the streams as his AJ^6 headgear would accept and ran away to find the rebels.
The trip to Tatooine had been long and arduous but when Danor finally made contact with a Rebel agent he was elated. The agent had slipped away to arrange for Danor to be picked up and his data downloaded. Danor sat quietly in a cantina in Mos Eisley trying to avoid being noticed when a rough looking Rodian approached him. It turned out that his absence had been noted and with his access to sensitive data streams the Empire had started a manhunt. The Rodian promptly marched Danor at blaster point out of the cantina and along to his ship.
Having made contact, indicated the enormous value of Danor’s information and arranged for him to be collected, the Rebel agent was returning to the cantina and spotted the Rodian and Danor leaving. With too many Sandtroopers around to allow him to intervene, the agent contacted the approaching Rebel ships and told them the situation as the Rodian’s ship blasted off.
Wedge Antilles easily spotted the bounty hunter’s Firespray-31 on his X-Wing’s scopes but he also saw the orbiting Gozanti-class cruiser and its four TIE fighters. Forming up with his accompanying Y-Wing Wedge sent Biggs Darklighter and his X-Wing with Roark Garnet’s HWK-290 on a different course, avoiding the Gozanti but coming around to cut off the other routes of escape.
When Gozanti’s captain was informed of the appearance of the X-Wings he ordered it out of orbit on a course to intercept the bounty hunter and for the TIE pilots to scramble their ships.
Wedge and his wingman swung around to intercept the TIE fighters whilst Biggs and Roark moved to intercept the bounty hunter.
The Rodian spotted the HWK-290 and X-Wing approaching and veered to the right. Meanwhile two TIE fighters had detached from the cruiser and were speeding toward the rear of Biggs and Roark. Fortunately Roark had equipped the HWK-290 with an ion cannon turret which was a surprise to the pilot of one of the TIEs when all his systems shutdown and he began to drift.
The remaining two TIE fighters had also detached and made straight for Wedge and the Y-Wing with the laser turrets on the Gozanti also blasting away at them for good measure.
So two dogfights ensued with TIE fighters trying to outmanoeuvre the rebel craft. Unfortunately the less agile HWK-290 came under some heavy fire and with his shields down and having taken some heavy damage Roark had to withdraw. The loss of the ion cannon was a serious blow to the rebels but with a barrage of fire they dispatched two of the TIE fighters and gained the upper hand.
Unfortunately, the wily bounty hunter had slipped through both dogfights and with the rebel ships too busy to intervene, managed to dock with the Gozanti to transfer his rebel captive.
With this dire turn of events, there was only one option for the rebels, to attack the cruiser itself!
The three rebel ships made multiple runs as the cruiser and despite the heavy laser fire from its turrets managed to land several good hits.
With the prisoner transfer complete and sensing the increasing panic of the Imperials the bounty hunter cut his negotiations short, rushed back to his ship and released the docking clamps.
The remaining TIE fighters were desperately trying to protect their mothership but Biggs downed one of them and the other was damaged by Wedge. With Gozanti’s shields down, the Y-Wing making another run at the aft section with its proton torpedoes and did some serious damage.
Whilst the rebel ships focussed on the cruiser the Rodian made the jump to light speed and his next assignment.
His ship rapidly coming apart at the seams the cruiser’s Captain offered to trade his prisoner for safe passage and the rebels accepted.
Danor was saved and the battered X-Wings and Y-Wing jumped away to safety.
It be that this Saturday we’re weighing anchor and making for the high seas with a game of Fighting Sail.
If you be an old salty sea-dog, or maybe a scurvy land-lubber who wishes to take to the seas, then get ye-self down to Maidstone Wargames Society this weekend and we’ll put ye to work swabbing the decks, pumping the bilges, and fetching powder!
Welcome to the website of Maidstone Wargames Society.
We are a small, friendly, society covering a range of periods; Ancients through Medieval, Napoleonic, ACW, 20th Century; on land, at sea, or in the air. We also regularly venture into deep space or to worlds of fantasy.
We are a pretty cosmopolitan bunch and anyone interested in other periods would be most welcome. There is usually at least one game open to any member at each meeting.
We meet from 10.00 to 17.00, on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, at a new venue, Linton Village Hall, Linton Hill (A229), Maidstone. For further information please phone club secretary Brian Simons on (0780) 3009504, or you can contact him via e-mail. More detailed information can be found here.