6 July 1782—The battle of Providien was costly. Both enemy fleets put into friendly ports to recover and continue operations where possible. While in Negapatam, Hughes discovered Suffren was a short distance north, where he had captured several British transports. On 5 July Suffren sailed into view and Hughes put out to attack. They met in similar formation to that at Providien, but this time with their vans clashing first. During the melee, several ships from both sides got turned around. As their respective fleets withdrew to safer distance, these ships remained locked in melee; the Burford and Sultan against the Sévère and the Worcester and Eagle against the Brillant. During the action, the Sévère lowered her colors. As her opponents ceased fire and backed away, she caught a fresh wind, raised her colors again and promptly raked the Sultan in support of Brillant. Both fleets managed to withdraw in reasonable order, but again with heavy casualties. The Brillant alone had lost 47 killed and 136 wounded, over
one-third of her crew!
Turns: 10, Maps: AB, Wind Direction: 3 (Breezy)
Audacity: British (1), French (0)
With just 10 turns and starting 24 hexes apart, the English start with Full Sails to try and cross the gap ASAP. 2 turns of sailing gets them just outside canon range, with Hughes turning to pick on the straggling Ajax, whilst King forms a line along the windward flank. French have dropped back slightly to leeward to concentrate their line. Essentially a classic pincer movement.
Turn 3, the wind changes 1 point clockwise, changing the scenario dynamic, and taking Hughes' command from reaching to beating, and taking King's position from secure to vulnerable. A moment for tactical re-consideration, since Ajax now seems out of reach.
Turns 4-5 the English re-dress, and prepare to round the French line. A single ship, the Maggie-may is sent to try her luck against a badly slowed Ajax.
Turn 6 the wind changes clockwise again, again taking Hughes to beating and thwarting his attack, and giving the French the wind gauge over King. King now has moved from secure to in danger.
In turns 6-7 the French sail across the gap, out distancing Hughes and taking King's line from behind. King turns away, but good initiative rolls for the French and fantastic shooting rolls make short work of the Burford, and damaging Isis. Hughes wears about in pursuit, but can never reach the French properly.
Turns 8-10 are French pounding away on King, damaging Sultan and capturing Burford.
Meanwhile, the Maggie-may in an excellent display of sailing crosses Ajax's stern and rakes her, bringing down the masts and damaging her to sinking. Ajax strikes, and then Maggie-may flubs the 80% grapple attempt to capture her.. twice.
I've rarely seen a scenario just so determined by lucky wind rolls. Completely undid all the English efforts at critical times. Between those rolls and the failure to capture Ajax, this turned a good English chance into a fiasco and defeat.
French: 9 VP Captured Burford, damaged Sultan and Isis
Britsh: 4 VP Damaged & dismasted Ajax, Dismasted Sévere
Post Battle exchange of Burford for Flammand (captured during Providien) on an ‘as is basis’ , meaning the recipient bears the repair costs.
French lost 47 Hull & 67 Rigging +2 Manpower (adding to the 20 Hull, 7 Rigging and 2 Manpower unrepaired)
British lost 47 Hull and 53 Rigging (adding to the 2 Hull + 1 Manpower unrepaired).
French repaired 56 Hull & 45 Rigging + 2 Manpower (12 British VP)
British repaired 48 Hull & 50 Rigging (11 French VP)
French: 67 VP
British: 65 VP
Campaign: Suffren v. Hughes The British send Admiral Sir Edward Hughes to the East Indies to advance their war against Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore. To hinder those plans, the French send a fleet ultimately under the command of the Admiral Pierre-André de Suffren Saint-Tropez. The result is a string of naval battles that will determine the control of the East Indies.
18 Oct 2021
- [+] Dice rolls