My wife was supposed to be working today but unfortunately came down with a chest infection. However she told me to go an do what I had planned so retreating to the cabin with some Gentleman Jack I set to on playing a small Naval game to try out the Blood, Bilge and Iron Balls naval rules.
A solo affair I found them thoroughly enjoyable and detailed enough without being onerous.
Each side gets three cards a sailing card a repair card and a firing card. The two fleets cards are shuffled and the cards drawn one at a time just enough randomness to make it exciting. The only additional optional rule I played was for the British where they can elect to fire in their repair phase, however when they repair in the firing phase instead of allocating one crew factor to conduct a repair they must allocate two.
In addition because this was solo where decisions re change of direction etc was called for I shook a die to see what happened.
The French fleet consisted of the Libre a 44 gun Frigate, Formidable 80 gun Ship of the line and the Desaix a 74 gunner.
The British had the Thames a 32 gun frigate, The Pompei and the Ceaser both 74's their task being to intercept the French squadron before it could gain access to safe waters.
The Libre sought to head off the British 74's and bow rake them!
When the British fire card came up they chose to change it to repair hoping they would be able to move before firing. The crew of the Thames managed to put one fire out.
The French fired first with only the Libre having anything an arc and she fired on the Pompei taking out a starboard section of guns.
The British firing saw the Thames fire on the libre causing a lot of crew casualties and damagung its stearing gear the Pompei and Ceaser both fired on the Desaix and although it was long range the destroyed 2 starboard gun sections and caused damage to her masts.
The crew of the Libre fought valiantly against the Ceaser but weight of numbers told and the frigate was captured. The Formidable escaped but the British had won a great victory.
Man of the match - HMS Thames (must be captained by Aubrey).
Verdict. The rules were very good, I liked them a lot. Pretty quick to play, enough detail without being onerous and all in all just what Ive been looking for.
Happy New Year.