Trafalgar - my Holy Grail

Victory and Bucentaure - the flagships.

Napoleonic naval wargaming has been an unfulfilled passion of mine for over 20 years. I have probably bought and sold enough ship collections (in various scales) to kit out every navy twice over. This love hate relationship has been down to rule systems not offering what I want. For some the Holy Grail is a set of WW2 rules that work - for me it's a set of Napoleonic naval rules. The ones I've tried are either too simple and written by land lubbers, or too complicated for fleet actions, or simply over burdened with paperwork. So yet again, for the umpteenth time, I'll try and write my own set and hope they'll work and I'll be happy with them.

Two things I have settled on. Firstly, the scale: 1:2400 for me. The models are big enough to spot differences and small enough to cram lots on the table. Secondly, no ship damage rosters. In small games these are fine, but having to look down lists to find out how many guns you still have is tedious beyond belief. I'll have every ship carrying its own information.

Santissma Trinidad, Neptuno, the frigate Euryalus, and Alava's flagship the Santa Ana.

Each of my ships is on a sabot base (they slot in). The base has the ships name, two recesses for small dice (blue record hull damage, white record rigging damage), and three pins for beads. The big central one is for 'white bead' sail setting: 1 reduced sail, 2 every stitch available. ). The others are for morale state and other information (the very small beads are for quick 'rate' ID: Red = 1st rate, white = 2nd rate, blue = 3rd rate 80, yellow = 3rd rate 64).

Trafalgar at 11.20am

These shots show Trafalgar (my ultimate game aim) set up on my table. Ground scale is half that of the ships: 1:4800.

The British, Nelson's leading ships, Collingwood's squadron, and the daunting view of
HMS Africa's approach.

Santissma Trinidad and Bucentaure and Redoutable, the centre and rearmost ships of Dumanoir's squadron, and the Squadron of Observation bring up the rear.
BTW. Before I'm jumped on for red ensigns - poetic license. I tried white ensigns but they were not very identifiable at any distance - they disappeared into the rigging, and blue ensigns (for Collingwood[?]) would disappear into the sea.

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