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Hunt down the HMS 'Victory'

LSHM guys
This past Tuesday was "Close Action, In the Age of Fighting Sail" night for LSHM. It was a massive battle with 10 players and 12 ships. The sides were drawn randomly. Half the players on the English side with HMS 'Victory' as the lead vessel. Half the players were on the French side with one allied Spanish 120 gun ship "Santa Ana" commanded by yours truly.

Most of these battles include some kind of terrain like a chain of islands, a shoals, or perhaps a reef. This battle did not include terrain. It was a straight-up open ocean fight.
The two lines converge
The two lines of warships met up and attempted to cross each other's 'T'. The English ships reached the apex point first but shocked the French by turning starboard into the French line.
The French line continued in a straight line which caused several collisions. Many ships fouled their rigging as bow met broadsides. Some the French captains decided to slow down and turn in various directions. The 'Santa Ana' was forced to swerve around the 'Scipion' which had slowed down for unknown reasons. This placed my ship in excellent firing position with the hated 'Victory'.
HMS Victory is surrounded
Strangely, the 'Victory' came to full stop surrounded by three 74-gun ships and the 'Santa Ana'. Presumably, the captain wanted to settle the whole dispute by exchanging cannon volleys at close range. The French and Spanish hammered the 'Victory' turn after turn. The 'Victory' replied with punishing cannons of its own. The remaining English and French ships spread out around the area and started a 'saber dance' amongst each other.

After eight grueling turns, the two sides called the game due to time constraints. The damage was tallied and ultimately, the English handed out more damage than the French/Spanish.  The 'Victory' took a horrendous amount of damage but was still afloat at the end of the game.

Lord Nelson escaped the grip of defeat that day, but there will be other battles. He wont be so lucky again!

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