Everyone began arriving at my place around 9:30 AM and we spent the next hour saying hi, catching up on things, talking about the projects we are all working on and planning, along with various movie and book reviews (which also continued throughout the day).
After a short review of all the rules (we used David Manley's Christian Fire and Turkish Fury rules for the tactical game and my own home brew operational rules), we split up sides for the game, with Scott, Dale, Mark and George playing the Holy League and Paul, David S., Kevin, and Dave C. playing the Ottomans. Each side then took some time to review the positions of their squadrons and select the Fleet Leaders for their side. I had provided each side with a list of leaders from which they had to select 3 Fleet Leaders. The overall commander for each side was already set with the historical figure, Don Juan de Austria for the Holy League and Ali Pasha for the Ottomans. Each leader had a Leadership Rating, used to determine what the leadership would be for the tactical battle, and a short description meant to give the players an idea if there would be any special rules associated with the leader (some leaders had restrictions on what squadrons they could attach to, or special combat bonuses).
|Campaign Game Operational Map with Fleet Markers|
|The Holy League making an operational move.|
|The Ottoman Fleet moving into place.|
In our version, rather than meeting at Lepanto, the fleets ended up finding each other off the southern end of Greece, in what I will call the Battle of Cape Matapan (I know that is the WWII battle, but based on the location on the operational map, it seems like a good name for this action). I laid out some islands to set the battlefield (I created a bit of a choke point, which sort of channeled the battle and may not have been the best choice) and each side set up. The Holy League lost the initiative roll and had to deploy first.
|The Holy League decides how to deploy their forces.|
|Holy League initial deployment with the Left Wing (bottom), Center (with the Galleasses), and Right Wing (top)|
|Ottoman initial deployment, Left Wing in line astern, Center, Rearguard, and Right Wing|
|The initial positions viewed from the Holy League side. Note the islands on the left that restricted maneuvering.|
|The Ottoman Fleet on the move (we made Dave C. point at the ships for the photo).|
|The Fleets close with each other.|
|The Holy League on the move.|
|The Ottoman Left Wing closes with the Christians.|
|Initial long-range cannon volley against the charging Ottomans.|
|Working out the first melee combat rolls.|
|Holy League Center moves up.|
|Ottoman Center moves into position.|
|Ottoman Rearguard moves to join the fray.|
|The Battle Joined|
|The Holy League Right Wing advances destroying the Ottoman Left Wing.|
|Ottoman Rearguard and Right Wing push ahead.|
At this point, with essentially half the players knocked out of the battle, we decided to call the game. Each side had lost one wing (Ottoman Left and Holy League Right). The Holy League Right wing was basically intact, while the Center still had one good squadron and two Galleasses. On the Ottoman side, the Rearguard was intact, there was one severely depleted (and disordered) squadron from the Center and a severely depleted squadron from the Right wing.
|Final positions of the battle: On the left the Holy League Right Wing and Center are turning toward the remaining Ottomans. On the right, the remaining Ottomans plan their escape.|
Overall, I think everyone had a good time and enjoyed the game. We all thought that the Christian Fire and Turkish Fury rules did a good job of portraying squadron level action for the era (the only minor quibble being that people thought the melee combat table would work better rolling 2D6 instead of a D10). We all agreed that we should try to find a copy of the “Greek Fire and Roman Fury” rules that these rules were based on to be able to try out some pre-gunfire galley warfare.
I was pretty pleased with how things turned out for DANG 2010. It is always a lot of work to put together and I often end up with extra food and beer (although that really isn't a problem) after the event, but the games usually turn out to be a whole lot of fun, making it worth all the work.
There were a lot of other photos taken during the game and I'll post links to the other blogs and photo sites when the other participants get them up.
Thanks to everyone for showing up for the game.
|2010 DANG participants: Mark, Dave C., David S. Kevin, Scott, Dale, George, me, and Paul.|