Order of Battle Thoughts
During the time in question, the Americans had a squadron that included one frigate (USS Constitution), two brigs (USS Argus and USS Syren), and three schooners (USS Enterprise, USS Nautilus, and USS Vixen) along with six borrowed gunboats, two borrowed mortar boats, and a captured ship (which had been renamed Intrepid). During August, the gunboats and mortar boats bore the brunt of the action, while the other ships provided long range gunnery and crews for the smaller ships.
It was little harder to come up an accurate list of forces for Tripoli for this battle. But most places I looked said that Tripoli Harbor had a brig, two schooners, two galleys, and nineteen gunboats providing defense. There were also a number of forts and shore batteries protecting the city.
So my plan for the American forces was to go with the six gunboats, two mortar boats, and one schooner. For the Barbary forces I decided on one brig (actually a felucca substituting for the brig), a schooner, ten to fifteen gunboats (depending on what ships I could find), and a fort.
Overall, this seemed like a good amount of ships for the game, especially since I don't expect all the ships to be on the table at one time. I also thought I was in pretty good shape for having or easily getting most of these ships. My friend George offered to work on the American gunboats and mortar boats (more on that later), so I started working on the Barbary ships.
For the brig, it was an easy decision to use the Felucca I had already purchased from Thoroughbred Figures Sea Eagles line. The schooner is the Bermuda Sloop model from Sea Dog Studios, although I might give it a temporary lateen rig for the game. The gunboats are going to be a mix of scratchbuilt and purchased boats. I built eight of my own gunboats, have five on order, and will use the Old Glory Gunboat #5 models I purchased this summer for the others. Below is a photo of the mostly painted Felucca, Bermuda sloop, and a couple of my scratchbuilt gunboats.
|The felucca (back), Bermuda sloop (left) and scratchuilt gunboats|
|A closer view of the sloop and felucca|
|A view of the sloop's stern|
As I mentioned above, my friend George offered to build the gunboats and mortar boats for the Americans. Originally he was going to make one model of each and then get someone he knew to cast the boats in resin. That part fell through, but he was still up for building the boats. Here are a couple photos of the work so far.
|Work in progress, the mortar boat (back), a gunboat (center), and one of my gunboats (for size comparison) in the foreground|
|A bow view of the work in progress|
|Gunboat 5 vs the gun|
I decided to go ahead and spend the money on a Thoroughbred schooner, which should arrive this week. But that sort of shot a hole in my budget for the project.
Next up I'll be talking about the 15mm figures for the game.