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Friday, February 20, 2004

The Battle of the Kentish Knock

I just fought my best battle against the English in the Battle of the Kentish Knock scenario. The scenario starts with the English fleet sailing South, and then altering course towards the Dutch. What works so well was to bunch up the Dutch ships and steer to the West-Northwest, so that the bulk of the Dutch ships concentrated against the generally smaller English ships on the South of the formation. After separating and sailing past, the entire Dutch fleet came about and sailed to the East-Northeast.

In this, the two toughest English ships, the Sovereign and Resolution were in the Northern end of the English fleet. Altering course in the opposite direction maintained the Dutch in the position of having broken the English line. The new heading tended to put the Dutch into the position of raking the English.

The English fleet was pretty much written off, by the mass Dutch formation, that that only the Sovereign and Resolution, with a few companions, and to the Northeast, the Triumph and Lion survived. The Dutch got into position to, enmass, rake the large English ships from the bow and stern. The Resolution surrendered first, and then was sunk. The Sovereign was harder, but eventually surrendered. The remaining Dutch got in position to rake the remaining two English ships, and eventually, to catch the larger between fire on both sides, as well as raking positions. The Lion, being smaller, was eventually sunk by gunfire. When the Triumph, surrendered, that was the end of the battle.

50% of the Dutch fleet remained, and most were quite mobile. In the past, I have gotten caught with many surviving, but immobile Dutch ships against the two 1st Rates, and was in trouble. I quit, when I could see that the Dutch didn't have a chance.

One secret is to quickly steer ships on fire out of the way of others, to start the crew firefighting, and to steer nearby ships out of the way of burning ships.

Another secret is to largely maneuver the ships as a fleet, or at least in large groups. Also, clump ships together and use that to break the opposing line. Even though you end up masking fires, a single line is very fragile, while the clump is not.

Using these tactics, I was able to decisively beat the English. That was with the difficulty set to "Hard" rather than "Medium", as well, so it was a great triumph.

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