Ifigenia & Spanish Steel

It’s been a while since we have had a Sails of Glory game here but last Friday evening three of us gathered for a small frigate action. I took the opportunity to use the Spanish Ifigenia, a model I’ve had for a while but untested in battle.

I won’t try and describe the battle in detail, but in general terms there was, as usual, some jostling for the advantage of wind before the two squadrons were fully engaged. Of note both the French Embuscade and Spanish Ifigenia were outgunned by HMS Unite and HMS Sybille, yet the allies approached the British fighting to gain a better position. Wind has an important part to play it would seem in the age of sail.

The French Embuscade was first to fire and unleashed a broadside on HMS Sybille, who returned fire with equal determination. At the same time the Spanish Ifigenia exchanged broadsides with HMS Unite. However, at this point HMS Unite critically lost a mast. Her captain now struggled to manoeuvre her while undertaking temporary repairs. Critically,  HMS Unite was effectively out of the action for a short period.

Yet not all was going well for the Dons. Miscalculating the enemies speed Ifigenia moved too close to the larger HMS Sybille and the two ships became entangled. The British seemed prepared to take advantage of the Spanish error.

The Spanish marines however fought with great determination. Accurate musket fire caused increasing casualties on HMS Sybille, soon they would become critical. The French Embuscade, who manoeuvred close to the wind, now also came about. Together Embuscade and Ifigenia delivered further broadsides the former with solid shot while the later with grape.

The casualties again fell mostly among the crew of the King’s ship. Now the Spanish crew, emboldened by imminent success, poured aboard HMS Sybille. Unable to withstand Spanish steel the crew capitulated, providing Spain with a wonderful prize. It was a most glorious day for Spain, and perhaps our French ally!

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