Friday, June 2, 2023

Enfilade 2023: Friday Easy Play Trafalgar (sails of glory)

Once again I made the pilgrimage down to Olympia, WA for enfilade. My organizational skills were miserable this year and I was punished by terrible traffic, and limited options for gaming (the best games get scooped early via pre registration). I found myself playing Trafalgar on Friday night with a gaming friend, Bob, who I mostly see at Enfilade yearly. Bob prefers to play the French, and notes that if you lose it's historical, and if you win you get to gloat.


 The setup for the game narrowed the action to where the British were cutting the French line. A significant chunk of the French line ended up out of the battle due to the wind and the remaining French got pasted by the better British ships with local superiority.

To add insult to injury the French are sailing VERY close to the wind and can't make a left/port turn without having a very good chance (~70%) of stalling (caught in irons). Problematically the French were so close to the edge of the table that they couldn't really turn to the right/starboard much either, or they'd run off the board. Easy play indeed....the scope for decisions was VERY limited. It might have been better to have the french run on auto pilot in some way. 


 I'll start a picture dump here. The British, as expected, cut the french line just behind their two best ships. The Spanish and French vessels get raked a bit and aren't really able to turn much to get their cannons in play.


 The further back french/spanish ships were able to adjust their heading slightly to get some shots off and mostly avoid raking shots.


One of the French vessels took a drubbing from closing ships, and the transecting ships. It ended up being a fairly useful screen for the tailing ships to avoid long range fire.

My spanish vessel was able to speed into contact with the two lead British ships and we all got tangled up. Skill rolls failed the British so they weren't able to escape OR swarm aboard for melee. The french got off a couple of raking shots on the British. This brings up another issue, the sheer damage capacity meant it was pretty challenging to have ships disappear. It would have been wise to half the damage capacity for this scenario to get more to happen. Maybe the British could even have lost a ship (as it was the French lost 1 ship and another was pretty close).

With great hilarity, while I was scouting out some other tables and the bring and buy my Spanish ships luck ran out and it was seriously even caught on fire. As I returned the continued fire managed to damage....but not destroy it. And then the fire took the last damage, which resulted in a magazine explosion! 

The French/Spanish cheered expecting some serious damage to hit the two nearby British vessels. Alas it was not meant to be as the damage is pretty tame for explosions, and the 1st rate ships have A LOT of damage capacity. 

The company was fine. The game largely ran at a good clip. There are a few issues (as noted above), but it was a decent way to spend a friday evening.



  1. Lovely ships and that looked like a fun game Dave.

    1. Yes, the ships were lovely looking. They were sails of glory ships with the overlarge bases cut down. I'm not sure if there was some additional detailing or not. The game was....okay. I've mentioned most of the identified 'challenges' with it though.

  2. I'm not that familiar with sails of glory having payed it twice and then not liking it much. The ships look good though. I always hear nice things about The Enfilade convention. I have a friend from down here that makes the trek up there most years. 😀

    1. This is the first time I've played it. I imagine it could be okay for a smaller action with more time and more balanced scenario(?). One of the challenges of convention games is you often can't get a solid result with unmodified rules unless you are very careful about what goes on the table.

      Enfilade is pretty solid. I say that having only gone to two different conventions. I imagine it's a bit of a trek for you, and there are probably other Cons happening the same memorial day weekend.