Napoleonic naval warfare has always fascinated me and I have finally got around to painting and rigging the fabulous models I have bought from Langton miniatures. For the first two outings we used Langton's fast play version of Signal Close Action. There are a great set of rules to get everyone into the period. It was the British against the Franco-Spanish navy.
Every player has a squadron of 3 ships usually one 1st/2nd rate with 2 third rates although one of the Franco-Spanish squadron was composed of all large 80 gun third rates. The crew quality varied from Average to Elite for the British and for the Franco-Spanish from Poor to Good. The British generally having smaller ships compared to Franco-Spanish who had in their fleet the largest warship of its time the Santisima Trinidad with her 130 guns!
It is fair to say on both occasions the players had a great game although in many cases learning the hard way why getting the Weather Gauge was so important. The British were victors on both occasions by co-ordinating the squadrons better and bring decisive force to bear on the more isolated Franco-Spanish squadrons.