Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Sails of Glory at the NWS

Last week found me in the big smoke again, so I was able to attend the Napoleonic Wargaming Society, my home away from home.

This time, the game was Sails of Glory. Mark H. (aka ‘Marc’) organised the game and acted as umpire and gamemeister. I took the French, naturellement, and Mark B. the British.

This was my first game with this rules system (although I have played a few games of Wings of War/Glory at the Club previously). It was good timing, given our recent game of San Domingo at ANF HQ.

Marc has a clear, full and detailed report on his blog, so I’ll merely add a few additional photos and some observations of my own about the Sails of Glory, based on this n = 1 experience.

The scenario laid out. Note wind blowing across the table (making for some up and back sailing) and the ‘control panel’ for each ship (French side shown).

The ships approach one another.

Généreux approaches the enemy.

First blood to les bons hommes français…

but Mark drew well from the damage chits; not the only time.

The two third-rates come to blows…

with results about even.

‘Control panel’ showing the damage apportioned to the French third-rate (Généreux).

The ships sailed around to make another pass of one another.

The frigates now had a ‘go’.

Then the big girls came in to support their little mates. Note the four zeros beside the British frigate; that’s four misses—good drawing by Mark.

Now bringing its port broadside to bear, appropriately loaded with ball (see report on Marc’s blog for significance of this comment), the Vanguard gets a raking broadside on Généreux.

Courageuese gave her big sister a hand, scoring some damage to Vanguard’s rigging…

only to become an RN sandwich!

She did manage to score a little bit of damage on HMS Meleager (damage chits laid out at rear).

It was all over for Courageuse.

The control panels for Vanguard (seriously damaged) and Meleager (little damaged). The Généreux had suffered less damage than her British third-rate counterpart.

To me, based on this one-of outing, the Sails of Glory system produced an engrossing and enjoyable game. It is ideally suited for the time limitations of a Club night. The system is simple to pick up, sailing works well, other factors are dealt with reasonably and it flows well. Interestingly, the counters and ‘control panel’, which should make the bookkeeping side of naval wargaming simpler/easier, actually seemed to make it more clumsy. I would have preferred a simple grid to cross off as damage was done, or even a blank page on which to note the changing status of the ships.

I’ll look forward to playing Sails of Glory again on another occasion at the NWS, particularly if Mark and Stephen start to ‘tweak’ the rules.


Lastly, some photos of other games at the Club on that night; American Civil War using Regimental Fire and Fury and two mediaeval games using Impetus.

Another most enjoyable evening catching up, albeit briefly, with old wargaming friends. Hopefully I’ll get down there again soon.


  1. I've played one game of this and also really enjoyed it. Any naval game that does not require a protractor is a good one.

  2. Interesting review, James. I had the same thought looking at the control sheets -0 they look nice, but wouldn't it be simpler to just mark them off?