This battle was fought using Phil Barker's Damn Battleships Again rules.
In 1894, France demanded control over Formosa from China and Japan. To support her claims, France sent the Saigon fleet steaming north under the gallant Admiral Marchant (rated Chivalrous in the rules).
The Chinese fleet, commanded by the Court Mandarin, Ma Kin, who had never been to sea before (an Idiot under the rules) sailed south.
Worried about the situation in the Pacific, the Americans send a squadron under Admiral Chester C Stevens, a notorious braggart (rated Cautious under the rules), to support China.
The alliance between China and America was fragile at best. At one point the Americans declared that after they had won the battle they "were going to sail upriver and bomb Nanking" before remembering which side they were on. The French played on this by reminding the Americans that "blood is thicker than water".
And so, one hour before dawn, in a light wind and calm seas, the two fleets met near the coast.
In the picture below looking South, there is a Chinese shore battery with the Chinese fleet to the east. Keeping some distance further to the east are the leading American battleships. In the center is a flotilla of French torpedo boats commanded by Captain Jacque, who have just buzzed by a couple of junks sailing to Hong Kong. To the North can be seen the leading battleships of the French
A flotilla of Chinese gun-boats pushes past the shore battery.
The French TBs push into the night looking for an easy kill; when they suddenly hear the Chinese and turn on their floodlights.
All guns start firing at the Chinese, but the unprepared French only score one hit.
The Chinese return fire decimates the French flotilla, forcing Captain Jacque to transfer his flag in a jolly boat.
As the sun rises, Chinese gun-boats sail through the French line ramming and sinking at will. Captain Jacque has to get back into his jolly boat.
While the affair of the gnats plays itself out in the centre, the French battle line, now steaming West opens fire on the lead American and Chinese battleships.
The second French squadron. The last ship in the line is an obsolete rust bucket.
The leading American battleship takes a couple if hits.
Concentrated French fire soon turns it into a flaming inferno, first crippling it, and then sinking it before it can steam to safety..
To the South the Chinese battleships and cruisers under Ma Kin maneuver for sea room.
As the French push West, the table gets moved East. Some American battleships have dropped out of view.
To head off the French, Ma Kin pushes his cruisers forward at top speed. Fear of the Dowager Empress means he cannot afford to turn away from the enemy (see the rules). However, faced with the fire of the first French squadron, the Chinese take terrible punishment. French Admiral Marchant's sense of gallantry forces his squadron's captains to engage the enemy one-on-one.
The French, smelling blood, commence a turn to the South.
But fire from the big American battleships takes its toll on the battleship Courbet.
Catching up, the Americans also pound the French flagship.
...not without cost though
Looking North one wonders about the American commitment to the alliance, as the American first class cruisers take shelter behind Chinese battleships. French fire has crippled the Chinese flagship.
The crippled French ships steam out of the battle line.
The Chinese battleships have been hit hard. Now the American ship Texas disappears behind a wall of splashes. No more hits though.
Both fleets have had enough, but as they part the Chinese flagship finally blows up. However, at the last minute, some lucky shots sink two French battleships
This war is not over!