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Battle of Cape Vincent: How?

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I'm coming into this battle with 4 3rd rate 68 gun Ardent-class ships, 1 3rd rate 74-gun Bellona class ships, and 3 fast French 5th rates.  Even with the few ships I'm given, I am grossly outnumbered by larger ships flanking me with the weather gauge.  How on earth are you supposed to have any chance of sinking 6 enemy ships when they have the wind, numbers, and ship size advantage 2:1?  This seems like a suicide mission and I just want to retreat off map and not even attempt it.

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Right around that stage of the Brit campaign, it's a transition from frigate-heavy gameplay to Ship-of-the-Line-dominated.  There's a couple of battles like this; the enemy has a lot more SoL firepower than you do.  Even on Easy.  I got through it with fireships.  Use them to take out a few ships and then overman your few SoLs for a boarding advantage and go for some quick enemy SoL captures rather than sinkings (captures count too).

You don't really have to fully "win" these battles, as they have victory conditions like "Eliminate X enemy ships" rather than "Eliminate enemy fleet".  You might be in a desperate situation with no hope of overcoming the entire enemy force if you had to fight it out til sunset...but you don't have to.  Take those captures and punch out for the victory...and a few more SoLs which hopefully you've got the rep and money to add to your fleet for the next fight.

Pretty soon after St Vincent, the campaign gradually opens up a bit more on SoLs.  You'll get some a few gift 1st and 2nd rates.  There will be more 3rd rate Ardents in the Admiralty shop.  Some newspaper events lead to cheaper costs.  And of course, the more enemy SoLs, the more available to capture and convert (the +Rep category for Career Points becomes quite valuable here).   By the time you get to battles like Camperdown and Copenhagen, you should be going in with plenty of SoL parity to get the job done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Like Bramborough already said: You don't have to finish off the entire enemy fleet. Just 6 ships. And that is more or less easy to do, depending on the difficulty you're playing on. Fireships can work really well because of how close together the enemy ships are. If you use ships that are given to you for that scenario as cannon fodder and use them to group the enemy ships together and then send in a fireship you can end up burning down half the enemy fleet with just one ship. After that the rest is just easy pickings. Make sure you use the best cannons you can afford for your own SoL and make sure they have the maximum crew allowed along with good boarding weapons. Capture some enemy ships, keep ships that you need, sell the others for prestige or money and you're set for the next battles. I think i captured 3 Ocean class 1st rates in this battle (and some other SoL) and used those along with the free Victory class 1st rate you're given for the Battle of the Nile. 

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On tactics, fireships.

Otherwise, turn and sail with the wind, cut your sails, the Spanish will come up on your gift ships first with the three-deckers in the rear, you can overwhelm their van by cutting your speed. 

Edited by daztek
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