I also set up for the Defence of St. Helen's scenario. I used the dimensions given (the table in the link is too small for what they have listed, probably because they don't play huge games), and tried to set up the islands and icebergs the same way.
There will be five fleets, five 500 point deathmatch fleets (so a total of over 2500 points in play, just like the regular 500 point games). The fleets of the Spanish and the French-Americans are the defenders, and have worked out a sort of strategy before the game's start. Their biggest and best ships are concentrated in the rear, while they send their other ships out first to annoy the attackers while the forts do some damage. Since I only have one Spanish fort (El Puerto Blanco) and two French forts (St. Pierre and Paradis de la Mer), and four are required for the game, I have let the defenders use the Pirate fort Dead Man's Point. The English, Pirates, and MercCursedRebels (I may refer to them as the MCRs, not to be confused with My Chemical Romance) are the attackers, and have similarly positioned their uncrewed/weaker ships at the front of their formation (one of those awesome sights, a 'forest of masts'). The ratio is 3:2 in favour of the attackers, with 1500 points and 1000 points. The attackers command 81 ships, and the defenders, 56, for a total of 137 (not quite 200, but I am using crew).
The game has started, with the first three turns down. Five defender ships have been sunk, and Dead Man's Point has been destroyed. The defenders are harassing the attackers with some of their smaller ships, and have formed a defensive line blocking the southern path from the edge of the game area to the islands protruding from the centre. I would play more today, but the ten masters have ruined my gaming experience for the day. I would rather not go on a long rant, but if they keep disappointing me I think I will flip out. Basically, they all stink. The Baochuan went 7 for 20 in her double shoot action today thanks to a rare 6 from Zheng He. She has 7 rank-3 guns, and they were essentially rank-2's thanks to world-hater Chang Pao. Whatever. In a rage, I ignored the 'can't shoot at ships in your own fleet' rule and sunk all three of them easily. HMS Leicester sunk the Baochuan without any help, and she didn't even have Hermione Gold (MI version) on board. I think I will redo the turn and place them back where they were, and give them a final chance. I know they aren't designed for just combat, but the fact that they are [I]this[/I] bad is just plain embarrassing. Hopefully they will prove me wrong when I resume play again tomorrow.
I have finished this game, and the attackers won on turn 14, one turn before the time limit. The ten masters did reasonably well, so they are safe for now. The attackers basically just flooded the top, middle, and bottom of the game area with tons of ships, and the defenders were overwhelmed. The last defending ship afloat was El Acorazado, but her defences were bypassed by a Broadsides Attack from HMS Bretwalda. A good scenario, although a chunk of attacking ships didn't get to see action.