Saturday, February 2, 2013


Two Ironclads games today, with Josh, Ryan and Dan.

In the first one, Dan played CSS Stonewall vs Josh and me with USS Niagara and Sacramento, in a scenario which took place off Ferrol Spain in 1865. Historically, the Union commander decided the Confederate was too intimidating, and withdrew; he was court martialed for that, but he may have been right. In our game, Dan jinked west, then ran down the center between sandbars; he got lucky with his big 300lbr Armstrong gun and crippled Niagara first--which pretty much defeated us--and then nailed Sacramento's engine as well. Both Union ships, immobilized, anchored and waited. Dan could have stood off and shelled us to do enough damage for his victory conditions, and we wouldn't have been able to do anything about it; but he elected to give us a sporting chance by coming back around and lining up a ram on Sacramento. And we still couldn't do anything about it: Niagara didn't have a shot, and my last second, point blank, do-or-die shot only chipped Stonewall's armor. The ram stove in Sacramento's side, and she sank like a stone; Stonewall backed away from the wreck and sailed off proudly.

The second game was a theoretical action between CSS Atlanta and Savannah (casemate ironclads) vs USS Weehawken and Nahant (monitors) at Wassaw Sound, GA, 1863. Historically, Savannah was still being built when Atlanta sought action; Atlanta ran aground and surrendered after 15 minutes of close range fire from Weehawken.

In the game scenario, the Confederates come down a river and dodge around sandbars in a break for open water, while the Union ships try to stop them. In this game, once again Dan got a lucky hit early on, which did severe damage to my ship, enough to prevent us from achieving victory conditions; however, the casemates are tough, so we fought on. Ryan's Nahant went aground briefly, evading Josh's ram; by the time Savannah came back around for another try, Nahant had freed herself and frantically backed out of the way. Savannah skimmed over the shoals and pursued, and Atlanta came down and tried to box in Nahant, but we couldn't quite manage to deliver the ram. At the battle's end, my ship was low in the water and barely under way, Ryan's ship nearly out of crew, and Josh and Dan's ships were battered but still dueling. A good scenario with nicely matched forces: the Union ships are good shots and hard to hit, but their guns are slow to load and don't have much range; the Confederates have long range guns with limited fields of fire, and aren't quite as maneuverable. They also have rams with spar torpedoes, but to drive home a ram, you have to get close to those Union guns...

1 comment:

  1. Actually, all my hits were due to skill - the ones against me that did damage were the ones due to "luck." ;-)

    Agreed, though, both are great scenarios although, if I had to choose, I'd replay the Wassaw Sound, maybe on the other side. Will have to do something like this again, although if Josh keeps rolling those specials....