Thursday, December 29, 2016

Stonewall off Ferrol

Phil came down from Williamsburg to learn Ironclads, and took the formidable CSS Stonewall vs the slightly less formadiable USS Niagara and the rather fragile USS Sacramento.  The scenario is one we've done several times before, with the Rebel ship attempting to get out of the harbor and cripple one of the Union vessels along the way.
In the first game, Phil took the Stonewall and sailed pretty much straight for the board edge, I took Niagara in close, suffering several substatial hits along the way; however, while Niagara is light on armor, she has lots of hull points, so she chugged along resolutely. And then I got in close astern and gave him a rake with my full broadside--11" Dahlgrens and 150 pounders. That wrecked his steering gear, and from there it was just a matter of following his wake and giving him one broadside while the other one reloaded.
In the second game, Phil took Stonewall again while Ryan and I swapped ships. This time Phil immediately cut right to go around the far end of the shoal, away from Niagara. I took Sacramento over to try to cut him off without actually getting in his way--Stonewall has a reinforced ram bow. I did nick him a little, but he outguessed me a couple of times and used me as cover to prevent Niagara from getting a shot. After punching huge holes in Sacramento's armor and setting her afire, the Rebel swung around to get another close range shot, which was reasonable (because he needed to cripple one of the Union ships to win) but a probably a mistake (because it let Niagara catch up). The two heavy ships tangled at close range, culminating in a ram which left Niagara low in the water, but also meant Stonewall was a stationary target at point blank range. The heavy Union guns battered Stonewall's hull enough to render her unable to make the oceanic crossing, costing her the win. A hard fought action all round.