Friday, October 18, 2013


This week’s game at the SESWC was something different as I setup an ACW test game to try out the 1860-1870 period naval rules which I have been working on.  The 1/600 ships are all from the collection of Angus Konstam.

The scenario involved a Union force attacking a bay to capture cotton barges.   The Union had 3 ironclads and 3 gunboats versus 2 Confederate ironclads, 3 cottonclad rams and a coastal fort.  The Union led the way with their gunboat and ironclad squadrons supported by the Miami whilst the New Ironsides steamed very slowly along in the rear.
Cottonclads and gunboats prepare to engage
The Union gunboats were engaged in the narrows by the cottonclad rams.  The CSS Van Dorn seriously rammed the USS Mattasesett which eventually sank.  The CSS Van Dorn did not escape retribution and struck her colours after being set afire by the USS Sassicus.  The USS Sassicus suffered glancing ramming blows from the CSS Beauregard and set on fire and suffering command confusion she also struck. 
CSS Gen Bragg rams the stricken USS Mattasesett
The Union ironclads passed safely under the guns of the fort while the following USS Miami suffered from the forts and steamed on in a confused state.  Hits from the USS Tecumseh and the Keokuk forced the CSS Beauregard to strike and heavily damaged the CSS Savannah which broke of the action.  The Palmetto State fought on covering the flight of the Savannah. The last round of the game saw the New Ironsides finally get into the action and a single broadside smashed into the Palmetto State causing heavy damage and setting her on fire.  In total the Union lost 2 gunboats, one sunk and another struck, whilst the Confederates lost 2 gunboats struck and 2 ironclads heavily damaged.  
Ironclads and fort now get engaged in the action.  USS Mattasesett has sunk.
This was actually the very first test game and the rules generally worked well and were quickly picked up by the 6 players who had not read the rules in advance.  Some lessons learned have been incorporated in the latest update of the rules.  Further test games to follow……

Last round of the game - New Ironsides first broadside wrecks the Palmetto State setting her afire.

Here is the briefing for the 2 sides.

Spies report that a considerable supply of cotton has been brought on barges to the Cape Fear River waiting for the arrival of fast blockade runners from Bermuda.

Commodore Du Pont has decided to launch a raid on the port to cut out the cotton barges.  This will strike a blow to Rebel finances and gain the commodore a substantial share of the prize money.  If the barges cannot be taken away they should be destroyed.
Ironclad Sqdn - Tecumseh, Keokuk

Gunboat Sqdn - Sassicus, Mattasesett
Command Sqdn - New Ironsides, Miami


A considerable supply of cotton has been brought on barges to the Cape Fear River waiting for the arrival of fast blockade runners from Bermuda.  This is a valuable cargo and will allow the purchase of much foreign military equipment.  Such a valuable target may well be the objective of an attack by Du Pont’s blockading forces.
As well as the local coast defences a Cape Fear Defence flotilla has been scraped together from along the coast to protect this strategic location.
Ironclad Ram Sqdn – Savannah, Palmetto State
Cottonclad Ram Sqdn - Gen Beauregard, General Bragg, Gen Earl Van Dorn


  1. Looks like a great game, very nice photos!

  2. Very nice and looks really interesting!


  3. What a marvellous variety of vessels. The fort looks beaut too; from the glimpse in the photo...

    1. The ships are a mixture of Peter Pig and Thorough Bred models.