Thursday, June 8, 2017


This Tuesday I was at the SESWC in Edinburgh.  I have been working on a big ship version of my ACW naval rules and this meeting gave me a chance to test them out.  It finally gave me a chance to get most of my 28mm ships onto the table.

Onondaga under ineffective Confederate fire

Tuscaloosa and Mississippi concentrate against the Onondaga

The scenario was a raid by Union forces to disrupt the Confederates effort to complete the conversion of a river steamer into an armed ram.  The Union had 2 monitors the Montauk and the twin turret Onondaga.  To oppose the attack the confederates had a small ironclad ram the Tuscaloosa and a large centre wheel ironclad ram the Mississippi plus a shore battery of 2 medium smoothbores.  The table was 8ft by 6ft and to give an impression of the scale of the ships the Onondaga is 24 inches long.  The ships were all made by PMC.

The Confederates ironclads sortied to meet the approaching monitors.  Things quickly went badly for them as the Tuscaloosa was rammed by the Onondaga and then smashed by the heavy guns of both the monitors.  She lost all her flotation points, struck her colours and being holed by the ram sank.  The Union ships then battered the Mississippi which lost 2 guns, had her steering jammed to starboard and was set on fire.  She failed a morale test and had to break of the action.  She could not repair her steering so instead of steaming for safety she turned around the Union monitors and ran aground.  Her crew promptly abandoned ship.  The Confederate shore battery proved particularly ineffective scoring only one hit which bounced of the Mondauk.  The incomplete ram finally got underway but hit by multiple heavy shots she struck her colours.  It was a Union whitewash.

It was a fun game – the rules played well.  I made a few improvements to the rules after I got home.  I am trying out the rules in another 2 weeks at an ACW weekend.  My thanks to Angus, Campbell and Michel helping with the playtesting.  Angus has written a detailed action account on his blog at

Onondaga rams the Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa sinks - Captain is last man aboard

Sternwheeler has struck her colours to the Montauk

Confederate shore battery - truly hopeless gunners


  1. Smashing! Are the rules available to read anywhere? I have some Ironclads waiting for a work out!

    1. Steve - send me your email address and I will send you a copy.

  2. Thanks Bill!