Friday, June 5, 2015

Steam and Black Powder

Strategically two Confederate blockade runners need to break out, sell their goods and bring home valuable supplies.  Of such importance was the mission that the ironclad CSS Baltic and a trio of gunboats would escort the Banshee and Robert E. Lee to open water.  A random group of Union vessels awaited them.  Getting one runner off table would be a marginal victory, two a strategic and two plus driving off the blockaders would be a decisive victory.

CSS Baltic at top leads her column.  Runners bring up the rear.

Yankee squadron of two rams plus USS Varuna and John Paul Jones.

In another channel the USS Chillicothe and Tyler.

Yankee view of the channels and islands.  Where will they come
through?  Will the islands help or hinder?

Early shooting is extremely ineffective.

The two sides mix it up and shots begin to tell on the wooden
or lightly armored vessels.  Only the Baltic shrugs them off.

Pro-rated movement reveals a double ram.

The Baltic looks for someone in arc to shoot at.

The outside pair of Yankees get into play just as the runners
come into range.

The rammers sort themselves out as fires break out on Reb ships.

Same turn, another angle.

CSS Gaines grapples with the Tyler and Chillicothe in the foreground.

Gaines took a beating as the Robert E. Lee burns and settles.

Baltic and Varuna exchange hits as the Selma glances off the Monarch.
At this point things looked a little promising for the Rebels.  The Gaines and Selma are lost and the R.E. Lee is going down fast.  But the Banshee was breaking for the open sea.  Only a lucky hit could stop her.

USS Tyler has the angle, but the Banshee has a 3 knot speed
advantage and the Tyler's guns are short-ranged.

The table edge beckons and Tyler's guns are now out of arc.

Meanwhile, back in the channel...

We wrapped it when the Banshee exited the table.  Two Confederate gunboats were sunk or sinking and  one of the blockade runner was down.  Many Union ships had taken critical hits but they rolled better than their counter-parts.  The only real ironclads, the CSS Baltic and USS Chillicothe were pretty fresh but the reason for risking combat had passed.  Unfortunately the Banshee had taken a waterline critical earlier and was slowly flooding out.  In the end she sank somewhere off table.

Rules are Steam and Black Powder by Neil Stokes, published in MN by the St. Paul Irregulars.  A fun game that gives results instead of just shooting and plinking off the armor.

1 comment:

  1. Nice looking game, table and ships are beautiful!