ACW River Action using Blood Sweat & Iron

I felt like some river action tonight, so I got out a few ships and played a river battle using my Blood Sweat & Iron rules, it was to be a fun simple game, just a straightforward meeting battle.

The forces for the battle were –


USS Essex

USS Tulip

USS Signal

USS Switzerland


CSS Charleston

CSS General Bragg

CSS General Sumter

CSS Planter

The initial set up was simple with the two forces facing each other on the river.

The Union force from left to right, Switzerland, Tulip, Signal and the Essex
The Confederate force from left to right, Charleston, General Sumter, Planter and General Bragg

Turn one and the USS Essex steams forward and the USS Signal moves alongside her.

The Charleston moves forward and fires at the oncoming USS Signal and scores a hit on the ship’s boiler causing it to lose steam! This will be a problem for the ship until it can be fixed.

All the rest of the ships just steamed forward.

Turn two and the engineers on the USS Signal do a great job in sealing up the boiler and so the ship gets back up to full steam and moves wide around the CSS Charleston and fires off a broadside at long range and manages to damage the ironclad and also manages to cause a fire on board!!

The USS Essex moved forward alongside the CSS General Sumter and opened up with its guns ripping huge holes all along the ships side.

The CSS General Bragg steamed towards the USS Essex and brings its forward gun to bear and manages to get a direct hit on one of the USS Essex’s guns destroying it.

Turn three and the crew of the CSS Charleston tried desperately to put out the fire on board but failed so it still burned billowing smoke into the ship.

The USS Essex moved forward and closed in on the CSS General Bragg and easily punched some holes in the ships side.

Even with the smoke from the fire on board the CSS Charleston managed to get two hits on the USS Signal.

The USS Switzerland saw an opportunity and decided to ram the CSS General Bragg and powered towards the enemy ship, it fired off its front gun as it approached.

This firing was answered by the gun crew on the CSS General Bragg, both ships scored hits on the other ship.

The USS Switzerland found its mark with its ram and managed to damage the CSS General Bragg but was travelling so fast that the two ships were now entangled and would need time to push themselves apart.

Turn four and the crew on the CSS Charleston still could not get the fire under control, but the ship was not out of this fight just yet, the ship turned to bring its guns to bear on the USS Signal and its gunners managed to hit the enemy ship despite all the smoke on board.

The USS Switzerland pulls slowly away from the CSS General Bragg firing as it moved causing a fire on board the enemy ship.

But the USS Switzerland doesn’t have it all her own way because as the CSS General Bragg moves off it also fires point blank range putting a hole in the USS Switzerland’s side.

Turn five and the crew of the CSS Charleston finally manage to get the fire under control and put it out.

Oh dear it is not a good day for the CSS Charleston as the USS Signal steamed around and one of its shots managed to start another fire on the CSS Charleston!!

As the USS Switzerland steams away it fires a parting shot at the CSS Planter causing a fire on board and the crew fail their morale check and become shaken.

The USS Essex moves in between the CSS Sumter and the CSS Planter and fires a full broadside into both ships, the crew on the CSS Sumter can’t take any more and raise the white flag and take no more part in this battle, the CSS Planter takes so much damage that she starts to sink.

Turn six and at this point with all the damage and with the fire still burning on board the CSS Charleston moves at full speed down the river and away from the Union ships with the CSS General Bragg following close behind…

Well a win for the Union ships this time, the poor Charleston could not get a break it had a fire on board for most of the battle!! And it missed with so many shots, the only ship that was continually on target was the Essex, it took a little damage in the battle but not much and its gun crews really earned their pay today.

Some exciting moments in the game as always and with a couple of critical hits which was interesting, damage to a ships boiler and a gun destroyed.

Overall a good fun game.

I think the next time the Confederates will want their revenge.

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