ACW river battle using Blood Sweat & Iron rules

I was going to do some painting of the last few ACW ships I have but I ran out of basing card so a picture of the ships will have to do for now, three new simple 3D prints and a long lost USS Commodore Morris ( from Peter Pig ACW range ) I only found this a few days ago hiding at the back of one of my cupboards, I had forgotten that I had it!

Well as I couldn’t do any painting, I thought it was a good opportunity to get in a little game…

So I thought that I would have a quick game of Blood Sweat & Iron as I haven’t played in a while.

I also thought that I would try something a little different, rather than play on my normal 6 x 4 table I would just play on half and go for a really narrow section of river! I knew that was going to make things hard as not only will the ships have to worry about enemy ships, but they would also have to worry about leaving enough space to turn around ( if a ship hit the edge of the table then they would be classed as having run aground )

So the points for the battle were around 1,250 each which meant there was only four ships per side and they were –

Confederate ships

CSS Neuse

CSS Charlston

CSS Baltic

CSS General Sumter

Union ships

USS Monitor

USS Essex

USS Miami

USS Signal

The battle was going to be a simple meeting engagement on a narrow section of river, the two forces saw each other and steamed forward.

Turn one and two just saw the forces steam closer together, a few long-range shots were taken but with no hits at all.

Turn three saw some real close-range shooting as both forces steamed past each other, but other than a fire on board the USS Signal nothing else happened… my dice rolling was not bad to hit but I just couldn’t penetrate any armour.

Turn four saw the CSS Neuse take some close-range damage and her armour didn’t help her much, she also had a fire on-board which was now making shooting more difficult for the gun crews.

The USS Miami was starting to attract the attention of the Confederate ships her wooden hull was not stopping any of the enemy cannon fire.

The CSS General Sumter, USS Baltic and the USS Charlston were now past the Union force so now they had to think about turning around without running aground.

Turn five, the USS Miami and the USS Signal were starting their long sweeping turn trying to bring their guns around to face the enemy again, the USS Monitor was having no luck with its shooting it just could not hit anything, it needed to start making its big guns count in this battle or the Union were going to struggle against all the Confederate Ironclads.

The crew on the CSS Neuse were finding their targets, and even though fires were burning on board it still managed to put a shot into the USS Essex causing a couple of small on-board explosions.

As the three Confederate ships started their turn back towards the Union force it was touch and go whether the CSS Charlston would make it around without running aground… it did with only the loss of a few barnacles from its hull  😊

Turn six saw most of the ships from both sides finish their turns and start to steam back towards each other, most long shots missed their targets, but the CSS Neuse took a critical hit on its engines reducing its speed down to about half for the remainder of the game.

The CSS General Sumter took two hits from the USS Monitor, these were the first damaging shots for this ship of the battle!! And they almost sunk the Sumter, the crew were now shaken, and the CSS General Sumter was in a bad way, could she last just one more turn?

Seventh turn and CSS General Sumter was sinking fast all hands were swimming for the shore the battle was over for them, the USS Miami took some more fire from the very persistent CSS Neuse but actually managed to put two shots of her own through the heavy armour of the USS Neuse but just couldn’t finish her off.

The final shooting of the battle saw a couple of lucky shots get through and lightly damage the USS Essex, but that was it, both forces called it a night and moved off back to their own lines…

Well as the CSS General Sumter sank I will call that a minor victory for the Union force, although the CSS Neuse ( who just wouldn’t sink!! ) only had one point of damage left, and the USS Miami had taken a load of damage and was down to its last couple of hull points, so it could have gone either way if the game had gone another turn or two.

The narrow river section was really an issue for those ships trying to turn back around to face the enemy, the CSS Baltic came to within half an inch of the edge at one point, I don’t think it spoiled the game I think it made it more interesting.

The USS Monitor just could not hit a thing until the sixth turn ( my dice rolling for this ship was awful ☹ ) if I had managed to get her big guns on target a few more times earlier in the battle then it may have been a whole different game.

Well another fun game and a close one, maybe next time I will have the time to get more ships out for a bigger battle and possible trying a scenario as well.

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