Break out… a Blood Sweat & Iron battle

This is a run through of a possible new scenario for Blood Sweat & Iron ACW river battles and this was also my first chance to use my new scratch-built paddle steamers.

The scenario is a simple one, the Union ships are trying to get past the Confederate Ironclads and to safety.

The points and ships for the battle are as follows –

1,365 point for the Confederates three ships, the CSS Charleston, CSS Tuscaloosa and the CSS Nashville.

965 for the Unions four ships, the USS Miami, USS General Sterling Price, USS Queen of the West and the USS Switzerland.

All of the Union ships start at full speed, the Confederate ships start at half speed.

CSS Tuscaloosa, CSS Nashville, CSS Charleston
USS Miami, USS Queen of the West, USS Switzerland, USS General Sterling Price

Turn one and both fleets move forward towards each other with all of the Confederate Ironclads increasing their speed.

Turn two and the USS Switzerland has the first shot of the battle and hits the CSS Nashville but the shot bounces harmlessly off the thick armour. The USS Queen of the West joins in the shooting and hits the Nashville also, but again the shot bounces off the ships thick armour.

The CSS Charleston brings its side cannons to bear on the Switzerland and three shots hit the water but the fourth finds its mark and punches a hole in the Union ship.

The Tuscaloosa and the Miami join the fray but neither manage to hit their targets.

Turn three the Nashville steers in between the Switzerland and the Queen of the West and opens up with all its guns and causes huge damage on both ships, the Switzerland is now on fire and the Queen of the West has taken damage to its steering.

The Charleston starts to turn around and brings its gun to bear on the USS General Sterling Price and manages to cause a fire on board.

The Tuscaloosa turns right around and gets alongside the Switzerland and hits the ship again, the Switzerland is in big trouble with that fire on board.

Turn four and the USS Switzerland is out of this battle, the crew jump overboard and start to swim for the shore while the ship burns…

The General Sterling Price is still burning the crew failed to get the fire under control, things are not looking good for the Union ships.

The Tuscaloosa turns in front of the burning Switzerland and tries to block Queen of the West, while firing off its guns causing light damage to big paddle steamer.

The Nashville slowly turns about chasing the Miami but can’t hit the fast escaping ship.

The Queen of the West was still having trouble with its steering but managed to get past the Tuscaloosa and fired at the ironclad as is steamed past but again the thick armour of the ironclads proves too tough.

Again the Tuscaloosa comes around and fires at the General Sterling Price and causing more damage on the already burning ship.

The CSS Miami is getting left behind and will probably not get close enough to make any real difference to the outcome of this battle, and the CSS Charleston is in a similar situation.

Turn five and the crew on board the General Sterling Price finally manage to get the fire under control.

The Tuscaloosa tries to get into position to try and stop the two Union ships the Miami and the Queen of the West, and fires every gun it can bring to bear and somehow misses the Nashville, but they do manage to hit the Queen of the West again causing the crew to finally raise the flag and take no more part in this battle, they drop anchor and wait to be boarded.

The Charleston actually manages to get close enough to the General Sterling Price to get another hit causing more damage to the fleeing ship.

The Miami slips past the Tuscaloosa and heads for safety down the river, at that point the Confederates realise that they will never catch the two remaining Union ships and so they turn back and let them go.

Well the Confederates will take that as a minor victory by stopping two of the Union ships, the Miami had taken no damage at all and the General Sterling Price was almost down to half damage, the Union ships did no damage to any of the Confederate Ironclads.

That scenario is actually harder than I thought it would be, the Confederate side does not get very long to try and stop the Union ships, they only have a turn or two in the centre of the table to hit them with as much damage as they can, and then they have to turn around as quickly as they can to chase the fast moving ships before they reach the table edge.

I will play that a few more times but I think for the first run through it worked well.

The heavier armour on the Confederate ironclads meant that they were not taking any damage but it also meant that they were slightly slower than the faster tinclads, I think I may try this with a few different combinations of ships to see how it plays, maybe mix up the ships on both sides to see what difference that makes.

I think the points for each side was not bad either, I might try it with a few more points for the blocking fleet to see how that plays out, having a ship or two extra may make it easier to stop the fast moving ships.

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