Messing about on the river…

I hadn’t had a river battle for a while so I thought that I would get my ACW ironclads onto the table and roll some dice.

I thought that it was time for some heavy ships and decided to use some of my big heavy ships so I picked a selection for each force.

The Union force consisted of the following ships –

USS Essex

USS Indianola

USS Milwaukee

USS Canonicus

USS Miantonomoh

Some big ships with heavy armour and some heavy guns.

The Confederates were going to have a tough time getting through all that armour and keeping away from those big guns so I didn’t hold out much hope for them, but their force was larger so maybe the extra ships might count…

The Confederate force consisted of the following ships –

CSS Tuscaloosa

CSS Neuse

CSS North Carolina

CSS Baltic

CSS Huntsville

CSS General Bragg

CSS General Sumter

CSS Charleston

CSS Planter

The scene was set, both fleets were entering this section of the river from opposite ends and would fight for seven turns.

Set up – both fleets enter form opposite ends of the table and all the ships were steaming in at full speed.

Turn one and both sides move closer, the Confederates split slightly trying to get the Union ships to go between the two groups of ships, that might not be such a good idea as there are several turrets with big guns on those Union ships!

There was no shooting from either side as the two fleets maneuvered into position.

Things could go horribly wrong for the Confederates, very very quickly…

Turn two and the General Bragg decided to take the fight to the Union ships and steamed straight at the fast-approaching ships, but its shot splashes harmlessly into the river a long way from any enemy ship.

The USS Indianola fires at close range into the front of the CSS General Bragg and puts some damage on the enemy ship, it also fires off at the advancing CSS Baltic and smashes through the ships armour and does lots of damage, the Baltic may think twice about moving closer after that!

The Union heavy guns already showing their worth, the Confederates are going to have real problems during this battle.

Turn three and the USS Milwaukee moves in alongside the CSS General Sumter and opens up with all of her guns, when the smoke clears the Sumter is sinking fast!!

While most of the Confederate ships attempt to put a little space between them and the Union ships the CSS Baltic decided to make a run towards the USS Essex and hit the big ship with its heavy gun smashing through the ships armour causing lots of damage!

The CSS Huntsville sees this and decides to try the same thing and moves in close to the USS Milwaukee and manages to do some damage to the heavy Ironclad and even managed to cause a fire on board.

The CSS Charleston steams forward and fires off its guns at the Essex but all the shots bounced off the ships heavy armour!

Well the crew on board the USS Milwaukee managed to put out its fire, but the CSS North Carolina is still burning.

Turn four and those heavy guns in the Union turrets are really making things hard for the Confederate ships, they really need to bring their few heavy guns to bear and start to do some more damage or this battle will be lost.

The CSS Baltic squeezes past the USS Essex and moves around to shoot at the USS Milwaukee, the shots are on target and manage to start another fire below decks, the crew of the Milwaukee are now shaken!

The CSS General Bragg managed to get close in behind the USS Milwaukee and put some more damage on the struggling ship.

Turn five and the CSS Tuscaloosa and the USS Indianola still have fires on board so they will be affected by smoke this turn.

Well lots of maneuvers but not much else this turn, all the shooting was ineffectual even the short range shots!

Turn six and most of the crews managed to put the fires out except those on the CSS Tuscaloosa, their fire had taken hold and was burning fiercely.

So can the Confederates do anything against these tough Union ships, can they even survive against those heavy guns!

The USS Milwaukee moves around and fires at the CSS Baltic and the CSS General Bragg causing damage on both ships, in reply the CSS Baltic moves alongside the Milwaukee and manages to put a shot through the big ships armour.

The CSS Huntsville moves in behind the USS Miantonomoh and caused a fire on board doing lots of damage, the CSS Tuscaloosa moves in on the Miantonomoh and fires at close range but the shot bounces off the ships armour.

The CSS Charleston turns around and moves towards the now struggling USS Milwaukee and gets another hit on the big ship, the big ironclad is in real trouble with that fire burning below deck.

A good turn for the Confederates, some good shooting and a fair amount of damage dealt to the Union ships.

Turn seven and the USS Miantonomoh moves close to the CSS General Bragg and rips huge chunks of the side the ship with its big guns!! The crew on the General Bragg are in a bad way they were badly shaken by that…

The CSS Charleston and the CSS Baltic move in close to the USS Milwaukee and finally dealt the killing blow to the big ship, the crew could be seen jumping overboard!

The Charleston also managed to get a good hit in the rear of the USS Essex and could see a fire start on board.

The USS Essex just showed that it was not out of this fight, it put some damage on the side of the CSS Charleston as it steamed past.

The USS Canonicus moves around the CSS Neuse and brings its big guns round to shoot at the small ironclad and hits some gunpowder and causes a huge explosion on board doing lots of damage, the crew are badly shaken by this.

The rest of the shooting this turn either misses or fails to penetrate so that’s it the battle is over, both sides turn and leave this section of the river.

On points the victory goes to the confederates!!! I am not sure how they survived that but they did and scraped a win as well.

The Union ships had heavier deadlier guns but they just had no real luck with their shooting, the Confederates only had a few heavy guns but they made good use of them, they did lots of damage to the heavier Union ironclads, the ships they had left were all badly damaged and two of the crews were badly shaken.

The Confederates were extremely lucky in that last turn the CSS Neuse was almost destroyed with a critical hit, I just rolled really low on all three dice.

I think that if the battle had gone on any longer the Union ships may have just had the edge even though they were badly damaged, those heavy guns are really nasty if they manage to hit.

Oh well maybe next time the Union ships will get their revenge.

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