“Run Rabbit Run!” a solo ACW Ironclad game.

I managed to get a quick game using my ACW ships today, just wanted something simple so did a “run rabbit run!!” type scenario.

Basically the Confederates had the job of chasing one lightly armoured Union ship while it tried to survive and the other Union ships had the job of shielding it as best they could.

So the forces were –


USS Signal ( the rabbit )

USS Essex

USS Miantonomoh


CSS Baltic

CSS North Carolina

CSS Richmond

CSS Tennessee

Set up was easy just two forces facing each other, the main tactic of the USS Signal was to keep as far away as possible for as long as possible… I was not sure how easy that was going to be, I just had to try and keep the Essex and the Miantonomoh in between the Signal and the Confederate Ironclads, maybe use the Signals greater speed to keep out of harm’s way.

Turn one saw the Confederates just steam forward and the Signal turn to hide behind the Miantonomoh, so a quick first turn.

Turn Two and the Confederates managed to get the Richmond in a position to threaten the Signal next turn, the Miantonomoh moved in close to the Baltic but just could not penetrate its heavy armour, then the Essex tried to hit the Tennessee but failed but then managed to score a few lucky points of damage on the Baltic so the first successes go to the Union.

Turn three and well things were getting serious! The Miantonomoh just could not make its heavy guns count, it missed again this turn with them all. The Union ships were not having the same problems though and the first few shots got into the Signal and she was on fire!!

Also the Essex was starting to have some bad luck four shots got through her armour and she as well was on fire, things were not looking great for the Union side.

Turn four and burning Union ships took a little more damage from the fires but their crews managed to put them out, the Miantonomoh still could not make her heavy guns count. The Union gunnery teams were having real trouble today.

The Essex and the Miantonomoh moved to try and protect the Signal form taking any more damage as her crew was already shaken.

The Tennerssee and the North Carolina put a few more shots into the Essex and managed to get through her armour again.

Turn five and although a bit late in the game the Miantonomoh actually managed to show what her guns could do this turn, she managed to almost sink the Richmond with some point-blank shooting.

The Richmond’s crew were badly shaken and knew that any more damaged and they would be out of this battle.

The Essex tried her best to position herself between the three Confederate ships and the Signal, but she just wasn’t fast enough to close the door on all three ships ( although I don’t think  the Essex could have blocked all three ships from getting to the Signal )

The CSS Tennessee was a real worry at this point…

Turn six and as I guessed the Tennessee managed to pass the Essex and put a full broadside into the USS Signal and well that was that, she was heavily damaged and she sank within a few seconds.

Well that was fun, and it was a really close game, if only the USS Miantonomoh had managed to get a few more shots on target or even managed to actually penetrate the Union armour things would have been so different.

I just could not seem to make any use of the USS Signal’s speed to keep her safe, and my shooting was terrible for the Union side!

Ah well maybe next time.

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  1. Sounds like a good game.

    1. What rules were you using?
    2. What methods were you using for solo play? Did you take one side and use AI for theother or were both sides controlled by your solo mechanics?


  2. Mac

    Hi Dave,

    The rules I am using are ones that I have written and they are called Blood Sweat & Iron, just a simple set but they are lots of fun.

    They don’t have any solo rules but the way the ships activate gives enough “unknown” to the game that it makes solo playing easy.


  3. Vic Dobson

    Hi Mac,

    This battle looked fun – so I think I’ll convert the idea to S&L! Perhaps if I add a lot of ‘shallows’, reefs etc in the form of some asteroids or other restrictive space terrain …

    The models also look nice – I don’t know too much about the ACW era ironclads (apart from Monitor perhaps) – but the ‘armoured’ side paddle wheelers are very groovy looking – must’ve been horribly vulnerable though!


    • Mac

      Hi Vic,
      Yes the battle was a lot of fun even with my bad dice rolling.

      It would probably work for S&L as well but would need the asteroids to give some line-of-sight blocking or the target ship wouldn’t last long.

      The models are really nice, most are Peter Pig and the rest are my 3D printed ones.
      And you are correct the wooden ones were really vulnerable ( and they are in BS&I ) but they do survive if you can keep them away from the big guns, they do tend to be faster so can out of trouble most of the time.


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