Well I had a really fun game of Blood Sweat & Iron at the club last night, a friend and I decided on the VIP scenario from the rule book but as it was a club night and we didn’t want to rush things so decided to ignore the seven turn end of the scenario, this allowed me as the Confederate side attempting to get the VIP off the table to actually use an ironclad or two.
Normally the side wishing to get the VIP off the table would have to make sure it had mainly fast ships or they can not get off a six-foot table within the seven turns, I think the slow-moving Ironclads take about nine turns to get off the other end, that is of course if they just move in a straight line, each time they turn it slows them down a little!
So I had the CSS General Stirling Price, CSS Richmond, CSS Nashville and the CSS Little Rebel, so two fast cottonclads and two ironclads but with the CSS Richmond coming in as the slowest… I secretly put my VIP on one of my ships and we then set up.
( With all the fun during the game and the chatting with my opponent and things getting very exciting at some points during the game I actually forgot to get a list of the ships he was using!
My opponent had five ships in the Union force but I only remember one, and that was the USS Miami, I can’t even guess from the pictures that I took as he was using substitute ships as he didn’t had the actual ships that he picked for the game, so there will be lots of “the Union” ships did this or did that during this report, sorry, hopefully this will not spoil it.
All I remember was that the Union ships were three wooden ships and two cottonclads all with light or medium guns except one with a heavy gun on a front pivot )
The scenario has two of the attacker’s ships set up at the half way point and then the rest of the attacking ships coming on from the table edge, the defenders with their VIP come on from the opposite table end.
Well the set up was done and away we went and straight away my two cottonclads took some accurate long range fire and were already taking damage and CSS General Stirling Price already had a fire on board!
Not a great start the game! But it was early days and I had my money on my ironclads pushing through the Union ships.
Then the Union ships did the most annoying thing for my ships and that was to manoeuver in front of them and block them forcing them to turn and slowing them down!! Very unfair and very un-sportsman like 🙁
One of the Union ships got in the way of the CSS Nashville!! The big ship just couldn’t get past so collided with the much smaller Union ship, the Union ship pestered the big Confederate ship in this way for most of the battle.
The Nashville took a fair amount of damage over the next couple of turns from that annoying little ship, but eventually it was on fire and sunk, this caused a loud cheer on board the Nashville 😉
My two cottonclads kept taking more and more damage as they steamed towards the far end of the table, I was not very hopeful for their survival but for the moment they were still afloat and moving as fast as they could, but they did have two of the Union ships chasing them.
The CSS Richmond continued to see shot after shot bounce off its heavy armour but then it was hit by the Union heavy gun and a fire broke out on board ( this took a couple of turns to put out which was very annoying! ) all the ships Captain could do was hope that his crew would deal with the fire while he just continued to push ahead and try to get to safety.
Eventually the crew managed to put the fire out on the Richmond, but the fire had caused a fair amount of damage to the ship.
The two Union ships chasing my fast ships moved in to try and block their escape, firing their guns as they closed the gap, the crew of the CSS Little Rebel were badly shaken but somehow managed to keep control and get past the Union ships.
The CSS General Stirling Price was also able to get past these annoying ships and steamed closer to safety, firing a shot from its stern gun trying to dissuade the Union ships from following her.
Shortly after this desperate attempt by the Union ships to stop the two fast confederate paddle-steamers they both got off the table safely… but was my VIP on board one of those ships?
Well my opponent didn’t know so he turned away from those two ships and went after the CSS Richmond.
The Union ship with the heavy gun moved in on the badly damaged CSS Nashville, the big ship had taken a pounding from the Union gunners for most of the battle and now she had to face the Union heavy gun.
Boom! Disaster the heavy shot smashed through the big ships armour and caused huge damage on the already badly damaged ship.
Well that was it the Captain was dead and the crew had taken heavy casualties so the remaining officers called to raise the white flag, so for the Nashville this battle was over.
The Union ship then turned and raced off after the CSS Richmond hoping to use its heavy gun on the slow-moving ship.
The Union ships swarmed around the Richmond pounding it with their guns, only to see almost all of their shots bounce harmlessly off the ships heavy armour, they did their best to slow it down to give the fast-approaching ship with the heavy gun a chance to get to within firing range.
They did a great job of slowing the Richmond down, it had to keep turning to get past the Union ships.
Then came the shot from the Union heavy gun and success!! It smashed through an already weak spot in the Richmond’s armour and that was it, the valiant ship could take no more, the crew started to jump into the water to get clear of the fast sinking ship.
The surviving crew were picked up by the Union ships and amongst them was the VIP… 😭
Well a deserved victory for the Union ships.
At the end of the battle the Union had one ship sunk and the Confederates had one ship sunk and one ship surrendered, and two get off the table to safety, but the confederates lost battle because the VIP was captured.
That was really good fun, even though my dice rolling was bad as always, I rolled very low for most of the damage I did during the battle where my opponent rolled maximum for most of the damage he did 😢
And well my plan didn’t work, for a reason I am not 100% sure about I put the VIP on the CSS Richmond.
I think it was probably the best option to try and keep the VIP alive, it had the tough ironclad armour, it was low in the water so harder to hit, but, yep there is always a but, the thing that I really hadn’t thought about was the ship was slow.
When playing this scenario as I said at the beginning of this report you need fast ships to get off the table within the seven turns allowed, even with the fast ships that is still hard to do, but as this game had no end turn I took the ironclads and thought it would be best to put the VIP in the hardest ship that I had in the battle.
I should have kept with putting the VIP on one of the faster ships, if I had I would have won!!
Oh well next time maybe.