My last post was a getting ready to game story. Today 48 hours later a post about my first two pandemic game sessions. The world changes quickly, ya gotta keep up.
We’ve been scheming for a game at George Kettler’s excellent game space for a couple of weeks no. Yesterday I braved the road construction in Steilacoom to get to George’s house to game some Ironclads with he and Michael Koznarsky.
I cobbled together a scenario featuring a Confederate relief of Mobile using the usual suspects-large sidewheel ram Nashville, Fort Morgan survivor Morgan, and the poorly everything rams Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. Their mission was to come down the Blakely River, make a U-turn and get off the board heading to Mobile. They had some advantages in that they were mostly armored, and had decent armament. The downside is they were slow and not soooo well armored that well placed hits wouldn’t do damage. George and Michael took the Confederates, understanding the grotesque challenges facing them.
The Union interception force were the double-end gunboat Conemagh, the 2nd class sloop Osippee, and the captured Confederate ram Tennessee. The Tennessee is a monster, but a really slow monster. The two wooden ships were fast and reasonably well armed, but wooden ships nonetheless. I ran the Yankees.
The game began clearly in the Union favor as Morgan was pounded early and forced out away from the combat. But the little gunboat could reach out and touch the Union wooden ships with her Brooke rifles at long range, and did. I had a streak of early good die rolls that ripped into Nashville and damaged her steering that in the early stages kept her from fully participating too.
But whenever possible, the Confederates concentrated their fire on the Osippee and the big ship was reduced to ineffectiveness as it suffered repeated telling hits including losing the 11-inch pivot gun, and as it was forced to turn for home was sunk in a hail of 7″ shot. Conemagh, leading the Union ships was able to escape the worst of the damage, but it did not come through unscathed. It did send the Tuscaloosa to the bottom with a shot from its 100 pound rifle, opening a seam and flooding the bow compartments. Tennessee occupied the middle of the table and was simply a fortress, exploding at which ever ship ventured into it’s broadside angle.
It was a fun, well-played game that was a perfect way to get back to the game table. We agreed the Confederates were likely to get Huntsville and Nashville off the table, giving the Confederates an advantage in victory points.
George and I both had our ships in the game, the table looked great and it was fun. Michael was the charts-master and did a super job. We had a great time just shooting the breeze sharing dog-stories and baseball fan experiences, and George was a gracious host. We’ll do it again soon
I dashed home and began work on the ship cards I’d need for today’s adventure, a trip to Panzer Depot to try out David Manley’s Fire When Ready rules with our 1/1250 scale ships. We agreed it would be a test game, with the rules modified to work with our small ships-protected cruisers and gunboats.
The players were David Sullivan and Steve Poffenberger as the Germans running light cruisers Gazelle and Arcona and the gunboats Iltis and Luchs.
The two lines of ships snaked around each other, with one of the German gunboats taking an early smashing that disabled most of its guns. But the German light cruisers with its sizable broadsides of 4.1″ guns dealt out terrific damage to the the Atlanta and Detroit. They also were aided by the fact that David wasn’t missing his die rolls and I couldn’t hit to save my life.
Dave Schueler commanding, the gunboats Concord and Helena, took a course away from the American cruisers, both limited by critical propulsion damage, and ended up facing the German cruisers alone, and were both overwhelmed. Helena was sunk by a torpedo, while Concord was forced from the action by gunfire. I decided to withdraw the very beat up American cruisers and we called it good.
The game was very fun. Only Dave S. had played the rules before and they were enjoyable and pretty darned easy to run. We modified them a bit because the ships we were using were so small. It was a great game to break out our new ship acquisitions and try ’em out.
Most importantly, it was a great couple of days to get away, interact with friends and play games. Many thanks to George for sharing his photos with me. I stupidly forgot to take any on Saturday. Thanks to John Kennedy, the worthy proprietor of Panzer Depot for allowing us to play in his space. Hope all who read this are staying safe and looking forward to their own game days.