Tonight, Spike and I played out the Naval Battle of Memphis, using Memoir of Battle at Sea, 1860-1870. The only "tweaking' to the rules was the addition of ratings for three groups of wooden rams.
US Ellet Rams: Move-2 hexes, Gun Range-1 hex, Floatation-6 points,Critical Point-2 points
CS Armed Rams Move-2hexes, Gun Range-2 hex, Floatation-6 Points, Critical point-2 points
CS Unarmed Rams-Move-3 hexes, gun Range-1 hex, floatation-4 points, Critical Point-1 point
The Us started with five City Class casement ironclads, also known as the "Pook turtles", as well as four lightly armed Ellet rams.
The Confederates face a hopeless task, defending the river with three armed, and four almost unarmed river rams. Their task is to make the passage of Memphis expensive for the Federals.
As dawn broke over Memphis, the Confederate ships steamed toward their destiny. The Federal Rams broke out in front of the "turtles".
The opening rounds of fire see damage done to both fleets' leftmost ship.
The rams begin to do horrific damage to each other. After ramming, the guns try to sweep the decks at close rang.
The smaller Confederate rams are destroyed early, but the Federal lose an Ellet, and have another damaged and limping to safety.The larger southern ships get in a last attack, and sink two more Ellets, before being sunk by the gunfire of the slow moving ironclads.
Another section of the great river is now unvexed...
Game Notes: Spike did much better than the REAL Confederate Navy River Defense Force. She sank three Ellets, and did serious damage to another. , for the loss of all ships. The actual battle saw one CS vessel get away (the Van Dorn), and no Union vessels sunk.( The ram Queen of the West was run aground).
The game played out in about fifteen minutes. Using two mats, 11x18 hexes, gave plenty of room to move your ships. The "edge" hexes were considered "shallow" and any ship entering would need to dice to avoid grounding.
The models are all paper, and available from the same site mentioned on my previous post, "Hampton Roads".
Some background reading: "The Civil War Military Machine", by Ian Drury and Tony Gibbons, and "Warships of the Civil War Navies", by Paul H. Silverstone.
The captains and crew of those river rams were heroic beyond reason. I salute them!
NEXT WEEK: "No Sailor, but a Fool": Some Thoughts on Ships against Forts