Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Go With the Flow - Beer and Pretzels Ironclads AAR

Having an interest in both ACW and naval warfare, I was definitely interested when Gary (one of the guys who frequents 7th Dimension Games) announced he would be running a game of Beer and Pretzels Ironclads. He and a few of the other guys were kind enough to provide the terrain, models, markers, game aids, and terrain, so a big thanks to them. 

The scenario was that a group of Union ironclads had to make their way downriver to try and meet up with a Union army. The Confederates (myself included) commanded two forts (Ridge and Thumb) and 4 Ironclads of their own in an attempt to keep the Union ships from passing.

The Table. Fort Ridge is the farther fort near the window, and Fort Thumb is on the peninsula.

The Union ships entered the table from the edge closest to Fort Ridge all at once, and opened fire on the Confederate ship that had been docked across the river.

Before the Confederate ship could move, she was given a merciless beating.

And as it turns out, wooden ships burn!

With the fire quickly contained, the Rebel ship made a run for freedom under covering fire from the fort. Complicating matters, however, was the damage the ship had taken to its rudder.

Other Confederate ironclads moved upstream to challenge their Union counterparts. 

But trying to get those slow ships moving against the current took too much time, and the wooden ship was sunk. 

Despite the long range, the Confederate ironclads opened fire.

"Look, either he's getting rammed, or I am. Let's hope you go first."

Guns blazed in every direction as my ship (the Arkansas, the one being t-boned at the top right) was rammed.

But with grapeshot and bayonets, I managed to capture the damnyankee ship. Which I was then stuck to for the next few turns.

With Fort Ridge out of range, the guns of Fort Thumb began to open on the escaping Union ships. The Arkansas was still stuck, and was mauled by the passing enemy force.

But she wasn't out of the fight just yet, even as another Confederate ship was sunk.

The Manassas and the Arkansas managed to corner the Union flagship while the rest of the flotilla escaped.

And the Union flagship went down - but it took the Arkansas with it!

So the Union players managed to get 4 ships downriver, while managing to destroy 3 Confederate ships and taking out the better part of Fort Ridge. Gary had mentioned that he had been worried that the forts would be too powerful (Ridge had done a number on the Union force in the beginning of the game) but the range and firing angles of the emplaced guns made it so that a ship was never in danger from them for too long.

It was a fun game and very rules light. I'd also imagine that the game will speed up - it took us three hours to finish - once we start playing more. If everything goes according to plan, BAPI games should happen once a month. I'm looking forward to my next game!

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