This past Saturday, Gary decided to pull out his collection of ACW Ironclads and put on a game of BAPI. This would be a bit different compared to our last game, however. No forts were in sight, and the ships we were using were better suited to ramming than actual gunnery (apart from the Ironclads both sides had).
It was going to be a brawl, a knock down, drag out fight, and the winner would be the fleet with the last ship left floating.
The attacking Union fleet was made up of four ships: the USS Hammer and the USS Slammer (both Ram-class), the USS Rambait (a Schooner-class, and the only ship on the table without a bow ram), and the USS Outtaluck (a Keokuk-class Ironclad).
The Confederate fleet, moving out from their positions along coast, consisted of the CSS Butterbean (Cottonclad-class), the CSS Razorback (Arkansas-class), the CSS Bob, Jr. VIII (Casemate-class), and the CSS Quaker (Manassas-class).
The two fleet approached one another at speed, bow guns blazing away at range. Gary's Butterbean and Razorback led the charge, while Bob's Bob, Jr. and Quaker used their heavier guns at range. I controlled the Union fleet until Carl arrived a few turns in, taking control of the Hammer and Rambait.
As the fleets maneuvered closer, both sides began to slow to battle speed. The Hammer had Bob, Jr. in her sights, while the Slammer and Rambait turned to face the oncoming Butterbean and Razorback.
My plan to ram the Razorback from both sides failed utterly, however, as the Rebel ships got the initiative and scooted past the Union attackers. Like a vengeful schoolmarm, the Razorback let loose with her bow and starboard guns, walloping the Slammer and Rambait. Even worse, the Slammer and the Outtaluck were in danger of colliding with each other!
Luckily, the Slammer and the Outtaluck managed to slip past each other, and the Outtaluck steamed towards a new target - the Quaker!
Meanwhile the Razorback had gotten past the Rambait and opened up on the Hammer (the ship at the bottom of the picture), damaging the ship enough that she was forced to move at half speed.
With a ship-shattering impact, the Outtaluck rammed the Quaker, doing massive hull damage in the process. Unfortunately, Bob's crew quickly swarmed over my ship, killing the crew before I was able to button up below decks.
The Hammer was forced to watch as the Bob, Jr. slipped past, while the Razorback stalked forward.
In their own little fight, the Rambait and the Slammer tried to come to grips with the Butterbean, but the Confederate ship quickly moved away.
Hoping to do enough damage to the Bob, Jr. with my guns, I had the Outtaluck open her firing ports. The resulting crew damage from the boarders left my ship unmanned, and the Bob, Jr. pulled away - right into the ram of the Hammer, who sunk the Confederate ironclad.
Unfortunately, the Hammer then took enough damage from the Razorback and the Butterbean, and sunk, her wreck joining the Bob, Jr. in a watery grave.
The Confederates now had the advantage. The Quaker, having slipped through the melee, rammed the Slammer. Although she was heavily damaged, the massive crew of the Union shipped jumped aboard the Confederate ironclad and slaughtered her crew in a combat that echoed the death of the Outtaluck.
Unfortunately, the valiant Rambait exploded when a round from the Butterbean went into one of her munition caches and lit off the entirety of her ammo.
Seeing that the situation was dire - there was no way the heavily damaged Slammer was going to escape from both the Razorback and the Butterbean - I conceded the game to Gary and Bob. The Confederates had turned back the Union attack!
It was another enjoyable game, although the group did begin to realize that the ramming rules in BAPI were somewhat lacking in clarity. Gary has now begun an investigation into other potential rulesets that we can use for both his and Carl's collections.
Additionally, I showed my copy of Frostgrave to the group and it was generally well received, with one person going so far as to grab a bunch of Reaper Bones minis that very day.