Sunday, 27 July 2014

Hammerin' Iron

This week saw a rare outing for my ACW Ironclads and the Peter Pig Hammerin' Iron rules.

My ships are 1:1200 models that I picked up from Ebay years ago... Peter Pig do a lovely range of ships in 1:600 and I did buy a few of these last year, thinking to upscale my collection.  I've put them somewhere safe... unfortunately I've no idea where!  One day I'll stumble across them and it'll be a pleasant surprise I'm sure...

As with most PP games there is a pre-game sequence which determines who is attacks and who defends.  The attacker gets all his ships they arrive in a staggered manner over several turns.  The defender has even fewer out of his starting 6 ships and they are even later in arriving, but does get a fort.

The attacker's objectives are to defeat the enemy ships [obviously] but also to attack some transport ships and some riverside warehouses.

Finally, having worked out who is attacking and defending and set up the shoreline depots, islands and sandbanks, the players spend points on 'assets'.  These range from fire rafts.torpedoes and submarines to improving a ships gunnery, causing something 'bad' to happen to an enemy ship and causing night to fall.

The central island with the markers showing a line of mines.
I was the attacking Union player with Mike's Confederate fleet defending, or at least they would have been in most of them had bothered to arrive!  For half the game he only had 2 ships actually on table with a 3rd arriving later on.

He managed to release the first of his fire rafts directly into the path of one of my ships early on and continued to hound it throughout the game with his late arriving ship finishing it off by ramming. Unfortunately the turn after his successful ram he rolled a double 6 for a critical hit and his ship exploded!  On the other riverbank 2 of the Union ships ran past the guns of the fort which proved less than effective, causing hardly any damage.

The Confederate fire rafts drift downstream...
A union ship on fire...luckily it went out quickly
Like many PP games there is also a 'clock' counting down to the end of the game and shortly after the exploding Ironclad incident the clock struck 8 and the game ended.  The result was 2 Confederate ships lost to 1 Union but the transports had been wiped out and the warehouses pretty battered giving a major Union victory.

The Union ships head for the defenceless transports
These have been the best Ironclad rules I've come across so far.  There are several good sets out there but they can often descend into rolling dice for hitting, penetrating armour, causing damage etc and if the ships are too well armoured it can prove hard to actually cause any damage at all...probably quite realistic but it doesn't make for an exciting game!


  1. Good to see them get an outing. Hurrah for the union.

    1. Cheers Conrad... I seem to have lots of games that get an occasional outing rather than 1 or 2 that I play a lot... eclectic I think [or scatter-brained!]

  2. I'm glad it's not just me who loses stuff!

    1. One day they'll turn up and it'll be a pleasant surprise [hopefully!]