|A view of the battle to come.|
|The Carnot River, the site for this year's game|
We split up sides for the game and reviewed of all the rules. Scott, Dale, Kevin, David S and George chose to be the Union Mississippi River Squadron, while Mark, Arthur, and Dave C. played the Confederate River Defense Squadron. Each side then took some time to review the situation and select the ships in their squadron. I had provided each side with a list of ships and points available to buy the ships.
The Union selected the casemate ironclads Tuscumbia and Essex, supported by the timberclad Tyler, Ellet ram Monarch, and tinclad gunboats Naumkeag and Rattler. The Union also had a pair of side-wheel transports and three barges carrying supplies and troops.
The Confederates selected the casemate ironclad Missouri for their ironclad, which would be supported by the side-wheel rams General Beauregard and General Bragg, along with the spar torpedo boats Hornet, Scorpion, and Squib. The Confederates also has an unarmed tug and a number of two or three-gun shore batteries.
With everything organized, we started the game with the Union Squadron moving from the Mississippi into the Carnot River.
|The operational map at the start of the game.|
|Commodore Smyth moves the Union Squadron.|
The next day the Union squadron continued up the river to the town of Hannahville. The Union commander decided to search the town and confiscate Confederate stores under the naval "Prize Laws." But the locals had hidden most of the stores before the squadron arrived. The search delayed the Union squadron's movement and the commander decided to anchor at the town for the night.
Meanwhile, the Confederate River Defense Squadron was not idle. The engineers working on the ironclad Missouri informed the Confederate commander that the ship should be ready to get underway in 3 days, assuming there were no setbacks. The other ships in the squadron moved to positions to delay the Union advance. The three spar torpedo boats joined together into one unit and moved to launch a night attack on the Union Squadron at Hannahville, leading to our first real battle of the game.
The Union forces were anchored in the river, with the two tinclads up the river, the transports near the Hannahville dock, and the remainder of the squadron slightly down river. All the ships had steam available, but couldn't start moving until a warning went out.
|Union ships waiting for the Rebs.|
|Union transports at Hannahville.|
|Essex, Tyler, and Tuscumbia at anchor.|
|Overall Union setup.|
|Everyone ready for the battle.|
|Dave C. getting Squib into action.|
|Arthur moves Scorpion past the tinclads.|
|George maneuvers his tinclads.|
|The Union players discuss tactics, or maybe movies.|
|Scorpion approaches Tyler.|
|Tyler loses a paddlewheel.|
|Scorpion's ship card, as it sinks.|
|Squib attacks Naumkeag.|
|Union transports with the burning Hannahville.|
|The Confederates discuss strategy after the battle.|
On day four, Union forces ran into and defeated another set of shore guns at Smyth's Ferry. Additionally, they captured the ferry boat pressing it into service to help tow the damaged Tyler.
|Essex and Tyler capture Smyth's Ferry.|
|Confederate ironclad on the move.|
On the Confederate side things were not much better. While the ironclad Missouri was on the move, it was plagued with engine troubles. Just as the ship would get up to speed and head down river, something would happen and the engines would need to be shut down. Luckily, the tug Mosher was with Missouri all the way to prevent her from running aground. But knowing the troubles the Union was having, the Confederates decided to keep towing Missouri down the river, hoping to fix her engine problems before a battle could occur.
During the night the Confederates launched another cavalry raid, hoping to catch the Union ships off-guard. But after a hard fought battle, the cavalry was driven off. Essex's engineer was able to get the engine operating again and the Union Squadron was ready to meet the Confederates.
The next day the Union Squadron set off again to find the ironclad, while the Confederates decided to push back up river to delay the battle. But the ironclad Missouri's engines continued to cause problems for Confederate planning. As night was falling, the Union squadron hunkered down for the night and the Confederates considered their options.
|The Confederates consider their options.|
|Confederate River Defense Squadron prepares for action.|
|Side-wheel ram General Bragg|
|Side-wheel ram General Beauregard|
|Spar torpedo boat Hornet|
|Ironclad Missouri under tow|
|Ellet ram Monarch|
|Initial setup for the battle from the Union side.|
|The setup from the Confederate view.|
|Here come the Rebels!|
|The two sides close in.|
|General Beauregard rams Rattler.|
|Beauregard pulls back from Rattler.|
|Tuscumbia appears at the center of the action.|
|Essex shows the other Union ships how to deal with a torpedo boat.|
|General Bragg rams the ferry.|
|Monarch and Tuscumbia approach Missouri.|
|Monarch rams Missouri.|
Being out numbered, out gunned, and with their ironclad sunk, General Bragg and General Beauregard decided to withdraw from battle.
|Final positions as the battle ends.|
The final result from the campaign rules stated "A Stirring Union Victory - gets a good write up in ACW history books, the campaign warrants a larger book and is regularly refought by ACW wargamers of the future."
Overall it was a fun game and a good day of battle. Thanks to everyone that participated.
|DANG 2011 participants: (L to R) Arthur, Kevin, Dave C. George, Mark, Scott, David S., Dale, and me.|