The Friday night game was full with six players, 2 US/Allies and 4 Iranian. The basic premise of the scenario was that western sanctions against Iran has caused the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy (IRGN) to declare that they are closing the Strait of Hormuz and only ships they escort are allowed through. Additionally, the IRGN had secretly mined the strait and a British merchant hit a mine, which caused a stoppage in traffic through the strait. The US Navy has decided to clear the mines and capture the ships that are laying the mines.
The IRGN was tasked with maintaining Iranian sovereignty in the strait and escorting ships that request an escort through the strait. The IRGN players selected two small boat groups (each with four Boghammer patrol boats armed with machine guns, RPGs, and recoilles rifles and a Zafar rocket boat with a salvo rocket launcher) to escort ships through the strait, one torpedo boat group (with four Tir class stealth torpedo boats), and one missile boat group (with three C-14 "China Cat" missile boats). Additionally, the IRGN players had to decide which mine markers on the board were real and which were dummies. The center of the board had mine markers placed about every 12 inches that stretched across the board. The IRGN could basically set up anywhere on the board, but there were some restrictions for the escort groups. The small boat groups were assigned to escort two ships through the strait; a fishing vessel that had requested escort and a merchant that was really an IRGN auxiliary that had been laying mines.
|One Boghammer group escorting the fishing vessel|
|The other Boghammer group escorting the merchant auxiliary|
|IRGN C-14 "China Cat" missile boats set up near the minefields|
When the LCS-1 moved into radar range, the IRGN players sent several Boghammers to investigate (and harass) the ship.
|LCS-1 with the MH-53 anti-mine helicopter and approaching Boghammers in the background|
|US Cyclone and Mk V boats with the CNN news boat nearby|
|Near collision in the strait|
|Oops! A Cyclone class boat runs into a mine|
Everybody seemed to have a good time and I distributed prize packs from Fight's On to the players (thanks to Rob at Fight's On for sending me the prizes).
The Saturday morning Action on Lake Ontario game didn't provide any order of battle options for the players, but the players did have several options in how the set up (which I hope made up for the lack of OOB options). There were 2 British and 4 American players for this game. In this scenario, the American Lake Ontario squadron has been pursuing the largest British ship on the lake, Royal George, for the past two days and is finally catching up with the ship as it is approaching the British harbor at Kingston.
The British players had 3 ships (Royal George - 20 guns, Prince Regent - 12 guns, and Earl of Moria - 14 guns) and 2 small shore batteries. The American squadron had 7 ships: Oneida - 18 guns, Hamilton - 11 guns, Gov Tompkins - 6 guns, Julia - 3 guns, Pert - 3 guns, Growler - 1 gun, and Conquest - 1 gun.
The British had the advantage of bigger ships, while the Americans had more ships and more long guns. Additionally, with only two players, the British had a little easier command and control challenge than the Americans. The American movement was a bit haphazard and there were a couple times I thought they were going to collide with each other.
|Royal George watches the American squadron approach|
|The American squadron faces the British reinforcements|
As the British reinforcements passed by (and before they could turn), the Americans made one last drive to catch Royal George. However, at a key moment the Americans lost movement initiative, which caused a minor collision between Oneida and Royal George. No damage was done in the collision, but the ships did foul each other. Initially, both sides were trying to clear the fouled lines, but then the British decided that this was a good opportunity to take out the largest American ship by grappling and boarding it.
|Oneida and Royal George grappled together|
With their largest ship captured, another sinking, and a third withdrawing due to a failed morale check, the Americans decided to break off the action giving the British control of the lake.
It seemed like everyone had a good time with the rules and we didn't run into any major issues. While the Sail & Steam Navies rules are really for later ships, I think the modifications made them work well for the smaller Age of Sail actions. I had to add rules for carronades, chain shot, make changes to the critical hits, and a few other items, but the movement rules were straight from the rulebook. You wouldn't want to play Trafalgar with these rules (in fact you probably wouldn't want to play games with ships that have more than 30-40 guns), but seem to work pretty well for the smaller action on the Great Lakes and Chesapeake during the War of 1812.
Overall, I had a good time with the Enfilade games and I hope that all the players enjoyed them too.