Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Enfilade 2013 Recap Part 2 - My Games

This year I ran two games for Enfilade, one on Saturday morning and the other on Saturday afternoon. The morning game was the 2nd Battle of St Leonard's Creek, using a modified version of Sail and Steam Navies, and the afternoon game was the Operation Tungsten raid to sink Tirpitz, using the Mustangs rules.

The 2nd Battle of St Leonard's Creek 
This game was for six players, 3 Royal Navy and 3 American Flotillamen and represented the breakout of Commodore Barney's gunboat flotilla in June 1814. The Royal Navy orders were to destroy the American gunboats if they tried to breakout; their force consisted of a 32-gun frigate (HMS Narcissus), a 18-gun brig (Jaseur), a 14-gun schooner (St. Lawrence), a set of barges armed with Congreve rockets, and a converged battalion of Royal Marines with ships' boats. The American were supposed to exit St Leonard's Creek and head north into the Pawtuxent River; their force consisted of 15 gunboats (6 with 2 guns and the others with 1 gun), along with a land-based naval battery (with two guns) and two American Army Regiments.

The Royal Navy had their ships anchored and were able to shift the initial position slightly before the start of the game. The rocket barges and ships' boats were placed adjacent to the anchored ships. After the Royal Navy was set up, the Americans placed their naval guns on the hills and set up their gunboats (they could have chosen to delay entry for all or some of the gunboats, but they decided to come in all at once). There was no wind at the start of the game, so the anchored ships would only be able to move by using their anchor points.
Royal Navy setup (You can just make out the American naval battery in the upper right)
American Gunboats ready for action
The Americans start out moving straight toward the Royal Navy ships and both sides opened fire. Initially, the only guns that were having luck hitting were from the naval battery, which hit St. Lawrence (the ship closest to shore) several times.

The rocket barges launched several volleys at the American naval battery, temporarily forcing the crew of one gun to run away, and at the approaching gun boats, but did not cause any major damage.
Congreve rockets fly past the American gunboats as they approach the anchored Royal Navy ships
The Royal Navy also decided that the Marines in the ships' boats would be best used to try and catch and capture the American gunboats (rather than sending them ashore to attack the American Army and naval battery). This created an interesting situation with each side's smaller ships trying to close with the enemy's bigger ships.

As the gunboats approached, the St. Lawrence's Captain chose to cut his anchor cables and try to drift downriver to avoid the American guns. But the American gunboats were able to catch the drifting schooner and tried to grapple with and board the drifting ship.
The Americans try to board St. Lawrence
As the range closed, long gun and carronade fire began to hit. The Narcissus and Jaseur took some light damage, but their guns were starting to heavily damage and sink the American gunboats. The Americans were always planning on making a run for it, but they were hoping to inflict some heavy damage on the Royal Navy before being forced to break off. But with several gunboats sunk or sinking, they decided it was time to head north.
The Americans start heading up the river
The battle for the schooner St. Lawrence went back and forth. The Americans struggled to get all their gunboats into the boarding action, while a timely reinforcement by a group of Royal Marines helped hold off the Americans.

As time for the game period was running out, we decided to wrap up the game. It looked like the Americans would be able to get five to eight gunboats off the board (depending on how luck the Royal Navy with long range cannon fire), while for the Royal Navy the schooner had heavy damage, the frigate and brig had light damage and they lost a few groups of ships' boats and Marines. All things considered, we decided to give the Royal Navy a marginal victory.

The game went pretty well (although it seemed to take longer than I expected). If I ever run this again, I will probably change the Royal Navy setup to allow them more freedom with their initial positioning.

Hunting the Beast (Operation Tungsten) 
After finishing up the morning game, I quickly shifted the table around for the Tirpitz game. For this game we had eight players, 2 German and 6 Fleet Air Arm (FAA). Kevin and I handed out the briefing for each side and started talking about their choices for the game.

The Germans planned to have two FW-190s and two Me-109Gs over the Tirpitz anchorage. They also selected to add a destroyer to help with flak and to let their light flak fire at long range (they could have chosen to rein in the light flak by limiting the range it would fire at).

The FAA selected to launch a morning raid and for their raid they chose 6 Barracuda bombers, three Corsair fighters, two Hellcat fighters, and one Firefly for flak suppression (the FAA was limited to 12 aircraft). Once the forces were selected everyone setup and the FAA players made their navigation roll, which they passed without any problems.
The FAA raid enters the board with the German fighters in the center of the board
The FAA chose to take the short route to the battleship, which forced them to bunch up their bombers a bit. The Luftwaffe initially was at high altitude near the battleship and the FW-190s had to make a hard turn to get into action. The Me-109s got off a couple shots at the high-level escorting Corsairs, but only did minor damage to one.
FAA closes with the battleship
The FW-190s ended up tangling with the Hellcats, with each side losing one plane. The remaining FW-190 continued to turn to go after the bombers, while a Corsair tried to get behind the German fighter. The FW-190 did get off a long-range shot at a Barracuda, it only caused minor damage. The Corsair finally caught the FW-190 and bad rolls by the German player would cause the fighter to go down in flames.

The Germans started aiming their heavy flak, while the FAA Firefly moved to suppress some of the flak. However the most effective flak suppression turned out to come from the German players, as they couldn't roll high enough to do any real damage to the FAA planes.
Barracudas moving through heavy flak
The FAA bombers were able to move into attack position ...
Bombers over the target
and make their attack with devastating results.
Tirpitz goes boom
The FAA came away with three critical hits and three other hits, which was more than enough to put the Tirpitz on the bottom of the fjord for an decisive FAA win. This game moved very quickly and everyone seemed to enjoy it. After the game I handed out some prizes, provided by Fights On. Thanks to the crew from Fight's On for supporting my game and providing the flak emplacements and prizes.

I think both games went pretty well. The Tungsten game had more spectators and you should be able to see some photos from the game elsewhere.


  1. Very nice looking wargames, would have love to have played them :)

  2. I think there were several camera-wielding gamers, including me, snapping pictures of the Tirpitz's final moments!