|A little something to get players thinking about the action|
|I too a pre-game photo of George's Housatonic, since I wasn't sure it would get into a battle|
The Union players had to pick an avenue of attack (Sullivan Island or Morris Island) and work to reduce the Confederate forts and batteries along that route so the Union Army could capture the island, while maintaining a tight blockade on the city. The Confederate players got to choose the ships for their fleet (based on available designs and limited resources) to support their fortifications and blockade runners.
Each campaign game turn represented action for a week, with the campaign lasting for a maximum of 8 weeks. During a campaign turn, each side assigned their ships to missions for the week. The missions included attacks on enemy ships, bombardment of the fortifications, escorting supplies or blockade runners, and blockade duty. After resolving the missions, a check was made to see how far the Union Army advanced during the week.
With the background and rules covered, both sides selected their ships for the campaign and the Union players decided to assault Sullivan Island (a departure from history). We started the first week with two potential battles – one over getting supplies through to Sullivan Island and the other in a blockade zone.
In the first battle, the Union sent a monitor and two 90-day gunboats to stop the Confederate resupply run. The Confederates got an early warning of the approaching ships and called out their ironclads to support the wooden cruiser that was covering the resupply. This was a night action, so visibility and firing ranges were short.
|Union monitor and two 90-day gunboats hunting for rebel supplies|
|Confederate cruiser escorting the supplies|
|CSS Palmetto State|
|Things don't look good for Chippewa|
|Chippewa on fire and running out of luck|
With the missions resolved, the results of the Union Army advance were Checked. Sullivan Island had seven batteries (four small and three medium size) and Fort Moultrie. The Union troops landed at the north end of the island and on the first week took two batteries.
|Battery Marshall and Battery A fall during the first week|
On the Union side, the initial plan seemed to be working – so they maintained their blockade and bombardment strategy. This set up the naval battle of Sullivan Island.
The Confederates sent their whole fleet out for the early morning attack – the ironclads Palmetto State, Chicora, and Milledgeville (a hypothetical ironclad design), the wooden cruisers Ajax, Tallahassee, the cottonclad sidewheeler Calhoun (based on the CSS Oregon), along with two Drewry type gunboats named Ashley and Cooper. On the Union side, the bombardment group was made up of the New Ironsides, the Passaic class monitors Passaic, Lehigh, and Catskill, and the sloop Housatonic.
|Union bombardment force arrayed for battle|
|Confederate gunboats and Palmetto State|
|The rest of the Confederate ships|
|Tallahassee taking early damage|
|Tallahassee on fire and screwed|
|Ajax under attack from the monitors|
|Housatonic takes some damage|
|Gunboat goes boom|
|Confederate ironclads move forward|
|Closing with the Union monitors|
|Cottonclad on fire|
|Ironclad close action|
|Steam line damage to Milledgeville|
|Chicora and Housatonic slide by each other|
|Chicora caught in the middle|
The Confederates did succeed in disrupting the Union fleet’s support of the land action for the week, but it was at the cost of most of the Charleston Fleet.
With our gaming time drawing to a close, we decided to roll off the rest of the Union Army advanced for the remaining weeks of the game. Both sides made die rolls to support their land forces (Confederate resupply and Union bombardment and Army assaults). At week 8, Fort Moultrie was the only Confederate fortification left on the island and the Union players rolled their final attack – but it failed (the Union side needed to roll an 84 or higher on a d100). The Confederates won the overall campaign, but their fleet and most of Sullivan Island were in ruins. If this was a historical situation, the Union probably would have stopped the attacks on Charleston and pursued attacks elsewhere along the east coast, leaving the city for Sherman to attack.
|The land map showing Fort Moultrie still in Confederate hands|
|DANG 2018 players|