Ironclad Action: Get the Lousiana! at Cold Wars 2010

I always liked the Yaquinto game line, back in the day, and one of my favorite games was Ironclads, back then.  Yaquinto’s IRONCLADS and IRONCLADS EXPANSION were the definitive word on a boardgame simulation of Ironclad combat during the American Civil War and afterwards.  The level of detail came at the cost of complexity.  There was a lot steps that a player had to go through to hit a target, penetrate the armor, cause damage to the enemy ironclad, etc. etc. etc.  So I didn’t play it very much, but I did like it. 

IRONCLADS from Yaquinto also makes a great miniature game for the detail oriented.  I attended a great Ironclads event at the recent COLD WARS convention Friday Night, called SINK THE CSS LOUISIANA.  This was tremendous fun, although I’m finding Ironclads a bit tedious for a modern convention game.  Too many steps! 

The situation was as observed in the map below: 

Tactical Situation
Start of Game

 The US fleet approached from around the bend, under the fire of the Shore Battery at position B, causing a lot of damage.  I was assigned the USS Indianola, which was promptly shot and sank while passing under the Confederate gun battery at point B.  Sigh.  We sang taps for the crew and I was given the USS Choctaw as a replacement, and she proved sturdier.  The CSS Lousiana started moored at the pier at point D.  Because she had serious engine problems, she could only move in reverse.   There was also an armed sidewheeler at point C and also point E on the map above– with some serious high caliber guns.

The survivors rounded the bend easily enough, with the one casualty being my ship (damned tinclad, anyway!).  As we chugged North we were once again under the fire of a shore battery at position C.  We moved to the far right hand side of the river to avoid becoming  a target for that battery.  Most of our ships ran the gauntlet and attacked the CSS Lousiana.  Too many, in fact– we kept almost bumping into each other wjo;ed trying to range in on the enemy ships. In the USS Choctaw, I lost several opportunities to zero in on the CSS Louisiana, and only hit her about seven times.   Many of us, including the Choctaw, managed to fire on the sidewheelers and they were sunk promptly.

In the end, it was a grudging draw at best. The Louisiana lived at game end, but was shot up. In contrast the US Navy had lost a ship and was badly damaged in places. If the game had gone longer, we WOULD have sunk it. But we didn’t do it on time, so there you go. 

Slideshow, of course: 

I always enjoy a grand Ironclad game, even if the actual number of ironclad engagements were miniscule. I think there’s a better way of running the simulation than the old Yaquinto rules. One can hope! In any event, I had a great time at the game and I’d like to thank the GM for making a space for me. 

Choctaw fixes Lousiana in her guns
The Choctaw sights in on the Lousiana. Blessedly, the Benton is not blocking LoS at the moment.

 Facebook Users: you can view a slideshow on FLICKR via this link 

Related: Yaquinto Ironclads on Boardgamegeek 

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  1. Dang Walt, I started playing Ironclads when I was 10, and it was my first convention game in Dallas, which got me invited to the factory by the designer (I have an autographed copy of the rules) which led me to playing miniature games with the playtesters, which got me playing all the other games. In Atlanta I started using the Thoroughbred 1/600 ships and got a good group going at the local hobby store there. I’ve had John playing too. We break it out every once in a while. Still great fun.

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