GAJO Games

GAJO Happenings and Ramblings Blog

2012 - Number 46


The Union Advance Begins

Smoke on the Water:
Battle of Mobile Bay, 1864

A number of the shop regulars enjoy naval gaming (distinct from, but not exclusive of navel-gazing...), and Lyn recently volunteered to run an ACW game, based on Admiral Farragut's storming of Mobile bay in 1864.

Lyn used Thoroughbred Miniatures 1/600 scale ships, lovingly painted, and had collected a good representative force for both sides. The only thing missing, and needed, was the pivotal Fort Morgan, under whose guns the Union force stormed into the bay.

Close Up of the Fort Model

Cottonclads Attempt to Ram

After much searching he found a diagram of Fort Morgan, using Google Earth to size it correctly, and proceeded to scratch build a scale replica for the game. As you'll see from the photos, it looked amazing.

For rules he decided on an older set, Smoke on the Water, which are no longer published but available as a free download on the internet. They seemed to give a very interesting game, and the players were happy with the way they played in our action.

The Fort is Passed

The Union Forces Enter the Bay

The game itself saw 4 Union commanders pushing into the bay. As was historical, the Union forces used their ironclad monitors to shield their wooden ships as they pushed into the bay. Forced to use a marked channel due to pilings and mines (called "torpedoes" at the time), the Union force engaged in a gunnery duel with the fort as they approached.

The Confederate naval force then moved to support the fort. It was based around the Ironclad CSS Tennessee, supported by several smaller, non-ironclad vessels.

Heavy Fire from Fort Morgan

A Pair of Slallow Draft Monitors Pass the Pilings

The gunnery got heavy, and the Union fleet had some maneuver problemms and several ships briefly fouled in the congestion. But they kept up their fire.

The climax came as the Tennessee intervened, dishing out heavy damage to the Union forces. She was, however, met with a hail of shots, and one managed to penetrate her thick hide and impact in her magazine, reducing her to an artifical reef in no time.

Cottonclad Gets Underway

A Monitor Takes Several Hits

With the catastrophic loss of the Tennessee, the Confederate force could see the end. The fort was being gradually worn down, and they were unable to prevent the Union forces passing the Fort and entering the bay, ending the usefulness of one of the last open Confederate ports.

It was a spectacular looking game, and the players seemed to really enjoy the action and mayhem. The rules and scenario worked well, and the action really felt like a desperate ACW naval action.

Union Ships Working in Pairs

The Tenessee is Hit!

Thanks to Lynn for organizing such an impressive and fun game!

CSS Tennessee Underway

Union Ships Run Past the Fort

Fort Morgan Under Fire

Confederate Cottonclads

Back to GAJO Games Blog 2012 Index                          Back to GAJO Main Page

Copyright © 2012 GAJO Enterprises