The Union squadron had been the mission of raiding the Upper Red River and destroying at least one Confederate vessel or battery. Facing them were the Confederates consisting of the remains of the River Defense fleet.
CSS Indianola (captured earlier in the war)
Battery Savory...two guns - a medium rifle and a super heavy coastal Columbiad
Assisting their efforts were are minefield of torpedoes and some rocky obstructions about midway across the area of play.
The Confederates were tasked with defending the Upper Red River. All they had to do was not lose all their ships.
Designer's note: Okay, I looked at this and thought, "yeah, this is doable. Both sides have easy missions."
|Union players - Darryl, Lawson and Craig, not pictured Shawn|
The battle opens with a long range duel between the rifles of the Choctaw and Lafayette and Battery Savory. The Union immediately suffered a setback when one of the rifles on the Choctaw exploded. Parrott guns were known for their weakness and this guns proved no exception.
The Union chose to advance in line. USS Marmora displayed a little too much enthusiasm and charged forward ahead of the fleet.
|Marmora leads the way!|
Battery Savory first engaged the USS Choctaw, but then switched fire to the Marmora once it passed through the mines. In additon, the guns of the Indianola and Arkansas fired as well.
|Marmora suffers multiple hits and catches fire.|
The pummelling fire forced a morale check for the crew of Marmora. Lawson threw the dice and FAILURE! The crew has had enough and abandons ship. Worst, this allows the fire to grow unchecked.
Undeterred the Union continues to advance. Layfayette and Choctaw on the right, with Chillicothe and the Argosy on the left. The abandoned Marmosa slows to a halt...and the fire burns itself out. This leaves the uncrewed Marmora floating in the middle of the battle.
|CSS Missouri approaches slowly screened by Sumter. Chillicothe and Argosy in upper right corner. Missouri and Chillicothe by Thoroughbred Miniatures. Sumter, Argosy and Marmora by Bay Area Yards.|
|Lafayette and Choctaw maneuver through the minefield untouched. Choctaw by Thoroughbred Miniatures. Lafayette by Peter Pig.|
|Battery Savory scored a lucky hit on Choctaw's magaine resulting in a spectacular explosion that rained damage on Lafayette.|
Next came the 'ramming portion' of the show. Chillicothe collides with Indianola. Arkansas rams the Argosy. Missouri plows into the side of Arkansas. It's a wreck. Ships start to blaze away at point blank range. Argosy suffers heavy damage (from ramming and 11" shells) and fails it's morale check...the crew abandons ship.
|Inidianola rams the Chillicothe. Models by Thoroughbred Figures.|
|The train wreck of ramming....CSS Arkansas model in center and tinclads by Bay Area Yards. Others by Thoroughbred Figures.|
|USS Argosy (Bay Area Yards model) busrts into flame following heavy fire from Indianola, Arkansas and Missouri.|
|On the Union left, Chillicothe collides with Inidanola and attempts to board...and fails. Both models from Thoroughbred Figures.|
With Chillicothe's wheels shot away, her captain orders the ship scuttled and the crew over the side. His plan - to blow the magazine and take Inidianola out in the blast. This would fulfill the mission requirements....at steep cost.
|The Chillicothe bursts into a roaring fire. The countdown begins...can Inidianola get free in time.|
(Ray: This is where I start quoting Khan from Star Trek II. "No, you won't get away this time....From hell's heart I stab at thee....")
|Backing away from the blazing wrecks. Confederate victory is near...|
In the end, the the Lafayette survives...barely. She's been shot to pieces and more drifts downriver than steams away. The Union have lost two ironclads and two tinclads and the Confederates have not lost a single ship. The result of the game - a resounding Confederate victory. There will be hard questions asked in Washington as to what transpired in the murky depths of Louisiana and why the navy ascended the river in the first place.