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Lee Drake's

15mm Ironclads Game

At Fusilier Muster - February 17, 2001

A view of Jackson Gamers at the start of the 15mm Ironclads game run by Lee Drake

Left to right: Tim Latham (CSA), Jay Ainsworth (USA), Fred Diamond (USA), Stephen Koop (USA), Robert Whitfield (USA). Not pictured: Simpson Whitfield (CSA), Jay Stribling (USA), Jim Pitts (CSA), and perhaps one more Confederate player who came in part-way through the game.

Lee Drake in fine form, running the game. Jim Pitts sitting on the left. Simpson Whitfield barely visible on right.

The object of the game was for the Federals to land infantry and sieze the large federal battery (and presumably destroy it!) in the midst of the "point" of land sticking out into the river. The object of the Confederates was to prevent this.

A federal "city-class" ironclad crosswise in the stream firing it's broadside straight into a Confederate timberclad.

At the start of the game, the Confederates had a floating battery, and three timberclads afloat and with steam up. At the docks, they had another steamer, a steam launch with a spar torpedo, and a new-fangled submersible torpedo boat.

The Yankee fleet consisted of two "City-class" ironclads which proved very formidable, two timberclads, two mortar scows, an unarmed transport steamer, and a river monitor.

Simpson Whitfield in the background. In the foreground a Confederate timberclad with tall stacks in difficulty. Note the fire on the foredeck.

The Southern navy struggled during the entire game, being overmatched by the Northern ships. The Yankees divided their fleet into an "upstream half" which would seek out and destroy the Southern ships, and a "downstream half" of the transport, the mortar scows and the river monitor for escort.

The Union transport steams hard for the riverbank, trying to get into position to off-load troops. A union river monitor gives fire support on the left. Confederate commanders peer from the background

This ship carried 8 regiments (!) of Federal infantry. Due to a slight mix-up by Union Naval officers Whitfield and Stribling, the transport was not in a position close enough to the bank to let the infantry off. The troops could have been dropped off in mid-river, but would have faced a 4-turn row to the bank. Then the landing boats would have had to row back 4 turns to pick up the rest of the troops, then row 4 more turns....

If naval officer Stribling ever has to do this again, he will start the transport closer to the bank, then RAM the transport ashore on turn one, close to the troops' objective. The infantry could disembark on turn two and go right at the battery with cold steel. As it was, all the troops were not ashore till turn 8 and two landing craft were sunk in shallow water by the Confederate batteries. Future amphibious landing officers - take note!

The Union transport heading for the bank in the center. Monitor is shown partly on the left. Union Flag officer Ainsworth leans over the table to aim a gun. Confederate ship captain Steve Webb is partially obscured by funnel smoke at the end of the table. Note discarded ration packages floating in the river, bearing a strange resemblance to Girl Scout cookie packages.

Boatloads of Union Infantry of the second wave began the short trip to shore. One of the boats was sunk delivering the first wave of Northern troops which can be seen on the bank to the left of the boats. The Southern batteries sank one of these boats on the short trip to shore, but most of the troops waded ashore in the shallow water.

The U.S. Infantry in line beganning to drive off the southern forces (mainly dismounted cavalry). Once substantial numbers of Yankees reached the shore, the issue was not in doubt!

Sountherners and Yankees alike scratch their heads! The smallest gamer shown, Stephen Koop, was not a Jackson Gamer, but was still a skillfull river captain.

An overall shot showing the ships in action and cookies being consumed. The battery that was the objective of the Yankee fleet and army is shown, a bit fuzzily, in the foreground.

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