The 2nd Battle of St Leonard's Creek
This game was for six players, 3 Royal Navy and 3 American Flotillamen and represented the breakout of Commodore Barney's gunboat flotilla in June 1814. The Royal Navy orders were to destroy the American gunboats if they tried to breakout; their force consisted of a 32-gun frigate (HMS Narcissus), a 18-gun brig (Jaseur), a 14-gun schooner (St. Lawrence), a set of barges armed with Congreve rockets, and a converged battalion of Royal Marines with ships' boats. The American were supposed to exit St Leonard's Creek and head north into the Pawtuxent River; their force consisted of 15 gunboats (6 with 2 guns and the others with 1 gun), along with a land-based naval battery (with two guns) and two American Army Regiments.
The Royal Navy had their ships anchored and were able to shift the initial position slightly before the start of the game. The rocket barges and ships' boats were placed adjacent to the anchored ships. After the Royal Navy was set up, the Americans placed their naval guns on the hills and set up their gunboats (they could have chosen to delay entry for all or some of the gunboats, but they decided to come in all at once). There was no wind at the start of the game, so the anchored ships would only be able to move by using their anchor points.
|Royal Navy setup (You can just make out the American naval battery in the upper right)|
|American Gunboats ready for action|
The rocket barges launched several volleys at the American naval battery, temporarily forcing the crew of one gun to run away, and at the approaching gun boats, but did not cause any major damage.
|Congreve rockets fly past the American gunboats as they approach the anchored Royal Navy ships|
As the gunboats approached, the St. Lawrence's Captain chose to cut his anchor cables and try to drift downriver to avoid the American guns. But the American gunboats were able to catch the drifting schooner and tried to grapple with and board the drifting ship.
|The Americans try to board St. Lawrence|
|The Americans start heading up the river|
As time for the game period was running out, we decided to wrap up the game. It looked like the Americans would be able to get five to eight gunboats off the board (depending on how luck the Royal Navy with long range cannon fire), while for the Royal Navy the schooner had heavy damage, the frigate and brig had light damage and they lost a few groups of ships' boats and Marines. All things considered, we decided to give the Royal Navy a marginal victory.
The game went pretty well (although it seemed to take longer than I expected). If I ever run this again, I will probably change the Royal Navy setup to allow them more freedom with their initial positioning.
Hunting the Beast (Operation Tungsten)
After finishing up the morning game, I quickly shifted the table around for the Tirpitz game. For this game we had eight players, 2 German and 6 Fleet Air Arm (FAA). Kevin and I handed out the briefing for each side and started talking about their choices for the game.
The Germans planned to have two FW-190s and two Me-109Gs over the Tirpitz anchorage. They also selected to add a destroyer to help with flak and to let their light flak fire at long range (they could have chosen to rein in the light flak by limiting the range it would fire at).
The FAA selected to launch a morning raid and for their raid they chose 6 Barracuda bombers, three Corsair fighters, two Hellcat fighters, and one Firefly for flak suppression (the FAA was limited to 12 aircraft). Once the forces were selected everyone setup and the FAA players made their navigation roll, which they passed without any problems.
|The FAA raid enters the board with the German fighters in the center of the board|
|FAA closes with the battleship|
The Germans started aiming their heavy flak, while the FAA Firefly moved to suppress some of the flak. However the most effective flak suppression turned out to come from the German players, as they couldn't roll high enough to do any real damage to the FAA planes.
|Barracudas moving through heavy flak|
|Bombers over the target|
|Tirpitz goes boom|
I think both games went pretty well. The Tungsten game had more spectators and you should be able to see some photos from the game elsewhere.