jdagger: (Default)
Tonight was a return to classic Iron Melee: hammering iron and clouds of coal smoke. We were told it was a War of Northern Aggression theme (sorry H, had to :P), so we were limited to 'period' ships. Initially we were two on two, with the South having the Nashville and my new Arkansas, and the North with Hotspur's baby the Elliot ram and a Pook turtle. The South managed to pull off a credible win, and we had some "SL related technical issues" before the next round started...

The fight of the night was the last one...a free for all with your intrepid reporter in her Arkansas casemate ram being chased by 3 monitor style ironclads (technically, one was a Monitor proper, with a Passaic and another one I'm not sure of). While it was ugly, and intense at times, and brutal, and busy...I managed to prevail (and by the skin of my teeth).

Thanks to everyone who came out, and to our hosts for continuing the tradition.
jdagger: (grr)
Last night's Iron Melee at Port Merrimac featured ship to shore action. While this was one of the most fun evenings we have had in a while (from my perspective, anyways) it was also one of the more challenging and frustrating ones as well. I had been asked to come up with a scenario for use with a shore battery, and the one we used was simple...Red had 2 mortars, and one ship, tasked with defending the port. Blue had the task of knocking out 1 gun and the ironclad.

The boxscore was simple, as Blue took a beating each time. I first fielded a Kotetsu, which gave me just enough elevation to hit the docks, but I found that one of my old favorite axioms from Murphy's Laws of Combat came into play..."if the enemy is in range, so are you". I scored a few hits on the guns, but even with my shoot and scoot strategy, I found myself bracketed by mortar fire tout suite. Our comrade from the Steubings found that their large impressive looking ships make large impressive targets. Commodore O'Toole and I tried several different strategic approaches, but the end result was close to the same. I found that I could get away from the harbor boat, and range the mortar pits, but managing a hit while under fire was daunting at best. I think the best we managed was 30% damage on any one of the guns. At any one point, Blue had 4 ships in the water, and I feel that maybe (and a qualified maybe at that) if we would have had 2 more ships we may have been able to land a few more hits. At one point I was able to get around to a position where the gunners were not focused on me, but the number of hits on the gundeck didn't slow them down enough to keep my bacon out of the fire for very long.

This would have been a perfect scenario for a St. Nazaire raid approach, with either a suicide bomb boat or some sort of landing force. The problem is going to be having enough ships to keep the gunners busy so someone can get a bead on them.

With all of that said, we had a good time, and much was learned for the next scenario. My thanks go out to the hosts, Commodore O'Toole, Lady Bellambi, and to the new faces who decided to crew the artillery.

This is Commodore O'Toole's take on the festivities

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Jedburgh Dagger

April 2014

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