I had the privilege last Saturday night of playing a wargame in York, PA at the home of a friend, with a couple veteran Johnny Reb 3 gamers from nearby Adams County stopping by to partake of good fellowship, tasty pizza from one of York’s many small family-run pizza parlors, and a playtest of a naval wargame being presented at the upcoming Fall In! convention in Gettysburg in November.
We were playtesting a 1:600 Civil War riverine naval scenario using Bob Johnson‘s interesting and very easy-to-play rules set. The hypothetical scenario involved a small Rebel fleet trying to steam up the Mississippi to disrupt a Federal riverport and incoming barges of Union supplies. The Tyler and Cairo were among the defenders, with a number of Reb cottonclads protected by the Arkansas and Tennessee as the attackers.
The game was lively and fun, and we had a good time debating the merits of the scenario, which will be slightly modified for the convention to give it more balance. I had only played ACW naval games a few times in recent years, and my friends had seldom played as well. The GM, rules author Bob Johnson, will present the game on the Saturday of Fall In!
I think I’m hooked on ACW naval! Between Bob’s game and the upcoming publication of Chris Maes’ excellent, and detailed, Jack Tar (in the November issue of hard copy Charge!), perhaps it’s time to invest in some miniature ships for the long York County winter. I’d better leave my checkbook at home at Fall-In, or the ACW naval dealers might be going home with my money.
The photo, by the way, is from my old NE Ohio gaming buddy Doug Rogers’ collection. He has scatchbuilt a 15mm fleet for use with combined arms rules for Johnny Reb 3.
What’s your favorite ACW naval rules? Smoke on the Water? Tin, Stream, & Iron? Something else? Why? What miniature ships should I consider? Who’s the best manufacturer these days?