Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Battle of Chipana Blow by Blow

Here's the slightly delayed report for the Battle of Chipana (I blame the dodgy telegraph line from Chipana to Lima myself)

Turn 1

The Magallanes entered on the turn of the second card and proceeded to steam at full speed northwards, while the Union and Pilcomayo frantically weighed anchor. The Union fired a long range shot from her 100 pdr medium rifle but failed to cause any more than harassing fire, which is not surprising given the range and the speed of the target.

Turn 2

The Union and Pilcomayo had now slipped anchor and turned to starboard, heading west toward the Magallanes which continued to steam ahead, firing her 7'' medium rifle at the Union as she ploughed along. This caused harassing fire but little else, so the Union and Pilcomayo continued on course directly toward their target. 

The Union now fired her medium rifle to port at a range of 11'' and scored a hit, inflicting heavy damage and a severed steam line. This was a disaster for the Magallanes, as she was now immobilised and so a sitting duck for the rapidly approaching Peruvian ships, both of which were now closing fast with the Pilcomayo now opening fire with her forward light rifle, luckily to no effect.

Turn 3

The crew of the crippled Magallanes were determined to put up a fight, so fired the medium rifle at the Union again, although this only resulting in harassing fire and failed to stop her advance. The Union and Pilcomayo were now getting very close, with the Union pulling ahead due to her superior speed to cut off the Magallanes, while the Pilcomayo steamed forward in a pincer movement. The Union was temporarily unable to bring her guns to bear but the Pilcomayo fired her forward 70 pdr rifle at 4'' close range, only to miss by a narrow margin.

Turn 4

The writing was on the cards for the Magallanes as the Union positioned herself to fire her medium rifle at the stationary gunboat. This time the result was a direct hit, causing severe damage but not enough to sink the plucky Chilean ship. The Magallanes now fired her medium rifle to starboard at the Pilcomayo at 3'' range, causing light damage and temporarily jamming her steering. 

The Union now turned toward the Magallanes and fired her port 40 pdr smoothbores for good measure but to no effect. The Pilcomayo added her port light smoothbore to the cannonade, this time inflicting heavy damage to the hull, reducing the Magallanes defence value to 2. In reply, the Magallanes fired her starboard medium smoothbore at the Pilcomayo but fluffed it and only caused harassing fire.

Turn 5

The Union now decided to ram the Magallanes amidships in an attempt to board and capture her. Unfortunately, due to the shallow angle of the impact and despite the target being stationary, the Union glanced off and failed to grapple, leaving the Pilcomayo to finish the job. The Peruvian gunboat fired her port 40 pdr smoothbores in raking broadside into the crippled Chilean warship, with the shells shattering her hull and causing the crew to abandon ship as the Magallanes slipped beneath the waves.

A re-play is definitely on the cards!

Monday, 18 October 2021

War of the Pacific Coastal Terrain Repaint

The terrain modules as they are now....

...and as they will look after a repaint (I hope)

I'm thinking of repainting my existing coast terrain modules for the War of the Pacific naval games I've been playing and for a potential mini-campaign. I originally painted them with a green vegetation effect on the top but have now decided to make some new terrain modules for temperate areas, so can revert the old ones to a desert finish. This will mean a basecoat and successive layers of paint to match the finish on the cliffs and cover up the offending green bits, so nothing too complicated. I am also going to make a few more sections using the left over bits of high density foam that I've saved, including a port or coastal town, for example, so that I can run some blockade scenarios, shore bombardments and amphibious landing games.

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Battle of Chipana Photo Report

I played the Battle of Chipana scenario with Dahlgren and Columbiad this evening, having had to squeeze it into a twilight hour due to a having other things in the way during the day. It was a very enjoyable game and ticked along quite smoothly, although I did have to do some head scratching again when it came to ramming. The end result was a decisive victory for the Peruvians, who managed to immobilise the Magallanes early in the game then hammered her to match wood in a well co-ordinated pincer movement. 

I experimented with centimetres for movement, as I was using 1/2400th scale models, but keeping inches for gunfire and I think it worked very well. I'm going to follow this approach for future games as it did 'feel right' in terms of visual effect and produced a realistic outcome judging by the end results. I'll do a proper after action report tomorrow if I can but here are some photos of the skirmish in the meantime. 

(once again, apologies for the poor photos as I am still stuck with a phone rather than a proper camera)

Name that Ship Sorted

This book and the similar one on French warships has been invaluable for identifying the names of the ships of the line that I'm painting up. The entries for each ship include key dates and a potted history of service, which is very useful when deciding on a timeframe for the squadron I'm assembling. It's given me some choices too, either to go for c1795 or for c1800, as there were several name changes at various points along the way as well as losses in action or due to capture, especially for the French ones!

Saturday, 16 October 2021

The Battle of Arica - A scenario for Dahlgren and Columbiad

Today didn't go according to plan at all, for various reasons, but I did get the Battle of Arica scenario typed up for Dahlgren and Columbiad instead. This is a simple duel between the Chilean ironclad Huascar and the defending Peruvian flotilla of the monitor Manco Capac and spar torpedo boat Alianza. The Peruvians also have shore batteries to provide some additional firepower, which in the real events proved to be very effective, scoring an early hit on the Huascar which caused considerable damage. 

This was followed up by a direct hit from the Manco Capac on the conning tower which killed Commander Thompson and caused the foremast to be shot away, jamming the turret as it fell. The Huascar then beat a hasty retreat, handing a decisive victory to the Peruvian defenders. In the scenario, the Huascar must inflict severe damage on the Manco Capac to win, while the Peruvians must inflict severe damage on the Huascar to force her to retreat. 

Friday, 15 October 2021

A Chile Weekend?

Armstrong 115pdr 7'' MLR of the Chilean gunboat Magallanes

The plan for the weekend is to play out the Battle of Chipana scenario I wrote for Dahlgren and Columbiad a couple of weeks ago, with the Chilean and Peruvian warships from my 1/2400th scale collection. This should be a relatively quick scenario to run through, so I'm hoping to get a game and a replay in to the schedule, alongside some more painting for the Napoleonic French fleet. I may even squeeze in game of Corsairs and Cavaliers or MiG Alley, if I can find the time?

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Blocking In

I've started the production line painting process with some base blocking in, using my usual Vallejo Dark Sea Blue. This isn't the eventual shade that the sea will be painted but it is a very good, neutral base colour and has the additional advantage of making the hulls easier to work on. I'm now going to block in the sails and masts, so that they start looking a bit more like ships and less like licorice allsorts. In a change from the usual, I'm also going to be using mostly Foundry colours rather than Army Painter or Vallejo. 

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Scilly Season

I was really excited to read about this soon to be published set of scenarios from Barry Hilton for the Mad for War Naval rules, as it is exactly what I am planning to do as a new project in 2022. This set of scenarios focuses on the Royalist privateers of the late 1640's and early 1650's, with the Isles of Scilly as a setting for at least one of them. Apparently, Barry is making some bespoke terrain for this too, which I expect will be absolutely cracking!

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Name That Ship

I've been researching suitable identities for the 1/2400th scale French Ships of the Line, with a time frame of c1800, and have selected the following.

First Rates - Ocean (118)

Third Rates - Neptune, Indomptable, Formidable, Bucentare (80)

Third Rates - Achille, Scipion, Desaix, Pluton, Intrepide, Aigle (74)

Sixth Rate - Themis (40)

Most of these were present at Calder's Action or Trafalgar, so there's plenty of scope for some fleet actions. It's a good selection and I can build on it later with some additional models if needs be.

Monday, 11 October 2021

Napoleonic French Squadron

I reorganised and undercoated the 1/2400th scale ships of the line for my Napoleonic naval project yesterday, so they are now ready for painting to begin. As you can see, I finalised the squadron with one 118 gun first rate, four 80 gun third rates, six 74 gun third rates, a 40 gun frigate and a little chasse maree for dispatches. I'll start painting this lot during the week.


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