Saturday 29 October 2022

Dawn of Iron Battle of Chipana Playtest










I played a solo War of the Pacific scenario with Dawn of Iron today, the first game using this set of rules and a steep but relatively smooth learning curve as a result. This was a scenario for the Battle of Chipana, with the Chilean gunboat Magallanes being chase by the Peruvian sloop La Union and gunboat Pilcomayo, the former controlled by the scenario system and the latter by me. I was a bit confused by the order token system to start with, there being no 'bog standard' steam forwards order to use, but as all the ships were at flank speed that didn't seem to matter. I also forgot to apply the scenario-specific 'Execrable Shooting' rules for the Peruvians, which may well have made a difference. 

The game went well otherwise, with the Magallanes inflicting some early critical damage on La Union, but in the end being pummelled with critical and cumulative damage by both of the pursuing Peruvian warships, the most significant effect being a reduction in her speed. Nonetheless, she managed to get off the end of the table and, when the Stern Chase entry turn delay factors were calculated, she managed to make a clean getaway. On points, however, it was a Peruvian victory due to the serious damage inflicted on the Chilean gunboat, which would have been a significant factor in her continued operation if this was a campaign game. 

Overall, I enjoyed the game and quite like the rules, despite the plethora of tokens, cards and other paraphernalia that are involved. I'm still a bit unsure about the order tokens and how to represent normal movement, but other than that, it seems like a fairly straightforward system that plays smoothly and is very deadly. I used the standard measurements for movement and gunnery, despite playing with 1/2400th scale models and that seemed to work quite well. It's a set of rules that you'll either really like or be indifferent about, but I'll need to play some more games to decide which side of the fence I'm sitting on. It certainly looks really good and if you like the cards, tokens and ship cards, which are all very nicely presented, it's probably a winner. Good fun!

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