|The Rebs arrive.|
I am jumping the gun, the game is played on a hex grid and a mat which you can buy from PP, Simon and I were the Confederetes while Stuart and Paul were for the Union, the scenario had four CS transports and a depot which the Federal's had to destroy, these were on opposite sides of the river and fairly close to the Union starting edge. We had six ships each but after going through the set up phase we lost a ship but gained a fort, more on that later.
|The USS Signal braves the Confederate fire.|
|Too late the Reb reinforcements arrive, the Gaines is about to strike her colours.|
|The Gen. Beauregard saves face for the CS Navy.|
Stuart tried to make sense of the victory points and I think it looked like a close run thing, we had lost two ships, the Federals one, however two of their vessels were badly damaged and would not stand up to much more of a battering. We had lost two transports and two houses so I think everyone was happy to call it a draw.
As I said above I did not like the game, it was too abstract, the hex system gave some strange results with shooting arcs, looking at the table it was obvious a ships guns could hit their target, but when applying the hex ranges the cannonballs sailed past on either side, very strange. I was also unsure of how they treated some of the ships weapons, the Planter had one large gun at the bow, this was not allowed to fire to the sides, only straight ahead, now I am not an expert on ACW armaments but they did not bolt guns to the deck and stop them turning. One of the most awkward rules was that the fort guns to fire needed to roll a six, so they were virtually useless for the entire game, remaining mainly silent, thereby negating the whole point of a fort. There is a bit more paperwork involved with SOTW but if you want a wargame as opposed to a game I would have to give SOTW the edge.
There seems to be a lot of blurring around the edges these days between historical games and wargames, I know both are games but I like to think that some veer more towards realism than others, Johnny Reb for instance to me gives a good game, has an historical feel and from what I have read of the period gives an excellent historical result. Bolt Action which I am dipping my toe into is probably more a game, but I am happy with that. But for ACW naval I look for more wargame than game.