Tuesday, June 11, 2013

ACW Naval Games


Shortly after participating in the 125th Anniversary reenactment of Gettysburg in 1988, I embarked on my study of the Brown Water Navy.   This was triggered by a correction of my attitude about Civil War naval history by my fellow reenactor and Civil War author Rob Girardi during our 12 hour overnight trip from Chicago to Gettysburg.  Or course, it is dangerous to have your attitude corrected to a positive one right before entering the bookstores of Gettysburg.   I now have a shelf of books on the Brown Water Navy and a collection of miniature ships - one for every vessel that served in the US Brown Water Navy and for every vessel that might have served in the CS navy on the rivers.

While interesting history, gaming the naval battles is less than fun for the CS side.  Excellent commanders, men and equipment along with overwhelming numbers make the Union Navy hard to beat in an historical game.  Rules are plentiful, complicated or easy, but as a Reb you still end up losing after an afternoon, even when you do take some of the damnyankees with you.   My naval forces have not seen the light of day for about 10 years.

Two new board games may help change this.  Rebel Raiders is a strategic level game, with very nice graphics.  It has a tactical resolution method, but you can also use the other new game, Iron and Oak, to resolve the tactical battles.  I look forward to giving these games a try.  I hope to use my ship models with Iron and Oak.


  1. Bill, there's a set of simple riverine warfare rules title River Wars by Bob Johnson and edited by Scott Mingus. You can buy the PDF at the Wargame Vault .

  2. Ivor, I do have those rules. We need to try them some time. -Bill