Sink the Arkansas!

When this year’s call for proposals for VIVAT, a local wargames show, came, I decided to submit a participation game. I want to have something small and simple that people can play in an hour or so in between the big games. Ganesha Games mechanics work perfectly for this and I wanted to work a bit on the ACW conversion of Galleys & Galleons anyway, so I decided to stage a small scenario. The historical action between CSS Arkansas and the Union river squadron is an exciting story and especially the first act of the drama, the fight between Arkansas and USS Tyler, USS Carondelet and USS Queen of the West lends itself well to a game.

USS Tyler

However, for a participation game, my 1/2400 ships are definitely too small. So I finally got an excuse to get some of the nice Peter Pig ships I’ve admired at CRISIS! Unfortunately, Peter Pig don’t do Queen of the West, so I just ordered the other three for a starter.

I have to say that those are splendid models. The resin casting is crisp and clear and there are lots of details. I plan on spicing them up by mounting signal masts and lifeboats. I’ve also bought a nice blueish cloth for the river – I know that rivers are not blue, but I still think this looks best from a game perspective, as it’s the traditional convention of depicting a river. For the riverbanks, I’ll use the terrain I made for my 1/2400 project.

CSS Arkansas

I will also have to do some playtesting to balance the scenario. The aim is to make it tough for the Arkansas, but not impossible. For me, the crucial point of this fight are the command difficulties of the Union ships, with commanders not following or misinterpreting orders or being too timid in engaging the Arkansas. This can be modeled very well with the Ganesha Games activation mechanics.

I’ve already finished painting CSS Arkansas. I’ve tried to give her a worn and rusty look, as it seems that the brown colour used on her hull flaked off and the iron clad parts started to rust pretty quickly. I still have to add the rigging for the smokestack, some smoke and of course a flag.

VIVAT will take place on October 1, 2016 in Perchtoldsdorf near Vienna – why not drop by and take the helm, either trying to escape with Arkansas or sinking her?


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