A nice little friendly game of Ironclads using the ‘Ironclads and Either Flyers’ rules from the other afternoon.
The game was a semi-historical scenario based on the Chilean naval attack on the Peruvian port of Callao – the most major changes being the ships being used. To make the game less one sided, Peru retained the use of both of her Ironclads and Chile still had the Esmeralda.
The Chilean objective was to bombard the forts on the cost, whilst the Peruvians had to prevent them from doing this.
A photograph of how things were at the outset of the battle. The Chilean fleet approaches from the bottom of the photograph, counting two armoured ships and three wooden corvettes. To the upper right of the photograph the Peruvian harbour defence ships can be seen rushing to engage, three monitors….
Whilst, in harbour, the rest of the Peruvian fleet hurry’s to make steam so that they may engage their attackers. They count two ironclads and two wooden ships.
The Chilean fleet makes its way forward towards the cost at full speed. The monitor squadron slowly continues to meet them head on. Much to the surprise of both players, the Ironclad Huascar raises steam and makes water in almost no time at all. Some fire is exchanged, but little damage is taken by either side.
The Chileans keep rushing forward, their cannons ringing out as they do. The Ironclad Independence raises steam and comes out of port alongside the Huascar – both of them taking some damage but nothing all too critical. The monitors start to open up on the Chilean ironclads, but to little effect. The Chilean wooden ships begin to turn engade the Peruvian ironclads.
The Chilean fleet speeds on hoping to outrun the Peruvian ironclads – encoring considerable damage as they do. A large fire broke out on the lead Chilean ironclad Blanco, started by a shell from one of the monitors. Lower down the aged Chilean corvette Esmeralda takes considerable damage and falls behind the rest of the attacking fleet. The Ironclad Huascar takes some important damage – both with a small fire starting on deck and the rudder becoming jammed.
The Chileans start their bombardment of the costal forts – smashing them down – and also sinking the monitor Victoria. Huascar, repairing her rudder turns and rams the corvette Esmeralda causing massive damage and making her flood uncontrollably. The rear surviving Chilean corvette, O’Higgins, also ends her roll in the battle, encoring too many crew casualties – dropping her anchor and raising the white flag.
The battle ends with the Chilean ironclads finishing their bombardment of the first fort, but having to break away before they could make any real impact on the second. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Chileans had failed to achieve their objective and had encored terrible casualties.