Last Updated
Mon Nov 15 19:48:02 PST 1999
Voters = 14

Voting Results

Favorite Rules
Smoke on the Water43%
The Ironclads21%
A Hotter Fire7%
Iron and Fire7%
The Devil at the Helm7%

Rules Regularly Played
rules played regularlypercentage
Smoke on the Water50%
The Ironclads21%
Iron and Fire14%
The Devil at the Helm14%
A Hotter Fire7%
Hammerin' Iron7%

Number of Rules Regularly Played
number of rules played regularlypercentage
1 rules played79%
2 rules played14%
3 rules played7%

Rules Tried
rules played at least oncepercentage
Smoke on the Water64%
Age of Iron50%
Hammerin' Iron43%
The Ironclads43%
The Devil at the Helm21%
Age of the Dreadnought14%
Iron and Fire14%
A Hotter Fire7%
Perfidious Albion7%

Number of Rules Tried
number of rules playedpercentage
3 rules played50%
2 rules played21%
4 rules played21%
1 rules played7%

Voters, By Experience
level of experiencepercentage
Up To Ten Years36%
Up To Twenty Years29%
Twenty Years or More21%

Voters, By Region
North America57%
Western Pacific7%

Voters, By Setting
usual game settingpercentage
At the local club57%
With a friend or two29%
At the local game store14%

Number of Armies
number of armies owned or usedpercentage
2 army/armies38%
3 army/armies23%
1 army/armies15%
10 army/armies8%
11 army/armies8%
13 army/armies8%

Armies Owned/Used
armies owned or usedpercentage
United States of America92%
Confederate States of America77%
United Kingdom31%
South American15%

Periods Played
ACW Riverine - Other79%
ACW Coastal - Atlantic71%
ACW Riverine - Upper Mississippi71%
ACW Coastal - Gulf of Mexico64%
ACW Riverine - Lower Mississippi64%
ACW What-if64%
ACW Blockade57%
ACW Fortress Bombardment57%
ACW Commerce Raiders43%
Spanish-American War43%
ACW Amphibious Operations29%
Austro-Prussian War21%
Russo-Japanese War21%
South America21%
Japanese-Chinese War14%
Crimean War7%

Number of Periods Played
number of genres/periods playedpercentage
3 periods14%
6 periods14%
8 periods14%
9 periods14%
10 periods7%
12 periods7%
16 periods7%
2 periods7%
5 periods7%
7 periods7%

Scales Used
figure scalepercentage
1:1200 and 1:125057%

Number of Scales
number of figure scale(s) used
(per person)
1 figure scale(s) used50%
2 figure scale(s) used43%
3 figure scale(s) used7%

Alan Saunders

Setting: The Upper Mississippi

The Confederates were attempting to move the recently built ram, CSS Eastport, from the main Mississippi to the safety of a tributary where it would be covered by friendly batteries. Escorted by two cottonclad steamers it attempted the run upriver. A small Union squadron rushed downriver to stop it, consisting of the USS Cairo (Armoured Gunboat), USS Tyler, USS Conestoga (Timberclads) and the USS Queen City (Tinclad).

The USS Cairo wandered off round a small island and effectively put itself out of the game. The USS Conestoga ran too far ahead of the rest of the Union force and was rammed and shot to pieces by the Confederates. The USS Queen City and USS Tyler made a bold attelpt to intercept the CSS Eastport, but couldn't penetrate its armour. One Confederate cottonclad was sunk, but the other limped to safety, and the Eastport exited as well, slightly damaged. The Union lost the USS Conestoga, and the USS Tyler and Queen City were both badly damaged. [25 Apr 99]

Peter Mancini

1870 - U.S. & Nicuragua vs. Britain & Gutamala. USS Dunderberg and USS Puritain plus some light frigates vs. HMS Warrior, 3 heavy cruisers and light frigates. The Puritain was basically the Death Star (tm) and the Dunderberg the gates to eternal damnation. The lighter vessels tried to act as ruining forces but got wiped out. The Warrior just didn't have the range and was eventually made short work of. Never trust the point values given in "The Ironclads" as they are a total crock.

I think all Ironclad rules out there right now are either over simplified or totally crocked. We need a high definition rules set! [9 Apr 99]

Steve Flack

Put on as a participation game at convention. Set on the Mississippi at Vicksburg, with Union ships having to run past batteries and confederate ships [2 Apr 99]

john mcbride

Used SMOKE. Did DuPont's attack on Charleston, had about a dozen players, almost one per ship. More-aggressive-than-historically Union was able to get NEW IRONSIDES and two PASSAICs across the rope obstruction and destroy PALMETTO STATE and CHICORA, so US won. Next time I'll either make it harder to get across the rope, or give Rebs a couple of torpedo launches to supplement their ironclads. [2 Apr 99]

Alexander la Motte

They are quite fun to play. The two times I have played we have only had one ship each to control. So we had time to learn moving and shooting. The next step will be to play the ship battles during the Danish-Preussian war of 1864. [29 Mar 99]

Bert Razenna

Our last game was a freelance ocean going ironclad experimental skirmish. We have been working on an improved set of house rules for the big European type ironclads because we are not happy with any of the off the shelf rules. Smoke on the Water is the set we are using as a starting point, but it might not be recognizable when we are done. The fight was 6 ships to a side, all pre-1880 masted ironclads. One ship (Gloire) was lost outright to ramming. The rammer (Temeraire) got rammed in turn (by Affondatore), then struck on a morale role triggered by the Capt. being killed. One ship was lost to a fire that started from an exploding gun, SotW allows mishap to quickly grow to catastrophe with fires. Three other ships were sunk from being hammered by gunfire. Another ship was lost from a combination of being hammered and a catastrophic misfire that immolated it. And one ship blew up from a magazine hit. The game lasted 18 turns. A lot of time was wasted firing the smaller guns, mostly at funnels since the smaller guns could not hurt other parts of the ships.

We try to play as close to history as possible, but there are all those grand ships that were never used in action, so we have to do freelance games. The Ironclad Period focuses on the ACW, which is not fully applicable to the large European type ironclads. While it is fun to tinker with rules, we would rather be able to work with rules that started out closer to what we wish to game with. [27 Mar 99]

George Soika

A hypothetical battle with several Union ships attempting to run up "the river" past obstrucions and assorted Confederate ships to destroy naval bases. Two Union vessels needed to exit the far side of the table - one monitor made it while another almost did when a lucky shot exploded her magazine.

I want to get a copy of Smoke on the Water when I can find one, as they are the first rules that have made the period really worth gaming in. [27 Mar 99]

David Manley

Last game was an ACW riverine solo - Union force player controlled, Confederates controlled by the game system. Last game against an opponent was the Battle of Round Island (RJW) run as a playtest for "Fire When Ready" (due out May 1999) [27 Mar 99]

Pat Collins

A smaller Tsushima, IJN vs IRN. Mikasa and two Asahis vs 3 Orel's.

Mikasa had a main knocked out, and slight flloding, but one of the Orels was hit hard, losing many 2nd batteries, and suffering severe flooding.

We had to quit early, but it was looking bad for the Russians. I very much like the Battlefleet system, except that it uses range estimation. We'd like a "to hit" table, similar to the one they use for torpedoes.

Also, it has a LOT of dice rolling. I'd prefer a battery system, as opposed to one die per gun. We may make a house rule for that, or just use the fine system in Naval Action.

I have 5 large, 9 small generic wooden ships. I just replace the flags. [26 Mar 99]

Michael Llaneza

Dusted off my old copy of Yaquinto's Ironclads. Taught two people, with the assist of a fourth who had played before, the rules in half an hour. A small squadron action with 6 ships took three hours to play, and everyone had a blast. Even me, who lost his monitor to a spar torpedo (curse those Rebs). [26 Mar 99]

Tom Ballou

We fought a battle to try to breakout a blockade runner from Charleston Harbor. I have designed a computer assisted version of Ironclads, this speeds up play a great deal and allows for completion of fairly large games. We were using Throughbred ships. [26 Mar 99]

Robert Eldridge

The last ironclads game I ran was a "demo derby" at the local hobby store featuring six of the best Confederate Ironclads against six Union Ironclads. The rules used were "Smoke on the Water" and the ships were 1/600th scale Thoroughbred miniatures. I had 6 players a side and more clamoring to get in the game. The Union side included the USS Atlanta, the USS Roanoke (in three turret monitor guise), the USS Nahant, the USS Canonicus, the USS Onondaga, and the USS Winnebago. The Confederate side included CSS Texas, CSS Tennessee II, CSS Richmond, CSS Atlanta, CSS Arkansas, and CSS Virginia. The game was a chaotic slugfest greatly enjoyed by all. Some of the highlights included the USS Atlanta ramming and capturing the CSS Virginia, the CSS Richmond passing completely through the Union fleet and returning unharmed, and the CSS Tennessee being forced to surrender by the combined gunfire of the USS Roanoke and USS Onondaga. The Union won the game, having sunk one Confederate ironclad and captured two, while suffering no losses. [26 Mar 99]

Wayne Pocock

US forced performing blockage duties of S Carolina coast, are surprised by CSS High Seas fleet IE ship built by European powers and never delivered. Using Smoke on the Water. [26 Mar 99]


This was a small action fought out on the coast of China between some French colonial period warships and some Chinese vessels and coast batteries. The French won after a British cruiser got out of their way, but the batteries did a lot of damage.

Preparation of the Devil at the Helm damage sheets is a bit tedious. [26 Mar 99]