Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ironclads: Chincha Islands - Naval Misadventures in the Age of Ironclads

The game: Ironclads - Chincha Islands
The purpose: Washing off a Harpoon post-game frustration. Naval combat in the 19th century is supposed to be easier. Ain't it?

Ironclads Chincha Islands is a game about an appealing war fought over bird shit-covered islands.

The Spanish Queen needed money and, oh well, she decided to try some luck in South America ... Again.

Argentina was a no go: even when the country was at war with Paraguay and shooting the last shots of an almost eternal civil war, the only shit available was from cows. And if there is one thing you don't mess with an Argentine is with his cows or anything that comes out of them. A sour memory about an Argentine bad-ass general that steamrolled the Spanish forces from half the continent some fifty years before may have played a role too.

So the Spanish crossed to the Pacific and found the perfect casus belli in a bar-brawl in Peru. In a genius strategic move, the Spanish blocked the Peruvians from the sea. It worked for the Argentine general fifty years back, didn't it? To the Spanish astonishment, the Peruvian's felt little inclination for bargaining because the sea was one very important mean of trade and communication. Slash that. The sea was the only mean of trade and communication for the Peruvians. With the Andes at their back, the Peruvians must have felt between the gun and a very tall rock

Wars start for the most strange reasons. But this one beats all records. To my readers from Spain: please don't take offense on my comments. They are all made with a tongue in cheek tone. I am from Argentina and ... ahem ... we have an illustrious record of starting wars for the most stupid of reasons.

Fortunately, Ironclads is a game that puts the war so much in the background that the inglorious cause of (literally) getting your shit back is easily forgotten. So here I am, in command of a Spanish flotilla composed of two corvettes and two gunboats, outnumbered and out-gunned in high seas.

Taking advantage of the high speed of the Sirena and Ligera gunboats (right) I lured the entire Peruvian flotilla (left) to turn back and shadow my nimble ships. My two corvettes (Africa and Vencedora), in the far background are starting to maneuver towards the Peruvian column.
My two corvettes steaming at full speed towards the Peruvian column (right column in the background). My gunboats (left column in the background) are starting to get some serious punishment from the Peruvian column.
The Sirena and the Ligera gunboats managed to inflict some damage on the Peruvian flotilla. But in naval combat all is about the amount of guns and my two gunboats are in the wrong side of the attrition calculus. Note my two corvettes in the background approaching the Peruvian column.
After some nail-bitting twenty minutes, the Africa and the Vencedora reach the Peruvian column. They double onto the helpless gunboat in the Peruvian van. As much as I would have liked to keep pouring shells onto the Peruvian gunboat, my own Ligera and Sirena needed some serious help and I had to move my corvettes towards the Peruvian column's center. 

Keeping the Africa and Vencedora on both sides of the Peruvian column proved to be a task too hard for my Captains. A collision between the Vencedora and the Peruvian corvette Callao disorganized my attack. All went bad from there. In this screenshot, a nightmarish situation with the Vencedora (center) almost surrounded and receiving fire from at least four Peruvian ships.
Defeated, the Africa (foreground) follows the Vencedora (not shown here) back to port. My two gunboats can be seen in the background (right) getting away from the Peruvian flotilla (background, left).

1 comment:

cathyarv said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.