Thursday, November 19, 2015

USS Cairo (Vicksburg)

On my way back from Colonial Barracks I finally got the opportunity to stop in and see the USS Cairo.  It has always been one of my favorite designs of Civil War Ironclads.  I was amazed at the size of it!  There was a nice little museum but the best part was being able to follow the paths through parts of the boat.  Here are some pictures I took and some comments about them.  I do have to say one thing, I couldn't imagine being inside the casemate when even one of those large guns was fired.  The sound I am sure was deafening!

I hope you enjoy the pictures!

This has to be on your list of battlefields (Vicksburg) to visit that I highly suggest you make.

Last Stand Dan

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Colonial Barracks V - Gunboat and Dhow Battle

Well it was so nice to see old friends and meeting new friends for life at the CBV event.  And of course it was bittersweet that we lost Larry Brom just before the event.  But I have to say overall it was a celebration and it was a very nice time.  I heard many stories about "Dad" from Lori and Christy and others.  I am glad I was able to make it this year.

On to the game I put on last Saturday morning.  As you have seen I have building those dhows for this event and upgrading my gunboats.  And putting on a game with all this stuff you of course have to drive.  So from Denver to Metairie I went.  It was a very nice drive with a stop in Tulsa (for work) and then in Shreveport before I met up with my friends to hit the WWII museum on Thursday.

So spending the first evening going out to Bourbon Street and having a great dinner the rest of the time was spent playing in various battles.  The two I played in and had a great time in both was the Zanzabari must go! by Dwight Jones and Charasiab by Ethan Reif.  Great battles and a lot of fun. I am sure they will both be putting out an AAR soon.

A word about terrain.  I wanted to thank Bill Daniel at Gamer Garage here in Denver who makes some pretty amazing terrain.  The mud forts and hills you see in my game are from him.  If anyone would like to order anything let me know.

The water I used were Lowes 18" adhesive floor tiles (Aspen Gray) stuck down on 3'x3' MDF boards.   A little heavy but still very easy to transport.

The rules we used were the 20th anniversay TSAF (available at by the late and will be sorely missed Larry Brom and Boilers and Breechloaders by Patrick Wilson (available at

We all know TSAF so I will not comment on those.  I would like to say a few words about Boilers and Breechloaders (B&B).

When using both TSAF and B&B for these sort of battles the sequence of events has you doing all the water combat first then moving to the land battle.  In B&B you use a separate activation deck as you do in TSAF.  The difference there is that you have a sequence you must follow when your boat or ship is selected.  You basically perform all of your actions then move to the next card.  Gun combat uses a d20 but the gun combat charts are little different than TSAF.  You have three ranges that will change your chances of getting a hit along with some modifiers.  Ships morale can also be effected and as you take hull hits you roll to see if a critical hit is scored.  When you get on the Critical hit table then things can go very wrong.  A whole lot of fun.  All very easy to learn, they are fast and I think they provide a good feel for the period. Oh by the way I did received the most Hollywood like game at the Con!  Pretty cool.

And be sure to go to Historicon next year (2016).  They are planning a TSAF event in dedication of Larry. I will be there!

Well let's get on to the battle.  I have captioned all of the pictures.  I hope you enjoy them.  Thanks to Jeff Baumal for taking so many pictures.

Last Stand Dan