The Nashville Escape

An Iron & Fire Scenario

What follows is a scenario for the Iron & Fire rules based on the American Civil War. Unlike most naval battles of that war, this battle takes place in Southampton Water.

The Nashville was a side wheel merchant steamer, which was given the role of taking Confederate Commissioners to Europe. Though this was eventually done by another ship; the Nashville braved the Federal blockade and made her way to Southampton via Bermuda. On the way, her Captain, Robert Pegram, captured a Federal clipper and set fire to her. It was a stormy passage, and once in Southampton, the Nashville was taken into dry dock. There was some concern in Britain over the Confederate ship, but attitudes changed once a Federal ship, the San Jacinto fired at the British mail steamer, the Trent. British attitudes then changed in favour of the Confederates.

The Nashville stayed in dry dock for a month, and in the meantime a Federal warship, the Tuscarora waited in Southampton water. They played a game of cat and mouse for a month before, the Nashville managed the evade the Tuscarora.

This scenario recreates the moment when the Nashville leaves Southampton and makes her way out to sea. The Tuscarora must stop her.

The Tuscarora may start anywhere south of Southampton Water, the Nashville starts at Southampton.

The Nashville wins if she escapes.

It is a draw if the Nashville is forced to return to Southampton.

The Tuscarora wins is she sinks the Nashville, or badly damages her.

Alternative scenarios include adding more Federal and Confederate ships and the possible intervention of the Royal Navy.

Notes: These ship characteristics are not accurate, but make for a more playable game. I had great difficulty on finding some of the statistics for these two particular ships, but really liked the idea of playing out the scenario.

Name General Particulars Armour Values Armament
CSS Nashville Speed: 12 Knots

Size Class: Medium

Turn Class: Small

PV: 60


0: all faces

4 x 32pounders (two each side)
USS Tuscarora Speed: 8 Knots

Size Class: Medium

Turn Class: Medium

PV: 80

2: hull, front, sides, rear

0: deck

1 x 7″ Rifle

6 x 9″ smoothbores (three each side)

Rules Information

These rules are intended to be a quick and simple set of rules which capture the feel of ironclad naval warfare in the 1850s to 1880s, allowing players to get to grips with the action quickly rather than wading through deep, impenetrable rules as happens with some rules covering the period. They began as a set of rules covering the American Civil War, and quickly developed into a more general set, encompassing the South American wars (Chile vs. Peru, the Chilean Revolutionary War etc.), the second battle of Lissa, the Crimean and Franco-Prussian Wars and any number of hypothetical scenarios set in the heyday of the early Victorian ironclad. This was a time for naval invention, where all the navies concerned were on a steep learning curve, having only recently adopted such novelties as steam propulsion, iron armour and rifled breech loading guns, not to mention technological marvels such as the submarine, and devious items of mechanical trickery such as the mine and torpedo. In addition, the latest technological marvels were on sale to any nation for the right price, with the result that many small acquired state of the art weaponry before the larger European navies.