Monday, 9 November 2015

Hammerin' Iron

Monitor vs Merrimac
Enthusiasms come and go, and plans and projects leapfrog one another before they can be finished or even started. But interests can also do an orbit and come back into view. Such is the case for me with American Civil War ironclads in general and Peter Pig's Hammerin' Iron game in particular.

The fascination began as a child when, inspired by one of Don Featherstone's books, I scratchbuilt from plasticard models of the Merrimac and Monitor. They certainly weren't accurate scale models but I think they captured the look and feel. An indecisive game between two ships, however, was rather unrewarding.

Fast forward to a few years ago and my interest was rekindled, mainly by seeing the Thoroughbred and Peter Pig 1/600 models. I wasn't sure about which rules to use but Peter Pig's Hammerin' Iron 2 looked like the sort of game that most suited me.

Mindful of the lead mountain and painting backlog, I determined to pick up ready-painted ships but the process has been slow and I may have to invest in raw lead if I want to take this project forward.

At this year's SELWG show, however, I finally played my first games of HI2 under the characteristically enthusiastic guidance of Martin Goddard. The basic mechanisms were simple and very cleverly designed, and it was easy to absorb the basic factors without having to look things up, thus freeing players to concentrate on tactics. Of course, this was not the full game but I am reading the full rules and looking out for some more ships.


  1. We have been playing ironclad games for more than 15 years. We have played games both American Civil War and the Austro-Italian War of 1866. They are always a huge amount of fun. These links show some of the 1866 naval action.

  2. Hi Mark

    Thanks for the links. Superb models and pictures!

    I have some small-scale Lissa models somewhere in my lead mountain.