The US players were Jerry, Martin and Tim C, the Rebs were Pete and Russell. I provided most of the toys and Russell kindly brought his (newly painted) US infantry.
The US players had free choice of that time of day to start - in the best traditions they opted for dawn. Despite me dropping a few hints they didn't ask me about tide times - which turned out not to be their best move! I had equipped myself with a set of tide tables (actually from Whitby in North Yorkshire) which I'd have shared on request. Low tide was - you've guessed it - around dawn.
On floated the fleet - Portland in the distance, apparently hotly pursued by two US warships. Next in line were the two transports while closer inshore were the ironclads.
An early shot from the Reb gunners severed the tow of the bomb ketch which was then left adrift and pointing in any direction except the fort!
Just after that calamity the lighter-coloured monitor ran aground and stuck fast.
Of course, what every amphibious assault needs is a real amphibian! Sharp-eyed Pete spotted Froggie (as we call him) but he didn't seem that interested in the game.
The Ironsides took hits and was soon gently ablaze. It also lost power and steering.
The crew of the monitor emerged on deck as the incoming tide, while failing to refloat the thing, rendered the deck awash.
And excellent hit on a US warship!
Pete adopts the elegant firing posture familiar to Funny Little Wars
The fleet was soon in a bit of a state - the orange dice were used to keep track of hits - but sailed gamely on. In the distance, Portland has been beached and Cdr Rhind is rowing away at a furious pace!
As well as Confederate guns, the US sailors must face other hazards. Sharkie came with the Playmobil ship so it seemed only fair to include him in the game.