Battle of Chipana Blow by Blow
Here’s the slightly delayed report for the Battle of Chipana (I blame the dodgy telegraph line from Chipana to Lima myself)
The Magallanes entered on the turn of the second card and proceeded to steam at full speed northwards, while the Union and Pilcomayo frantically weighed anchor. The Union fired a long range shot from her 100 pdr medium rifle but failed to cause any more than harassing fire, which is not surprising given the range and the speed of the target.
The Union and Pilcomayo had now slipped anchor and turned to starboard, heading west toward the Magallanes which continued to steam ahead, firing her 7“ medium rifle at the Union as she ploughed along. This caused harassing fire but little else, so the Union and Pilcomayo continued on course directly toward their target.
The Union now fired her medium rifle to port at a range of 11“ and scored a hit, inflicting heavy damage and a severed steam line. This was a disaster for the Magallanes, as she was now immobilised and so a sitting duck for the rapidly approaching Peruvian ships, both of which were now closing fast with the Pilcomayo now opening fire with her forward light rifle, luckily to no effect.
The crew of the crippled Magallanes were determined to put up a fight, so fired the medium rifle at the Union again, although this only resulting in harassing fire and failed to stop her advance. The Union and Pilcomayo were now getting very close, with the Union pulling ahead due to her superior speed to cut off the Magallanes, while the Pilcomayo steamed forward in a pincer movement. The Union was temporarily unable to bring her guns to bear but the Pilcomayo fired her forward 70 pdr rifle at 4“ close range, only to miss by a narrow margin.
The writing was on the cards for the Magallanes as the Union positioned herself to fire her medium rifle at the stationary gunboat. This time the result was a direct hit, causing severe damage but not enough to sink the plucky Chilean ship. The Magallanes now fired her medium rifle to starboard at the Pilcomayo at 3“ range, causing light damage and temporarily jamming her steering.
The Union now turned toward the Magallanes and fired her port 40 pdr smoothbores for good measure but to no effect. The Pilcomayo added her port light smoothbore to the cannonade, this time inflicting heavy damage to the hull, reducing the Magallanes defence value to 2. In reply, the Magallanes fired her starboard medium smoothbore at the Pilcomayo but fluffed it and only caused harassing fire.
The Union now decided to ram the Magallanes amidships in an attempt to board and capture her. Unfortunately, due to the shallow angle of the impact and despite the target being stationary, the Union glanced off and failed to grapple, leaving the Pilcomayo to finish the job. The Peruvian gunboat fired her port 40 pdr smoothbores at point blank range into the crippled Chilean warship, with the broadside shattering her hull and causing her crew to abandon ship as the Magallanes slipped beneath the waves.
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Autor: Jim Jackaman / Jim’s Wargames Workbench
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