Game Design by James M. Day
GMT Games LLC
Review by Mitchell Freedman
The box cover says Iron and Oak is a game of “ship-to ship combat during the American Civil War. “
The cover is far too modest. Its really a whole lot more.
Iron and Oak is a game of naval combat, with several scenarios in the “brown water” rivers and bays where navigation can become a problem. So can the enemy forts that go on the edge of the map and can use plunging fire on the ships below.
Players might run into shoals and have to get their ship re-floated, or they could encounter mines or other obstructions, or powerful currents which can carry their ships where they don’t want to go. There are damage control parties, tables of critical hits, and – perhaps most important – die rolls which determine not only the results of combat, but whether a captain can move his ship at all.