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Thunder Upon the Water: The Battle of Albemarle Sound, May 5, 1864
Thunder Upon the Water: The Battle of Albemarle Sound, May 5, 1864
by High Flying Dice Games (2019)
Player Count
1 to 2

Player Ages

Playing Time
2 hours to 3 hours
  • Nautical
  • Wargame
  • American Civil War
  • Designers
  • Paul Rohrbaugh
  • Mechanisms
  • Hex-and-Counter
  • Card Drafting
  • Artists
  • Bruce Yearian
  • Rating: 0/10 from 0 users


    Thunder Upon the Water details the battle of Albemarle Sound fought on May 5th, 1864. Via the sound’s numerous ports Confederate blockade runners brought badly needed supplies for the rebel nation. In April a Confederate army supported by the new ironclad CSS Albemarle, captured the Union held port of Plymouth. Encouraged by this success, Confederate General Robert Hoke planned an offensive to recapture the city of Bern, held by Union forces for nearly two years.

    Captain of the CSS Albemarle, James W. Cooke, steamed out to battle in afternoon of May 5th supported by two gunboats, the recently captured Union gunboat CSS Bombshell and the CSS Cotton Plant. The Confederate “Mosquito Fleet” ran into a Union squadron of eight gunboats, five of them new “double ender” side wheel steamers designed as rams to attack Confederate ironclads. The resulting battle was a classic of strength vs. numbers. The Union ships held off the Confederates, but both sides were severely bloodied. Can you do as well or better than your historical counterpart?

    Each copy of Thunder Upon the Water is composed of the following:

    • One 11 by 17 inch hex map sheet.
    • One sheet of 142 single-sided, un-mounted counters
    • One Players’ Aid Sheet
    • One set of rules

    Players use a standard deck of playing cards to activate their units and resolve some game events. Players also use six and ten sided dice (one of each). Each turn represents 15 minutes of time. Each hex is a little more than 200 yards across. Each unit represents 1 warship. The game is designed by Paul Rohrbaugh and features graphics by Bruce Yearian.

    A supplemental card set for the game is also available. It replaces the standard deck of playing cards called for in the rules, feature graphics that compliment the game’s, and has rules reminders on pertinent cards.

    -description from designer

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