Friday, June 17, 2016

M&T - Dam Run Thing!

For our weekly game of Muskets & Tomahawks, Matt, Steve B. ("British"), Steve P. ("Indians") and I got together for a 400 point game. Matt, after watching a documentary about beavers, had a very interesting idea for terrain. What if an important hamlet, located in a valley, became flooded after a beaver dam broke and flooded? I guess we shall find out.

I took the exact same list as last week: 10 Scots, a Scottish Lieutenant, 6 Indians and 9 Militia. British Steve took 2 units of Rangers, a Ranger Lieutenant and a unit of Virginia Provincials.

Opposing us were about 45 Indians, because the French were too busy eating and making love with their faces to show up.

After rolling for missions, side plots and weather the game was ready. The Anglo force had engagement and needed to kill 2/3 of the Indians, while the Indians had raid and needed to burn 4 buildings. Three of which were clustered together near our board edge, and the other was near their board edge.

The Ranger Lieutenant's side plot was Capture - he had to kill an enemy in melee, thus capturing him, and leave the table with his prisoner. The Scot Lieutenant, Campbell, had Emotive- the English morale card could not be played, else he failed.

Indian Steve's Sachem, Chief "Hides- Behind Rock" was a Spy- he could not be in the Anglo's sight at the end of the game. Matt's Sachem, Three Feathers, was a Usurper - he could not be within 4" of this own troops at any time. Untrustworthy folks, these natives!

General Webb,

The Hamlet was flooded! Flotsam and Jetsam was here, there and everywhere. Barrels of tea and 'bacco, trees, fences, logs, and even small trading vessels ended up where they should not be! This would take days to clean up. The roads, or rather, where the roads once were, had 6-8 inches of water making walking very difficult especially for the regular chaps.

The target houses were the two cabins and barn in the foreground and the third cabin, top left

The scouts were sent forward along the northern ridge to determine the cause of the flooding. It seems that the beaver lodge about two miles upstream had broken in the night due to the strong winds and thunderstorms. They also reported signs of a large Huron war party. The men were ready in case the savages showed their faces.

The regulars moved along what once was the road. It was slow going due to the mud and water, making them go about half as fast as normal. Many men had to stop and pull their shoes out of the muck. The friendly Indians and local Militia were fortunate enough to find some sturdier ground and began to move up-hill.  

There they were! The scouts were right! The Huron came screaming through the wood line. The war party was stretched wholly along the front. They were painted red and black- an intimidating sight!


The Indians quickly sought the cover of a fallen tree, while the Militia broke to the right and made quick time once they hit solid ground.

*crack crack* The Huron on the ridge and Iroquois in cover began trading shots, but the Iroquois kept their calm and killed two Huron outright. The rest of the cowards fled without further fight.


After struggling up the muddy and slick hill, the Militia reached the crest only to take shots from the trees. Meanwhile, off on the left flank the war party managed to put the first cabin alight. The Virginians and Rangers moved forward to a stone wall and opened fire on the rushing Huron.

In the center, yet more savages were screaming toward the line from the ridge and over hillocks. The Scots would not give up these other three building without a fight. They were ready, come hell or high water. Or more dam water.


"Make Ready!" The pipes began to hum. "Alba gu Bràth!" There were savages in the open. They were blood thirsty, ignoring cover. Whatever it was in this village they wanted, they wanted dearly.


When the powder smoke cleared, the target Indians were gone, leaving their dead wallowing in the water. They quickly bled out.

While it seemed things were going well, the left flank was crumbling. The Indians had made it to the second cabin, putting their fire to it. The Virginians were in flight. A Ranger unit was dead and being scalped and the other Rangers were holding fast, but could not reload quick enough.


The Militia leveled their muskets, ready to take some pressure off the Iroquois downhill from them. If anything, they would at least distract the Huron for a moment. But before they could cock their locks, the savages sprinted TOWARD them! Three Feathers ordered them forward to close the gap and, hopefully, get them into melee. The Militia only had one shot- literally and figuratively- to stop these savages.

Fortune, God, Luck, whoever, was on the Militia's side. After killing three at point blank range, the rest fled. Though this war party seemed determined at the beginning, they could not stand once powder was burned. It is noteworthy that the first Anglo casualty of the day was suffered on this hill. A militiaman fell after being shot in the chest. He died gallantly and quickly.

The Indians were dug in nicely in the fallen tree and were killing plenty of Huron as they scrambled around the second cabin and hedges in front of it. The Huron would dash out and then fall back, as if they could not decide what to do, and the Iroquois took advantage of that!

Things on the right were looking fine, with only one casualty suffered. But then reports from the left came. War cries, musket shots, men in agony.

The Huron had turned the flank! Killing, axing and scalping the Virginians. Half the Rangers were dead. If the last six broke, the Huron would have a chance to attack the flank of the Scots.

A tomahawk swing was parried by a musket. War clubs thumped into skulls sending a crimson mist through the air. Hunting knives tore at cloth and flesh. The screams of the Rangers broke though the din of pistols and the few loaded muskets reports. *WHOOO* A blonde scalp was ripped from the skull of a ranger. *thwack* The tomahawk spike imbedded into the erstwhile scalper's spine.

The Rangers had held! Huzzah!! Praise be! The ten or so savages who survived were in full flight! Once the noise had subsided a cool breeze blew in, cooling down the overheated men who were sipping at their canteens. Flasks of brandy were passed around- Officer, sergeants and private soldiers all enjoyed a nip. To those who survived!

Damn this dam.

- Lieutenant Colin Campbell


The above picture illustrates the disparity of Matt's and my casualties. I only lost one man. The Steve's on the other hand had lost the majority of each of their forces. But, because we inflicted well over 2/3 casualties and they did not burn all four buildings (only 1.5) and we did not have our morale card in play, it was a major Albion Triumph! A little comeuppance for the absolute slaughter the Scots received last week.

I really enjoyed Matt's terrain idea. It only really affected my regulars in firing line. The rest took the high ground or ignored the difficult terrain. I will update with more pictures if I get them from the Steves.

Friday, June 10, 2016

M&T - A Blooding Near Forbes' Road

Matt and I have had a great streak of war games recently. He and I have been trying to recreate FIW battles in and around modern- day Pittsburgh. This week we found our soldiers in a blockhouse at the frontier of Forbes' Road.

After rolling for missions and side plots, I got Defense and my officer rolled Afraid- meaning he could not end an activation within 6" of an enemy (which played a major role in this game).

Matt rolled for Engagement and his officer (Magua) rolled Truce- so he could not open fire first, or else he lost his plot.

In a 200 point army, I had 10 Scots, 1 Scottish officer, 11 Iroquois and Lenape, and 9 local Pennsylvania Militia. Matt had 12 Huron, 12 Volunteer Company Marines and of course, Magua.

The table was mixed woodland and open. We used the field squares to represent where the trees had been cut down and underbrush and felled trees would be laying. The blockhouse and strong house were the only buildings, with a sheep pen to the left and supplies around both buildings.

The table from the British viewpoint
Can't have Scots without sheep, eh, laddies?

Per the mission, I had to deploy within 4" of the buildings. So the Scots took the blockhouse and the militia took the strong house.

The English had paid some locals to assist the army with axe-work. But smartly they brought their muskets as well.

"There it is, he's at it again! Have you ever heard such a racket in all your life?" Nothing like bagpipes in an enclosed building! The squad of Scots split up, 5 on the top floor and the other 5 on the bottom floor and their Lieutenant. Those stationed in the top floor packed cotton in their ears and hoped that the racket would not attract any unwelcomed visitors.

Lieutenant Seamus McHaggis had made quick friends with a fearsome, local warrior when first arriving in the Colony of Pennsylvania. He heard a report of this man being in the area. Magua was well known to be fiercely savage and the Lieutenant once saw him kill three knife wielding men in under a minute with his tomahawk. He quietly thought to himself, while listening to the Pipe Major's ninth rendition of "The British Grenadiers," that he hoped his fried was doing well.

With dusk approaching quickly, the British were about to settle in for the night once their scouts returned from the south. However, the French, of course, had other plans.

Tasked with reconnoitering the area, and if they found any Rosbifs, to engage the enemy and burn all settlements and supplies they could not carry back for themselves.

A squad of Compagnies Franches de la Marine and their Huron allies could smell the cooking fires and began to creep through the forest. After hearing reports of axes and saws all day long, they knew that the British would not be expecting any contact after a long day of manual labor. That hum from the godforsaken instrument meant that they could gain a lot of ground with out being noticed.

The French relied on a local warrior, Magua, to show their troops where he thought the enemy might be. Despite his initial meetings with the Scottish being genial, he could not stand the encroachment onto his homeland. He was ready to kill and scalp.

There was only one white man on the continent who he respected. He tolerated the French, but refused to call them "father." He did not expect to see his long lost friend anywhere in Pennsylvania. The last he heard that man was heading to the Carolinas.

Sneaking past the tree line were the Marines. Though the sun had not completely set, it was dark enough to begin advancing toward the strong house. All of a sudden *crack!* Pierre had stepped on a log which snapped and alerted the militia, who were not deafened by the pipe music.

They moved forward to see what the noise was. At best it was a bear, though they would have to deal with her. It was too far from a river to be a beaver. There couldn't be any crapauds in the area, could there?

*thwack!* A hatched buried itself into the tree stump next to a militiaman. That answered the question, the French were here!! *crack* *crack* Muskets popped into the copse of trees. They should have stayed nearer the house!

The militia fell back to the protection of the house, leaving three of their kin dead and wounded in the tree line, left to their fates. *WHOOO WHOOO* The French had a savage with them! They knew the scalping had begun. They were in for a long night unless their own scouts appeared soon.

Alarm started to spread in the block house as well. But the Huron began to sneak toward them from the left and center. They were looking for blood! The English had gone too far into their territory. They were not supposed to make any new settlements beyond the mountains. Today that would end!

Musket balls began to hit the block house, but with the small loopholes the Scots were in no serious danger. The savages were firing in anger. It was completely dark now. They would not get the upper hand, especially with a bolted door. 

There he was! Magua! "No, this can't be! He can't be here!" Our Lieutenant lost his mind, unbarred the door and took off running into the night.

"Bugger! There's more of them out here!" with Indians on the left and right of the block house and Marines off further to the right, the Lieutenant was all alone. Maybe they wouldn't notice his brand new scarlet jacket?

The militia had made it safely into the strong house. The scouts still hadn't shown. Where the blazes could they be!?

Magua left one group to assault the block house. The Scots thought they were safe inside, not realizing the door was unbarred! They made quick work of the Scots, taking their scalps and both floors in hand to hand *WHOOO WHOO WHOOO*

The Lieutenant caught a goolie from a Marine. He would never again talk to his friend, Magua. The militia were making a stand, making the Marines fall back into the woods. But while they were distracted to the right they did not notice the Huron stalking from the left.

Magua flung open the door, burying his hatchet in the skull of a militiaman guarding the door. A second man leapt toward Magua, but his knife slit that fool's throat. The strong house was theirs!

*crack crack* Musket balls began flying all around the Huron! The Iroquois scouts had arrived. "Fall back!" Magua ordered. The last scalps were ripped off *WHOOO* and the Huron and Marines exfiltrated toward their base.

Little pig, little pig, let me in!

Matt was victorious, inflicting over 2/3 casualties. I had to hold out and utterly failed. We both failed our side plots. A great game nonetheless. Lots of killing, scalping, and for the first time, a fully painted army on my side.

M&T is so interesting every time. Despite only having 6 basic missions, having 30 other side plots with 30 extra random events mean that no game is ever the same. We forgot to roll for weather until about half way through, thus the sudden appearance of darkness modifiers. W also got 2 random events,  but neither impacted the game very much.

Miniatures are Conquest (Warlord) and Eureka; Terrain is Old Glory, Renedra, homemade and whatever is at our LGS.