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.

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