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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

First games of Muskets and Tomahawks

Yesterday I travelled down to Bristol Independent Gaming to play some four player games of Muskets and Tomahawks.
None of us had played the rules before, but I think we all found them fun and fast enough moving. Our games were played at 400 points, each player with 200 points, the army lists were roughly;
1 Regular Officer
8 Regular Infantry
6 Tories (used as provincial Infantry) with boats
3x5 Indians
4 Indians
1 Light Infantry Officer
10 Light Infantry
(45 Figures)

2 Compagnies Franches de la Marine Officer (1 deployed as regular, 1 as Irregular)
2x10 Compagnies Franches de la Marine (deployed as regulars)
2x6 Canadian Militia (used as Compagnies Franches de la Marine scouts)
2x4 Indians
(42 Figures)

Game 1
For our first game we rolled up Slaughter as the goal for the French and Scouting for the British. The French troops were able to advance very rapidly up to the British defensive lines, however they might have done better to have been a little cautious. Drawing their Regular cards early in the term and advancing them so far on their right flank left them vulnerable to the Indian Allies who opposed them.

British Light Infantry fire drives back the Canadian troops.
The large unit of British Light infantry, Irregulars with Regular morale (even if half the time I rolled their reaction tests as Irregulars..) had a lot of staying power against the French Irregulars and their Indian Allies outside the British blockhouse.

British Indian Allies charge into combat with the French Firing line. If Indians ever lose combat they are extremely fragile (they would retreat on any roll but a 6 on their reaction test), but fortunately they were able to slaughter the French line for the loss of only 4 of their number.
Close combat is extremely brutal in M&T, especially compared to the long rage musketry which makes up the bulk of the fighting in the battle. A unit which loses combat is unlikely to be an effective force for the remainder of the game.

Compagnies Franches de la Marine scout to the river bank whilst their Regulars man the fences in the background.

The Compagnies Franches de la Marine push across the fences on their left flank as British Irregular forces clear the fields of French troops.

The British Regulars bring their muskets to bear to drive of the Marines.

Firing lines exchange shots at long range as the British troops begin to encircle the French

concentrated musketry forces the British to fall back from the exposed corner of the blockhouse.

Alternate view of above
The few remaining French units suffered badly soon after these last pictures, their morale card forcing them to make difficult reaction tests. The French threw in the towel and we agreed to have lunch before moving on to the second game.

Game 2
In our second game we set up the terrain again, and rolled up new scenarios. We got Slaughter vs Scouting Mission again, however this time the roles were reversed. We British were to be attacking the French Civilians whilst the French attempted to scout the six 2' square table sections.

The table was split fairly centrally by a river, one side of the river holding the settlement and most of the farmland with the wild frontier of forests beyond.  Predictably most of the regulars of both forces deployed in the settlement side of the board, with the regulars tending towards the forested side.
British Regulars approach the settlement as Civilians break for the safety of the blockhouse.

The view of the British line as it advances to the settlement.

The French scouts take up positions behind a fence to try and delay the British advance.
French Indian Allies watch the civilians make for the blockhouse. In the distance the British are coming.

British Light Infantry take up positions behind the stone walls, using the position to take shots at the Canadian scouts approaching over open ground.on the banks of the river French and British Indians begin to trade shots, the British allies fleeing almost immediately, straight off the battlefield.
 The British regulars advanced stoically into the centre of the settlement, looking for the cover of the wooden fencing, taking heavy casualties on the way.
French Regulars attempt to repulse their British counterparts. 

The view from behind the settlement.

View down the centre of the table.

Aerial view of the battlefield. Almost every unit is engaged in combat by this point. The British regulars who remain have made it to the cover of the fence.
 On the left flank the British irregular troops attempted to sweep their outnumbered French opponents away so that they could use the tree cover to get close to the French regulars.
British Indian Allies approach the Canadian skirmishers. The one man with his musket loaded succeeds in killing an Indian, convincing the rest of them to fall back into the cover of the woods. Several turns later the Indians would manage to advance on the Canadians, killing all three.

British Provincial troops take up positions to fire upon the French regulars on the opposite bank.

British Light Infantry broke out of the tree cover to combat with the French Line, killing most of them in the brutal aftermath of combat. The long Marine escapes with the standard, until being shot dead.

After these photos end the game took a decidedly scrappy turn. As the victorious French regulars and Irregulars from the settlement finished killing all the British Regulars, and the Officer (all of which stood resolutely to the last man behind the wooden fencing) they advanced to meet the remaining British Light Infantry, Provincials, and Indians. This was when the morale card kicked in, seeing a good 75% of the remaining troops flee from the board, including the civilians the French needed to remain on the board to win the game. The final turn began with 3 Indians and 4 Provincials on the British side against 6 Canadians and an Officer trying to protect the one remaining civilian on the map, each side hoping the others morale card would turn up first. As it happened the British Indians activated soonest, and with 3 shots were able to bring down the final Civilian.

A brutal scrap probably more fairly judged a draw, the Slaughter objective was completed with only about 3 Civilians actually killed, the rest left the table as casualties caused by panic.

A good day of games in all, and nice to finally get the FIW troops to the table.

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