Rules Muskets and Tomahawks
Terrain: Lots of it
Figures: Conquest, Front Rank, etc....the usual suspects.
On Friday 12/14/12 we met to play and try out the rules for the first time, well for most anyway. We had a good turn out and the decision was made to divide the table into 2 games. After mulling about for a half hour and snacking we went over the rules and divided up teams. In my game I played the stalwart English and had 3 militia units and a unit of Indians. My team mate Jack took the Rangers and deployed out in front of the town. Chris and Jim C. were the evil French and they divided irregulars and Indian forces that would attack the town. Our game was actually a scouting mission for the French and the British were defending. The French had to get figures in 6 different sectors on the table.
|Snacks to keep us healthy and strong|
|Dave, Jim F, Joe D. and Eric...Tom is blocked by Dave|
Players in game 2 make preparations, I should be paying attention rather than taking pictures but I am awestruck by the sheer spectacle of the games.
|Chris, Jim C and Jack study up on the rules, guess which one is a lawyer....go ahead guess|
From the French side of the table. The use of cover would be needed to sneak up on the town to gain the advantage for the French. Would the British have enough troops to cover the entire approach? The terrain gives bonus defensive and line of sight modifications to dice rolls. Native really gain an advantage.
|The French will enter from the bottom of the picture and try to get to the village|
Here is a shot of the terrain and figures from the other game. Another homestead to defend but I think the French are defending this time. Love the fences and fields.
|The second game is set up and the figures are ready to deploy|
A close up of some of the natives being used in the battle. The Indians were given units of 6 to 8 figures. Fragile allies for sure but very deadly. They are hard to spot and harder to hit.
|Very colorful game, beautiful brush work|
The Game Report
We began to go over the rules and they seemed very easy to learn. Every unit gets a single action on a card and you can move or fire or reload so you have to choose the action wisely. The exception is regular forces that get 2 actions on a card, but neither side had regulars in the game. There is a sighting chart with modifiers for terrain and weather conditions. Combat is based on a D6 with 4+ neded to hit and 4+ needed to kill and there are modifiers for range, cover and other factors.
In the opening moves we used markers until the sides could see one another. Some of them were dummy markers and some were actual troops. This made the game interesting as you did not know wehere the bulk of the enemy was until contact was made and each side shifted about to confuse the other. The markers began to be revealed as they were in LOS of one another. The Rangers spotted some French allied natives and the show was open at that point.
|The field changes hands|
The Rangers drew first blood and the natives had to take a morale check. They recoil and the natives temporarily fled to the woods. There was little time to rejoice as more French and Indians showed up. Then another unit of Rangers appeared to block the advance of the scouting parties.
|The fight in the field continues|
The Rangers gained the advantage and feeling confident decided to advance into the field, a move they would soon regret. The French allied natives took advantage and began to flank the Rangers and inflicted casualties. The British forces were in danger and getting fire from the front and both flanks. The British militia was on the move and trying to get to the fight but they only move 4" per action.
|A foray into the field....look out on the right flank!|
|Good God they are on the left flank too!|
Then my British allied natives emerged from the woods to halt the French irregulars on our far left flank. This proved a mistake as natives gain advantages for woods and exposed my troops to lethal volleys. My small 6 man unit began to take fire. To add insult to injury I suffered a friendly fire event and lost one of my figures creating a morale check. This caused the natives to retire a move and lose one action for regrouping purposes.
|The Indians emerge from the woods....note the marker on the right representing another unseen unit....its actually a dummy marker.|
The French units began to arrive in quick order and soon outnumbered the British. The French took up firing positions in the rocks, trees and fields. A fierce firefight ensued as both side took casualties. It is very difficult to see irregualrs and natives in the rocks, you have to be 8 inches away unless they fire and reveal their position.
|French irregulars and Natives dishing it out the the Brits.|
Rangers begin to fall in the fields they were defending and soon fall back to the fence line. Where was that damn militia? The Rangers could not hold on forever. The French pressed the attack and emerged from the tree line. Rangers reloaded and dropped a few of the enemy. Then more Rangers fell from return fire as the cover could only protect them for so long.
|Leaving the fallen behind the survivors make for the fence line|
|Natives allied to the French firing on the Rangers|
With little fanfare the militia finally arrived to support the folding right flank of the British irregulars. The fire repulsed French aligned natives and secured the position. The French attack had stalled as British reinforcements arrived. When natives are in cover you need to roll a 6 to get a hit. When they are really dug into some difficult terrain you wound or kill them on a 5 or better after you hit them. It's harder than you think to roll high 2 times in a row.
|The militia arrive....................finally|
A larger view from above reveals the struggle across the fields and woods of the frontier. The French are pressing hard to break through but not gaining any ground. The British at the bottom of the picture are holding defensive positions.
|The fight as seen from a UAV. The dead and dying strewn about the fields and woods.|
|Rangers and Militia in the rocks holding off the French advance|
The French began to take casualties from fresh militia units bolstering the British line. After another turn we called the game. I think it would have been a closer game if we set the town in the center of the table. I would have liked to have seen how melee works with the rules. The entire game took about 3 hours and was very fun to play. The game moves faster than The Sword and the Flame is is just as fun. You do not need tons of figures and the game is very easy to learn. Look for a game at a convention if you want a fun time. I love the rules but the price is steep at $40. I think it is a worthwhile purchase.
Here are some pictures of the other game going on next to ours. Apologies for the lack of detail but I was involved in my game and unable to concentrate as to what was going on next to me.
|British regulars advance and get 2 actions per card.|
|French regulars advancing through the fields to the battle in the woods.|
|British/American homesteaders prepare to excersise their future 2nd Amendment rights.|
|The regulars from both sides give and take volleys|
|French Irregulars on the advance.|