Saturday, May 30, 2015

Muskets & Tomahawks Battle Report

Got to play a special game today in the man cave with *the* Andrew (Andy) Thompson - a longtime friend who is visiting sunny California from far away Scotland with his lovely wife Christine.  Adam Clark and Roy Scaife joined us for a great game of Muskets & Tomahawks.

I used a 6' by 6' setup for this game that you can see below.

 
Most importantly, we used a modified version of the M&T rules aimed at speeding up our games.  Since we mostly play large games we found that our games would regularly run 5-6 hours.  By modifying the rules a bit we successfully played out this large game in around 3-4 hours.  Below is a brief summary of the modifications.

Modified M&T Summary

  • Movement for regulars and others troop types that move 4" increased to 6" per action.
  • Movement for irregulars/Indians that move 6" increased to 9" per action.
  • Formed (firing line/regulars) troops moving completely on a road get +2" per movement action.
  • Officer only - new action "command" - may pass their actions to a friendly unit within 6" - no single unit can receive more than 1 action this way per activation.
  • Officer only - new action "rally" - may spend an action to attempt to rally a "flighted" unit within 6" - the unit takes a reaction test and immediately applies the new result.
  • Spotting only is done against hidden units.  Completely new simplified spotting table/roll.
  • 360 degree LOS for all skirmishing units.
  • Weapon ranges increased slightly (e.g. musket from 24" to 30").
I adjusted the unit entries for the British and French army lists and I created a QRS to track the new changes.  Pictures of all of these are below (I did them in MS PowerPoint).  I have to say that the modifications worked very well ... the game still essentially works the same but plays through much faster and is just as deadly.





The Game

So, with these new rules updates in hand we set off to play our game.  Both Adam and Andy had not played M&T before so Roy/Adam took on the British forces and Andy/I took on the French forces.

British objective:  Raid the settlement.  Kill civilians and burn buildings if possible.
British sub plot:  A group of Indian allies and two important daughters of a colonel at Fort William Henry are being pursued by the French, intercept them and escort them to safety.  For this, the unit of Uncas, Hawkeye, Chingachgook, Cora and Alice Munro start "hidden" with two additional dummy markers.  They also have a 4+ "fate" save when kills are inflicted and do not take reaction tests.

French objective:  Protect the settlement and evacuate the civilians.
French sub plot:  Magua is closing in on white hair's daughters.  He must find them and put them under the knife, along with anyone trying to protect them.  Spot the hidden markers to locate which one is the fleeing daughters.

British Forces:
  • 12 x Regulars (42nd)
  • 12 x Grenadiers (42nd)
  • 12 x Regulars (48th)
  • 12 x Grenadiers (48th)
  • 8 x Rangers
  • 8 x Rangers
  • 10 x Light Infantry
  • 6 x Indian Allies
  • 6 x Indian Allies
  • VIPs (Uncas, Hawkeye, Chingachgook, Cora and Alice Munro) - 3 x Indian Chiefs, 2 x Civilians
French Forces:
  • 12 x Regulars (La Reine)
  • 12 x Regulars (La Reine)
  • 12 x Regulars (Royal-Roussilon)
  • 12 x Regulars (Royal-Roussilon)
  • 10 x Compagnes Franches de la Marine
  • 10 x Compagnes Frenches de la Marine
  • 1 x Couriers de Bois (Canadian Militia) Officer
  • 8 x Couriers de Bois (Canadian Militia)
  • 8 x Couriers de Bois (Canadian Militia)
  • 1 x Indian Chief (Magua)
  • 6 x Indians
  • 6 x Indians
  • 6 x Indians
The French deployed 15" in on 1/2 of the table nearest the settlement.  The British deployed opposite, 15" in across the entire side.  Three hidden markers (one ambush, two dummy) had to be deployed 24" in on the opposite 1/2 of the french deployment area.

The game ended in a French victory with a completed subplot.  It took many Indian units and lots of melee but Magua put the daughters under the knife.  Most, not all but most civilians were evacuated.  Both sides suffered major losses ... around 45 for the French and 56 for the British.

Lots of pictures below show the action!








This crossroads cost the French many regulars but
they held it and eventually pushed the British back.








The VIPs are spotted but are near friendly forces.


















The rules modifications work out very well.  I think we'll keep using these moving forward and make any tweaks as necessary but I don't foresee any changes at this point in time.

22 comments:

  1. I like the new mechanics, especially the new rules for officer mechanics. I've been a little intrigued by the possibility of using the M&T ruleset in a colonial setting lately, and have been mulling over starting a 2nd afghan war painting project for it. Thanks for the update!

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    1. Thanks Evan --- that would be neat to see for the 2nd Afgan war ... and your figures are beautifully painted so I'd like to see that ;-)

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  2. Very nice report, this table is superb...and glad to see the VIP rescue!

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    1. Thanks Phil, but Maga actually caught up to them and killed them ;-) They put up a hell of a fight though :-)

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  3. This all looks just so great! Hardly seen anything so cool with the French/Indian wars!

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    1. Thank you, it is an amazing period in history.

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  4. Looks fantastic as usual Jay. Our group is thinking or trying this scenario ourselves as it looks like fun. Did you use the standard victory conditions for burning and civilians or did you have some sort of points system?

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    1. We counted up the dead first. Then it was +5 for each building. Civilians saved count as 1, killed as 2. Each VIP killed was 3, saved was also 3. It was a fun time :-)

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    2. Thanks for the info Jay - so that was 3 pts for the Very Important Petticoats but not I assume the Indian Chiefs?

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    3. We included Uncas, Hawkeye and Cingachgook in the 3 pts ... anyone from the VIP unit.

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  5. Stunning lookinggame Jay !

    Some greate ideeas to speed up the games.

    Best regards Michael

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  6. Wonderful battle report. Thanks for sharing it and the great pictures.

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  7. Home safe now, sadly;) On the plus side, I've managed to convince Adam that he needs to provide the Yangeese for a future game in Scotland.

    Thanks for hosting the game, and us. The game played as well as the terrain looked, and your hospitality was even better.

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    1. Excellent, glad you've made it home safely. Adam would love to paint some Yangeese for you I'm sure ;-) You are most welcome - it was great to see you after so many years. Hopefully KublaCon can become a more regular thing :-)

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  8. Hi Jay, very nice indeed, to save re-inventing the wheel any chance to email your modifications too me ? warwickwest7@gmail.com, our group in Toowoomba often play large games and we are doing similar things even with smaller games, we found scouting missions a little too slow and one sided for regulars, keep up the good work and all the best.
    Regards
    Warwick

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    1. I'll send along the files here in a sec :-)

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  9. Hi Jay. Awesome looking game! I was also wondering if I may be able to get a copy of your modified charts? Many of my games are large and it would be a great help. E-mail is: earlrt66@yahoo.com. I enjoy your blog. Keep up the great work along with inspiring the rest of us! Regards, Earl

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    1. Thanks Earl, I'll send the files along shortly :-)

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  10. Hi Jay, I am just starting out in wargaming and have decided that my first effort will be Muskets&Tomahawks. I really like what you have done with the rules. Do you happen to have the modification files as .pdf's that you would be willing to share with me? Thank you for your time. Your blog has been a big inspiration.
    Bob
    falcettistudio[at]gmail.com

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    1. Hello Robert! That is AWESOME! M&T and the French & Indian War is an excellent period of history. I'll send along the PDF files here in a minute. Thanks!

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