Sunday, February 4, 2018

Muskets & Tomahawks at Midnight

Real men play miniature war games.

And this one was for real men only. We didn't get started until 10:30 pm after a day long gaming session. We were tired, brain dead, stinky but full of pizza and ready to roll dice.

We set up quickly and reviewed the basic rules of play quickly as well, there was no time to dally. The lists weren't 'legal' for tournament play but held every single M&T model I own. 428 points for the Brits and 421 points for the French.

 We had muskets. We had tomahawks. We had dice and a bad attitude.

The quick scenario idea was that the British had sent a punitive force to raze a hamlet started by French against explicit protests from the British not to. The French, spoiling for a fight, sent Regulars to man the town before the civilian population. Reinforcements were on the way but from which direction? Word had been sent that heavy rains the previous week had washed away the bridge and that repairs had yet to be started. Could the French hold out? A smaller, but better led British force was on the way.

An overview of the playing surface. The British would enter from the edge in the foreground and to the left. The French reinforcements would enter from the far edge and to the right.

A view looking lengthwise down the table.

Unfortunately, we were really, genuinely tired and I forgot to take too many pictures. These are some highlights but don't really tell the story.

The Pennsylvania militia.

The idea was to bring all the Regulars on the short edge and force the French to deal with them while the guerrilla forces sneaked in and torched the buildings.  But alas, no plan survives contact with the enemy. The Brits got the jump on the Frenchies and both units had a total of 20 shots and missed with all of them. The French return fire, only 10 shots strong, felled 4 British regulars. It was a precedent that was set for the rest of the game on that side of the board. Those Frogs were dynamite!

French Indians emerge from the woods to support the second unit of Regulars and some French Marines. The light infantry, the Chasseurs lent their elite support to the original French unit near the smaller of the two buildings.

British Rangers and Natives cross open ground in a race to burn those homesteads! The Ranger unit in the center of the screen, with their officer, was destroyed to a man! The Natives were eventually forced to retreat back to the woods under withering French fire.

The Indian Sachem directs his warriors forward. The Regulars have been forced to recoil due to British fire and the Marines are half the men they used to be! Fighting was fierce all over the board but the survivors were heard to say this was the some of the worst fighting in the war as musket balls buzzed like hornets across the landscape.

The meadows of Pennsylvania. Still no smoke from the buildings as the night marches straight into morning for the weary gamers.

If you look in the background you can see the Chasseurs about to cross the river.

You can hear the victorious war cries of the French Indians as they shoot down the British Rangers. Not just bravado here. These guys are bad news and no mistake. The Marines can only watch and eat cheese that smells of people's feet.

Aha! Chris' unit of rangers finally reaches the smaller of the building and starts to set it alight!

The story of the night. The unit in the foreground, 2 man strong with officer, are the remaining guys from the original unit on board. They passed every Morale Check possible, with d6, with d3, with no mods, with negative mods, it just didn't matter. They refused to falter and likely, no, more than likely, they won the game for the French. They held off two units of British Regulars twice their number, *plus* a unit of Natives, *plus* a unit of Rangers firing at them.

The Chassuers can be seen behind them after crossing the stream but they have been rendered superfluous by their brothers.

The remains of two units of British regulars after trading dice with one unit of French. 

BTW, the officer in Red completed his sub-plot by not killing anyone in the game and so technically forced a draw. The French sub plot was to kill the Pennsylvanian carrying the colors. He lived!

British Rangers all fire into the air after starting to light the small building on fire. I like these guys but I bought a bag of them at a flea market and many have the same poses. Oh well, I got 15 of them for $5, so...

So, technically a draw, but the Brits had a long way to go to win when we called it due to hallucinating from sleep deprivation. It was a game crowd to stay so late and so long but it was worth it. It's a great game and I really needed to get my Pennsylvania on after so many months outside of civilization.

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