Sunday, March 16, 2014

Muskets and Tomahawks Campaign Tournament Results

We had 8 players for the Muskets and Tomahawk Themed Tournament at Cold Wars.  I want to thank Loyalhanna Outpost and Architects of War for sponsoring the tournament with prize support.  Please visit their websites linked to their names in the sentence above.

 Here is the breakdown of the players, their force alignment and final scores.  A max of 6 points was available for each of the three rounds.  3 points for accomplishing the round's objective, 2 points for accomplishing your subplot and 1 point if you prevent your opponent from accomplishing his objective.  Tie breaker for individual tournament champion determined by kills during all three rounds.

French Players
Player                       Character's Name          Total Points       Character's Promotion Points
Nick G                      Squinting Dog                      10                                    Natural Trait
Croft                          Lieut. Fontainbleu                 2                                    1 + Natural Trait
Tim H.                       Lieut. Temps                         9                                    1 + Natural Trait
Kevin S.                     Lieut Chiroc                          9                                    1 + Natural Trait

British Players
Tom M.                     Lieut. Weatherby                   9                                    0
Jeff C.                       Stalking Elk                          10                                   1 + Natural Trait
Matt D.                     Lieut. Dalton                           8                                    Natural Trait
Jeff W.                     Lieut Wiltrout                          8                                    0

As you can see from the above scores we had a tie for first place between Nick and Jeff C.  The tie breaker was number of points of enemy figures killed or routed from the board during the three rounds of tournament play.  Nick took the final honors having eliminated 254 points of enemy during the three rounds compared to only 154 points for Jeff C.  Congratulations to Nick for taking the individual honors. 
Campaign Results.  For those that may not be familiar with the Campaign format of these games please take a look at this Campaign format discussion  French & Indian War Campaign Game Format
Each round of the tournament had an impact on the following round and on the overall Campaign Game.  This tournament reflected the opening year of what would become the French and Indian war and each round was reflective of objectives and sub-plots that would likely characterize the French, British and Indian maneuvers in the Ohio River Valley 1754 on the eve of this great conflict.  The tournament rules can be found here  Ohio River Valley Tournament Rules

Round 1: Testing the waters: Scouting Objective vs Scouting Objective.
French Points:  13  (A French victory by a narrow margin)
British Points:  12
Round 2: War Begins – Raid!: Raid Objective vs Defense Objective. French players may choose objective and table edge due to winning the scouting round.  Three French players chose Defense and one chose Raid as their objectives.
French  Points: 14 (a resounding French victory)
British Points:    4

Round 3: It’s time to battle: Engagement vs Engagement.  French are still in the lead for the Campaign and may choose the table edge and whether or not to deploy first or second.
French Points:    3
British Points:  19 (a major British victory)

Here is what the campaign game overall situation looks like leading into the next round.

The British lead the overall campaign with a total of 42 points. (35+7)
 The British team came back in the last round with an overwhelming victory that propelled them to 35 points for the tournament.  This meant they not only surpassed the French in victory points for the last round but also for the entire tournament.  So despite narrowly losing the scouting battle in round one and failing to successfully raid the French settlements in round two, the British thoroughly trounced the French in open engagement during round three with three of the four British players meeting their Engagement Victory conditions but also three of the four British players  accomplished their subplot.  This gives the British team an additional 7 victory points for the Ohio River Valley Campaign.  Thus the British lead in Campaign points 42 to 30 in the overall scheme of the campaign.  Next up is 1755  Battle of the Wilderness  225-230 point forces, Traits can be bought using promotion points earned in the Ohio River Valley Campaign (does not count against force point total).  The Wilderness Campaign is worth 10 Campaign Points to the side that is declared the overall victor.  Plan is to play this round of the Campaign during HISTORICON.

Here is a great battle report from Kevin S. and the exploits of Lt Jacques Chiroc.  Lt Chiroc in the Ohio River Valley 1754  Really great Battle Report.  Thanks Kevin.

Some pictures from the tournament.

Pennsylvania Militia during round 1 trying to scout the woods are ambushed by an Indian scouting party.  The militia are quickly routed.

French Regulars surrounded by hidden movement markers during the scouting round. Where is that Chasseur Company when you need it?  Do they hold their ground or take the initiative?  What would you do?

   French Provincials move through a settlement as they prepare to defend against the British raid in round 2 on the "Fall Board".  British Light Infantry are about to emerge from the woods on the other side of the stream.

Coureurs des Bois (in the foreground) move towards an orchard to secure the right flank of the provincials as they defend in round two against British Light Infantry Raid.

British Militia Raiding party successfully lights a cabin on fire just before they are attacked by an Indian force allied with the French.  Here we see Lt Thomas Weatherby (mounted) trying to rally the militia after taking devastating losses from the Indian Ambush as he brings up a supporting unit of militia.

On the Winter board, French Provincials lay in ambush defending the Indian camp as they wait for Jeff C's Indian  raiding party during round 2. 

The British had a hard time with the Raid Objective in round two.  There were some successes as seen in the picture above.  Just not enough to make a difference and complete the objective. 

The Engagement vs Engagement in round three caused much action on all four boards.  Here we see some heavy fighting in the densely forested board on one of the Spring/Summer boards.

All in all a great time had by all.  Thanks for everyone who helped set up and tear down. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Scouting Report Number 2

Here are the last three battle boards for the Muskets and Tomahawks tournament at Cold Wars 14.

Summer/Spring #1
Summer #1 has the challenge of a building right on the center point of the board.  This will make this a key terrain feature for all the scenarios but especially for any round with scouting as the objective.  

Summer/Spring #2

Summer #2 is similar to Summer #1 with a barn right on the center point of the board.  During play testing, this barn was hotly contested and changed hands several times.  Neither side accomplished their scouting objective.  So perhaps going for the key terrain feature is not the way to go?
Winter Board
Winter board is probably the most open of all the boards.  Buildings again in the center.  Here I am substituting some cardboard inserts for what will be Indian Huts.  The board is narrower than the other boards with the major water feature down one flank.  So maneuver room is limited. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Advanced Scouting Report

The first ever Muskets and Tomahawks Tournament is now SOLD OUT.  That's right and ten M&T players will be throwing down their forces at Cold Wars this Saturday night from 6pm until we are done.

The Scouts have just returned and below are their sketches of the terrain we will see on Saturday.  These first two boards I laid out today and packed them away for transport.  But I snapped a pic of each.  The next three battle boards will be posted tomorrow. 

The scout's sketches.

Fall board - rotated 90 degrees from sketch Sorry.

The Fall board has a lot of open area in the center of the table.  Each side will have to hug the edges to scout all four quadrants without taking excessive casualties.  The side that enters the board nearest the log cabins (from the left of the photo, from the top of the sketch) could  set up a good firing position but then they wouldn't be able to scout and must eventually come down off the hill to get the other three quadrants scouted.

Summer #3
Lots of terrain in the center on Summer #3.  The  terrain pretty much drives everyone towards the center of the board.  The battle on this board promises to be quick and bloody.

As a reminder.  We are going three rounds. 

Each round represents a stage of the Ohio River Valley Campaign:
Round 1: Testing the waters: Scouting Objective vs Scouting Objective.
Round 2: War Begins – Raid!: Raid Objective vs Defense Objective. If one player accomplished his scouting objective in round 1 he may select which objective he wants in round 2. If not roll a die and high score choses.
Round 3: It’s time to battle: Engagement vs Engagement (or scouting vs engagement if one side is Indians, Irregular or Militia who must scout vs engage for this round).

So check out the terrain and plan your moves ahead of time.  It promises to be bloody and brisk.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Compagnie Franche de la Marine

I have used my French Regular force several times and did not like their lack of Irregular troop capability. In my experience a regular force without some unit to scout and clear dense terrain is the beginning of the end for any Regulars trying to accomplish an objective on the M&T battle board. So I contracted to have some Compagnie Franche de la Marine and a few Indians painted up to supplement my French. Here are some pictures of the completed figures. All painted by Alan Mander. Alan's work can be found on the Warlord Games web site here.
Here they are scouting some woods as the early morning sun crests the hill.
Moving to a position of advantage.
Having occupied their position they cover the expected enemy avenue of approach waiting to spring a possible ambush.
Indian allies help cover their flank.
A keen eye will be needed this day.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Muskets & Tomahawks Tournament

Alright French and Indian War game fans. I have taken the plunge and volunteered to run the first ever Muskets and Tomahawks tournament. I do hope this is the first of many. The venue is the HMGS Cold Wars Convention in Lancaster PA. Here is the link
I was asked by a couple of M&T players to run a tournament on Saturday of Cold Wars. The plan is to keep it simple but I am going to use my themed tournament idea and given that it is the first and we are keeping the point totals at 200 points I am making this the "Ohio River Valley" themed tournament. I am busily making terrain and hope to have boards as nice as the one pictured below.

Photo of M&T board at Hamburg Tactica 2013 taken from
My goal is to make this a beautiful display event as well as an inviting chance for new players to jump in and play a round or two. I will have plenty of loaner armies available and I will run demo games to teach people how to play. Loyalhanna Outpost has been nice enough to provide some packs of unpainted Galloping Major Indians as prize support.

Finally. Here is the draft of the tournament themed rules. Your comments and advice are greatly appreciated.

Muskets & Tomahawks Themed Tournament – The Ohio River Valley Campaign (1753-1754)

Army Limitations: 200-210 points from any list in the M&T rule book, no traits or artillery or cavalry. Table size & Scenery: 4x4 tables each with 2 buildings. Lots of woods and possibly a stream or river. No straight line exceeding 24 inches without running into terrain.

Victory Conditions and tournament scoring. Victory points are based on accomplishing Objectives and sub-plots. Total your points from the below list. Between 0 and 6 points are possible for each round. Accomplish your scenario objective = 3 points Accomplish your sub- Plot = 2 points Opponent does not accomplish his objective = 1 point Tie breaker will be number of points of enemy figures killed by each side.

Scenario objectives and plot background: The French and Indian War began after a series of incidents in the upper Ohio River valley, which the French and British governments both claimed as their territory. Military forces assembled by both imperial powers built and attempted to capture each other’s forts in the region. These expeditions and skirmishes ultimately led to the escalation of a wider, full-scale war between Great Britain and France. While French and British officials maneuvered military forces about, they also attempted to curry favor with American Indians living in the region. Both sides had Indian allies. However, many Indians in the upper Ohio Valley were concerned about colonists encroaching upon their land, and did not acknowledge British or French authority. This tournament reflects the characteristics of this campaign.

Each round represents a stage of the Ohio River Valley Campaign:
Round 1: Testing the waters: Scouting Objective vs Scouting Objective.
Round 2: War Begins – Raid!: Raid Objective vs Defense Objective. If one player accomplished his scouting objective in round 1 he may select which objective he wants in round 2. If not roll a die and high score choses.
Round 3: It’s time to battle: Engagement vs Engagement (or scouting vs engagement if one side is Indians, Irregular or Militia who must scout vs engage for this round).

Sub-plots: For each round, each side rolls a D6 to determine which sub-plot they have from the list below.
2-"I'll prove my worth"

The ideas behind the themed tournament concept can be found on the Tournament Tab here on this Blog.  Your thoughts and ideas for these concepts are also much welcomed.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

SAGA Swords for Hire

SAGA is my other Studio Tomahawk favorite. So for something different I present my most recently painted unit for SAGA. I am beginning a Byzantine Army and could not resist the possibility of recruiting some Steppe Nomads Swords for Hire into my warband. So I dug around in my unpainted figure collection and found these old figures partially painted. I cleaned them up, re-primed them and started painting them two weekends ago. Here they are completed. I believe they are mostly old Essex Miniatures. Next up will be my Byzantine infantry.
Now for some close ups.
Hope to have my Byzantine infantry done in a few weeks.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Battle of Bloody Run

Our Muskets and Tomahawk game at HISTORICON was loads of fun. Thanks to Nick and Jeff who helped me set it up and run it. But most importantly we had 6 great players who really made the evening fun. It was great to see the characters of Captain Dalyell, Maj Rogers and Chief Pontiac come to life on the battlefield. All in all it was a draw with Pontiac achieving his SubPlot and preventing the British from achieving their Plot and CPT Dalyell and the Commander of the British Lights both achieving their subplots and avoiding the 50% casualty mark necessary for the Indian victory plot. I apologize for my poor picture quality. My tripod was broken and I need to be schooled on the importance of f ratings.
Captain Dalyell as seen from an Indian sharpshooter.
The Battlefield after set up and before deployment. Indian Village in upper right is the British objective of their raid. The Bloody Run can be seen down the middle of the board with the infamous bridge seen as the river road crosses the run along the Detroit River.
A view of the battlefield from the Detroit River.
Finally the view from the Indian side of the board as we began to set up for deployment.
The British deploy with the regulars marching down the river road. Rogers Rangers in scouting to the front of the main column and a bateaux with swivel gun in the bow scouting ahead along the banks of the river. The lights were thrown out to the regulars left in the fields to protect their flank. A perfectly planned British deployment and does not reflect any of arrogance shown by the original Captain Dalyell.
Captain Dalyell beside the boys from the 55th.
The lights in good position to protect the flank. Sio far no Indians in sight......
Suddenly fire rattles out from across the run. Fire appears split between the marching regulars and the bateaux. The regulars form into firing lines.
Suddenly the indians emerge from the forest and the ambush is sprung. Will the line hold....
The melee continue into a third round of hand to hand but the British Regulars hold their position and beat off the initial indian attack.
Pontiac watches from under the famous Pontiac tree as his forces continue to spring the ambush now on the flanks of the column.
The lights advance into the woods to try and clear out the ambushers.
The highwater mark of the British advance. The Bateux was able to fire several swivel gun shots into the Indian attackers along the North side of the road, but suffered heavy casualties from Indian marksmen. They ended up drifting down the river at the end of the battle.
Final shot of the battlefield at the end of it all.
Nick (in the hat) and I pose in front of our signs.