Monday, 18 June 2012

Give Fire!!

Hello people.

After too many abortive attempts, my fault entirely, Rich dropped round Thursday night and, suitably equipped with tea and biscuits, ran me through a game of Muskets and Tomahawks. As usual I'm not going to provide and in-depth review but link you to that of Mike Hobbs who has already done so and particularly well at that. I am however going to provide you with my more impressionistic approach.

I'd heard lots of good things about T&M, and not just from Rich. I was aware of it's randomly drawn card activation system, always one I've liked, and its Sideplots adding plenty of extra pith to the scenarios.

Taking the Brits I rolled up a Scout mission, needing to visit each quarter of the board and then exit, whilst Rich's French rolled up Slaughter, charged with objectionable task of wiping out a local farmstead thought to be less than keen on frogslegs.

Fortuitously I had already laid out one of St Peyetrsburg's outlying farmsteads with civilians and livestock in attendance so with fresh brews to hand the game commenced.
A few French activation cards came up first and Rich wasted no time in marching straight towards it hollering all the way. The locals quickly took flight though the farmers wife insisted on fetching her prize china first whilst Grandad marshaled the kids to drive the pigs.
The British and their Indian allies arrive by line and blind marker respectively. Marching to the sounds of commotion their scouting mission quickly becomes one of rescue. No Jonny Foreigner will be allowed to sully the King's new territories!
Advancing in the British line deliberately draw the fire of their French counterparts. The Frog militia had already set about their grisly work but a strong Redcoat volley from their unsighted flank sends them fleeing back into the woods.

Despicable Frog that he so obviously is the French Captain steps away from the line and takes aim at the fleeing back of Sara, the Negro housemaid............and shoots her down in cold blood!
A failed thrust by the Brits Indian allies sees the French Militia chase after them only for them to run into the rifles sights of the Indian sharpshooters. Morale is well modelled within M&T giving regular line plenty of staying power whilst leaving Militia decidedly fickle all through one simple mechanic.
Meanwhile the remaining civilians, and their pigs continue their headlong charge for safety. The British delaying action was working and in fact repulsing the French. Rich was having to take further risks to chase his scenario objectives. With neither sideplot looking likely to be fulfilled, they can modify the scale of any victory, it was turning into winner takes all!

Virtuous as the day is long Captain Horatio Long-Bottom had stood mortified by the casual slaughter of he house-maid and as such determined that the rules of gentlemanly conduct no longer applied.

Continuing to loudly exhort his men to hold their rapidly reducing line, one of his randomly determined traits that had previously held his men fast in the face of the French fusillade, he calmly drew his pistol and shot that dastard Frenchman in the head!

A lucky shot no doubt but one that seemed almost karmic given his actions. As the only French officer the Morale card was now added to the French deck. When it next came up all French units would be subject to an immediate Morale check. Mon Dur!!
Whilst Grandad lead his charges deeper into the woods the Morale came up for Rich causing his remaining Militia to flee the field leaving just a few true born Frenchmen to carry the fight to the hated John Bull.
Said Frenchmen were quickly set upon by the Indian Braves, who despite being outnumbered 2 to 1 routed their foes leaving all but three of their number with a new haircut! Major British victory in the offing one feels!

A quick game played in a few hours there was nothing too difficult to learn but plenty to admire. A simple set of rules that plays well and allows the scenarios and subplots to shine through, I enjoyed it immensely. Post game chatter turned to how well it would work for my St Peytersburg gothic horror setting just using stat and abilities already laid out. The supernatural could be easily run as a third force by either a third player or by scenario / automatic / random very easily.

In short this is a game that WILL motivate me out of my current painting's really that good, give it a go :)

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