Muskets and Tomahawks 2 – Raid and Protection

A 350 point game of Muskets and Tomahawks.  The British have 3 units of 8 regulars, 1 of 6 rangers and 1 officer.  The French have 2 units of 8 regulars, 2 of 6 milice, a 4 and 6 person civilian unit and 3 officers.  The British must set fire to 3 buildings including making 1 collapse by red clock card 4.   The French must keep the British away from the 3 buildings by red clock card 3 or 4.  The French could win on turn 3.  Presumably if a building is one fire it is not being protected.  The thatched building does not count for burning or protecting.

This is the set up with deployment points and civilians.  The civilians are inside the building but the roofs do not come off.  The trees represent an area of light cover.  The area by the boats inside the walkway is marsh.  A river runs juts off the West table edge.

The French deploy first then the British.  It appears that all the French have to do is hang about and they will win.  The British need to be aggressive. A previous play of the same scenario saw both sides blaze away with predictable effect but time spent shooting was time wasted that should have been spent on setting fires.

This game could be started in twilight but that would slow movement so the British start in full light.  2 of the British regular units are in line to maximise their movement along the roads.

At the top of the table a unit of marines dukes it out with the rangers.  The rangers are eventually run off but not before they set light to the top building which slowly erupts into a full blaze.

At the bottom of the field a unit of marines attempts to hold off the British.  They take casualties from British fire and despite being veterans bravely run away.  This leaves the milice to hold off the regulars, the civilians are not going to be much help.

One unit of milice charges in but with a unit of regulars on either side they don’t last long.

With only 1 building left to set fire to the British charge in and rout the civilians holding it.  They wisely leave the building and then set fire to it.

There is nothing the French can do to prevent a British victory.  2 buildings have collapsed and the third will be on fire next time the British regulars are activated.

Some thoughts on the system.  From a mathematical point of view the movement from D6 to D10 offers more detail in the effects of rolls but allows a slight chance of the unexpected happening, the veteran marines taking to their heels being a possible game changer.  The deck of cards depends on the troops fielded and is shuffled when the 3rd clock card is drawn.  This means that some cards will never be drawn between shuffling.  A force that wanted the game to last as long as possible might field more troop types, increasing the deck size and decreasing the chance of the clock cards being drawn.  In this scenario the British might want a longer game and the French a shorter game.  So it would be best to work out forces before deciding on the scenario.

In gameplay the movement trays (which  are not in any way required) make handling the figures relatively easy but cause some problems when turning or moving through narrow spaces.  The scenario was based on movement.  It could be won by driving off all the opposing units then moving into place but that depends on some luck and for the British is not a good use of their time.  The terrain was relatively dense, as it ought to be but led to units chasing each other round and moving into position ever so slowly.  As activation depends on drawing the correct cards some units stood about at crazy short range doing nothing. The base move is 4″ although some troops can eak out an extra inch or 2 so although units can be pretty close on the table getting them into combat or setting up a clear field of fire can take more than 1 activation.  The best use of the command points seems to be to activate a single unit and get it to do some good.  A unit can be set on overwatch for 1 command point but that is to allow it to shoot at an acting enemy, not to charge. 

Saga Ordensstaat

The Ordensstaat are the poster boys for Age of Crusades being featured on the cover art.  They are relatively easy to paint being basically black and white.  Their board tactics are rated as 1 star so should be one of the simpler factions to play.  Several of their special abilities depend on removing a friendly figure.  The Ordensstaat board make no distinction as to the type of figure that must be removed so all of their armies should include at least 1 levy unit.  An advanced Saga ability allows levy to shoot or run away from a charge further backing the case to bring some levy.   Oddly the Gripping Beast starter warband does not match this plan as it is entirely hearthguard.

Fireforge plastics do Teutonic foot and mounted boxes.  The mounted are on the money but the foot box has 20 ‘basic’ infantry and 4 ‘knights’.  It is up to the modeller how to put the bits together but all the Teutonic infantry are on the heavily armoured side.  For more lightly armoured foot the Fireforge foot sergeants are worth looking at.  In both boxes the unit count (12 mounted or 24 foot) is good for units but a warlord will also be needed or a portion of the box left un-built.  If enough sprues are required the same figures could be modelled up as Ordensstaat and Poles.

How historical Saga should be is a matter of taste; for those of a historical slant the Fireforge figures are aimed at the early 13th Century.  Armour had changed significantly over the previous 200 years.  An Ordensstaat  army could also run as Crusaders or Milites Christi as the Crusader states ran into the late 13th Century.  On the other hand a Norman army from Age of Vikings could also run as these 2 factions.  A Norman army against Ordensstaat should be displaying two quite different styles of armour.  The Ordensstaat could face Poles but to be close to history Normans should not be used to represent those Poles.  Valid, in period, armies would include the Russian Princes, Pagan Peoples and Mongols.

Here we follow a 6 point straight up fight against Pagan Peoples at the club (hints of a 40K game in the background).  The Ordensstaat ran with 3 hearthguard, 2 warriors (1 with crossbow) and 1 levy.  The Pagans took the legendary hero Vanem Lembitum, 1 heathguard, 3 warriors, 1 levy.  The Pagans can use Meza Marte to jump figures from 1 uneven terrain to another.  It makes sense for any opponent to minimise the game terrain to the minimum of 3 pieces.  The Pagans go first and, capped at 3 Saga dice plod forward.

The Ordensstaat make use of Nach Osten most turns to plod forward short without fatigue.  Just to the edge of the field we see the Ordensstaat warlord with 6 hearthguard to his side facing off against his Pagan counterpart with 4 hearthguard.  The Pagans have an empty battleboard, the Ordensstaat load up theirs and charge the hearthguard in.  It should be an easy victory but afterwards the Ordensstaat only have 1 hearthguard left.  The Ordensstaat warlord then charges his opposing number who now has 1 fatigue due to the loss of his hearthguard.  The Ordensstaat warlord fires off the sword brothers ability to improve his defense.

The Pagan warlord is down but the Ordensstaat warlord has 2 fatigue.  A special rule of Vanem Lembitum is that the Pagans now have 4 new mounted hearthguard appearing on their board edge.

The Pagans teleport 1 unit of bow to the top right field.  Elsewhere a lot of arrow and javelin shooting goes on with middling results.

The Ordensstaat also do some shooting and charge their second unit of heathguard into the Pagan archers opposite but fail to wipe them out.  At centre we see Pagan levy facing off against Ordensstaat levy.  Both suspiciously similar, the 2 sides pressing the same basic stock of unenthusiastic peasants.

The new Pagan heathguard move up to the Ordensstaat warlord, shoot javelins at him and then charge in.  The Ordensstaat warlord burns his nearby hearthguard to save a life but still has 2 fatigue.  The Pagans activate Laima for 2 automatic extra hits.  The Ordensstaat cannot survive so concentrates on whittling down his opponents and takes 2 of them out.

The Ordensstaat crossbow take out the remaining Pagan hearthguard.

The Ordensstaat hearthguard had closed in to finish off more Pagans but the Pagans play Dieus to move them away and towards the side board edge.

The hearthguard chug back.  Meanwhile the Ordensstaat warriors turn and sort out the Pagan levy behind them.  The levy survive but no longer generate a die.

The Pagans keep up the shooting.  Both sides are now critically low on Saga dice so the game is running down.

The Ordensstaat crossbow take out a Pagan bow.

Some lucky shooting sees the last of the Ordensstaat hearthguard fall to Pagan bow shots.

Game over on turn 6 sees not much left of either army and with equal losses on both sides a draw.

The Ordensstaat board in play is relatively vanilla.  There are some straightforward melee buffs.  There is no bonus to shooting beyond the combat die slot.  On the other hand crossbows do look good and add a +1 to the shooting die result.  The ability to boost a result by burning a friendly figure was only used once in this game.  The free move Nach Osten being the most used ability during this game.

On the side of the Pagan Peoples they did a lot of shooting.  Most of it missed but in time the results added up.  The legendary warlord paid for himself with his free hearthguard but did not stay on the table long enough to use his other abilities.