We played another game of Muskets and Tomahawks at the club last night. In previous games we’ve both fielded a mix of regulars, irregulars of various quality and Indians but I was keen to see how the game played when a regular line army was faced with a more mobile but less drilled force.
As usual Anthony took on the role of the British while Martin and I played the French and Indians. The British had 3 Line units supported by some Rangers, defending a small hamlet deep in the Canadian woods. The Indian raiding party, backed up by some Canadians and Coureur du Bois were intent on slaughtering the civilians cowering in one of the log cabins.
|The British line up in front of the Village...but where are the Indians??|
The British were faced with a mass of Hidden movement markers which caused widespread confusion, especially amongst my Indians as I kept forgetting which were real and which were dummies!
At the start of the game only half the British troops were on the table and Martin’s Canadians tried to take advantage of this by pushing forward through the trees towards the village on the British right, while the Indians took a slightly less direct route, trying to find a way through the woods and over the river onto the flanks of the British troops. The British responded by sending the Rangers into the woods to drive off the Canadians and after an exchange of fire the Coureur du Bois recoiled back under a hail of rifle fire.
The remaining British troops now arrived with one unit moving into the village while the other got bogged down on the wrong side of the river trying to work out which Indian markers were real and which were bogus.
|The Canadians advance on the rather battered Rangers|
Over on the British right the Coureur du Bois pushed back and combining their fire with the ordinary Canadian Irregulars inflicted heavy casualties on the Rangers who were still trying to work out how to reload these new-fangled rifles. The Canadians then charged home and after a brief and bloody fight forced the Rangers to flee. Unfortunately for the British this left one of their officers sat on his own in the path of a horde of angry French-Canadians...after a brief flurry of tomahawks and knives it was all over. They followed up and also finished off what was left of the Rangers and opened up the path to the village.
Meanwhile the Indians were slowly picking their way towards the village and tying up 2 of the 3 British Line units who couldn’t decide which way to head. The Indians revealed themselves by firing into the flanks of one of the units, slowly whittling it down while other pesky Indians advanced through the cover of a wheat field, doubtless sharpening their tomahawks as they went.
|The Indians reveal themselves with a surprisingly effect volley|
The continuous fire from the remarkably accurate Indians polished off one of the regular units and at this point, as the evening was drawing on, Anthony conceded the game. The Indians and Canadians had both managed to get within 4” of the village which the British had been trying to prevent and although we hadn’t actually managed to slaughter any civilians [who’d remained safely tucked away in a cabin] it was only a matter of time.
The game felt very different to previous games of Musket and Tomahawk that we’ve played. In these the line troops had been very effective and were able to put down heavy fire with devastating results but this time the regulars were much less effective. Anthony had to continually try to readjust the units to maintain his facing opposite the Indians whose faster movement through the woods really came into its own. There was a palpable feeling of growing claustrophobia and the Ambush markers crept closer and closer to the enemy and a real frustration for the British at not having the mobility to counter this. The Rangers may have been able to have countered this but had met a bloody demise by this point.
Another excellent outing for these rules which had proved really impressive so far!