A hastily arranged game of Muskets and Tomahawks last night gave us a chance to try out another variation off troop combinations.
I fielded a mixed force of 3 French Line Infantry units and 2 groups of Indians but Anthony had the opportunity to unveil his new British troops. He’d decided to go for quality over quantity with a unit of Grenadiers, a unit of Light Infantry and a unit of Rangers... all elite, a smattering of marksmen but very limited in numbers. Would the Grenadiers impressive hats win the day? Was the purchase of a cavalry sword for his officer going to influence the gods of war?
In a reverse of our last game the British were intent on attacking some peaceable French settlers and torching their log cabins. The French had been warned of their advance and were tasked with destroying them.
Keith had joined us for this game and took command of the Indians while I looked after the French Line.
The side missions had led to the British officer dragging a young lady as a hostage along with him [possibly in some not very well thought out attempt to impress her] and left a French officer hostage at the far end of the table [who we decided to ignore for the rest of the game... hopefully he eventually managed to chew through his bonds!]
The game began with the French advancing slowly past the village while the Indians trotted off through the woods trying to find an opportunity to fall on the British flanks. The British Light Infantry and Rangers sped off south towards the village, leaving the Grenadiers to plod along slowly in their wake. Having seen the speed of the British Irregulars advancing the French switched direction and took up position behind the village fence bracing themselves for the oncoming hail of elite fire. One of Keith’s Indian units appeared from the village and charged straight for the Rangers in a flurry of feathers and hatchets. A furious few minutes of hacking ensued and what was left of the Rangers fled back out of the woods. Unfortunately this left the Indians at the mercy of the Light Infantry who almost wiped them out with musket fire, leaving one lone Indian to flee out of the woods back towards his French colleagues [remember him... he’ll reappear in a minute!]
|The French defend the village...note the lone psychopathic Indian by the wood|
Meanwhile the French Line infantry had redressed their lines and got into position to finish off the few remaining Rangers and to exchange fire with the Light Infantry. We may have forgotten to re-roll some of the Lights missed shots [with the Marksman trait] but even if we had I suspect they would still have come off worst against 2 Line units in Firing Line. Although their casualties weren’t high the Lights were forced to recoil and here we learned a crucial rule in M & T.... don’t advance down the table edge: if you do and then recoil you’ll move off table and be lost forever!
Keith’s other Indian unit had been shadowing the Grenadiers who had suddenly accelerated and were beginning to threaten the village. Repeating his successful tactic and madly charging straight at the enemy the Indians charged through the woods onto the Grenadiers. This was a much closer fight... the Grenadiers melee ability is as good as Indians and they outnumbered them but the Indians were ‘bloodthirsty’ making them especially effective in hand to hand. Again Keith was able to force the British to recoil and again the table edge proved a valuable ally as the Grenadiers were forced over it and destroyed.
The French advance on the British Light Infantry
To add insult to injury Keith’s remaining single Indian [remember him?] took the opportunity to charge the lone British officer... a furious last ditch duel took place before the opponents managed to kill each other, leaving our hostage untended and in the relative safety of hordes of Frenchmen...
So, the Quality vs. Quantity experiment wasn’t a great success... the Grenadiers might have made a difference but were slow in getting to the front [I blame their hats!] and the volume of ‘adequate’ gunfire outweighed the ‘elite’ fire that the British had in too limited numbers.
And remember.... stay away from the table edge!!!