Sunday 31 March 2013

Muskets&Tomahawks First Game – AAR and Some Thoughts

So I played my first game of Muskets&Tomahawks against Dalauppror's Mohawks on Monday night. It was both a fun and a little frustrating experience. This is a short AAR, unfortunately with just one picture as I was too busy playing the game to remember taking photos, and some general thoughts on the game at the end.

We started by setting up the terrain according to the rules. After some discussion we decided that all areas – except some which we clearly defined – not covered by terrain were "light wood" and counted as difficult terrain. This would have no effect on the movement of our troops as all units had the Scout trait, but they would of course still benefit from the cover.

We then rolled for Missions: the Mohawks got the Slaughter mission and the French a Scouting mission. This meant we had to scour up some civilians for me to defend. I then made a stupid mistake when choosing which table edge to deploy on (or rather enter from) and this more or less cost me the game. The civilians were deployed behind one of the buildings, as far away from the indians' edge as possible. Unfortunately, this meant I had to place them on the edge of the forest with the only clear area on the other side of the building (nearer the indians).

As this was our first game, and we were concentrating on learning the basics, we didn't include weather or side plots.

All units started on blinds which lead to a very tentative first activations. The only unit without a blind were the civilians who tried to flee into the forest. Well, that didn't go too well as the -2 penalty to movement in difficult terrain meant they could move just 1 inch each activation.

Here is picture of the board after a few activations. The French entered from the left and the Mohawks deployed on the right table edge. The civilians started just to left of the building in the center. The inside of the area marked in red counted as open (except of course the field and the buildings), everything else was either light or dense wood, or difficult terrain. Instead of blinds markers we used single models and put stickers under the bases to show if they were units or dummys.

The battlefield. Click on the picture for a larger view.

The indians in the bottom of the picture moved silently and swiftly through the woods, charged the slow moving civilians and slaughtered every last one of them before the French could stop the Mohawks. Here we struggled a bit with the rules, as it's not very clear how you handle the end of a melee with troops still alive on both sides.

Looking at the remaining number of cards it was now clear that the French had no chance of winning the game, but we played on anyway. I was keen to at least get my troops into some action, as they effectively had yet done nothing but move.

The Compagnies Franches de la marine were forced off their blind and then opened fire on the indians. However, a rather disorganized placement meant the shooting was quite ineffective – and made worse by my bad dice rolling.

The Mohawks answered by charging the nearby militia unit and again cutting down all of their enemies without getting so much as a scratch in return. My bad dice rolling continued, and this was beginning to get very frustrating.

The saviours of the French honour came in form of the allied Hurons. On the left flank (top left in the picture above) they had crept up silently and now opened fire on their hated foe the Mohawks, a group of which was lurking in the forest ahead of them. And at last the dice were with me – one Mohawk fell down dead.

And that was the end of the game.

So in summary, an interesting game but very frustrating – first the misstake in deployment and then the very bad dice rolling. Still, some good lessons to ponder for future games, and some questions about the rules.

  • Deployment! Think carefully about how you deploy and if you can choose which side to deploy on, choose wisely.
  • Do not get into melee with indians. Better to stand back and shoot as they will break rather easily when shot at.
  • Placement within the unit is very important as friendly miniatures block line of fire. Or so was our understanding of the rules anyway. Can anyone please confirm this?
  • The 180 degree "seeing arc" means it's pretty easy to spot and get a line of sight to the enemy and therefore (or so it was in this game at least) facing is less important than placement within the unit.
  • Despite re-reading the rules, it's still not clear how you handle the end of melees when there are miniatures left on both sides. The general view on the M&T forum seems to be that the melee ends if the side forced to take a reaction test gets a Flight or Recoil result.
  • One other thing which isn't clear in the rules is if Officers are a blind on their own or if they "hang on" to another unit. As they normally count as unit by themselves this would indicate they are on their own blind (this is how we played it), but a confirmation would be nice.
After some reading on the forum, it seems this particular combination of missions (Slaughter vs Scouting) can lead to some very one-sided games, just as we experienced.

Anyway, we have our next game planned for tomorrow and hopefully it will be a more even match this time. And I'll try to take some more pictures this time.

Finally, a warm welcome to the new followers David and Monty. I hope you'll like my blog!


  1. Nice summery of our game Jonas, we hope for a more even match tomorrow.

    Best regards Michael

  2. Thanks Andrew! It seems that is the correct interpretation of the rules. We will play it like that today and see what happens.

  3. That's a good batrep, nice read Jonas.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Rodger, I'm glad you like it.