Sunday 7 April 2013

Muskets&Tomahawks Second Game – AAR

We had our second game of Muskets&Tomahawks on Monday. Once again it was my French against Dalauppror's Mohawks and we used the same forces as last time. The Indians got the Raid mission while the French had another go at Scouting.

This time we added in side plots to maybe even out the game a bit, as our last game was fairly one-sided. Dalauppror rolled "I'll prove my worth" – his Sachem had to charge an enemy unit of at least 3 models, and survive the melee. I got "Usurpation", which meant none of my units could move within 4 inches of my Officer. Tricky stuff indeed.

The board seen from the French side.

Just like last time we both started with all of our units on blinds, which led to some tentative first activations. The Mohawks moved with the majority of their units on their left flank, towards the buildings, and a small detachment was sent to stop the coming French advance on their right flank.

Meanwhile the French more or less mirrored the Mohawks by splitting their forces between both flanks.

The Mohawks set up a couple of units in the deep wood to try to halt the French coming their way, while two units moved out of the woods towards the settlement. The French didn't want to risk anything by revealing themselves before they had a good opportunity to shoot and so stayed in the woods. This meant the Indians arrived unopposed at the settlement and could set fire to the first building.

The Mohawks set fire to the first building ...
... while the Canadian militia opens fire on them.

With the Indians now in the open, the Canadian militia swept round the settlement and traded shots with the Mohawks who had set fire to the building. However, the shooting proved ineffective for both sides.

The compagnie franches de la marine advancing cautiously,
spying some Mohawks (or is it?) up ahead.

Meanwhile the compagnie franches de la marine advanced cautiously on the left flank – they had seen something in the woods up ahead that made them wary to get too close. Finally they decided to move up only to find it had been a bird or an animal (eg it was a dummy blind). Instead they fired off a few shots at the Mohawks near the second building, across the field, but as usual the French shooting was ineffective.

The compagnie franches de la marine true to form – no hits this time either.

The Mohawks now set fire to the second building, which spurred the compagnie franches de la marine to speed up their advance against the fourth and final sector to scout. However, they were keen to stay in cover and so choose the longer way, going around the deep woods.

Back on the other flank the French officer together with the Huron Indians (fashionably late to the party) moved back and forth, scouting the third sector while trying to get a good shot at the Mohawk forces camped in the woods. Some uncoordinated movement while retreating saw the Indians getting too close to the officer, which unfortunately meant the French side plot was spoilt. After some more, largely ineffective shooting by the French, the Mohawks saw their chance and charged their enemies, cutting down most of them.

I now had made a series of mistakes which would cost me the game. Up until now I had had the victory, not within grasp, but certainly within sight. My mistake was not being aggressive enough with my compagnie franches de la marine, while being too aggressive with my other forces. Had I advanced faster up the left flank (although I couldn't know the blind was a dummy, I had superiority in numbers and morale and probably could have stood up well in a fight) and then taken the shorter route in the open it was very likely I would have reached the final quarter of the board to scout. Meanwhile, the Indians and the Officer should have stayed in the safety of the woods and then begun to retreat, together with the militia, to the edge of the board were they could exit when the compagnie franches de la marine had done their scouting work.

It probably wouldn't have been that easy, of course the Mohawks would put up a hard fight and chase my retreating forces, but maybe I could have pulled it off!

Look out boys, the Indians are coming!

Well, it was too late now and instead the Mohawks could hunt the retreating French unopposed – cutting down both the French officer and the last Huron, before closing in on the militia – and also move up to block the advance of the Compagnie Franches de la marine. We had to end the game earlier as the time was up, but it was clear the Mohawks were the winners and the French once again had failed.

The goal in sight!
But those pesky Mohawks will soon thwart the French plans.

This game was much more uncertain than the first, and as such much more fun. Still, there certainly are some things to mull over ... After the game we discussed my force composition. We both felt the Mohawks, who had 2 more units than the French, were a more flexible force. It's possible I could take better advantage of the large 10 man squad of the compagnie franches de la marine, but I'm now looking at alternative forces which would give me more but smaller units. I haven't cracked that one yet though ...

We will take a break from Muskets&Tomahawks for a while now – our next scheduled game will be another playtest of Lion Rampant. Dan has done some significant revisions of the rules, and I'm looking forward to see how they change the game.

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


  1. Very nice AAR Jonas !!!

    Especially like the "The French didn't want to risk anything by revealing themselves" a very good synonym for "The froggys was terrified to see the feared Mohawks and choose to stay hidden in the wood, hoping they would not see them..." ;)

    Absolutely a better game then the first one and realy tense. We still have some rules that we missed and some rules that still might not be cleare as they are not that welll explain in the rules.

    Looking forward to our next session with Lion Rampant !

    Best regards Michael

    1. Thanks Michael!

      Well ... you might be on to something regarding the terrified French ... ;)

  2. A very nice read and lovely table. Better luck next time!


  3. I think Andrew's suggestion might be the way to go first. I know nothing about the game, but it seems like the Marines have been too far away to do damage in the last few battles. Barring that, the smaller units giving you more tactical options doesn't sound bad.

  4. Thanks for the advice guys! Lots to ponder ...

    I think one of my (many) mistakes is thinking of the marines as a sort of "elite" unit, when in truth they should be doing the dirty work and just get stuck in with both muskets and tomahawks.

    Instead I should use the milicien as the elite unit they are, sneaking around behind enemy lines.

    Also, I think I'm a bit too hesitant to get my units within good firing distance. But it's tricky when you're dealing with Indians in woodland terrain as they're very hard to spot. And if you get too close they can easily charge you. I've not had any luck what so ever melees this far as the Indians are a tough bunch up close!