Thursday, 2 August 2012

First Game of Muskets & Tomahawks

I had my first game of Muskets & Tomahawks (M & T) on Monday night. For those of you not familiar with it M & T is a skirmish game set in the French & Indian wars period. It's made by the same people who did Saga but apart from the number of figures it uses there's no similarity between the two games.

I used Graham's British while he used his Indians. The game uses a points system to allow you to build your force to suit your style of play. I think we were playing 200pts a side. The terrain layout is shown below.

The terrain layout

We did use missions but not sub-plots (whatever they are). My mission was to scout his two quarters of the table and get back to my baseline. While Graham had to burn down the church and farm on my left.

The basic game mechanics are simple. Each unit has a number that you roll against to hit, kill after a hit or save in melee. Some units have special rules that can modify these numbers as can terrain.

I set up my two British units to cover the church and farm on my left with the intent of holding them. While my Indians were on my right with the aim of using their better speed to do the scouting. Activating units is different in M & T, each unit and each officer has a card which is added to a deck. The deck is shuffled and then the top card is flipped over indicating what unit type and nationality can activate. I had three units and an officer while Graham had four units and an officer.  When a card is flipped all of the units of that type and nationality can activate. This method of activating means that if you have say four units of the same type you could flip their card four times in a row. Meaning that you could activate all matching units four times in a row before your opponent could activate once. Of course the opposite is true and after you have activated you opponent still gets to activate. It's different and makes any kind of tactical planning a bit of a lottery.

Anyway on to the game. I moved my Brits forward into defensive positions to await the enemy while my Indians ran forward. My Indians morale was poor (as was my dice) and they kept falling back from enemy fire, ultimately running away completely. My Brits used their firing skills to inflict lots of hits but couldn't convert them in to kills (again bad dice rolls) also when I did manage a kill Graham's supposedly fragile Indians didn't fall back.

Graham's Indians quickly managed to fire the church while another unit massacred my left flank Brit's in melee. All his Indians then converged on my centre unit who did their best managing to kill a number of Indian's with shooting and in melee. But sadly the enemy's superior numbers and my bad dice rolling told and they were wiped out.

So what did I think of the game? It's interesting, but for me the card based activation makes it too random. I'd play it again but I won't be buying the rules or any figures. Here's some pictures from the game.

My British regulars advance to defend the church

My Indians getting ready to scout

In prepared positions getting ready to blast the heathens.

My Indians encounter two of Graham's units

Graham's bloodthirsty Indians rush forward to engage my British

Gallant defensive volleys do not deter the savages

My troops can only watch as the heathens burn down the
church while using it for cover

The gallant survivors try to hold on


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