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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Distant War Drum

Hugh brought his French and Indian War collection down to the club and I got in my first game of Muskets and Tomahawks. From the makers of SAGA, M&T is a skirmish game representing the small wars fought in North America during the late 18th Century.  There have been a number of excellent reviews of M&T so I won't revisit the game mechanics.  Anatoli's Game Room posted up a superb review here if you'd like to read about them in detail.
Hugh gave me a 20 minute rules review and we dived right in.  As the French & Indian player, I rolled up "Slaughter" in the scenario generator and Hugh got "Protect" as the British. He placed 2 units of civilians in cabins and his British light infantry in a firing line. The British had an Indian warband and Rangers off board.  At the beginning of each turn, he had to roll to activate them. Turn 1, he managed to activate his Rangers and it was a race to the cabins!
My plan was to use my French irregulars to tie up the British light infantry and send my 3 war parties through the tall corn and into the cabins.  My irregulars got excited when the British moved up to the split rail fencing.  They missed entirely with their first volley and the the British reply sent my irregulars reeling.  This was a blunder on my part as it allowed the British lights to pivot 180 degrees, reload and fire into my approaching warband.   
My first charge on the cabin was rebuffed by a volley from civilians manning the windows and doors. With two dead, my warband retreated into the cornfield. My other two warbands waited on Mogwai to sort out what to do next.  


Mogwai ordered a 2nd charge into the cabin that caught the civilians reloading.  Thrown tomahawks took out a civilian and the ensuing melee panicked them into a flight out the back window.  My warband raced into the cabin in pursuit, and not a minute too soon.  The British lights crossed the rail fence and prepared to loose another volley.

Things were trending very poorly for me.  The British Rangers opened up and sent one of my warbands fleeing.  I charged a depleted warband into the British lights and failed to budge them.  The only bright spot on the board was the fleeing civilians I was about to run down from behind.

Before my warband could dispatch the civilians, the Rangers charged my warband. The short and sharp melee sent the Rangers back in flight. If they'd beaten me, the British would have won on the spot as this was my last healthy warband.  As it was, my warband caught the fleeing civilians from behind and dispatched them.  A back to back activation allowed me to turn and charge the second unit of civilians from behind and dispatch them as well.  Out of the teeth of defeat, a surprising victory!  


I was really taken with M&T. Our tense game had many interesting decision points and was resolved in two hours.  In particular, I loved:
  • The card driven activation with random events built in.  
  • The Fog of War opening movement with dummy counters.  
  • Morale and special unit characteristics. 
I ordered up a copy of the rules as soon as I got home. Hugh and I agreed M&T is on the menu for 2015.  What a nice surprise and I have to ask myself, why did it take me so long to try these rules?

41 comments:

  1. One of us! One of us! So happy to see you've fallen for M&T. Just wait until you try the sub-plots, they add a whole new twist to the game.

    FMB

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    1. Thanks Marcus for once again leading the way! I saw the subplots but Hugh was kind enough to let me go a game without them. Next time...

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  2. Great looking game - terrain & figures wonderful to behold. F&IW is another favorite of mine - gamed much too infrequently I must confess. Happy New Year, Monty!

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    1. It is a beautiful collection Hugh has! I may be painting some F&IW in 2015.

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  3. It is a great game, I wish I got to play it more often. Very nice terrain and figures.

    John

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    1. As I recall, you've had a couple of posts on M&T. Thanks for leading the way!

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  4. Great looking game and the figures look wonderful! M&T is a game I have yet to try..

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    1. I did love the mechanics. I'm surprised by how much I'm taking with the game the first time out, and not because I managed a "W." ;-)

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  5. Very nice looking minis - Mogwai..? Mohican-Scottish ancestry, I suppose.. ;) Happy New Year, Monty :)

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    1. LOL, Mogwai is a tough fellow. Happy New Year, No Vember!

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  6. Having just watched the 1992 remake of 'The Last of the Mohicans', this is well-timed!

    I have toyed with the idea of painting up some woodland tribesmen, but I still have the Sons of Death to complete and then another two SAGA warbands... I wish I were as well-organised as my fellow blogonians!

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    1. Evan! I got to watch Last of the Mohicans this fall shortly after we got back from hiking and vacationing in NC where they filmed the movie. It is a superb period piece.

      I can't wait to see the Sons of Death!

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  7. Beautiful looking game, and an excellent report too. It's a fascinating period, one I could be peer-pressured into playing I think!

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    1. Thanks Paul and that is the knock on effect of blogging and following blogs. There are so many other periods to play!

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  8. Love the period! Wonderful looking game and reminds me I need to get hot on finishing my warbands so I can play a game.

    Christopher

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    1. You've played a bit of Dux B as I recall. If you like Dux B, you'll love M&T. Can't wait to see your finished warbands!

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  9. I always enjoy the period, lovely sounding game.

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    1. Thanks Fran, I hope the move to Ireland goes well!

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  10. Excellent Monty! I too am on the M&T wagon for next year, I've ordered a bunch of packs to get myself started for the new year. All the best,

    Nate

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    1. Thanks Nate! This one snuck up on me. Good luck with M&T in 2015!

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  11. That was such a gorgeous looking game!

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    1. Hugh's collection is wonderful to look at, and play!

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  12. Looks like a fabulous game! Hope Chris finishes his figures one day so we can have a game ;-)

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    1. Thanks Moiterei! When you fellows give it a spin, I'd love to here what you think.

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  13. Very nice looking game and greate AAR.

    Might have to run a couple of M&T games again...

    Happy New Year Monty !!!

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    1. Happy New Year Michael and thanks! Glad to see we both survived Krampus. ;-)

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  14. What a fantastic looking game! And minis...

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    1. Thanks Phil and Happy New Year to you and your band!

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  15. Great write up, Monty. Happy New Year to you!

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    1. Thanks Pru! I hope you have a great New Year. Remember to hydrate as you go.

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  16. Nice table and nice batrep.

    Wishing you and your family the best in 2015!

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    1. You are the best, Anne. Here's to you and yours in 2015, and I can't wait to see what you spring on us next on your blog!

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  17. Beauty, beauty! Love minis, terrains and this Last of the Mohican's climate!

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    1. Thanks Michal, it sure makes me want to queue the movie up again.

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  18. Happy and a safe New Year Monty and to your family and friends (wargame buddies!)

    cheers,

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    1. Thanks Phil, I hope you had a good one too!

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  19. Great pictures and battle report! Thanks for sharing Monty!
    Happy New Year!

    Greetings
    Peter

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    1. Peter! Thanks for ringing in and Happy New Year to you and yours as well!

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  20. Lovely report! That is about the way I would expect such fights to go... including the last minute turn of events in your favor!

    Happy New Year, Monty!

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    1. Thanks Burkhard, and Happy New year to you too! I'm completely smitten with M&T. What a great game!

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