Monday, 14 March 2016

If You Go Down To The Woods Today

I received an invite last week to join a game of Muskets and Tomahawks this Sunday, so having nothing to do on what I expected to be a lousy day I agreed, in the event it turned out a lovely day but them's the breaks. I was in a store cupboard watching everyone else swanning about in the sunshine outside, but I was playing a game with an enthusiastic crowd, albeit in a storeroom. This I might add was a huge improvement from the leaky, cold, windswept ruin in which I have played at before in Ingleton village.

Rob was umpiring a game which I suspect as usual was based on something historical, I didn't get an opportunity to talk about the scenario as I had to listen carefully to my part in it. Being Scottish I was naturally given the command of a bunch of Jocks who were escorting a supply train of obstinate mules and even less enthusiastic muleteers. My job was to take the goods to the local fort which seemed to be pretty short on everything including ammunition, it was not going to be a walk in the park as the fort was under attack by large forces of Americans and French.

The Scots move out.

Rob as umpire was playing things fairly close to his chest and we all discovered things to our detriment as the game went along, the American artillery had set up without a line of sight on any enemy and should they wish to move their gun they found the ground unsuitable with a high chance that the piece may disappear into a ravine. My own artillery had the same problem and had to spend a lot of time repositioning itself. No sooner had we set off than the enemy entered the table and made for the for the centre hoping no doubt to overwhelm my forces and a small force of Hessians who stood in their path.

The Frenchies and Yanks turn up.
 Expecting to be attacked I hunkered down in a small hamlet and left the Hessian to it, but as the battle went on it was obvious my flank was not going to be threatened so I reformed with the intention of forming on the right of the Hessians. I did not have enough room but managed to dissuade the enemy from using a hill to out flank us as swarms of musket balls made the heights untenable, the 'Hill of Death' as it was known to myself and the German commander. However this left only one small group of Hessians in front of almost the complete enemy army, these brave fellows lived up to their reputation as time and again they forced the enemy back, I did manage to get some light infantry up alongside to help.
More of the enemy beside the 'Hill of Death'.
 At just the wrong time the French and Americans found out that the ground was far worse than at first supposed and it slowed them down considerably and ruined their plans, which was just as well as the Hessians, despite standing like stonewalls were losing men at every turn. I had by this time decided to move one of my larger battalions to their aid, but as with the enemy the ground slowed me down, but they were on the way. What of the mule train you ask, well they spent the game like the Grand Old Duke Of York, they went first one way then back the way they came, covering almost no distance at all over the course of the game. It was at this crucial point in the game the British garrison of the fort felt confident enough to come out and fight, not to help the Hessians but to assault the enemy right flank held mainly by civilians and militia.

The Hessians.
 The enemy had lost their chance, the terrain and the bravery of a small group of Germans had defeated them although I like to think my light infantry had helped, despite hiding in a dense wood. It was a good game with many fine soldiers on the table all more or less painted to a very high standard, so much so it was a joy to play with them. M&T had been the only other game I would have jumped for if I had not decided on Bolt Action, with my new project and hopefully a Byzantine army on the stocks for next year I shall have to rely on Rob and Andy to provide my fix for some time to come, just as well they enjoy it.

I have now completed the second unit of Carolingian cavalry for my sons Western Franks, it has not been properly based as it will have to fit in with the rest of his army but other than that it is ready to go.

This means I now have the decks clear to start my WWII British, I managed to get the flesh on them yesterday and have given it a wash, so I intend get started properly tonight and spend at least an hour on them. I am doing them in small batches, a squad at a time then the support weapons or maybe the Universal Carrier first, I am in no big hurry to complete them so I want to take a bit of time over them as the last time I painted WWII figures they were Airfix plastics.

I am tempted to take the night off mind you, I have been working all day on a map project and my arms are a bit painful, holding a brush will not improve matters. However this particular project is nearing its conclusion and I think I will actually buy the books, no I don't get a freebie, although I did with the Atlas, a great pity as many of the books I have drawn for are on very interesting subjects.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an interesting game. An umpire keeping his cards close to his chest, eh? Who'd have thunk it?