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"Just Tried Muskets and Tomahawks" Topic

16 Posts

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18th Century

911 hits since 21 Jul 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Leadjunky21 Jul 2018 9:09 p.m. PST

Liked it and I think we played the rules correctly, but it seemed that shooting was pretty weak and the game pretty much ended up in a bladed rugby match. We plan on giving it another go. Anyone had similar experience?

Dexter Ward22 Jul 2018 2:38 a.m. PST

No. Shooting is pretty deadly in our experience.
In fact the whole game plays pretty fast.
Maybe you misplayed something?

Shedman22 Jul 2018 2:59 a.m. PST

I've found that it depends on what forces you are using.

In FIW games we use Indians quite a bit and they always end up in hand-to-hand combat.

But the AWI games seem to go the other way with plenty of effective shooting especially with the Firing Line rule

Both sound reasonably authentic to me

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2018 5:36 a.m. PST

I'm curious. Can you name me a battle where Indians fought hand to hand? Discounting, of course, rushes to dispatch wounded.

Shedman22 Jul 2018 6:01 a.m. PST

No I can't – maybe the Battle on Snowshoes in 1758

As we don't normally field more than 20 Indians vs a handful of settlers I wouldn't call them battles

FlyXwire22 Jul 2018 6:46 a.m. PST

As Shedman related, concerning the M&T rules as played here, did the game have any Regulars involved, and did they avail themselves to the Firing Line tactical formation (in the Open)? This adds Shooting and Reaction modifiers that ramps up the effectiveness of firepower.
If the scenario involved mostly irregular forces, then as such, the skirmishing firefight will be far less effective.
Also, remember each casualty inflicted on a unit causes an immediate Reaction test, and these checks can occur numerous times during a single turn from Shooting results (this is what causes units to become ineffective as they retreat out of contact, become reduced, and/or eventually rout).

bruntonboy22 Jul 2018 8:03 a.m. PST

We tend to find M&T rather deadly. I was thinking of ways to reduce the casualty rate myself.

Leadjunky22 Jul 2018 1:03 p.m. PST

French all Indian and Irregular units. British had same but one provincial, one militia, and one Lt. Inf which chose to be regular. Quite a bit of dense terrain so when everybody saw you needed 6 or better to hit they just charged in. I did not see where there was any check to go into melee. The overmatched rule vigilant? Might have helped deter charges. French and Indians pretty much dominated. Rules were still fun and well received by the group but did not seem too historical so I suspected we may have overlooked something.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2018 4:53 a.m. PST

Its funny how many rules give the Indians advantages in hand to hand combat, but history doesn't really support this notion. Often the same for French irregulars (whatever that is) as again, history does not really support this notion either.

FlyXwire23 Jul 2018 5:57 a.m. PST

Indians fought for many different reasons, and usually not to prostrate themselves against some enemy line of troops in battles recorded for history.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2018 7:06 a.m. PST

Agreed. And because they valued low casualties so much they seldom exposed themselves in combact, let alone engage in hand to hand. Against, settlers (often unarmed by the way)- well, that was different.

FlyXwire23 Jul 2018 11:17 a.m. PST

And since their histories often went unwritten, as you touched upon their successes often came down in English as yet another example of Indian massacre.

Shedman23 Jul 2018 1:37 p.m. PST

So should Indians in the FIW engage in close combat or not?

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2018 2:14 p.m. PST

I can't comment on your games/rules, but Indians usually only closed on fleeing, or wounded troops. Hand to hand combat was pretty rare. Attacks on isolated settlers was another matter. My take on reading the period.

Leadjunky23 Jul 2018 7:28 p.m. PST

We are going to give it another go. I like the way it plays just not how it feels. Indians could not recruit more warriors and would not want to risk themselves needlessly. I guess their morale and unit size takes that into account though. Was there a lot of close combat in the type of fighting the rules are meant to represent irregular or otherwise?

FlyXwire24 Jul 2018 6:58 a.m. PST

Close combat has to be an option in any set of infantry-centric rules. Players then must decide if it is tactically feasible to engage in melee and then the dice rolling begins. As you mentioned LJ, the M&T rules specify small size Indian units, and their Reaction stats give them a propensity for Flight when required to check post-CC morale. Therefore, the opportunities for successful CC with Indians must weigh their vulnerability to casualties, and the risk of initial success being neutralized by extended melee rounds where their brittleness (size) wears them down quickly and they flee from the fight. With their tomahawk-throwing ability and good Aggressiveness stat, they have excellent initial "impact" in close combat. Players must then weigh if these small Indian bands can win quickly, otherwise they might flee as the hand-to-hand combat can turn as quickly against them too.
(attacking an opponent unit with combined groups can also be considered)

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