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"Favorite Battle of the Mexican-American War?" Topic

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Action Log

19 Apr 2019 9:49 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Areas of Interest

19th Century
World War One

582 hits since 12 Sep 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian12 Sep 2018 5:28 p.m. PST

Which battle from this conflict is your favorite on the tabletop?

surdu200512 Sep 2018 6:41 p.m. PST

Buena Vista.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2018 6:49 p.m. PST

Vivan los San Patricios!

Corporal Fagen12 Sep 2018 8:26 p.m. PST

On the tabletop? Palo Alto

Personal logo FingerandToeGlenn Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2018 9:54 p.m. PST

Resaca de Palma and Palo Alto. Small engagements, so easy to game.

Prince Alberts Revenge12 Sep 2018 9:57 p.m. PST

Palo Alto followed by Buena Vista and Resaca de Palma.

Cacique Caribe12 Sep 2018 11:00 p.m. PST

Wasn't the Texas War Of Independence the real start of the Mexican American War? :)

If so, then my favorite one is the heroic last stand at the Alamo. (ducking as I leave)


rvandusen13 Sep 2018 1:50 a.m. PST

"A little more grape captain Bragg." Buena Vista.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2018 7:30 a.m. PST

Buena Vista.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Sep 2018 10:15 a.m. PST

Buena Vista, but I've never been able to game it "properly." At a ground scale of 1"=100', the battlefield would be right at 12' in length and potentially over 6' wide.

Also, it is easily the most difficult battlefield to represent in 3D of any I can think of (short of some Andean and Himalayan actions). If there was a sand table of the proper dimensions, the terrain would be a LOT easier to represent in the necessary detail, but I don't have one (almost did, but had to abandon the idea, though for reasons one might not think).

Most wargame rules seriously if unintentionally, exaggerate the number of men represented by a base at larger ground scales. That is, "shrinking" the battlefield to 1"=500' (for example) makes it very manageable to build, but units would have to be represented by as few as only two or three figures. Otherwise, units would be impossibly huge with even only 10 or 12 figures each.

Again, that's really just the failure of man-to-figure ratio systems which rarely represent actual frontages/depths.

The majority of the Angosturas/Buena Vista battlefield is dead ground that can barely be traversed either in formation or not, and the actual combats were on only "islands" of practical ground. Part of Taylor's brilliance (or at least his Chief-of-Staff's) was to recognize that only those "islands" needed to be defended and held, not the entire field. Thus the importance of depicting the whole terrain in a fashion that clearly provides these areas, and in a way that matches the basing system for all units.

Quite a challenge and one I haven't been able to crack--yet.

But my favorite battle indeed! Never was so much riding on so few Yanqui's in the face of many Mexicanos!


mumbasa13 Sep 2018 10:37 p.m. PST

Palo Alto is my favorite having played it with about half a dozen rule sets. I hosted Buena Vista using Chapultepec rules and scenario right out of the Courier. The first turn one of the 5 American units routed. Yet, the other 4 units won the game. My favorite rule set is Field of Battle 2 which I helped playtest for Brent Omen.

Normal Guy Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2018 7:48 p.m. PST

Contreras intrigues me: flank attack, volcanic ground. Interesting.

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