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"Gaming Ulzana's Raid in 15mm" Topic

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Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP01 Jul 2019 8:13 a.m. PST

I discovered some long lost painted 15mm Apaches in my garage and they gave me the idea to try and game Ulzana's Raid, one of my favorite Indian Wars movies. My idea is to lay out all the terrain and ranches on a 5X8 foot table and then give maps of the table to the two players controlling Uzala's band and the US cavalry. The players won't know the moves of the other side until they come within spotting distance of each other. At that point we'll move the action to the table. It may be possible for the Apache to disappear after contact. I'm still trying to figure that out. I'm also trying to figure out how to play this solo.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP01 Jul 2019 11:08 a.m. PST

I remember the film being horribly realistic. Don't recreate all of it!

HMS Exeter01 Jul 2019 11:42 a.m. PST

Ah, I freakin give up! My word processing software goes all haywire when I tried to copy in.

HMS Exeter01 Jul 2019 12:10 p.m. PST

The key to producing an engaging scenario is trying to capture the cat and mouse nature of the hunt. This is perhaps best rendered in a solo game settling.

Ulzana's actions are handled by dice rolls. The player represents the cavalry officer. What he can do is based on a die roll between the officer, McIntosh and Ken-ne-tay. If the officer wins he can do only slow or stupid things. If McIntosh wins he can do fast and smart things. If Ken-ne-tay wins, you dice some more. Anything is possible. The officer always considered his loyalty in question.

When Ulzana is close to cavalry he can either evade, Ambush, Diversion (horse theft) or spring a Trap. Traps are very dangerous and normally end the game either way.

Water and horses are critical.

My original post was about 5x's as long.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP01 Jul 2019 2:38 p.m. PST

KPinder, thanks! Some good thinking there. And you're right, once the two sides meet up, it's pretty much over for one side or the other.

Artilleryman, I too, recall the violence as being shocking, especially the first time I saw it. I figured I would represent Ulzana's destruction of lives and property with a simple plume of smoke curling up from the ranches the band contacts.

HMS Exeter01 Jul 2019 2:58 p.m. PST

One of the concepts that fell out of the lost post was "vigor.". It's kind of an admixture of strength and morale.

At start you dice for each figure's vigor. The Apache, stuck on the reservation, have crappy vigor at best, but a lot of variation from fig to fig. The troopers have higher vigor, but narrower variation.

The troopers can't gain vigor, but can lose it from fatigue, shortage of water and casualties.

The Apache can't lose vigor. But they can gain it if they capture soldiers or adult settlers and spend time doing "bad things.". It ain't purrty, but it's how that worked.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP01 Jul 2019 3:05 p.m. PST

That was great scene in the movie, Ken-ne-tay explaining to Lieutenant DeBuin why the Apache warriors did what they did. "Vigor" is an interesting concept. Can you tell us more? In game terms does it effect movement and/or fighting value?

HMS Exeter01 Jul 2019 3:21 p.m. PST

Movement is primarily a function of mounts. At start Ulzana is stuck with reservation nags. One of his top priorities is raiding to get better mounts. Anyone on foot moves at a fixed slow rate. Given water issues, anyone on foot has to get to water, then move to the next water. More than likely, anyone on foot will get to a settlement, hole up and hope not to get noticed.

Vigor is all about combat capability. In combat, figures are paired off 1 on 1. Fire combat and close quarters are the same. Vigor+1d6 vs vigor+1d6. A tie, or a difference of 1 is no effect. If winner's result is 2 over, light wound. Loser saves on a 5-6. 3 over is a serious wound. 4 over is a kill.

In the movie, the troopers are wore out at the end. They're lucky they won. As an Apache Ke-Ni-Tay could not lose vigor. That's why he was the most effective cavalry asset at the end.

You wouldn't think I started making this all up 5 hours ago.

Desert Fox01 Jul 2019 3:33 p.m. PST

Cool scenario. Things to consider…
Troopers escorting settlers back to the fort
How will the cav pick up the trail of the raiders?
How will the cav track the raiders? McIntosh and ken-ay-te are able to track the raiders, the captain definitely not. What about the Sargent and the other troopers?
Skirmishes at homesteads that did not evacuate
How will the raiders get horses?
Victory conditions—will the raiders dribble away if they cannot find horses? Will the raiders flee the cav or turn and attacking to get their horses?

Great movie!

HMS Exeter03 Jul 2019 11:22 a.m. PST

Actually based on a real Apache raid. Way worse than in the movie. Amazing how the real Ulzana ended up.


Desert Fox03 Jul 2019 12:16 p.m. PST

Wow, great find kpinder

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