Thursday, September 22, 2016

BIG Fistful of Lead at Recruits This Weekend!

BIG as in "54mm BIG." Cluck Amok-style. Come play some Fistful of Lead: Horse and Musket at Recruits this weekend. You know you want to!

And if yer still in need of convincin'. . . here's a reprise of an earlier post from 2013. . .

Game Three featured The Baron's new horse and musket variant for his Fistful of Lead rules. Designed primarily for western gunfights, The Baron is adapting them for use with my favorite horse and musket conflict, the French and Indian War, and we got to participate in an early playtest. Have a look at the preview in the link above to get an idea of how the game plays.

On to the game itself. We had 8 players again, 4 per side, each player running 5 models. We played basically the same scenario used in the earlier two games. The British had a unit of 5 Regulars, two units of 5 Civilians/Militia and a unit of 5 Rangers (run by yours truly). The French consisted of two units of 5 Natives, one unit of 5 Coeur De Bois and a unit of 5 Marines.

The Civilians/Militia started the game in the homesteads; the remaining players decided on their models' entry points when they activated per the card draws. The Marines and a unit of Natives entered along the north edge in the woods, the other Natives and Coeur on the western edge in the woods, with the British Regulars entering on the road on the eastern edge, while I took up a position in the woods along the southern edge facing the southwestern homestead.

I forgot to take pictures for the first couple of turns while I was "learning" the game. So about Turn Three, the Natives and Coeur were crossing the river under fire from the homestead. Unfortunately they were still out of range of my Rangers, and despite The Baron's disdain, I was in no hurry to leave the cover of the woods.

The British Regulars had joined their Militia bretheran in the northeastern homestead. . .

and the Natives and Marines were at the edge of the north central woods, firing on both homesteads.

The fight around the southwestern homestead was brutal. Though outnumbered, the Militia fought back heroically, especially Molly MacGregor (the only character in this game to be officially named, beside "Whack-a-Mole, a Militiaman who spent the entire game getting knocked down and jumping up again), who, though wounded and burned as the Natives fired her home, shot two of the Natives herself.

I was able to keep the Marines and Natives in the northern woods pinned down as they made for the southwestern homestead, but was not able to effect the fight itself.

One of the Militia took advantage of this covering fire and made a break with one of the pack horses.

Under cover of the Regulars, the Militia in the northeastern homestead also made their break with the packhorses.

Her home aflame, Molly takes her chances with the packhorse, her young'un close at her side.

But a bullet from the woods spooks Molly's horse, which bolts, knocking her down and stomping on her leg, wounding brave Molly. Despite the Rangers' covering fire, one of the French Coeur runs up and nabs the horse.

Though burned, shot and stomped, Molly was not going to let those nasty French brutes have off with her things, and charged the nearest of the offending Coeur. She discharges her musket at point blank range. . .

. . . and misses! Then the brute knocks poor Molly to the ground, inflicting a grievous wound.

 So the Coeur De Bois were off with their prize, and despite my best efforts (from afar, as noted again), without a loss.

Despite a close-run fight at the northeastern homestead, which the Natives succeed in setting ablaze, the Militia escape with the pack horses.

And when we had to call "time," the third pack horse was also en route to safety, though deterred by a jaunt through the woods.

The score? The French and Natives burned both homesteads and stole one of the pack horses; the British retained 3 of the 4 pack horses. Casualties were light on both sides. The Baron declared the game a draw, with a slight nod to the French.

The game was great fun and provided a fun and believable narrative. I played it very safe, and kept 4 of my 5 Rangers alive, but allowed the Coeur to make off with one of the pack horses. No guts, no glory. . . c'est la vie.

Thanks, Baron.

See ya at Recruits!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Recruits is LESS than a month away!

Just finished the bases on the draft horses needed for at least one of the games of Fistful of Lead; Horse and Musket we're going to run at Recruits in about 3 weeks. While I was at it, I based up the pack horses I have, too. . . 

Also made some "scatter terrain," thanks to some more opportune finds at Jo Ann's (yes, coupons were involved) to add a little "green" into the forest and to break up the grassy fields some. Definitely want to make more of the ferns.

Come see it all in action - and play some games - at Recruits!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Recruits is a month away!

Next month at Recruits in Lee's Summit, Missouri, I'll be helping the convention's Guest of Honor, The Baron, showcase his Fistful of Lead skirmish rules. I'll be showing off the new pending Horse and Musket variant. The games will be smaller in size - but not in scale - than my usual set-ups, so I plan to run a couple different scenarios to highlight the versatility of the rules and the period. OK. . . so I'm limiting the "period" to the French and Indian War era of the Horse and Musket period, but there is versatility nonetheless!

The first scenario comes from the new Horse and Musket book; it is set in the French and Indian War and is a classic raid on a colonial farmstead. The map for this game is shown above.

The second game planned also comes from the Horse and Musket book, but is set during the American Revolution. Just changing the troops involved makes it work perfectly for the French and Indian War, too. Here's the map for this game:

Looks like there could be an ambush involved : )

I just have a few figure bases to finish and some terrain to fuss over, then we'll be all ready for the debut of Fistful of Lead: Horse and Musket.

See ya! 

Monday, August 8, 2016

What was I thinking?

Last post I showed you some new markers I picked up for Black Powder. A couple days later I pulled out my copy of Fistful of Lead to do a little research in preparation for a game to be run at Recruits next month. . . and I rediscovered these great markers the Baron made for his last Kickstarter. Gotta git me some more!

And now for something completely different. Here's a shot of the newly-opened Game Space at Casa FusterCluck. Perhaps the future home of the Basement Generals North : )

You can see the portable ping pong tables against the wall on the far right. 5' x 9' of gaming table goodness. And when there's no game in progress I've got a great exercise area!

Monday, August 1, 2016

If The Game's Gotta Have Markers. . .

I prefer not to have markers on my game table. If I have to use them, I want them to be functional first, and then meet an aesthetic standard. The white and red D4s (die with 4 sides numbered 1 through 4) I have been using to track "volume of fire" and "disruptions" in my games of This Very Ground, and "hits" in Black Powder are very functional but perhaps a little distracting on the table. So I'm always on the lookout for nice markers.

I found these wooden markers at a local (Twin Cities) game store, and it turns out they're made by a local artist. Check out TRE Games here for lots of cool toys. 

I like the simple, wooden look of these markers. I used a red colored pencil to color the inset numbers to represent "excess hits" when needed. Here is how they'll look with a typical "small" Black Powder unit - representing a third of a battalion on my table.

 Like 'em?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What Am I Reading Now?

My Butterfly Brain is apparent in some of the books I've added to my reading list. I'm really looking forward to wading into Dr. Matthew's hefty book on the Macedonian pike phalanx. Also of "ancient" interest are new books on Rome and Syracusan tyrants, as well as a new set of fast-play wargame rules for classical naval battles from Osprey Publishing.

Here are a couple of new books on the French and Indian War. I highly recommend the new Osprey COMBAT  - it directly inspired my recent Black Powder game of La Belle Famille.

 Osprey just released a new Campaign book on the Gempei War, of course by Dr. Turnbull.

The recent wargaming "glossies" have relevant content, too. This one has a review of The Baron's Fistful of Lead rules by Lion and Dragon Rampant author Daniel Mersey, as well as a mention of his most excellent blog.

All have reviews of the new black-powder-era skirmish rules Sharp Practice 2 from Too Fat Lardies, which have a section devoted to the French and Indian War. The Norman Conquest issue features some Lion Rampant and Hail Caesar! articles to help scratch that Dark Ages itch.

See ya!