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.
I have been on the fence about skirmish scale gaming, having mostly played at army level and preferring it. But big miniatures and a "frontier campaign" lend themselves very well to a more personal focus on individual fighters and I will be revisiting this topic, I think.
Next up, a bit of travelogue.