Young gamer Sam mostly plays Warhammer but he's also been playing in my historical games since last year's Crisis Point. Dex, meanwhile is an old gaming buddy from the days of the the Berkeley Hordes of the Things tournaments. Dex has just moved to nearby Oughtibridge and is a welcome addition to the Storrs gaming community.
|Sam led the guerrillas (with Jamie's help)|
|Dex brought a certain pensive je ne sais quoi to|
the role of contre-guerilla
The Meeples and Miniatures guys had the idea that a game (or by extension a particular collection of toy soldiers) doesn't represent value-for-money until you've played it often enough that the cost per game is about that of a cinema ticket. We aren't yet there with the Maximilian Adventure collection so another outing to 1860s Mexico seemed like a good idea.
I wanted a game we could get through in an afternoon so I decided on a relatively small action using Liberal guerillas and Imperial contre-guerillas. The Republican regulars and the Turcos stayed in their boxes.
The scenario involved a patrol of contre-guerillas marching to the village of Santa Clara where, intelligence reports suggested, there were three houses belonging to Republican/guerilla sympathisers. These were to be burned to the ground. The only problem was that they only knew the location of one of the houses.
Meanwhile, and unknown to the contre-guerillas, a party of Liberal guerrillas was also bound for Santa Clara with the aim of recovering supplies that had been stashed in those same houses.
Each of the two forces was given the chance to roll before the game on its own Intelligence Table:
Contre-guerilla Intelligence Table:
- Knowledge of one of the guerrilla sympathisers’ houses.
- Gain a Moveable Deployment Point and all Contre-guerrilla forces gain the Moveable Deployment Point ability.
- Steal a march - Contre-Guerillas get an extra turn before the guerrilla cards are added to the deck.
- Place a stray villager wherever you like on the table.
- Add a Legion Etrangere skirmisher unit to your force.
- The lads have found a stash of tequila; add one to your Force Morale.
Guerrilla Intelligence Table:
- Gain a Moveable Deployment Point and Guerrilla skirmishers gain the Moveable Deployment Point ability.
- or 3. Steal a march - Guerrillas get an extra turn before the CG cards are added to the deck.
4. or 5. Pre-loaded supplies - the supplies in one house have been pre-loaded onto a donkey pannier making loading them Task Value 5.
6. The lads have found a stash of tequila; add one to your Force Morale.
Pretty much all of the relevant tasks had predetermined values of 10 (interrogating a villager, firing a house or landing the contents of a house onto the mule train).
The guerrillas found the stash of tequila while their opponents encountered young Consuela Vargas on the road next to their entry point.
The guerrillas started in the middle of Santa Clara and had two groups of skirmishers, two of state militia and one of cavalry.
The contre-guerillas had to march through the woods and across the farmland before they reached the village. I do think the two Groups of cavalry looked good on their first outing together.
Oh, by the way, see those guerrillas on the roof of the square house with the balcony? Any moment now a stray spark from their muskets is going to set the building alight. And guess what? It's the one building the contre-guerillas knew they had to burn down!
The contre-guerilla cavalry advanced on the right of the road to threaten the guerrilla skirmishers around a hill-side barn. They came under accurate rifled musket fire...
...and one of the groups was eventually forced to withdraw.
Meanwhile on the left, the contre-guerilla infantry caused heavy casualties on the Liberal cavalry who just didn't seem able to get out of their arc of fire.
Carbine fire from the remaining contra-guerilla cavalry finally drove off the Liberal skirmishers around the barn but not before they had loaded the mule-train.
The State Militia soldiers occupied and off-loaded another of the houses.
The cavalry thought they might as well fire the now-empty barn. After all who was to know the difference back at headquarters in Vera Cruz?
By the end of the afternoon the rebels had loaded all three houses-worth of supplies onto their mule train and the contre-guerillas had seen two of the target houses burned down. We called it a guerrilla victory!
So Dex is initiated into the mysteries of Saturday Afternoon Wargames and the Mexican collection is a bit closer to passing the movie-ticket test. Lookout for February's game!