Club Night 05/10/15: The Fight at Chukkawanna Creek

Last night I had the pleasure in playing another of Philip’s ‘Crazy Horse’s Fury’ Plains War games where my brave Hunkpapa Sioux took on the 2nd Cavalry to prevent them moving a wagon over a creek and off the table – no doubt for various nefarious reasons.

The US force was of 4 companies of cavalry, 2 Veterans and 2 new recruits, with a Crow Scout troop and a wagon containing something or other (either the payroll or working cartridges, we couldn’t decide which!). They were controlled by Philip and Darren.

I controlled 4 bands of Sioux, 2 were Warriors and 2 were ‘Boys’ – not great at shooting as they had yet to obtain rifles but very game and eager to get stuck in!

Field of the action with 'my' side of the creek nearest the camera - the Wagon had to be exited anywhere on this edge.
Field of the action with ‘my’ side of the creek nearest the camera – the Wagon had to be exited anywhere on this edge.

I was allowed to set up each warband either in cover or behind a hill so that they were not visible to the yellow-legs until they got close enough to try and see me (needed to get 4-6 if the Crow’s, and 5 or 6 if ‘regular’ troopers I think). I duly marked the map and hoped my cunning plan was cunning enough – the two older Warbands were placed in the ‘rough’ ground (brighter green patches) to the left and the furthest right of the table with one of the Boys bands hidden in the copse by the creek, the last band was behind the right hand hill on ‘my’ side of the creek either to be used as a reserve or as a last gasp ambush attempt on the wagon if everyone else got mullered earlier!

These rules are a good deal of fun and whilst being simple have enough subtleties to make them really interesting. Each unit has to draw a commander chit which has a characteristic on it that will either bring a benefit or hindrance to their units’ performance. For example my old mate ‘Talkheaps’ was drawn for one of my Warbands which meant that instead of automatic activation I had to roll a d6, get a 1 and the unit was inactive that go (the Cavalry drew their own version of this: ‘West Pointer’). The Cavalry are quite lethal once they get dismounted and start firing plus they have longer range than the Indians but the Indians can move further each go and can Move, Fire and Move in a turn (instead of just Move and Fire) which gives them more fluidity, plus they are a bit more lethal in melee so both sides have their pluses and minuses.

I won’t be able to do a blow-by-blow account of the battle as it was really fluid all the way through, (again one of the great things about this game) but here’s the basic outline. After the Crow’s nearly spotted my left hand band I decided to break cover with them and leg it over the creek, planning to either draw a unit after them so that the waiting Boys in the copse for could spring an ambush or if that didn’t happen to go into reserve to be used where needed. Over on the right Darren’s troops were getting mighty close to spotting my braves so I sprang an ambush which managed to hit home but I started an unbelievably inept sequence of rolls in melee, so the attack was quite ineffectual. The Crow scouts and a Company then started probing towards the woods and I unleashed the Boys from there in another surprise attack – again they charged home on Blue-bellies but again not with the desired effect.

Some of the damn Yellow-legs prepare to escort the wagon.
Some of the damn Yellow-legs prepare to escort the wagon. I think I see a reason for subsequent bad shooting!
Crow scouts get ready to do some scouting.
Crow scouts get ready to do some scouting.
Wagon-ho!
Wagon-ho!
Other band break from cover in surprise attack. and get promptly flanked - manage to escape unharmed though!
Braves break from cover in surprise attack. and get promptly flanked – manage to escape unharmed though!
Where'd they go!
Where’d they go!

From this moment on the battle ended up as a series of moves to contact from the Indians with which I failed to do much damage from the melee; or the Cavalry would move into range to unleash a volley at me and roll a 1 or 2 (honestly they rolled about ten 1’s all night!) hence causing no casualties; or I would move into range, fire, get a 5 or 6 forcing the Cavalry unit back, then retire myself to keep out of range. I therefore managed to hold the line of the Creek whilst forcing the Wagon to withdraw to prevent it from being captured.

Braves pushed back to the creek.
Boys charge out of the Copse
Holding the line of the Creek
Holding the line of the Creek

I did manage to rout away one Cavalry unit with a successful charge by the boys, this Company being wiped out by fire when it returned but the boys came a cropper themselves when they tried to evict the Crows from the Copse and nearly got cleaned out themselves. Over on the other flank the other boys band had a terribly ineffectual in the rocks with some veteran cavalry and retired back behind the creek. By the end the Cavalry had started to unjam their rifles and cause losses on the braves so I started to fall back further and further, now not being strong enough to cause much damage myself. As time was getting on we called the game and I believe a morale victory was gained by the Indians as the Cavalry failed to get the wagon off the table but I had suffered quite a lot of casualties in the process.

Cavalry take the rocks
Cavalry take the rocks
Boys fail to evict them from the rocks.
Boys fail to evict them!
Hoka-hey!
Hoka-hey!
Up and at 'em boys!
Up and at ’em boys!

A great game again, and I’m looking forward to play another one in the future.

Here’s a few pictures of Des and Ian’s game of 6mm Napoleonics (General de Brigade – Prussians v French) that was going on behind us – game looked great so had to take some photos!

6mm Napoleonic goodness!
6mm Napoleonic goodness!
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En Avant!
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Deploying
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Vat is the Wurst that can ‘appen?
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Lovely terrain…..
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Club Night 07/07/15

I’m going to post pictures and a quick overview of the games I play at the South London Warlords on Monday nights, they won’t be detailed AAR’s to start with but that might change as we go along (hopefully).

First up was a great fun ‘Pony Wars’ game put on by Philip.

Rules were a homebrew set which were nice and easy to pick up with some nice character led touches to add nuance to the game.

Figures were 15mm – don’t know the maker I’m afraid.

The scenario was as follows.

I had to protect a group of women and children with travois as they slooowly moved towards a village. Also I had a band of ‘boys’ who were responsible for moving a herd of Ponies to the village as well. Stopping me doing this were 2 troops of Cavalry on table with a 3rd arriving randomly sometime during the game, and also entering the table at a random place. I also had 3 warbands of older braves, 1 of which was on table with the other two hidden in/behind terrain features ready to pounce when the Cavalry got close enough (again decided randomly by dice roll).

Things didn’t start well for me with my on-table warband failing to activate for 2 turns on the spin – due to their chief being classed as ‘Talkheaps’ so activation was harder, also rolling 1’s didn’t help! However the ‘boys’ turned on their pursuers and managed to slow them down whilst causing casualties. Luckily the Cavalry couldn’t catch ‘Talkheaps’ before he got his arse into gear and once he did the dice-spirits were extremely kind and the Longknives started losing men to some very deadly shooting (kept rolling 6’s which hurts a lot in these rules).

Things did look sticky for a bit when the Cav managed to score a few hits on me and the off table Troop showed up but the boys managed to wipe out the Troop that they were dealing with and the reinforcing troop got stiffed by one of my hidden warbands surging out of some broken ground. Talheaps was still taking chunks out of their opponents and pretty soon it was obvious that the Cav were in trouble plus the women and children had nearly made it to the village and so we called it.

The rules gave a good flowing game and Philip had devised a fun scenario which could have gone either way really. I’d love to play them again.

I had forgotten to take photo’s until a few moves in and I can’t remember what was happening when I did but the figures did look nice so a shame to waste them.

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