Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Wagon Train Game 28mm

This was a multiplayer 1:1 wild west skirmish game I played in over a year ago. Don't know what the rules were. But it was a lot of fun. 7 of us chose randomly a player card which had two characters on it (corresponding to miniatures on the board). As it happened I was the commanding officer Captain Ellis Cox. The player who was also the games master controlled the Indians.
Here was the scenario:

US Cavalry were escorting a wagon train of supplies from a town to an army fort. Against the advice of the sergeant, the Captain decided NOT to take the usual direct route west across the salt flats, but instead to take a leisurely route that roughly followed the Greasy River south until it turned west at the foot of the Black Hills (known Injun country) That way we could keep the horses well watered as we went.
To set the scene further:
It was late afternoon and the four wagons were moving at walking pace, with 4 cavalry troopers at the head of the column, and a scout and a trooper further ahead. I was in the lead wagon The 14 cavalry characters were a mix of veterans and some new untested recruits. We having cut the corner of the bend in the river were approaching it again as it cut east to west. I was told by the gamesmaster that I would not make the fort before nightfall but it was up to me if I wanted to carry on through the night. Oh additional information: dust had been seen directly behind us travelling in our direction.
I had never been in a "free" unstructured type of game like that before where you could do whatever you wanted. Everybody was looking at me to give some orders. I decided that we would not keep on travelling but find a suitable spot and camp near the foothills , away from the woods by the river but near enough to fetch water for the horses. I called a cavalry trooper back and gave him orders to gallop forward to pass the message to the scouts to find a suitable camp site. I also ordered my driver to speed up to a trot, as the horses would rest soon. Being the lead wagon the others would follow my pace.

(I immediately found that command and control was difficult: It took 3 turns for the messenger to reach the scouts, who had by then advanced quite a way and the whole wagon train had also moved forward. By the time the scouts got my message the column had already been attacked and the situation was changed.)

As my messenger set off the sergeant wheeled his horse back to report that he saw more smoke and dust to the
North west. Accordingly I sent him and his partner to the rear as a rearguard . That only left one trooper forward in front of the lead wagon.

Ok over to the photos:

The 4 cavalry troopers at the lead before the game started

some of the wagons

The scouts Sorry not a good photo.

The head of the column after the rearguard and messenger have left. The wagon train has speeded up.
Injuns!! As soon as the rearguard got to the end of the train injuns popped up in the scrublands and also in the woods to the front, on both sides of the wagon train. One trooper driving the third wagon was hit and a shot just missed me. Here the warriors are about to rush the rearguard. They pull one trooper off his horse and kill him.
The scouts have came back to meet the wagon train. You can see the injuns in the woods by the river who fired at us. As we only had taken two casualties, at this point I was thinking of speeding up and keeping going. But the scouts and lead trooper now dismount on their own iniative to fire at new Indians who appear on the hills ahead of us. More appear behind.
Now something happened I did not plan for!! The player controlling the third wagon in the column (whos driver had been wounded) decided to jump out and take on the indians single-handed!! Here you see him surrounded on the ground. Amazingly he killed 3 braves before he was overwhelmed. The wagon, driverless, veered towards the river and came to a stop by the woods. Indians swarmed over it. However, due to the bravado of the player, the gamesmaster allowed him a surprise character. This was Grits, the grizzled cook who jumped out of the back of the wagon and started hand to hand with the braves. This wagon must have had the beans supply because, well, Grits fought like a fucking madman.
Lots happening here. I have stopped the train and everybody is dimounted. I find it difficult to give orders because I am busy firing at the injuns on the hills. They are scoring hits on us. Luckily the sergeant (surviving rearguard) orders the 4th wagonto close up and they form a perimeter to defend our rear. We can't do anything to help Grits in the isolated wagon
Here is the situation at the peak of the battle. My driver was been wounded and so has the scout. But we have managed to nullify the threat from the hills . The trooper in the foreground has remounted to rescue a wounded trooper out in the scrub. They both make it back. At the rear of the train the sergeant has just been seriously wounded. Don't think I am his favourite person at the moment. I am thinking we should have taken the salt flats.

Grits has been so successful fighting off the injuns that the wounded corperal shot in the first encounter has now recovered sufficiently to help the cook at the back of the wagon. Right after this the Gamesmaster decides that the Indians have had enough and they melt away. We win and the wagon trainis saved but with 2 troopers killed and 5 wounded. Oops.

It was a great fun game.


brian_smaller said...

I love the pencil sharpener wagons. I have some as well - brilliantly cheap:)

Mattbot said...

Awesome scenario, sounds and looks like a great game. You need to do more of these :)