07 March 2012

Raid in the wilds (Brink of Battle AAR)

This is something of a followup to the review. I hope to convey the flow of the game and how some of the rules work in detail. It was also a great opportunity to dust of my "French Indian War" miniatures. This is probably the period and setting for with which I will use Brink of Battle most often.

Setting: "Period 2, Early modern".
This game is played in a French Indian War setting, with a small Colonial British trading post in the wild coming under attack from a band of French Marines. The goal here is to simply kill or drive away the Colonials and torch the place, you can imagine this being just a tiny part of a great campaign where the frontier is on fire with raiding parties going back and forth over the Canadian border burning and pillaging small trading posts and isolated farms as a buildup during those few years leading up to the proper French & Indian War (North American part of the 7 Year War).

Campaign games start at 500 Supply Points. This will however be a smaller game, around 250 Supply Points per side. And to show the smallest possible game you can play. When you build forces in Brink of Battle, you get an additional 25points if you make a proper historical theme throughout your force. As such both forces in this game have 250points +25 bonus points for theme to their disposal.

Militia (Force organization - Standard)

Commander (black hat)

   4      4        5

Old Soldier (+1 Break action per turn)
Flintlock musket

Militia Sharpshooter” Blue Ribbon in hat

  5       3        3

Sharpshooter ( Negates target concealment)
Flintlock rifle

3x Militiaman

3         3         3
Flintlock musket

266 Supply  points
French Marines (Force organization – Elite)


  7       6         4
Flintlock Rifle

2x French Marines

  6       4       4

Flintlock Rifle

267 Supply points

Flintlock Rifle 18” Effective range (3x for maximal range)
Flintlock Musket 15” Effective range (3x for maximal range)

Turn 1 French Initiative

The trio of French soldiers sneak towards the Colonial trading post, using nearby bushes for concealment and preventing LoS.  Sensing that something is amiss the Colonial militiamen spread out and take up positions behind good cover.
As the French snatched initiative, the Colonial Militia commander is only able to order 4 soldiers based on his Command rating, leaving one of the militiamen standing around rolling his thumbs.

Turn 2 French Initiative

Snatching the initiative again the French start to move up to where they can get a clear shot at the defending militiamen. One of the marines move up and lines up a shot against a militiaman - who uses one of the two available "Break actions" - and proceeds to fire at the Marine first.

Since the shot is fired at long range the Combat rating of the Militiaman is reduced by half rounded down, while the Marine is concealed and defends with his full combat rating.
Militiaman rolls 2D10 and picks the highest result - 5, then add 1 for his combat rating making it a total of 6. The marine rolls 1D10 result of 8 and add that to his Combat value of 6 making it a total of 14. The shot fails to hit.

Now the Marine who wasn't hit or wounded proceeds to perform his planned shooting that became interupted by the enemy Break action. He has moved this turn to be able to see the enemy, so his Rate of Fire is reduced by half, down to 1. He only rolls a single dice in attack. Rolling a 6, then adds his Combat rating of 6 making it a total of 12. The defending Militiaman is both concealed and enjoys a cover bonus. So he does not only roll his full Combat rating in defense, he also rolls 2 D10 dice and pick the highest result. Militiaman rolls 6 and add his Combat rating of 3, making it a total of 9. The Marine scored a hit!

Now it's time to see whether the hit was fatal. The damage rating of a rifle is 4, and the Marine rolls a 3 making it a total of 7. The militiaman defends with his Constitution of 3 and add the result of 1D10 which makes it a 6 total. The militiaman has been hit but the hit was only a flesh wound as the difference between attacker/defender need to be 5 or higher to score a serious wound which would remove the model from play. He is now "Shocked" and cannot be used more this turn. Had he not activated this turn yet he would have lost his order token as well.

On top of that, the area in front of moth soldiers is covered in smoke as their black powder weapons fire. The smoke creates "concealment", but since both soldiers already enjoy that, there is no additional effect.

Remaining Marines and Militiamen activate and exchange bullets but no one else is hit this turn.

Turn 3 French Initiative

The Militiaman recovers from his "Shocked" status, stands back up and is ready to fight.
Hoping to increase the amount of hits on the enemy behind cover the French fire aimed shots. This reduces their rate of fire but adds +3 to their combat rating. Indeed the combination of high Combat rating and the additional bonus to hit see every French Marine score a hit on the enemy Militia. The two militiamen closest to the French are grazed by bullets and become "Shocked". The Colonials use up both of their Break Actions this turn and fire both from the building and from behind crates. Militia Commander score a hit on the Marine Commander but fails to wound the seasoned soldier. One of the Marines is also hit and becomes "Shocked" as well.

Turn 4  Colonial Initiative

The Militia wins the initiative and enjoys +3 additional order points, meaning that they can activate all 5 members of the militia for the first time. The French only have 1 single Break Action as none of their soldiers have any  trait that would increase that number as opposed to the Colonial commander.

The Militia sharpshooter moves up to the window and opens fire at the Marine Commander, rolling a 1 - which means a "weapon check" is needed to see if the weapon has jammed or run out of ammo. The attacker has to roll his combat rating + 1D10 while the defender rolls 1D10 and add the Rate of Fire of the attackers weapon. If the attacker wins this roll his weapon fires as normal.

The test is passed, but the shot flies wide off target.

In response, the Marine Commander lines up a shot at the Militiamen behind the stone wall and manage to score a hit, and then making a total of 17(!) in damage while the defender rolls a total of 13. The difference is greater than 5 so the Militiaman is removed from game. His buddy from the militia is within 3" so he needs to make a Panic test. Panic tests are so called "Base checks" which means the soldier who is about to Panic use his Command rating + 1D10, while the opponent rolls 1D10 and add 5 to the result. In this case the Militiaman rolled higher and kept calm. If he would have failed the test, then he would have broken and started running away from the battle.

One of the Marines make a run for it in order to outflank the defensive position of the colonial Militia, running up and into the nearby woods. The last Marine opens fire, using aimed shot and scores a hit on the second militiaman standing behind the stone wall - and manage to wound him, removing the enemy from battle.

Turn 5 French Initiative

The Colonial Militia has taken more than 25% in casualties and must roll to check whether their force will break from battle.  The Militia rolls 1D10 and add the command rating of their commander to the result, the Marines roll 1D10 and add the number of dead enemies to the result (2). The Militia rolls a total of 8, while the Marines roll a total of 12. This means the Milita is broken and will withdraw from battle. They most likely realize that they stand no chance against the French Marines and run off to get help.

The After Action phase
Two French Marine soldiers receive 1 Experience point each for having wounded an enemy soldier. This point can be spent on increasing one of their ratings (Cbt/Cmd/Con).

The two wounded militiamen roll on the "trauma chart", and roll 4 and 9.9 equals "mortally wounded", so that guy is dead. 4 is "crushed spine", the soldier miraculously survives but his reaction time and movement ability isn't what it used to be, as such he may no longer use a "Break action" in future battles.

EDIT: I really need to make proper smoke markers. Thinking about using cotton sprayed with PVA glue to avoid it sticking to board, miniatures and terrain.


  1. Great report! How do you compare this to "This very ground?"

  2. @Eddie

    This Very Ground uses units of 5-10 models grouped together and is somewhat more static and restricted if you want to play it on a smaller scale. Brink of Battle allows you to play skirmish games where you control single models and have a really mixed up group of warriors.

    This Very Ground is very F&IW themed, while Brink of Battle allows you to create warbands for F&IW and play F&IW games without problem - with rules reflecting the period (gunpowder weapons and such).

    You could use Brink of Battle for skirmish games where you have 3-20 models per side, patrols, raids etc and use This Very Ground for larger clashes such as siege of Fort William Henry or Battle of the plains of Abraham where formations of units make more sense.

  3. Great report, I'll have to look out for the rules, they sound very interesting.

  4. sounds like exactly what I was lacking from this very ground! I may be picking this one up when it comes on sale! I love the idea. I can finally have a rulebook to where I can play viking, F&IW or WW2 all in one. haha. wonderful

    1. You said it Eddie! Best value for your dollar too!

  5. Great report!
    Next, the werewolves, Ginger Snaps Back fashion or worse? Neil Marshall's Dog Soldiers screams to be set in Nouvelle France.

  6. We just posted the Force Rosters for download, as well as the Tables from the book that list the Ratings, Traits & Gear.

    Go to the resources page at www.brinkofbattle.com to see them!

  7. Might have to explore these for my 54mm/60mm FIW figures, sounds pretty cool, thank you.

  8. Very enjoyable report and table!


  9. Dammit, FiW again...
    I just started to think I was recovering from that flue... Better bring out more models and start painting again.


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