26 February 2013

The despicable treachery of captain Robert Morat

This weekend I visited my buddy Thomas for another game of Muskets & Tomahawks. We also had Fredrik and Viktor joining up as they had not played the game before but have started collecting warbands for it. This made the game a 2vs2 multiplayer game, where both sides divided the units of their warband between two players.

The British colonies: 366 points


Provincial Officer: Robert Morat, with pistol
Traits: Charismatic, Energetic

Irregular officer: Nathaniel Hawkeye, with rifle
Cold blooded, Sharpness

Indian Sachem: Magua, with Rifle, Tomahawk,
Traits: Stealthy, Warrior

Indian Sachem: Walks with shame with Musket, Tomahawk
Traits: Dodge, Warrior

Provincial infantry unit (10 men)
Trained, Muskets

Colonial Militia (6 men)
Muskets

Colonial Militia (6 men)
Muskets

Iroquois indians (6 men)
Indian allies, Muskets, Tomahawks

Iroquois indians (6 men)
Indian allies, Muskets, Tomahawks

Iroquois indians (4men)
Indian allies, Rifles, Tomahawks

British main objective: Scouting mission, scout the 6 sectors of the table and report back with at least 1/3rd of the force intact.

British officer side-plot: "Traitor!" Captain Robert Morat is a French sympathizer, though the Brits don't know about it yet. He will not cause suspicion until the start of turn 3 unless he acts hostile. The opponent is controlling this officer from the start of the game. If Robert Morat is killed by the British the plot is completed and counts towards a British victory.


French Canadian army

Regular Officer: Gerard Pascal
Horse, Cavalry sword, pistol
Traits: Sharpness, Good star

Irregular Officer: Henri Roax
Light troop officer
Traits: Backstabber, Cold blooded

French Regulars (12 men)
(French & Indian War rated)

French Marines (12 men)
(Deployed as Irregular troops)

Canadian Militia (8 men)

3pdr Light artillery manned by 4 Regular rated crew

French main objective: Engagement, wipe out at least 2/3rds of the enemy force.

French officer side-plot: "I'm too old for this", the officer is old and tired of war, his aggressiveness, shooting and defense are all downgraded to 5+ and foot movement reduced by 2". If he survives the battle the side-plot count as fulfilled.
..............


Time of day - Night
Location - Somewhere along the British-Canadian border


The British had dispatched a mixed force militia and indian allies to scout the French perimeter. The troops met up with the small Provincial detachment and the soldiers moved silently through the moonless night. Little did the British soldiers knew that their commander, captain Robert Morat, was in fact a French sympathizer and had informed the French regulars about the British patrol in advance. He was going to lead his men into an ambush and use the chaos to defect to the French with whom he had already made arrangements for a comfortable life in Canadian exile.

On the other side of the village captain Gerard Pascal, a world weary and battle tired veteran was riding his horse behind his men. His back was aching, his sword arm wasn't as strong as it used to be and his eyes could no longer identify a known face at the distance of 15 yards. This would probably be his last war, he had been issued this commission not because he had volunteered but because of the shortage of competent officers. Life had been relatively comfortable in the colonies and he was, despite everything, not going to let the British ruin his retirement plans with their hostilities. He led a small contingent of regular troops and even managed to get hold of a 3pdr from the provincial governor to support the coming battle. If only the clouds would disperse and allow the moon to illuminate the surroundings. How else would they be able to tell captain Morat apart from any other enemy in British uniform?

The French irregular troops marched west, slowly creeping up towards the wheat field and one of the houses. The regulars marched east, the 3pdr was pushed slowly into position.

In the meantime indian units moved like shadows through the night, unseen and unheard they began flanking the French regular unit which was completely unaware of the imminent danger. Both forces were now closing in on each other, but still unable to see anything that could even be mistaken for a human being. The traitor Robert Morat moved anxiously away from his own troops, trying not to raise too much suspicion, though it was hard for such a charismatic man. Still the only British troops nearby were the small group of indian riflemen, and the Sachem Magua of course... better make haste and disappear into the darkness.

Not paying much attention the French regulars moved up towards a a small grove intending on using it for cover. This is when all hell broke loose, an indian unit had been sneaking up on the French and sprung their attack just as the regulars began entering the tree line. The indians led their charge with wild screams and flying tomahawks, the commotion broke the peace. Before knowing what hit them the French were being slashed up left and right. Although being outnumbered 2:1 the battle crazed warriors butchered 9 out of 12 French soldiers before being wiped out themselves.

This was a serious blow to the French force, and it was going to get a lot worse as militia and indians were making their way across the river to the right of what remained of the Regulars. Captain Pascal kept the remaining 3 soldiers in place for now, but then one was shot dead and the remaining two were charged by yet another unit of indians ultimately leaving one sole survivor who made it out of the brawl alive.

Meanwhile all hell was breaking loose on the left flank as well as the British Provincial troops and indian riflemen began exchanging shots with the French marines and Canadian militia. The opening shots saw a couple of French troops killed, but the two units held their ground and soon fired back with good effect on the British provincials which were pushed back.

Captain Morat was hastening his pace, he was now being tailed by the Sachem Magua. He knew his intentions were becoming more and more clear with every step he took towards the French positions instead of leading his troops. Magua decided to stop him, throwing his Tomahawk the projectile flew harmlessly past Morat's head, Magua ran up to his enemy intending on stabbing him in the back but the traitor once again avoided the killing blow and as his next move he stabbed the Sachem in the guts. There was no time to lose, the indian riflemen had seen everything and were now firing at Morat! Two bullets whistled past his head as he barely managed to escape behind the corner of a building.

Back over at captain Pascal's position the remaining French regular knew he was going to die. Two full units of enemy indians and militia had him surrounded. He was going to give them one last fight, pulling out his musket he fired into the treeline, miraculously hitting and killing one of the indians lurking there. The result had the remaining indians panic and fall back, dumbfounded by this sudden twist of fortune the soldier looked over at the equally astonished British militia and decided to charge them. Bayonet first he ran into the group of men who quickly surroundend him and bludgeoned him to death.

Captain Pascal himself was charged by the indian Sachem "Walks with shame" who howled as he came rushing, Tomahawk missed its mark, the old French soldier lifted his pistol - and squeezed the trigger. The howl stopped and the Sachem was thrown back as the bullet hit him square in the face.

Captain Pascal had seen enough, he believed this operation had gone to hell, still caring about his own skin he galloped past the artillery crew and further down the road into the night to prevent any possibility of getting shot. The artillery crew looked at their commander leaving and then over at the lined up militia readying their weapons. The French quickly turned their cannon and fired a grapeshot, effectively killing 4 out of 6 enemy soldiers, and having the remaining 2 rout. This most fortunate turn of events had saved the right flank for the moment.

The remaining British units in the center now focused on completing their scouting mission over killing the French artillery and dodged musket fire from the 3pdr crew. Robert Morat was frozen stiff near the building for a moment but then sighed in relief as the British units turned around and began moving back the way they had come.

On the left flank the exchange of musket fire continued, the British Provincials had stepped into unstable ground and were unable to move quickly enough. This allowed the French militia to open up a devastating salvo which killed 4 Provincial soldiers and had the survivors rout. The breaking point for the British had been reached, and though all units passed their initial morale check's the indian riflemen finally routed as they came under fire from the French marines. This had reduced the British force below 1/3rd making it unable for the British survivors to finish their scouting mission. The French had succeeded in reducing enemy troops, they had also survived with captain Pascal and prevented captain Morat from being shot.

Much of the victory was owed to the young French officer Henri Roax and his irregular troops, without their gun line compensating the disastrous fate of the French regulars would have surely made victory impossible.
...............
This was one of those amazingly entertaining games that really displayed the strength of "skirmish" level game play - and of course how the wonderfully whimsical side-plots of Muskets and Tomahawks really help telling a good story. It was almost hilarious for Thomas to first roll the "Charismatic" and "Energetic" traits for his officer and then roll the side-plot "Traitor", just perfect match haha.

And we all had a laugh at the "too old for this shit" story of the aged and tired French officer who was  dragging himself into battle one more time.
We had a great time, too bad Viktor had to leave early, Fredrik was excited as hell after the game and planned on ordering more Brits. (which would be welcome as Thomas and me have French, and Viktor is interested in woodland indians). Between the four of us we should however be able to scrape together two fun and mixed forces for future battles.

5 comments:

  1. Some great pictures of a great game!
    Fantastic minis and decor...
    Phil.

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  2. Thanks Phil, we had a blast playing. Some new terrain is going to be added to our collections. Thomas is working on a waterfall and I'm eying some frontier houses in resin.

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  3. awesome read and great pics. the one i like the most is shot from the indians point of view from the edge of the forest with french regulars and the cannon in the background.

    cant wait to play more

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  4. Very nice report and an interesting period.

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  5. Just gorgeous! Not a period I thought I'd ever have an interest in but your reports are getting to me. You've got me looking at Blue Moon's 15mm FIW figs. Drat!

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