Monday, October 29, 2012

Fright Night Festivities

Even though I made a couple of flyers and posted about this year's "Fright Night," I wasn't planning on attending.   My girlfriend's mom passed away a couple of weeks ago and the funeral was last weekend.  So we were planning on making Saturday (26 Oct) a Halloween date day.
That is, until her daughter called asking for a visit, because her son-in-law would be going to a bachelor party that evening.  Needless to say, when my girlfriend suggested I attend the Fright Night game, she didn't have to twist my arm.
So I raced drove the posted speed limit to Fort Steilacoom to join my friends Adrian, Scott, Daryl and half-a-dozen other gamers at one of the historic buildings (the commander's office, I think).  There were two game tables set up by the time I arrived.  The first was a WWII skirmish game, where a squad of American soldiers had to escape from a horde of Zombie Nazis (see above photo). 

Since that game was full, I ended up playing a non-horror Muskets Tomahawks game, hosted by Sven Lugar.  This was a substitute game, because the original game master had a family emergency and couldn't attend, so Sven "stepped into the breach."

(Image: Sven at the head of the gaming table)

In this French and Indian War scenario, several squads of French soldiers and their indian allies, set out to burn a blockhouse and village, defended by the British and their Indian allies, somewhere on the vague border in the wilderness between New England and New France.

Here's a brief run-down of how things went:

As one of the French players, I got lucky on the very first turn.  One of my French marine squads literally blasted the British regulars out of the blockhouse.

Surprised the stout logs provided no protection from the French fusillade, the few surviving British vacated the blockhouse and made their way to the village.
But here, they found themselves in desperate firefight between a squad of colonial militia and several war parties of French-allied indians.
Meanwhile, on the British right flank, a relief party consisting of irregulars, rangers and allied indians were making their way along a forest road. 
Unfortunately for those holding the town, the relief column was held up by another squad of French marines and Coureur des bois
Both sides ended up trading shots with each other, with the British getting the worst of it.  The rangers managed to make it through the woods to engage the French-allied indians, but by this time one of the village buildings and the blockhouse were put to the torch.
By now, each British unit had suffered over 50% casualties and had to test their mettle.  Most, if not all the officers fled, leaving their men to their fate. 
Despite driving some of the French-allied indians back into the forest, the buildings continued to burn and the French marines marched into the village square to fire the last house. 
Game postscript
The initial volley by the French marines devastated the blockhouse defenders, which made it difficult for the British players to recover from.  I'd like to claim this was due to my tactical finesse but, this was not the case.  I was luckier than normal in my dice rolling.  Some of the players attributed this to the "magic dice horn," Sven crafted and I used throughout the game.
Rules assessment
This was my first time playing Muskets and Tomahawks (M&T).  I didn't read the rules, but the quick reference sheets Sven provided allowed me and some of the other players to pick up on the mechanics very quickly.
M&T is a card-driven action and something of a buckets-of-dice game, using 6-sided dice (D6s).  However, the amount of dice one needs to roll is much more manageable, compared to other games I've seen.  One die is rolled for each figure firing, with 4s (usually, with modifiers) needed to hit a target and 3s (usually, with modifiers) needed to inflict a casualty for each successful hit.
While I don't own any French and Indian War figures (yet), I enjoyed the game and am thinking of buying my own set of rules.


Sven Lugar said...

Thank you, very nicely told!

Ted Henkle said...

You're welcome Sven! I took over 60 photos. I'll sift through them and e-mail you a selection of the best ones.

DeanM said...

Great looking game & figures; this set of rules sounds very interesting. Dean

Ted Henkle said...

Thanks Dean! The figures were provided by Sven and Daryl. Both had copies of the game, which has similar mechanics to WAB. It was easy to pick up and the production quality was very good.