Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Huzzah 2015, Day 1

 The Huzzah wargame convention in Portland, Maine, has been a personal gaming highlight for years. The players attending are typically fun and friendly, the games usually look terrific and the rules are interesting. This year was possibly the most fun yet.

The first game I played was Bloody Tomahawks- Supplies for the Outpost. This was a scenario for the popular Muskets and Tomahawks rule system and was run by Earl Richards. I was curious to give these rules a try as our club has started assembling some troops for North American combat, circa King Phillip's War and onwards.

In the scenario a British colonial outpost is awaiting supplies. The French are trying to intercept the convoy. Both sides have local irregulars and Indians assisting. I was assigned a party of Indians fighting for the French.

The game ran fast and smoothly. We needed maybe ten minutes to learn the rules and there were few questions after that. Parties are activated by a card draw and then have a number of actions. Different factions may have different movement rates, firearm skills, and ability to shrug off averse events. In game play the British regulars were slow as molasses but deadly at ranged fire. The colonial rangers were faster and could move through the woods easily. My Indians were exceptionally nimble but prone to break away if the suffered too many casualties.

Burning Down the House
In terms of narrative and play we had a terrific time. The regulars confined themselves to open fields and roads. The Indians and rangers dashed through the woods and tried to make the most of their mobility. My troops were able to run to the town and start firing houses but I unwisely led them into the open and they disintegrated under fire from three directions.

On the whole the game was a lot of fun, both as a simulation and as a quasi-role playing adventure game. The rules were intuitive and quick to teach. At the same time there was some nuance to each faction and you had to play carefully to accomplish your goals. We had six or so players and everyone stayed engaged and entertained.  I'm excited to have a use for my Wargames Factory Indians and looking forward to playing some Muskets and Tomahawks in Malden soon.

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