Thursday, 29 January 2015

Plains War

"Last night a couple of secret wargaming friends came over to wargame a Pony Wars scenario.


When they arrived they were each given a briefing and encouraged to do a little role play.

Player 1 was given the following briefing:

Briefing 
Colonel Mercadai Graves

You are in command of an expedition to force a rogue plains Indian tribe to return to a reservation. You have been given command of two cavalry companies and a supply train to achieve this operational objective.

You directly command a company of 35 troopers, the second company has 45 troopers and is under the command of Captain Ebineezer Leet.

The supply train has an escort of 10 troopers and is under the command of Lt Gutteridge.

You are newly promoted to the rank of colonel and have been mainly based on the eastern seaboard. You have never been in combat and certainly have no experience of fighting the Redskins.

Captain Leet is an experienced cavalry commander, but appears unhappy that he has been missed for promotion as punishment for stealing some jerk beef from the Generals kitchen.

He seems to resent you, and you must earn his respect.

You have two Indian army scouts under your command and they have just reported a large village ahead in some woods. The scouts estimate that there may be at least two hundred occupants, mainly women and children.

The scouts believe that it is unlikely that the village will contain more than 100 Braves, most of whom will be out hunting.

You stop your column and turn to summon Capt. Leet and Lt Gutteridge for a council of war.

You should NOT reveal the below information to the player taking the role of Capt Leet.

Your objective is to obtain more prestige points than Capt Leet

If you capture the women and children you will receive 10 pts
If you capture the village pony herd you will receive 5pts
If you capture the village you will receive 5pts
You will lose 1 point for every trooper lost 

Meanwhile village life continues, peacefully and content.

Player 2 was given this briefing:

Briefing 
Captain Ebineezer Leet

You are second in command of an expedition to force a rogue plains Indian tribe to return to a reservation. You have been given command of a cavalry company to achieve this operational objective.

You directly command a company of 45 troopers, a second company is under the direct command of your superior, Colonel Mercadai Graves, and has 35 troopers.

There is also a supply train which has an escort of 10 troopers and is under the command of Lt Gutteridge.

Colonel Graves is newly promoted to the rank of colonel and has mainly been based on the eastern seaboard. He has never seen combat and certainly has no experience of fighting the Redskins.

However you are an experienced cavalry commander, overlooked for promotion, and are very keen to make a mark on this expedition.

Colonel Graves seems the type of man who wants to take all the credit, and is likely to marginalise you in any combat opportunity.

You will not let that happen, and know the only way to guarantee some success is to take any opportunity to operate independently during the coming operation. You are however an officer, and must be seen to follow orders. You know that when acting independently, you have more leeway with your orders.

The Indian army scouts have just reported a large village ahead in some woods. The scouts estimate that there may be at least two hundred occupants, mainly women and children.

The scouts believe that it is unlikely that the village will contain more than 100 Braves, most of whom will be out hunting. 

This information does not tally with your knowledge of the tribe, and the chief, who is a fiercely proud warrior called Brown Cloud, you believe there could be at least twice the number of Braves. 

You must decide whether or not to inform Colonel Graves of this.

You and Lt Gutteridge have just been summoned for a council of war.

You should NOT show below information to the player taking the role of Colonel Graves

Due to your experience you are aware of the following (you may share this info if you wish - all or part - it is your choice)

In any attack on a village, the Braves will attempt to block the attack whilst the women and children escape toward the plains (they will exit off table at the middle tile to safety)

Brown Cloud likes to try and flank his enemy and will mass his main force on the plains and try and sweep round behind the enemy, both protecting the women and children, and threatening the enemy.

The blocking force is likely to be mainly warriors on foot

The flanking move will be mainly warriors on horseback

Any pony herd will be kept in the village to allow the blocking force to escape once the women and children are far enough away from the camp.

You believe that capturing an empty village is pointless

Your objective is to obtain more prestige points than Colonel Graves (Do not share)

If you capture the women and children you will receive 10 pts
If you capture the village pony herd you will receive 5pts
If Colonel a Graves is killed by the Indians you will lose 10 pts
You will receive 5pts if your command is detached from the main force during battle 


After the council of war, which saw the Colonel give a rousing speech (earning him 5 points), and unknowingly thwarting an attempt by Captain Leet to position himself on the plains, ready and able to capture any fleeing villagers, a plan was hatched.

Capt Lee would get his independent command, approaching the village from the south.

The Colonel meantime, with the supply train would sweep round to the west and cut off any escaping Braves or villagers. A sound plan.

It was not long before the two companies met some resistance to their advance.

The army approach was spotted.

Colonel Graves was the first to open fire, on a group of 30 warriors in some trees near to his path of approach. This alerted nearby Braves, and also the village.

Soon Capt Leet was facing at least 60 Braves running to protect the village.


Capt Leet dismounted his command and formed into line.


Meanwhile on the plains, more Braves arrived and moved swiftly toward Colonel Graves who was still skirmishing with the Warriors in the woods.


More foot warriors move towards Leet and his men.

Soon both commands were under pressure, sending messages to each other for assistance. Graves worried that his ammunition was reducing rapidly, and cursed leaving the supply train laagered on the 'grassy knoll'.

The early stages of the battle. Graves to the left, and Leet on the right. The village in the background.


The women and children begin to leave the village


The Braves close in on Graves.


They were keen to buy time for their kin to escape.


Soon more Braves arrived, and took the ponies in the village. They raced towards Leet.

The women and children soon arrived on the plains. There was around 2-300 warriors between them and the army, with more on the way.

Leet found himself attacked on two sides. He kept his nerve.

The supply train remained on the grassy knoll. They could hear the gunfire to the north and North west.

Soon the first casualties fell in Graves command.

Urgent orders and a withdrawal saw Graves joyfully meet up with the supply train, he too was now facing an attack on two sides. Things were looking dodgy at this point.

Another attack against his command. Only fierce fire from the troopers kept the Braves away.

Leet too began to take casualties and withdrew slowly South away from the village. He did so in good order.

After driving off another attack, Graves mounted up and moved toward Leet.


A new threat emerged behind him as he did so.

Leet lost 10 troopers to a concerted attack by 150 or so warriors, but managed to drive them off at great cost to the Indians.

As soon as the women and children were saved, the warriors withdrew.

Safety within sight.....

It was estimated that the Indians lost around 110 warriors, to 15 troopers.


The game ended on the safe withdrawal of the women and children. Capt Leet won the game 10pts to 2pts.

The game was played in good spirits and it was a very enjoyable night.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Pony Wars taster...

On Wednesday night we will be doing a Pony Wars scenario......

A Peaceful Indian village in the early 1870's.......


Some young men bring the ponies back from grazing


Warriors hunt bison and drive them forward.....


Some hunters wait patiently for the Buffalo....

Meanwhile two scouts inform a cavalry commander that they have found the village.....

The Army force and supply train prepare to advance

The scene is set for Wednesday night........

There are Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow........


My wargaming friends new addition to his fleet.


Last Wednesday saw the Federation, under the joint command of Kirk and Picard face off against a shiny new Klingon fleet commanded by a secret wargaming friend.

I knew I was up against it, I only had the TOS Enterprise, TNG Enterprise and a Miranda class commanded by Riker. A bit old in the tooth against some shiny new Klingons, but you never know.


Part of the Federation fleet. Kirk commanded the 'Tinyprise' and Picard the TNG version.

I planned to use the Mirander to either split the Klingon fleet in a left flanking move, and use the two Enterprises has the hammer. It almost work, much to my surprise, almost.



Riker found himself bumping into a de-cloaking Klingon warship. His measly two attack dice facing off against a barrage of five.....

Only the skilled manouvering of Sulu saved the day.

Meanwhile Kirk and Picard closed on their quarry.

The battle was fierce and saw one of the Birds of Prey being stripped of her shields.

Meanwhile, the Miranda survived the Klingon barrage and attempted to close on the Klingons engaging the two Enterprises...

The Klingon squadron quickly turned to face the new threat. Hope began to rise in the outgunned Federation fleet.

Meanwhile Picard found himself engaging the Most powerful Klingon warship on the table, a few good hits reduced the enemies shields to a third.

Close range fire was exchanged.

After some vicious close quarters firing both Riker and Kirk fell to the Klingon armada, dealing heavy damage, but not enough. Picard found himself against three Klingon ships, one of which was down to 1 hull point.

The final moments of the Enterprise before exploding. She did further damage but was doomed to fail.

The Klingons were left to celebrate a whitewash..........