Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lewis and Clark at Enfilade (at last!!)

Lewis and Clark made its appearance at Enfilade on Saturday night. There were many eager players and I kind of had to sleaze Dave and Doug into the game. But, we do sleazy things for our friends.

When I found out the table we were on, I was thrilled and alternately horrified. It was a perfect ten feet in length, but six feet wide. My felt mat was wide enough, but my river bank was only five feet, so that created a problem. But Mark lent me a hill to cover the hole and put some extra trees on it, so that solved the problem. The terrain went out as planned, but with table an extra foot wider, I was a bit concerned about having things too spread out.

I'm not going to name names, but I really did enjoy the mix of folks who signed up to play the game. They seemed excited. I pre-set all the forces, so when the time came, all the players knew what they were running. Only one of the players had ever played Black Powder Battles, or had experience with any of the Two Hour Wargames systems. Most seemed interested in learning but a couple of the key American players were put off by the rules, and seemed as absent from the table as they were interested in playing the game. With disastrous results.

With the American forces more spread out on a somewhat larger table, it was important that they have a plan. They didn't. Floyd's command left alone with their horse on the northern board edge, were quickly cut off by the Spanish militia horse, took some early carbine fire and tried to fight it out in the woods. They could have abandoned their horse and moved fast, which would have worked because the Spaniards were unable to activate for three turns out of four.

Pryor's command (with Lewis) in the center woods hemmed and hawed about as the Comanches raced past them, effectively isolating Floyd's command, but didn't do much until they reached the river banks. They offered some desultory fire, eventually formed a firing line on the top of the river bank, only to begin taking fire from the Spanish regulars as they approached the American positions.

Clark's command rushed out to confront the Comanches who performed some interesting and mysterious quick move maneuvers. Hoping the Indians were peaceful, Clark held his fire until the Indians treacherously attacked him, and then extracted the maximum possible price before his command was almost entirely slaughtered.

Ordway's squad joined the firefight from the river bank, but in the end the Americans had not played together as a team. The squads fought seperately without an eye toward a withdrawal to the boats. Their cannon were not loaded for final protective fire, and they were dying by half measures. The Spanish played together very well. The Comanche advance was rapid, despite some really terrible activation rolls. The Spanish regulars were at the riverbank with a well planned advance with fire. The Spanish militia, captured the remains of the Floyd's squad, while the lancers prepared to cross the river bank into the American camp. I stopped the game there.

I hope to run the game another time, perhaps with my own rules, but the game was certainly manageable with Black Powder Battles.

Pictures are mostly by Doug Hamm. The top left shows me trying (vainly) to explain the scenario and the rules. The top right shows the Regimento Luisiana. At the bottom right is a great close-up of the Comanches (Doug takes awesome pics.) The bottom left shows Gotterdamerung-the Spanish have massed their troops on the hilltop, pouring fire into the scattered Americans trying to defend their camps. Mr. Lewis and Mr. Clark will have some 'splainin' to do.

1 comment:

DeanM said...


Your game looked great; my loss for not getting to play it. It was another great convention & thanks for all your hard work running things. Also, thanks again for the use of your HYW figures. Regards, Dean