Monday, May 31, 2010

Enfilade: The Games I Played

I rarely have an opportunity to play in many (any) games at Enfilade. I'm not complaining, it's just a fact. I am a convention organizer and my responsibilities often keep me busy and I'm usually running a fistful of games. This year I cut back my games by one to three, and made some early decisions about the games I wanted to play in.

The first game was a Hundred Years War game hosted by Chris Craft. His troops are mounted like my own figures in my massed figure project. They're all Perry figures and very nicely painted. The scenario was very fun. I was an English player and the scenario was intended to be a prologue to Agincourt. Things didn't go very well for the English. There were no prepared positions, and we had to fight an overwhelming number of French knights. I commanded a longbow unit and small band of Irish kerns on the far flank. We just couldn't quite inflict enough damage on the frogs to slow them down or shake them before contact and eventually we just got squashed. Our center was broken, Henry V was killed rallying troops, and England was plunged back into a dynastic war. Gack! I have a copy of the rules and really wanted to play Chris's game and try out the rules. I enjoyed both and had a good time.

Saturday afternoon I played Lawrence Bateman's wonderful little Ambush on the White Rose game. It was a game modeling the Northwest Indian War fought on both sides of the state in the late 1850's. A four player game, there was enough for everyone to do without being overwhelming. It's also played with the Brother Against Brother rules, which I own, but have only played once.

I commanded Lt. August Kautz's squad of U.S. regulars campaigning up on the White River in 1855. Kautz was separated from the rest of his unit and was trapped in some deadfall along the river, badly outnumbered by Indians. While a relief force marched to his rescue, Kautz was forced to shoot it out with the natives. Lawrence noted that the Indians were reluctant to come to grips with the regulars, and chose to shoot it out instead with their indifferent trade muskets. While the regulars had percussion smoothbores and were better shots, it was still difficult to be outnumbered.

I liked how the rules handled shooting on a such a small scale. Either you move, shoot, or load and the firing was simple and straight forward. Not exceptionally bloody. Because the game was fought in the rain (what else?) we also had a chance of muskets fouling. In any case we shot a lot at each other, but I realized that I was going to have problems if I didn't start moving for safety. Supported by another company of regulars firing across the river, I gradually made my way to the ford across the White River. I lost scads of guys but had lots of fun doing it.

Unfortunately I only have pics taken of the White River game. You can see my little command surrounded on three sides by surly natives, surrounded by lots of gunsmoke. The picture on the far left shows my much smaller command hiding in some cover, ducking behind another unit, which very shortly will run away . . . leaving me alone again naturally.

Believe it or not all photos were taken with my iPhone.

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