Monday, April 23, 2012

The Chickasaw Bluffs playtest

The Chickasaw Bluffs playtest finally happened. Sort of. No it really did.  I say sort of because on Friday I had an epiphany.  The original plan for the scenario was basically a game on a 10' X 8' table or two 5' X 8' separated by walking space between the two halves.  On one half an American amphibious assault landing aimed at capturing a Spanish battery overlooking the Mississippi.  On the other half a punitive expedition against Spain's Chickasaw allies.  On Friday I determined running both actions simultaneously would be at least a monumental headache, if not a disaster, so I decided to split them into separate scenarios and separate game periods. 

Yesterday Al Rivers, Steve Ghan, Dale Mickel, Gary Griess, David Sullivan and Lawrence Bateman got together at Game Matrix and played  the "Just a Big Indian Fight" scenario.  The Americans, tasked with capturing or destroying the Chickasaw village had one company of militia composed of four ten figure squads. The Americans also had two six pounders.   They also had two companies of regular infantry composed of three twelve man squads.  They were opposed by three warbands of Chickasaws, each composed of three ten man squads.
American troops advancing to the creek.  Militia is in the foreground and about to be roughly handled by the Indians

All seems quiet in the Chickasaw village

Lawrence Bateman's command advancing across the river.

Lawrence has already taken fire and dispatched one band of Chickasaw to his front.  More to his right front.

The Indians set up in cover, and with the exception of one unit of Indians, the Americans contented themselves with crossing the little creek flowing across the board.  The militia stumbled into an Indian ambush and quickly found itself outmatched when the Chickasaw took to the tomahawk and war club.  Two squads were annihilated and the rest were driven back across the creek. 

Dale's regulars did a slow dance with the one advanced Indian unit visible on the left, but the American regulars showed themselves to be formidable, advancing methodically on the left and in the center, using their superior command ability to their advantage.  Eventually they advanced toward the cornfield where David's Indians dosed them with fire and charged.  Formed troops with bayonets proved not nearly so brittle as the militia, and they gave at least as good as they got in melee. One of the regular squads was eliminated in the advance, but eventually David's Indians were cleared. 

On the right, Al's Indians continued to be difficult as Gary regrouped his Indians.  Steve's remaining bands retired from the cornfield to the safety of the fort, while Lawrence and Dale advanced with their regulars and began burning the cornfield.  It's a slow process, and required a bit of good luck to make rapid progress, but eventually the victory points began piling in.  When Lawrence worked a squad into the village and burned one of the houses, we called it a game. 

No playtest is ever perfect, but it seemed to go well.  We discussed some simple tweaks and an option for the Indians, but nothing major.  We played just over three hours and seemed to reach a conclusion. 


DeanM said...

Nice looking game - the figures and terrain look great. So, looks like you didn't do the other scenario with the beautiful boats you built. Dean

Dave S. said...

I'm glad you finally got to play this. I wish I could have been there, but hopefully I'll get a chance to play one of the Enfilade games.

Ted Henkle said...

Your figures and terrain are very well done! See you at Enfilade!

Ted Henkle said...

Great job on the figures and terrain! See you at Enfilade!

Kevin said...

I've added a second scenario for this game. The boats will appear on Saturday afternoon and the attack on the Indian village happens on Saturday night. I just didn't think I could manage both on a single table, and running two tables at once seemed like a recipe for a coronary.