This was a 200 point land game and part of our “project” to see if the Native factions, specifically the Native factions with Poisoned Arrows, could be defeated with some sneaky French factions.
Both forces are very similar to the forces used in my last battle report with the French fielding lots of Militia with good Save numbers and the Natives bringing lots of Poisoned Arrows along with a powerhouse Warrior unit to swoop in for the kill once the poisoned had disheartened the white men in the forest.
My Caribbean Tribes force included:
- A unit of 8 Warriors with Sidearm Muskets, Great Warrior and an Experienced Southern Tribes Commander attached.
- 2 units of 5 Warrior Archers with Poisoned Arrows
- A unit of 7 Veteran Warrior Musketeers
- A unit of 11 Young Warriors with Poisoned Arrows
Bryan’s Canadian Militia included:
- A unit of 6 Coureur des Bois with an Experienced French Militia Commander.
- Another unit of 6 Coureur des Bois
- Two units of 6 Milice Canadienne
- Two units of 6 Veteran Warriors with Bows
Both our forces numbered 37 models.
Take and Hold is a nice balanced scenario. I rolled high and became the Attacker which is no punishment in this scenario and also allows the Natives to place units using the Lay in Wait special rule.
Bryan deployed his units along the back of the board utilizing the cover that he had strategically placed during the board setup.
I placed my Veteran Musketeers on my Right flank, a unit of Archers on my Left and the Warriors, Young Warriors and second unit of Archer in my center.
The French moved up and made a solid line in the rocks and bushes, taking advantage of Elusive on most of their units.
Strangely enough, the French Native Warriors have the worst Save roll in the Canadian force since they lack Elusive, but with Hidden and behind a stone wall which provided Hard Cover, they were just as impervious to arrows as the Militia and Coureur de Bois.
I stood up my Musketeers and took a shot but at long range it wasn’t that deadly.
Without Oldman, Musketeers aren’t core units so you can’t use Great Warrior on them. They weren’t nearly as deadly in this game compared to the last one where they had Great Warrior, Marksmen and Fast Reload.
I moved up my rear three units while the French entrenched in the bushes.
My forward unit of Archer started firing off Poisoned Arrows to start handing out Fatigue. I tried out the Rain of Arrows rule several time with these forward units as they were basically in position from turn 1 and didn’t need to move much and couldn’t tolerate the Fatigue from shooting multiple times every turn. Rain of Arrows lets you spend two actions on a shoot test to re-roll all failed dice. I was able to score 100% hits on a couple rolls this way.
My other unit of archers had a ways to move before it could helpfully engage in combat so I pushed them up and let off a volley at long range just to let the French know they were there.
By the end of turn 1 I managed to get the Young Warriors all the way up to the middle of the board. I moved them with a Command Point before their activation, then used a Spade to move them which triggered Quick, then Moved for their once action, then pushed them for a second Move action letting this Inexperienced unit move a full 16″ over the course of one turn!
The French let off a few volleys and did some damage to my units but not much. Bryan kept a unit of Veteran Warriors in reserve to strike back or reinforce anywhere in his line that might get hit by a Native charge.
Much of our firing was right around the 12″ mark in this game and we constantly had to measure to see if it was under so the French would hit on 8’s or if it was over 12″ so Hidden would trigger and push that target number up to 10’s, which I much preferred…
Going into round 2 we both drew events and both rolled a 7 which gave us the option of moving a commander to a different unit. That’s a really cool option to have, but in this case, neither of us found it useful since it was so early in the game and the command units were still the strongest units on the board.
My Young Warriors did some solid skirmishing on turn 2. Rolling 11 dice at once is awesome! I rarely use units of this size but they can really hit hard!
On a Spade these Inexeperienced models jumped out of cover, shot off 11 arrows hitting on 7’s then jumped back behind that sweet hard cover.
Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures of turn 2 but I know I moved up my command unit of Warriors so they were within charging range for turn 3. We continued to trade fire but the French had to spend a good deal of turn 2 reloading and shedding Fatigue.
I took initiative with a Spade on turn 3 and unleashed the nasty Native combo. With a command point, I fired poisoned arrows into the French command unit which already had a point of Fatigue. Those arrows applied one more Fatigue which opened up a opportunity for the Warriors to charge with no danger of Defensive Fire.
With no unit close enough to help defend, the Coureur des Bois had to take the 8 Warrior melee dice hitting on Great Warrior 4’s with Thrown Weapon re-rolls. This eliminated the French command unit and the Warriors skirmished 4″ back towards the treeline.
This left my commander out in the open which I knew was a risk, but taking out his entire command unit seemed worth it. Most of the muskets were unloaded anyway.
But Bryan found a way to get a unit reloaded and fire into my Warriors in the open and while they only lost 1 model, the Sound of Thunder nastiness gave me a second and third Fatigue and I have to run.
And things got worse for me! Playing the same trick I had just played on him Bryan pushed his Veteran Warriors (using African Warrior minis) up and charged my shaken command unit. Not a good situation for me…
Luckily for me his dice betrayed him and without Thrown Weapons, the charge did minimal damage and I retreated again. The Warriors pursued but with no units close to the melee, Bryan couldn’t follow up on the opportunity.
At the end of turn 3 we tallied the Strike Points:
- The French Canadian Militia had 1 Strike Point for 12 casualties of their 37 models and a Strike Point for my possession of the objective in the center of the board.
- My Caribbean Tribes still had no Strike Points with casualties sitting at around 4-6 models.
With 2 French to 0 Native Strikes, the French had to roll a Strike Test but with the commander removed as a casualty and no Officers on the board, it was an automatic fail, ending the game at the end of turn 3.
Post Game Thoughts
- That seemed to be a little more balanced game than the previous match. My commander and command unit were nearly destroyed and may have been if the game had gone another turn.
- The Poisoned Arrows felt more deadly than Sound of Thunder, but that Sound of Thunder was rough on my units. If you can fire muskets a couple times at a Native unit, chances are they will break if you can land a hit each time. Luckily for me, the range was often right over 12″ which meant that Hidden was helping me. With 10’s as a target number, the French volleys sometimes missed altogether which meant I didn’t have to roll any Fatigue dice at all.
- The Native Musketeers kind of fizzled in this game. Without a commander attached to provide the Great Warrior rule, they weren’t getting as many hits and with the French saving on 5’s or 6’s and no Poison re-roll on the musket shots, they were pretty lackluster, even at the Veteran level. They only fired twice over the game and I think at least one of those volleys did absolutely nothing to the target.
- I felt I got some good value out of the Young Warriors in this game. At 4 points for an Inexperienced model, they seem a little expensive on first glance, but they have some advantages including their 5 Resolve which is welcome in the Native factions! It’s strange that the French Caribbean Militia model is also 4 points at the Inexperienced level but he has a Buccaneer Gun, Plug Bayonet and a sidearm Pistol! But he doesn’t fire or move very quickly when compared to the Young Warrior. It’s balanced but so asymmetric!
- The Warrior unit is so good! I should have upgraded mine to Veteran again. Veteran Warriors with a commander/officer can just accomplish so much on an activation. 2 actions from a Spade plus the command point from the commander/officer plus both Quick and Skirmish. You’re getting 5 actions out of those guys. And Thrown Weapons makes a charge so deadly and when you modify those target numbers with Great Warrior/War Captains, it’s kind of hard to miss with any dice at all! Imagine combining that with Hard Chargers in the Darien/Golden Tribe faction! Hitting on 3’s with re-rolls. No white man survives that party.
- The Warriors were helpful to the French this time as well. No Poisoned Arrows makes them considerably less scary than the same unit in the Caribbean Tribe faction, but with that Warrior unit, Bryan was able to nearly annihilate my commander. I may have been over bold and didn’t factor in the power of his Warriors in spite of using them myself.
- I do like the Take and Hold scenario. It seems we always place that objective out in the open so it’s a major decision point on when to rush out there which is always fun. In this case, the objective itself was large enough to provide cover which made it easier to hold once it was taken.
- The Natives won on land again. I felt this was more of an even fight, but I can’t deny I like playing the Natives! The control they have on the battlefield is pretty scary. This time we tried the sneaky French approach to defeating the Natives but I think the weaker Resolve on the French models was the weak point. Next chance we will try some English with 5 and 4 Resolve and some Expertly Drilled units up against the Natives. Expertly Drilled layered on top of Sound of Thunder could send a Native unit packing even with 1 hit.
I apologize if this reports was a little vague and very similar to my previous battle report. I wrote this a week after playing the game and some of the details are a little fuzzy.
Thanks to Bryan for a good game. He nearly killed me that time!