Day 2 of Huzzah was a very full day. I made sure to register for every game session which left not much time in between for meals. That meant eating at the hotel restaurant which, well, I wish I’d had more time to go out! Still, if you aren’t going to play, why go? It didn’t leave too much time for shopping either, but maybe that was a good thing.
For the morning session I didn’t want anything too taxing so I signed up for a wild west adventure game. It was a blast. The game was Incident at Prairie Creek using Legends of the Old West and run by Billy DiGiulio from Maine Historical Wargamers Association. The game was a free for all between six different factions and two wandering herds of buffalo. There were US Cavalry, lawmen, renegade cavalry, outlaws (me), and two different bands of Indians. Each faction had differing goals and no one knew what the other factions had to accomplish, except that everyone knew the Indian factions got a pile of victory points for each buffalo that survived. Goals were quickly forgotten though as the game turned in to a general melee.
Some how the lawmen and the renegade cavalry troopers formed some kind of unnatural alliance against me, so I had my hands full trying to stay alive. The different Indian factions ended up tied for the win based on the fact that only 1 buffalo ended getting killed by the renegades. That was their primary goal, but they were too busy fighting me to bother with it.
The renegades in their starting position. See those boxes? That’s loot that nets me a lot of points as the outlaws, it gives the renegades nothing. They fought me over it anyway.
The lawmen, sneaking around on their bellies. I never saw John Wayne or Clint Eastwood doing that. Their intention was to snipe my gang as we tried to get into the fort. Didn’t work out for them. Four of ’em died right there!
My boys, making use of cover and trying to slip into the fort. We ain’t here to hurt no one, just give us the loot!
They made me do it. The Parson, bible in one hand and a sawed off shotgun in the other slips underneath the lawmen’s perch and erases 2 of them with a single blast. Two more lawmen went down to my gang, one to some fancy six gun work by The Kid and one to a looong range shot from a Sharps 50-90 buffalo rifle packed by Deadeye. The lawmen ran after that.
For the afternoon session, I signed up for The Battle of Wartenberg, a Napleonic extravaganza run by Rich Claydon and Chris Bergonzi from Boston Trained Bands. This game was played using the excellent Black Powder rules from Warlord Games. I can’t say enough good about Black Powder; if you’re a thread counter, the type that feels the difference in performance between a .75 caliber Brown Bess vs. a .69 caliber Charleville should be reflected in the rules, then Black Powder might not please you. But if you want a fun, fast, action filled game that gives good period flavor you’ll love it.
How did the battle go? I was on the French side, playing the role of the Wartenberg contingent with a portion of Bertrand’s IV Corps to my left. We had a large cavalry brigade in support as well. We got the snot slapped out of us. Our cavalry commander was new to the field and he was a tad timid. Not good for cavalry. By the time he engaged the Prussian hordes it was too late. I had been driven out of Bleddin by superior numbers and the French were fiddling around trying to decide whether to shoot or run thanks to some blundered orders.
I deployed one battalion of my Wartenbergers as skirmishers to harass the Prussians as they approached. I planned to fall back if engaged in melee but it didn’t work out. The battalion was broken by musket and canon fire and retreated.
Prussian infantry attacks the first block of the town of Bleddin.
Our cavalry finally moves up. We were hoping to bottleneck the Prussians at the bridge in the distance since it was the only place they could cross the river. The cavalry commander failed some early command checks though and so could do nothing. The French infantry on the left are in trouble and are about to be knocked off the heights.
For the final gaming session of the evening, I had signed up for the Aerodrome 1.1 tournament run by Andre Kruppa of MHWA. This event has become a must do for me. Andre is a great GM and the event, despite being a tournament, is the most enjoyable of the weekend. The atmosphere is friendly and casual and the beer flows relatively freely 🙂 There’s a lot of good natured trash talking too and it all just adds to the enjoyment of the event. Aerodrome is a simple game of aerial combat in WWI. Sadly, I didn’t have my camera with me so I don’t have any photos of the game or the gorgeous models and control panels that Andre supplied.
Aerodrome features pre-plotted movement, but the plotting isn’t burdensome, and there are no dice involved in combat resolution. You plot if you are going to fire at the end of a phase (3 phases per turn) and if you have plotted fire, if there is an enemy aircraft in your arc and range then you WILL damage him. The amount of damage done varies based on the number of bursts fired, range and relative position of the two aircraft. I ended up with 2 kills for the night. Better than my performance last year, but certainly not tournament winning!
Day 2 ended with me exhausted, but that’s as it should be after a full day of warfare. I had to be up early in the morning though because day three is the Battle of Dennewitz…