18 January 2017

This Very Ground: A FIW Game

I had a very nice game last night in Montreal at Iannick's. It was a bit of spur of the moment, as I was up to see the Habs play the Penguins tonight at the Bell Centre. As an aside, I believe that my attendance of games at the Bell Centre may be a bad omen for the Canadiens, as they have lost the last 5 games I have attended. The last victory I personally attended was against the Bruins in the 2015 playoffs. But enough of negative thinking let's get back to wargaming.

We have played a number of FIW games over the last several years, most recently with Sharp Practice 2 and Muskets and Tomahawks. I have not had a really chance to explore SP2 yet, I did referee a game last summer but have never played myself. I suspect that this will be corrected soon as Mike is quite keen to get some games in. I like Muskets and Tomahawks in general but I do not like the melee function, it just makes no sense to me. We had played several games 3-4 years ago with the This Very Ground ruleset from Iron Ivan games, but they got passed by as we were testing M&T. 

I found last night that it is quite a nice ruleset, we picked up the rules quite easily and had a very easy game after the first couple of turns without hardily any reference to the book. Movement, Firing and Melee were all quite simple and utilize d10's which is nice. There is a Morale system and order of play in each turn is decided by an Initiative Roll that does add some friction. There is an excellent review of the ruleset on Anatoli's Game Room, I have to say this blog is an excellent source of reviews.

Anyway on to the game. The rulebook has several scenarios, I have forgotten the name of the scenario we played, but essentially  Rangers had to stop a band of Indians from escaping off the table after they attacked a small colonial outpost. There were three 5 man units of Rangers with an Officer against four 5 man units of Indians with a Warleader. The Indians started on one end of a 6x4' table while the Rangers were at the other end. The victory conditions were a little fuzzy but essentially the Rangers had to kill as many Indians as possible including the Warleader. I played the Rangers and Iannick took the Indians. The game follows in photos.

Iannick's Indians moving out from the settlement. You can just see the Indian Warleader in blue warpaint to the right in the photo. Of course Iannick is going to use sky blue whenever he gets a chance!
Very cautiously moving through the trees, there was lot of cover. They had to be careful as the Rangers were armed with rifles (25" range) while they were armed with muskets (15" range). Both were also armed with hatchets.

Dank's Rangers have climbed a hill in order to get a better LOS to fire at the enemy, you will notice my figures are quite shiny. I have not gone old school! When I got back from Montreal last summer, I noticed that I was getting some loss of paint so I decided to re-varnish all my FIW miniatures. I forgot I did this and only noticed that I had forgotten to apply matt varnish when I was packing up the figures Monday evening.
Gorham's Rangers with the Major Joseph Gorham.
They are getting close.

The Rangers get into some hard cover.
An inattentive Major Gorham focused on afar, misses that he is about to be attacked by 2 Indians. The Indians although weak in marksmanship are vicious in melee and he is all done. The Rangers are left leaderless.

Another band of Indians move into attack Dank's Rangers, but their courage fails 3 times to close to contact!

Gotham's Rangers move into position and with Dank's Rangers are able take out with volley fire 2 units of Indians on the Rangers right flanks, but what is happening on their left flank..................

Roger's Rangers have been driven back as they have exhausted their fire ability after multiple volleys. They have taken out 3 of the 10 Indians but it is not enough and the Indians with their Warleader move off the table as the Rangers yield. 
So it was a marginal victory to Iannick, I certainly killed many of the Indians and he had quite a number of rout markers while I had none but he did get 7-8 of his figures off the table as well as his Warleader. It was a fun game with a nice set of rules. Although I am keen to play FIW SP2, a significantly larger numbers of figures would be required. For less than 25 figures per side, this is an excellent ruleset and I can recommend it without reservation.