My crowd played an 1812 patrol adventure game using Iron Ivan's This Very Ground rules with a few variations for the War of 1812. Each player gets a patrol and a mission. Who wins depends on who fulfills their mission. The cast included:
Tyler - Native Warband with a British Indian Department adviser and help - arrive and leave by canoe and take scalps
DJ - Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles patrol - burn a rebel's farm.
Kevin - British Regular infantry detachment - take and hold a crossroads
Robby - US regular Rifle patrol - find and recover a lost ammunition waggon
Andy - US Volunteer Rifle unit - burn a loyalist's farm
Martin - French Infantrie d'Ligne detachment - find and recover a lost cannon
Darian - US State Militia patrol - take and hold a crossroads
The order of movement was determined by drawing a card; when your card came up, it was your turn to be active. All units started roughly 12" from their table edge, going the long way. All over the board were numbered poker chips, each denoting an "encounter" of some sort or other. (An idea stolen from Iron Ivan's Where Heroes Dare pulp era rules.) Some of those will come out later.
As the game began, everyone moved forward, the US side all conferring. The units could not communicate unless an officer or sergeant was in base contact with another unit. The Crown troop didn't, but they didn't seem to care.
|Tyler's Native warband in their "canoes" emerge from the bridge. The|
river was too deep to wade, so it was only crossable at the bridge and at
a flatboat ferry, which Tyler took and grounded on the Crown side of the river.
|Andy's Volunteers (foreground) and Robby's Rifles (background) head for|
the river bank.
|Kevin's unit discovered the ammo waggon AND the cannon mired at the|
crossroads. He attempted to free them to block the road further, but Andy
and Robby's rifles (25" range) really hurt him.
|Since the Crown forces were badly outnumbered, I gave another patrol|
of British Regulars to Kevin as reinforcements. Here they prepare to volley
the French and ignore the moose, who heads for more peaceful places.
|Andy and Robby's Riflemen support the French assault on the bridge.|
They did great execution on Kevin's original force. They are at the edge of
the woods, shown by the red yarn.
|Tyler's Natives and lone BID trooper fire the rebel's farm. They became|
pyromaniacs... which leaves me wondering about Tyler... a little.
It appears the Crown won. Nobody fully achieved their mission, but the Glengarries carried off LOADS of edibles and the Natives burned and scalped their way across the table. (The US Militia sank all their canoes; seem birch bark won't hold up to bayonets!) The bridge became a stalemate with Kevin and Marty contesting it and being shot down each in their turn. The two US units of rifle armed troops were invaluable.
In retrospect, I should have had more than one way to cross the river. The barge/ferry didn't work well and was disabled early. Some of my missions were unachievable which is distressing for the players, everybody then goes and has fun... which is why we play, isn't it?
Some of the encounters included a bear, a pack of wolves, a moose, a nest of snakes, a skunk (which Andy simply walked around), the "witch" and the witch-hunters, a hen house with hens and eggs, a smokehouse with hams, bacon, and smoked fish, a cache of highly flammable lamp oil which no one found, a cart loaded with moonshine, refugees and their carts, a bog, the barge/ferry, and cattle. It may be a while 'til we do one of these again, but all the players seemed to enjoy the game.
|Snakes take their toll on the militia.|
|Another farm goes up!|