Friday, May 26, 2017

A Battle South of the Border


Last weekend, I enjoyed gaming on two consecutive days.  Quite an unusual occurrence for me although my gaming frequency has picked up dramatically in 2017.  One of my 2017 goals was to increase the number of games played.  Oh wait.  I never actually published my 2017 goals.  You will have to believe me on this point.
Mexican casualty markers from Eureka
In anticipation of a Mexican-American War game, a half-dozen Mexican casualty markers rolled off the painting desk.  These six markers were presented to Terry for his 25mm Mexican-American War collection.  While his collection is comprised of "true" 25mm Scruby figures, these 18mm markers will fit in nicely, nonetheless.  Each of the six markers is painted in the uniform of one of the Mexican regiments in the collection.  I left the markers unflocked so they can be matched to the existing collection.  Six more American casualty markers linger in the painting queue.  With positive feedback on the the Mexican markers, I will forge on with the Americans.

For Saturday's game, Terry set up the Mexican Army in a good defensible position on high ground dominating the surrounding landscape.  Even in a strong defensive situation, I find the Mexicans are really no match for the American Army.  Using an amended version of Regimental Fire and Fury specifically for the Mexican-American War, all advantage lies with the Americans.  In many games played, I have yet to see the Mexicans beat the Americans in a stand up fight.  This game may provide the exception.

With no foresight into the game being presented, I joined the game with no preconceptions of troop dispositions, deployments or strategies.  After a brief battle overview from Terry, the Americans attacked.
Mexicans hold the high ground as the Americans prepare to attack
Mexican cavalry deployed forward of the line,
 charge into the oncoming Americans.
One American battalion is sent reeling to the rear.
With depth, Americans advance against the Mexican left.
Americans attack the left in overwhelming numbers
While the American right consolidates,
the center attacks the heights
Mexican right takes a pounding as the brittle,
 Mexican battalions withdraw to the rear.
Counterattack in the center!
Americans repulsed on the right!
Mexican cavalry find a gap and charge in!
Mex. cavalry charge home driving the Americans back
Situation when game called.
The game was forced to a premature conclusion due to time constraints but the Mexican position was still viable.  The American right and center were feeling significant pressure and their left had been halted.  Likely the Americans would regroup and charge in again.  With a much weakened Mexican right, could they hold out a second time?  Guns were being redeployed from the Mexican left to the right to lend support for the crumbling right flank.  This might have been the battle where the Mexicans actually pull off a victory.  Could it be? 

While these Mexican-American War games are often lopsided, it is always a pleasure to see Terry's Old School collection on the gaming table.  Especially pleasurable since two of the Mexican battalions present on the field were painted by me in the Old School style.  To see those earlier works visit posts, 10th Line Regiment and  San Blas Militia.

26 comments:

  1. Lovely looking game and nice casualty markers.
    Best Iain

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  2. Looks like a fun time. I agree on the MAW scenarios. Sometimes the rules end up like watching Desert Storm 150 years early. Interesting history, but can be tiresome to play the punching bag.

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    1. I do not find the MAW under RFF much fun. All of the advantage lays with the Americans and there really is little the Mexicans can do offset this tremendous inequity unless they hold a 3:1 advantage in good defensive terrain.

      No fun being always the punching bag...

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  3. Crackin' looking game and I do like the markers too!

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  4. Lovly looking game Jonathan. Regards

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  5. Great looking game Jonathan! It's period frankly we don't see enough of so thanks for showing it!

    Christopher

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    1. You are correct, Christopher. A period not often seen on the gaming table. From my experience, the games are too one sided but if you have an interest in the period then there is much to offer.

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  6. Interesting report. The US plan in the game seems to conjure up the rather "up and at them" mode of the US in the Mexican-American War (hardly sophisticated stuff, from what know of it). Another one of those overlooked periods (the retro figures and the Geo Hex Terrain, though, do give "value added" to the experience, which is important!).

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    1. Terry sets a "retro" table including a plain plywood foundation painted green. No game mats or teddy bear fur here.

      The US plan seemed to be attack the middle to pin the Mexicans in place and then turn the Mexican left flank with overwhelming odds. The US player tried to avoid the emplaced guns on the heights in the center.

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  7. A grand looking game Jonathan. Yet another period that is within my 19th century armies goal...ah well one day maybe...

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    1. The MAW is within your 19thC operational area. What figures would you use?

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    2. And that has always the questions for me...what figures? I had a look at Old Glory a few years ago but couldn't summon enthusiasm...1st Corps are a distinct possibility, but I'm just not sure.

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    3. I like the 1st Corps MAW figures quite a lot. I have several units of the 1st Corps French from the their SYW range and they have great character. I also have some of their ancient Germans and while the foot are good, I cared less for the horse.

      Perhaps order a few and see what you think?

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    4. Maybe, but those Perry Napoelonic Egyptian Campaign figures are calling very loudly! I am restricting my purchases at present as we save for a significant trip coming up later in the year.

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    5. A well-known conundrum: unlimited desires and limited resources...

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    6. Mark, if you are interested in the Egyptian campaign in 28mm, check out Brigade Games offerings. Brilliant sculpts by the talented Paul Hicks.

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    7. I am considering a mix of Perry and Brigade, probably targetting early 2018.

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  8. Those little Mexican soldiers are certainly colourful. I'm quite taken with them, actually.

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    1. The Mexican Army is colorful, indeed! When I asked what interested Terry in the period, the first thing he said was "the colorful Mexican uniforms." I, too, like the look of the very basic look to the Scruby, "one-inch" scale figures.

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  9. Going where no-one else dares to go! Lovely game and I was wondering how you deal with the lopsided nature of the M-A war.

    I was in Washington state recently dropping off my daughter for an internship. It was a burn and turn trip but I did think of you. Some day I have to visit for fun!

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    1. Well, I still have not figured out how to deal with the lopsided nature of the war! Mexicans continue to lose every battle.

      When you make it out West, my game table is always open for you.

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  10. One of the last wars to still have essentially Napoleonic tactics, and uniforms to rival that as well. If you don't play strictly historical actions, the easiest solution would seem to be to improve the ratings of the Mexican troops and leaders to be closer to that of the Americans.

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    1. Good points, Peter! If we upgrade the Mexicans to near parity to the Americans, are we still refighting the MAW? How much of perceived historical quality disparity is due to jingoistic bias?

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