Sunday, 26 April 2015

Game 28 - Muskets & Mayhem 'part deux'

A second foray into the new M&M rules that we're playtesting, developed over at 'Sound Officers' Call'. This time, we delve into a little American Civil War clash.

With a Rebel Yell...

The Union troops got the mainstay of the artillery (which really made a difference), while the Confederates had the edge on veteran troops. A very basic scenario, where Billy Yank had to defend a vital road as Jonny Reb tried to take it.

Battle report first, then the conclusions. The system still works very well, and I think we have a real gem here...

Reb and Union forces were pretty much equal, though with Union artillery being more numerous and the Confederates having the edge on Veteran units.

Initial Union moves were designed to take the initiative and limited defensive positions around the battlefield. A real risk, as the road was left defended by a small reserve force.

The centre would quickly become a focus for early action...

...while the lack of cavalry action on the Reb right would make it a stalemate (and stalling tactic for two Union units) throughout the game.

The centre became the focus...

 ...with some very good shooting from the Union troops,

 (In the words of Billy Idol...)

while woodland action on the right flank would prove less than pivotal.

Confederate charges begin to go in - proving VERY costly.

The flanks remain static as the actions in the centre determine the course of the remainder of the battle.

Confident Union troops attack in the centre, but the Rebs aren't quite defeated yet, and counterattack successfully. The road is begging to be taken, but Jonny Reb just can't break through.

The Confederate cavalry tie up their Union counterparts, an infantry regiment and some precious artillery on the Reb left flank.

In the end, we called it a stalemate. A few more turns might have decided the issue, but matters were very close to call.

A Great game with some thrilling points during the battle, and real battlefield resource management problems.

Some queries/additions for the rules:

  • Attacking (charging) uphill or downhill (-1/+1 to dice to hit).

  • In woods – we adjudicated that defenders should receive +1 to saving throw during fire and/or melee.

  • There must be a chance for officers to be killed in combat, if involved in melee and/or attached to units – though we managed to miss this during play (say 1 in 6 after melee). We opted to allow attached officers to remove one hit - without any other officer rules - though these could have been added (radius/re-rolls etc.).

  • Firing inside wooded areas (if both inside), range reduced to 3”. Units should be within 3" of wood edge in order to see/fire at enemy.

  • Flank charges – double dice for attacker (this should include cavalry, which should not receive bonus for charging head on). A morale check is still required prior to charge - even when flank is open.

  • All fire is simultaneous and casualties recorded during each phase before being removed (our understanding from the written rule anyway) - though course of play still goes in strict artillery (casualties removed), non-movers (casualties removed), movers (casualties removed) order.

A great game, and more to follow.


  1. Excellent battle report, sir! I love the plastic troops as well! I think my next Muskets & Mayhem game will be an ACW one as well.

    All good points especially for fighting in forests.

    I think the real strength of this game is the sequence of play, and as you noted, management of resources and keeping track of what units are at what strength.

    Question - when your units lost a stand and you were forced to conduct a morale check - what morale did you check at? The morale before the unit lost the stand? or the morale after it lost the stand?

    This is one of the biggest points I am struggling with!

    1. PS I'm also happy to see the artillery on the Union side made a big difference. I've yet to play a game with significant numbers of artillery on a side.

    2. Hi Steve – we used the original morale roll.

      Let me know what you think of these examples:

      Example 1

      A VETERAN unit 4 stands. QUALITY 4+ MORALE NORMAL (4+)

      Loses a stand: - 3 stands left
      Rolls 5 for morale
      FIRING: 6 dice for 4+

      Loses another stand – 2 stands left
      Rolls 5 for morale
      FIRING: 4 DICE FOR 4+

      Loses another stand – 1stand left
      Rolls 6 for morale
      FIRING: 2 DICE FOR 4+

      Loses another stand - disintegrates

      EXAMPLE 2

      Loses a stand:
      Rolls 2 for morale – needs 4+
      FIRING: 6 dice for 5+

      Loses a stand – 2 stands left
      Rolls 3 for morale – needs 5+
      FIRING: 4 dice for 6+

      Loses a stand – 1 stand left

    3. Excellent! Thank you for the examples. Very helpful. M&M game coming up on Friday. Watch my blog!

  2. Very good game. I'm just getting into the ACW so particularly enjoyed it.

    1. Thank you sir. Hope to see your ACW stuff soon...and keep giving some love to the Conan site too :)

  3. Great looking ACW game sir, beautiful armies!

    1. Thanks Phil. Plastics are normally a bit drab but they look ok.