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Muskets & Tomahawks

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Looks like Muskets & Tomahawks is getting a second edition; I’ve never gotten to play Muskets & Tomahawks but the game has always intrigued me... It’s from Studio Tomahawk, the same guys who created my beloved Saga, and was actually their first big success.

The era it covers spans from the French and Indian War (1754-63), the American Revolution (1775-83), and that little side-skirmish of the Napoleonic Wars that we yankees insist on labeling the War of 1812 (1812-15).

The focus is on small skirmishes, maybe 20-30 models per side. Although by all indications it should “scale up” pretty well to larger games around 50-80 models...

Default game sizes are 200, 400, or 600 points. Doing some rough “back of the napkin” maths has a force of an Officer and 12 elite Regular Infantry (“the best of the best of the best, sir!”) or an Officer and 24 lousy Militiamen (“I’m scared, sarge!”) both coming in at about 200 points. There’s also rules for artillery, boats (think canoes and skiffs, not frigates), cavalry, and so forth... So even a big 600 point game is probably going to have less models on the table than even a small game of WH40k.

It’s a skirmish system at heart, think of movies like Last of the Mohicans or Sharpe’s Regiment. It probably could be pushed into doing full-blown Napoleonic War “squares and lines” type stuff, but I thing you’d be better off with games focused on that. It’s Lexington and Concord, not Waterloo.

 

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Sounds like they plan to expand on too, like they did with Saga: one core book with the rules, then several supplemental books to cover specific eras. Saga has the Viking age, the Crusades, etc.

I haven’t read anything official, but Muskets & Tomahawks could probably be used to cover the Golden Age of Piracy, Jacobite Uprising, maybe even the Wild West (although they’d need to add rules for repeating rifles and revolvers).

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North Star Figures is running a pre-order NickStarter for Muskets & Tomahawks. No, it’s not a crowd funding deal, despite the name, it’s an actual preorder and you will get the items you paid for within a few days of the promised delivery date (I got Gaslands Refueled via a NickStarter) and with the possibility of getting some bonus stuff thrown in...

 

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So I have been perusing the interwebs, drolling over all of the gorgeous French and Indian War, American War of Independence, and Seven Years' War miniatures on the market. But I keep coming back to Perry Miniatures. The stuff from Old Glory is dirt cheap (especially if you buy in bulk), the stuff from Fife & Drum is gorgeous, and the stuff from Warlord Games seems perfectly fine... But the Perry Brothers are just legends in my opinion. 

I've come up with two ideas:

Nth Regiment of Foot (King's Own Nonexistent Regiment)

British Regular Officer       (1x @ 25 Points Base; Plus Natural Talent +10 Points)     [ 35 Points ]
British Regular Infantry     (10x @ 8 Points Each)                                                             [ 80 Points ]
British Regular Infantry     (10x @ 8 Points Each)                                                             [ 80 Points ]
British Regular Infantry     (10x @ 8 Points Each)                                                             [ 80 Points ]
British Light Infantry          ( 6x @ 10 Points Base; Plus Elites +2 Pts. Ea.)                   [ 72 Points ]
British Artillery                    ( 4x @ 10 Points Base; Plus Heavy +3 Pts. Ea.)                  [ 52 Points ]

That's 399 Points, which seems to be the "big game" standard. Best part is that can be built with nothing more than the contents of one plastic British Infantry box set, one 6-pdr cannon blister pack, and sourcing a single officer figure from somewhere else. I'm partial to Fife & Drum's Lord Charles Cornwallis, although giving the officer in this list a mount would raise the total to 401 Points. Should cost about $50.00 USD, plus any shipping charges. Not bad.

Nth Oregon Regiment (The Extremely Lost Boys)

American Regular Officer (1x @ 25 Points Base; Plus Random Talent +5 Points)     [ 30 Points ]
Continental Infantry          (15x @ 8 Points Each)                                                             [ 120 Points ]
Continental Infantry          (15x @ 8 Points Each)                                                             [ 120 Points ]
Stockbridge Chief             (1x @ 20 Points Base; Plus Rifle +2 Points)                         [ 22 Points ]
Stockbridge Indians         (12x @ 7 Points Base; Plus Rifles +2 Pts. Ea.)                     [ 108 Points ]

That's 400 Points, dead on. Like the above list, the core is a single plastic boxed set, joined by a pair of Stockbridge blister packs and a single Indian Chief blister pack. There's even seven Continental Infantry left-over, who could be modeled as a small unit Riflemen, just to add some variety. Again, should only cost about $50.00 USD.

No idea if these point values will remain the same in the upcoming edition of the game. However, I don't imagine they'll be too different... So clearly, you can build a very sizable force for this game for very little money. 

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I realize is a few months old but it made my night.  I was interested in some of the units in the French Indian Wars and liked that the conflict was a mixture of raids and skirmishes with a few large unit engagements. When I was looking at some ACW units I picked up the Black Powder French Indian Wars starter set on a whim.  Over the last year I've been collecting other units and picked up the Sharpes Practice rules for skirmish rules. Then of course the new edition of Muskets and Tomahawks and some Highlanders to go with it the other week.  So I've built a small collection of both sides forces, mostly Perry Miniatures.

When things settle down I would be up bringing in both of my forces for a skirmish game with either rules, I have all the units you listed  and another French force.  I haven't got a chance to use either skirmish rules but both rule sets look good.  I don't think I have enough forces for a decent looking Black Powder game though even for a smaller table. Its been a side project for awhile but it would be great to actually bring everything to a game.

 

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That would be great. It's been a side project that I've been debating on how much time and energy to devote to finishing.   Just on a side note, Warlord Games is having a half price sale on American War of Independence starter armies.  Buy one get another half price.  I've been thinking about picking up another army since its an interesting time period to play and the armies are more manageable to build. 

My friends will play historical games but typically I end up supplying both forces so I end up with a bunch of miniatures on my display shelves for the occasional game.  So I have plenty of stuff to fill out just about any army list for a skirmish game.  I have Sharpes Practice and the new edition of Muskets and Tomahawks in the mail.  I think I might pick up some movement bases so I can use single figures with Black Powder also.

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I’ve got four ongoing modeling projects right now (my T9A/Oathmark Samurai Army, my Frostgrave table, my Necromunda gang, and my Marvel Crisis Protocol collection) so it isn’t really feasible or sane for me to pick up a fifth... 

But...

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I think the key is consolidating projects.  Base your Oathmark Samurai on snow and ice bases, little known fact that Felstad actually had asian architecture, and it happens to be winter in the marvel universe.

Yesterday I was thinking about what projects I wanted to devote energy to and feeling kind of depressed on what I wanted to work on and what I was going to actually play. I've been wanting to finish some of my historical projects but I do not get a chance to play that style of game much, so I keep putting it off.  At least I've actually finished several things that have been sitting around forever. So I shouldn't pick up another 300 figures even if the price is great, but then I think that I could actually use the cannons and crews, and eventually I would get around to building the rest....

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5 minutes ago, Mack said:

I think the key is consolidating projects.  Base your Oathmark Samurai on snow and ice bases, little known fact that Felstad actually had asian architecture, and it happens to be winter in the marvel universe.

The Frostgrave table is definitely being built with an eye to doing quintuple duty as a table for Frostgrave, T9A, Oathmark, and Age of Sigmar... and it shouldn’t take much effort to make it work for 40k/Necromunda or Marvel. That’s why I’m building it with “plug in” modules. Here’s a ruined wood-framed medieval hit swap here’s a grimdark gothic bunker yoink here’s a giant statute of Doctor Doom... 

As I outlined above, a decent sized force for Muskets & Tomahawks can be put together pretty cheap... it’s just not in the cards in the immediate future. But maybe I’ll treat myself to some Redcoats to celebrate Independence Day.

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The modular set ups for tables save a lot of work and easier to store.

If you just wanted to play a couple of games I was just saying I have enough stuff for any conceivable skirmish force for French and British already. I don't have an opinion of rules yet, I already own Sharpes Practice and the second edition of Muskets and Tomahawks is in the mail. 

 

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I missed out on the Muskets & Tomahawks Second Edition Nickstarter. But I’m a massive fan of Saga and have read (and loved) the first edition of M&T... It seems like the perfect way to introduce people to playing in the period.

Buying, building, painting, and transporting an entire company (let alone a regiment) of 18th Century soldiers is a daunting task. A couple dozen soldiers and a handful of indians is a lot more approachable.

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Yeah, that's part of the appeal of the French Indian Wars, interesting units but generally smaller and less variety in some ways.  Like I don't need tons of cavalry or artillery. I end up with building both sides because its interesting, but it's also hard to find someone with an opposing force. So its good to have enough figures to go around.  Not to mention basing and scale issues.  I didn't get in on the Nickstarter but I've been able to find all the stuff online. I think I'm just going to base everything in a way that they work as individuals and formations.  

On a side note, do you think Saga is a good starting point into that era of skirmish games? When I was looking up the second edition of Muskets and Tomahawks  I was reminded about it and generally people seemed to like it really well. There has been such a surge in skirmish style games its hard to filter through all of them.  

 

 

 

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Just now, Mack said:

I think I'm just going to base everything in a way that they work as individuals and formations

A while back, I came across a couple of blog posts by some historical gamers who had started using what they called “3-2-1 Basing.”

Basically, you divvy up all of your units into groups of three figures on a shared base, two figures on a shared base, and single figures. Sort of splitting the difference between individually based models and group based figures.

Personally, I’ll just stick with movement trays. But it’s an neat idea.

On a side note, do you think Saga is a good starting point into that era of skirmish games? When I was looking up the second edition of Muskets and Tomahawks  I was reminded about it and generally people seemed to like it really well. There has been such a surge in skirmish style games its hard to filter through all of them. 

Yes and no. I think the system is fantastic and it does a great job of emulating the feel of combat in the era, so it’s a great way to introduce people to playing historical skirmish (and with Age of Magic, you’ve got a potential hook for people who refuse to give up on their elves and dragons).

However, the game is probably not a good gateway for people who have never played hobby games before. The Battle Board system is both key to the way the game works and really kind of odd to explain to newbies. People who have played advanced board games (e.g., Eurogames) or roleplaying games will probably be able to pick it up. People who have played other wargames will too. But if you are trying to introduce the hobby to a total n00b, I’d recommend Marvel Crisis Protocol or X-Wing.

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