Friday, January 21, 2011

Fetterman: The Hundred in the Hand: A Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory Scenario

In a recent post on , Armand asked, among other things, if anyone had played a game of the Fetterman Fight. Indeed I had a long time ago. Spurred on by that post is an updated version of the scenario.
The following scenario is written with our Two Hour Wargames’ “Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory” rules in mind. 

Fetterman: The Hundred in the Hand

December 21, 1866

Grummond's Cavalry

Fetterman's Infantry
Overview: Lured out of Fort Phil Kearny, Captain William J. Fetterman, leading a force of 80 men drawn from companies A, C, E, and H, 18th Infantry and C company 2nd Cavalry was ambushed and encircled by 1,000 to 2,000 Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors. Not one man of Fetterman’s command escaped the trap. Play begins at the moment the trap was sprung. The scenario presumes, with great optimism I might add, that Captain Fetterman realizes he has fallen into a trap and that he must now extricate as much of his command as possible. The warriors wish to prevent any of the soldiers from escaping.

The Table: Lay out a 6’ by 4’ area. A larger area could well be used, that’s just the size of my snow mat. Label one short edge as north. The table is a valley running north to south. The west edge is a tree covered ridge. The east edge is barren ridge. In the middle of the table is another north/south ridge, “Massacre Hill”.
Between the west ridge and Massacre Hill lies a stream, Peno Creek. The stream originates near the south end of the western ridge and flows north eventually running off table to the North West.
Between Massacre Hill and the eastern ridge is a path, the Bozeman Trail. The Bozeman enters the table from the southern end and heads North West just past Massacre Hill, eventually exiting the north table edge.
The southern tip of Massacre hill has some large rocky outcroppings that make dandy cover. A similar feature exists about midway along the hill.

Table Layout and Deployment

Deployment: The US forces begin in two groups. Lt. Grummond’s group of four mounted figures starts the game just about on the north table edge, centered east-west. This group has three figures with early repeating carbines (Spencers) and one with repeating carbines (Henrys). Capt. Fetterman’s group of 6 infantry, plus a mounted Fetterman, deploy along the Bozeman about three quarters of the way to the north edge of the table. Fetterman’s men are armed with muzzle loading rifles (Springfields).
All of the soldiers are Rep 4, with the exception of Grummond’s figure (Rep 5). Fetterman is also Rep 5 although note that as an individual, his Rep is used for leadership purposes only. See the modifications to Six Gun Sound below for more details.
The warriors begin as six Possible Enemy Forces (PEF) deployed three on the west and three on the east table edge, about equidistant along each side.

How the game progresses: At this point, activation is rolled for and play proceeds as outlined below under the changes to Six Gun Sound.
In essence each active PEF will move 0-6” towards the nearest soldier. When a soldier has line of sight to a PEF it is “resolved”. This consists of rolling 1d6 and consulting the table below: 
PEF marker: What spooked that bird?

Die Roll
1 mtd plus 1 foot warband
1 foot warband
1 mounted warband
1 foot warband
1 mounted warband
False Alarm

Each warband consists of one Rep 5, two Rep 4, and one Rep 3 warrior. All warriors are armed with bow and melee weapon.
The initial six PEFs will always be foot warbands, unless a six is rolled, in which case there is no warband at all.
At the start of each turn, any PEF’s removed the previous turn are diced for. The score of 1d6 indicates which warrior deployment area where the PEF enters the table.
As you can see this creates a varied placement and number of warriors, giving the scenario great replay value.

Actions for non player controlled warbands: Any warband not being run by a player simply fast moves towards the nearest enemy figure and opens fire. Any figure that runs out of ammunition will charge in for melee.

Victory conditions or how can I win this thing?: This scenario is not intended to be played as a conventional two sided game. Rather players may take the role of one of the leaders of one side or the other.
One player, playing as Fetterman: Exit as much of your force as you can from the south table edge. I leave it up to you to determine if you achieved a victory.
Two players, playing as Fetterman and Grummond: Each player takes command of 3 infantry and 2 cavalry figures. The player that does not control Grummond does control Fetterman. Victory goes to the player that exits the most figures off the south table edge. Failing that, victory goes to the last player with figures in play. Note that the Fetterman figure does not count towards fulfilling these victory conditions.
One to six players, playing as warriors: Each player is assigned an entry area in any agreed upon manner. A player controls any warbands generated by PEF’s that entered from his or her zone. Victory goes to the player whose forces eliminate the most soldier figures. Soldier figures eliminated by non player warbands do not count towards victory.
By combining these options it is possible to have up to eight players with the soldier and warrior players competing among themselves for victory.

Changes to Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory for this Game
Long before I started work on Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory (hereafter SGS for short) I had cobbled together a set of rules for the Indian wars named “Comancheria”. By taking some of the design decisions and data in Comancheria, it is possible to play larger engagements than the single figure ratio of SGS allows.

1.       Scale: Each figure represents about 8 men/horses and each inch represents 25 yards lateral distance. Time scale remains flexible although we may assume that each turn is somewhat longer than typical SGS turn.

2.       Weapons:
a.       Muzzle loading rifles have an effective range of 8” and maximum range of 24”.
b.      Repeating and early repeating carbines have an effective range of 6” and a maximum range of 18”.
c.       Bows have an effective range of 6” and a maximum range of 12”.
d.  Due to the increased game scale treat muzzle loaders as single shot rifles so far as Fumbling for Cartridges is concerned. However they may only fire once per turn. Spencers are treated as revolvers, bows as bows. Only the Henry armed figure is treated as a repeating carbine.

3.       Shootin’ Table and Damage: Even though each figure represents 8 men, the percentage calculations hold true. Ignore the specific body parts mentioned as being hit except insomuch as a hit on a figure in cover would be negated. Any wound effect such as “-1 to Rep when firing…” simply translates as a minus to that figure’s Rep. Any Out of the Fight, or Obviously Dead result removes a figure from play. When passing 1d6 on a leg wound under “I’m Hit”, the figure suffers no damage.

4.       Leave No Man Behind: Any soldier figure that has suffered a reduction in Rep due to a combat result now has some wounded men to tend to. A foot figure moves at half rate. A mounted figure must dismount and move as a foot figure above.

5.       Slippery Slope: Soldiers may not Fast Move due to the terrain and weather effect on the table. EDIT: Experience has shown that this gives a powerful if not unwarranted advantage to the warriors. If desired you may allow only dismounted warriors a fast move (too slippery for ponies) or no fast moves at all.

6.       Captain Fetterman: The Fetterman figure represents only the man himself rather than the 8 or so men represented by all of the other figures in the game. As such the Captain has absolutely no combat value at all. His Rep of 5 is used only for leading his infantry. When the last infantry figure is removed, Captain Fetterman is removed form play as well.

7.       Quick Reference Sheets: Soldiers use the Range QRS. Warriors use the Plains Warrior QRS.

8.       Draw!: Personally I wouldn’t use that rule in this game. However if you want to use it to see who gets off the first shot when figures approach one another, have fun!

9.       Rep, Sand, Toughness, Horsemanship, etc: Use Rep value for all of these stats. Plains warriors should easily count Rep +1 for Horsemanship.
That's it! Have a go and be sure to let me know how it turns out.

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