Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Just passing by: a TMWWBK game

I played "the Sword and Flame" for years. I have had good games and really abysmal games. Too many of the mechanics really bugged me, and others too, if the number of house rules I've run across mean anything.

Don't get me wrong, it's one of the classics, but it's showing it's age.
Therefore, I was very excited when the "The Men Who Would Be Kings" came out by Danial Mersey. Readers will know I love his other rules, Lion Rampant, Dragon Rampant and Dux Bellorum. Our group has only played TMWWBK once before, and as a VSF game. I'm sorely lacking in opponents for my colonial powers so all miniatures in this game were provided by Scott Mathews.
The scenario involved two opponents running into each other on the way to another place. The victory goes to the player(s) who can get the most of their forces off the opposite side.
We rolled up Leader attributes and values for each unit and the Pathans got the worst of it. Two leaders with a 9... That means they need a to roll a 9 or above to anything besides free actions.
What followed was a slaughter. The Pathans had a hard time getting their shooters going and the close combat troops couldn't get close, while the Brits calmly moved forward, steadily annihilating the natives.
Historic? Probably. Fun, not so much. However, do not take this a s a negative review.
I emailed Mr. Mersey who quickly responded. I think what we both decided was that the Pathans definitely have to play to their strengths and weakness and need tactics beyond ATTACK!
The pinning rules make it really hard to do anything if you're stuck out in rifle range. Even if you manage to rally, you're stuck for a turn, surely to get hit again. What you do to protect them is leap frog another unit in front to protect them. An "going to ground" is every Native's best friend. More terrain too.
We'll try again stripped down with equal Leadership values and no traits until we get a handle on it. No House Rules yet...
The 3 British casualties.


Rodger said...

Thanks for the review.

Jim Jackaman said...

Interesting review..good to get a critical appraisal for a change. Thanks Jaye.