Monday, November 3, 2014

"Will Magua Kill 'Gray Hair'?"

Hurons lurk in the woods, ready to spring an ambush on the British marching by...  

To celebrate the release last week of our French & Indian War skirmish rules, Song of Drums and Tomahawks, I ran a quick scenario at a local convention this past weekend. It is particularly cool to run your event less than a football field away from the palisades of a reconstructed War of 1812 fort. World at War game day ( is held in the visitor's center of Fort Meigs -- the same venue we use for our Spring convention, Drums at the Rapids (
The British line of march, with loyal Mohawks leading the advance, followed by regulars, and then frontier militia
The scenario was based off of the ambush scene after the siege of Fort William Henry in the movie, The Last of the Mohicans. I called it, "Will Magua Kill 'Gray Hair'?" and set it up for six players. A dirt road wound between two large, forested hills. In fact, everything except the road counted as forested. There were 3 British players: a force of loyal Mohawk Indians, frontier militia, and a force of British regulars. All 3 "French" players were Indians, with one commander being designated as Magua just for a dash of color. A thrill ran through the players when Magua scalped a fallen opponent on the road, just as Col. Munro ("Gray Hair") rounded the bend in sight of him. The clash did not occur, but there was plenty of bloodshed and a number of scalps taken!

Musket shots ring out as the British column wound between the wooded hills
The British set up on the road, with the Mohawks in the lead, the regulars in the center and the frontier militia as rear guard. The Indians set up not far from the board edges on the wooded hill slopes. The militia quickly veered off the road to guard the right flank of the British from Magua's warband, which was advancing and had fired on the Mohawks. The loyal Indians dashed forward and exchanged musket fire with a force of Huron in the woods off to the left. The remaining Indian warband advanced cautiously, and soon began sniping at the regulars. Col. Munro proved he was no coward and waved his men off the road and into the woods to fire back at the elusive Indians.

Allied Mohawk tribesmen open fire on the Hurons who have ambushed them
The British players were suffering more hits, and were being whittled down in size. The Mohawks, in particular, suffered grueling losses being shot at from both sides. They were rescued from the fire of Magua's band when the frontier militia rushed onto the flank of the Indian firing line and blazed away at them. Magua's Hurons let loose a war whoop and charged the militia. A stubborn, bloody fight ensued, with both sides taking losses.

The frontier militia veers off the road to protect the flanks of the regulars
Things began to look bleak for the British as all of their forces were below half strength. They proved stalwart on their morale checks, though -- particularly Munro's regulars. The Mohawks were down to 3 warriors, but inflicted enough losses on their Huron foes to drop them below half strength and force morale checks, as well. Even Magua's band was suffering under the frontiersmen's blows, though the militia were the first to break off and run. 

Everywhere the British look, Hurons are in the woods, firing at them
When the game was called, it was certain the Indians had inflicted severe losses on the British. The British gave much better than they did historically (or in the movie, for that matter!). It was a Huron victory, but not the massacre that it looked like it would be early on.

The melee beneath the trees between Magua's warband and the frontier militia proved deadly to many a brave soul
We had two new players who tested out the rules, along with four veterans. Everyone had a good time, and I passed out a number of "calling cards" for downloading the rules. We plan on running quite a few games of SDT at Cold Wars next Spring, as well as other cons in the area.

Col. Munro, aka "Gray Hair," and his regulars proved stalwart under fire -- never flinching in the face of mounting casualties

 The rules are available for download on the Ganesha Games site, here:


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