Saturday, December 13, 2014

Song of Drums and Tomahawks Demo

I packed up the Song of Drums and Tomahawks "show" and took it down the road a few miles to the local game store. The Central Ohio Gamers Association were having their monthly meeting and were looking for a second game to entertain their members. I set up a small table for 4 players merging two of my one-on-one scenarios I use in the "Ohio Frontier Aflame" game. I added a twist or two, and then set out the rule books to see if I could also get a sale or two.
My four players look over the 6'x2.5' board that I set up at the game store
One player was completely new and another needed a refresher, so I gave them a quick, 10-minute rundown on the rules. Halfway through turn one, I decided to "split" the 4-player turn sequence into the two separate one-on-one games, rationalizing that I would make adjustments if troops got near each other. They never did, so the players were able to go at their own pace and not wait for the other skirmish to progress.
The raiding party of Stockbridge Indians have decided not to wait for their Rogers Rangers allies and head home
One one side of the table was a Huron village. A squad of 7 Rogers Rangers are finishing up their looting of the village when a Huron hunting party returns and finds them. On the other side, the Rangers' Stockbridge Indian allies begin the climb up the cliffs to head home -- tired of waiting for the foolish Rangers who have lingered too long to loot. Unbeknownst to them, another hunting party of Hurons have seen the smoke and climbed ahead of them to cut off their escape.
A Huron hunting party have cut off the escape of the Stockbridge raiders
The battle along the cliffs was quick and brutal. Both sides advanced quickly and were soon exchanging musket fire. Early on, the Stockbridge aim proved more deadly, and a few Huron fell.
Tired of waiting, the Stockbridge raiding party ascend the cliffs
Soon another, and another Huron hunter fell lifeless to the rocks or plummeted far to their deaths. The Huron chieftain urged his men forward to close into the Stockbridge in melee. He hoped their tomahawks would take a toll that his muskets were not.
The Huron firing position proves inadequate, and they begin to take losses
This strategy proves no more successful. One by one, the Huron leader sees his braves cut down. He is proud when they stand firm despite their losses. At least they will die like men, and have no shame when they meet their ancestors around the council fires. Soon, only the leader is left. He, too, falls victim to a well-aimed Stockbridge shot. Only the Stockbridge remain on the ridge. They raise their emptied muskets aloft in triumph. Their war calls echo down into the valley below.
The Stockbridge raiders raise their muskets in triumph as they take possession of the cliffs
In the village, the Ranger sergeant orders his men to make for the exit, which he knows from the Huron howls will be guarded by warriors seeking vengeance. Some of their number take cover in the longhouse doorways while others sneak through the houses themselves towards the exit. The Hurons fan out from the entrance loosing off shots at the Rangers and howling as they close in.
Huron warriors fan out from the village entrance seeking the remaining Rangers
Musket fire is glancing harmlessly off the bark-covered longhouses. First blood goes to the Huron when two braves charge into a longhouse and find a couple Rangers sneaking through it. Their tomahawks flash in the gloomy interiors and soon the two Rangers are lying lifeless on the dirt floors. Knives flash and their scalps are held aloft as the Huron war-cries ring off the walls.
Two Huron braves race into a longhouse where two Rangers are sneaking though, seeking an exit from the village
A fatal shot echoes across the village, though, and the Huron warleader falls dead. The braves momentarily panic and race towards the exit. However, the sight of their smoking villages soon rallies them and they return to the fray. The momentum has swung to the Rangers, though. They crouch in doorways or at the edge of buildings and pour accurate fire into the Huron hunters. Indian after Indian falls. When their numbers drop blow half, many flee for safety in the nearby woods. The remaining Huron accept defeat and quit the village. They hope once the Rangers are gone, they will find some of their people alive and in hiding.

The game went quickly and lasted about two hours. Each warparty began with one leader and six troops. The players enjoyed the game and had fun -- even those whose ranks were decimated. The other club members complimented the terrain and looked interested. I sold a couple copies of the rules, too, so the day was a success! Song of Drums and Tomahawks always provides a fun game and today proved no exception...


  1. Looks good, can't wait to play a game.

  2. Mike you ran a fantastic game, and I really did have a lot of fun