Thursday, September 15, 2016

Beaver Wars in Ohio playtest, Turn 9

Four games were running as the campaign comes down to the wire to see which tribe will be victorious
Our next-to-last turn of the final playtest of the Beaver Wars campaign rules took place last weekend at the local pizzeria. All players were in attendance, so as GM I sat out with my Erie tribe. An interesting dynamic had developed in the strategic card play phase of the game over the last two turns. Early on, most tribes played Hunt cards, to obtain more beaver pelts. Now, there was a preponderance of War cards as tribes competed to be near the top of the order for launching attacks. Both 2nd and 3rd place tribes (Neutral and Mohawk) chose high value War cards and both chose to attack tribes far beneath them in the standings. Each player claimed that they did that because they had not fought that particular opponent in the campaign yet, but I’m not so sure they weren’t targeting a tribe that would field a potentially less powerful force (as far as firearms and trait upgrades go).
The Honniasont quickly cut off the pathway, forcing the Neutral Scouts to fight
The first battle saw the Honniasont turning the tables on the Neutrals in the Ambush the Scouts scenario. The Honniasont are our last-place tribe — mainly because Bruce joined the campaign several turns into it and has been unable to close the gap on points. His strategy of fielding a force of all Youths with one Chieftain has been challenging to everyone he has faced. Keith’s Neutrals were the first opponent to take a Youth-heavy force to oppose the Honniasont. The Honniasont moved to block the Neutrals path, and sabotaged Keith’s idea of racing around the enemy to exit the table (as the victory conditions required).
The Honniasont spring their ambush and charge in to catch the Neutrals unaware
Bruce’s rolls were good and soon he had slain several Neutrals. Bruce was living up to his reputation of giving everyone he faced a challenging struggle. Keith’s favorite tactic in this campaign, though, has been to try to kill his opponent’s chieftain. Anytime an enemy leader enters the fray (or gets within his movement range), Keith will try his best to swarm him and force his opponent to take the required morale test if he successfully kills him. Plus, a force without a chieftain is more vulnerable to activation turnovers than one that is well-led. This tactic has served Keith well in the campaign, as the Neutrals’ position in the standings will attest.
Keith points out how he plans to kill the Honniasont leader to Bruce
Keith’s bid to kill the Honniasont chieftain was successful, and Bruce’s forces were scattered by morale failures. With that, his good fortune at activation rolls seemed to disappear. The game quickly went from a hard-fought struggle, with the Honniasont having the edge, to a mopping up operation by the victorious Neutrals. It was a Major Victory for the Neutrals, with the score 18-3 in victory points.
The Mohawk advance through the Susquehannock town, driving the defenders before them
The Slaughter Amidst the Lodges scenario that pitted the Mohawk attack on a Susquehannock town catches the battle in the middle of all its fury. The entire board is an Indian town, with the players using the birchbark longhouses and various skin-stretching frames, sweat lodges, and fish-drying racks as cover. The Mohawks had used their upgrades to make many of their warriors Strong (+1 in melee). So, they were quick to close with the enemy. Although they lost a couple warriors, the Mohawks quickly began tomahawking their enemy. Soon, Steve’s forces fell below half and were scattered by the mandatory morale check.
Steve moves his Susquehannock warriors to try to stave off the Mohawk attackers
The chieftain and three others remained on the table, and bravely continued the fray. The Susquehannock leader even rushed to attack a Mohawk warrior, but was soon outnumbered and cut down. His remaining warriors fled the village with his loss, leaving the Mohawk in possession of the town. This battle was actually our biggest margin of victory, with the Mohawks triumphing 19-2 over the Susquehannock.
As the Miami spring their ambush, the Seneca hunters drop their bundles at the portage
The third battle was another ambush — this time of a Miami raiding party catching Seneca hunters at Ambush at the Portage. The Miami concealed themselves and waited until the Seneca were very close to spring the battle. Apparently, there was confusion among the Miami, as the warriors did not recognize the signal to attack and remained frozen in place. The Seneca took advantage of the Miami activation failure and dropped their bundles and quickly closed with their ambushers. Seneca matchlock fire was deadly and soon Miami warriors were dropping as the momentum quickly swung in favor of the defenders.
Jenny looks on in despair as the Seneca aggressively charge her Miami and begin to cut them down
As more and more of their warriors fell, the Miami knew their attack was doomed to failure. The Seneca showed little mercy — scalping their opponents and continuing to close on the reeling and disorganized enemy. The Miami did account for three of their attackers, but lost eight of their own, including their leader. It was our third Major Victory of the turn, as the Seneca rolled 18-3.
The Kickapoo traders stalk forward, certain that some of their goods have been stolen by the Shawnee also visiting the fort
The final battle took place between two trading missions that encountered each other within the walls of a European fort. Both had arrived within a day of each other and had just concluded trading their pelts for firearms, powder, and European goods. Unfortunately, the white man’s curse, whisky and rum, was also sold to the Indians. Combined with past wrongs, that sewed the seeds of conflict between the Kickapoo and Shawnee parties.
Andy's Kickapoo -- I really enjoy how so many of the players have painted up their forces as the campaign progresses
The entire battlefield of the Who’s a Thief? scenario is contained inside the fort, with cabins and warehouses as cover. A special scenario rule has a hostile soldier appear anytime an Indian tries to enter a cabin or climb atop the palisade. Neither side risked angering the soldiers, though. The warriors instead massed towards a passageway between the walls and a warehouse. The Shawnee quickly gained the upper hand in the fighting. As a warrior fell, more entered the dusty lane. Soon, the Kickapoo began to retreat and fled back towards their encampment. Once again, the Shawnee held the upper hand in a battle. Their 14-4 victory maintained their position as the most dominant tribe in the Ohio Valley by 1 single point! I'm sure that both they and the Neutrals will be examining the categories to determine how they can move up in the categories they are competing in.

Victory Points
25.5 points
24.5 points
22.5 points
18.5 points
14 points
12 points
11 points
8 points
3 points

Prestige Points (PPs)
Neutrals (Keith Finn)
22 (7 MajV, 1 MinD)
Shawnee (Joe Merz)
22 (5 MajV, 3 MinV, 1 MinD)
Mohawk (Dave Welch)
15 (4 MajV, 1 MinV, 1 MinD)
Seneca (Mike Stelzer)
15 (3 MajV, 3 MinV)
Miami (Jenny Torbett)
11 (2 MajV, 2 MinV, 1 MinD)
Kickapoo (Andy Swingle)
10 (3 MajV, 1 MinD)
Erie (Mike Demana)
8 (2 MajV, 2 MinD)
Susquehannock (Steve Phallen)
5 (1 MajV, 2 MinD)
Honniasont (Bruce Adamczak)
3 (1 MinV, 1 MinD)

Scenario Victory Points (SVPs)
Neutrals (Keith Finn)
Shawnee (Joe Merz)
Mohawk (Dave Welch)
Seneca (Mike Stelzer)
Miami (Jenny Torbett)
Kickapoo (Andy Swingle)
Erie (Mike Demana)
Susquehannock (Steve Phallen)
Honniasont (Bruce Adamczak)

Beaver Pelts
Shawnee (Joe Merz)
Mohawk (Dave Welch)
Neutrals (Keith Finn)
Kickapoo (Andy Swingle)
Erie (Mike Demana)
Susquehannock (Steve Phallen)
Seneca (Mike Stelzer)
Miami (Jenny Torbett)
Honniasont (Bruce Adamczak)


  1. Very interesting battle reports .
    Great fights and games.

  2. I look forward to any scenarios you publish. Always looking for more skirmish scenarios.