Thursday, April 6, 2017

POWDER RIVER TAKE ME HOME

     I started Powder River over again. I'm still using my home-brew rules, but I changed the scale to 1"=20 yds. Ultimately, I thought the 40-yd game moved too slowly.
     The rules are really coming together now. I oughtta formalize everything and put them up on Lulu or something. The world needs a good Plains War game to go with all the cool minis out there, don't you think?
     I've actually looked high and low for a good set of rules. No matter where I looked, the name "Yellow Ribbon" kept coming up. One guy even said they were "the best [Indian War] rules ever written," like it's a work of literature, or something. Oh, my goodness! Internet guys, huh? Best....Game....EVER!
     It never ceases to amaze me how useless internet chat forums are, though. Yellow Ribbon's a perfect example. I found a copy at Noble Knight for $7. Pretty cheap for the best rule set ever written. So I jumped on it -- only to find that after all the hype about how great YR is, what everyone failed to mention was that a US Cavalry Company (about 40-60 guys) is represented by 16 figures! My Rosebud scenario would require about 150 figures for the US side, and about the same or more for the Sioux and a table about the size of a football field. As they say on ESPN: C'mon, man! I realize that most rule sets are just flimsy excuses to sell lots and lots of figures, but this is ridiculous.
     Anyway, what I was looking for were rules that would allow me to play full battles, like Rosebud and Powder River, with a reasonable number of figures and a reasonable amount of table-space. My rules allow for either 1"=20 yds or 1"=40 yds battles to be played. Powder River requires somewhere around 18 bases per side. So far, it's working out pretty well.
     Anyway, here's what has happened so far.

Capt. Egan and K Co./2nd Cav, after charging into the village, encounter a group of Sioux in the trees and dismount to exchange fire. The Indians are demoralized from the charge and one base is pinned under the hail of carbine fire. One platoon of K Co. was pinned and then retreated (making it a separate "detachment") while another remains pinned under fire and the whole unit is starting to buckle under the strain. Egan looks around  frantically for the rest of the command. Weren't they supposed to be right behind him?

A view of the action from the Indian perspective.
While Egan is preoccupied, two groups of Indians head for the hills. Chief Two Moon urges them on through the broken, boulder-strewn terrain.
AH! This is what Egan was waiting for: Lt Col Mills leads E & M Cos/4th Cavalry onto the field. He might be just in time to save Egan, but maybe too late to stop the Indians from escaping into the hills.

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