Thursday, 29 November 2018

South of the Border

This Tuesday evening we went down Mexico way for the first time in quite a few years. Richard brought back his US v Mexicans in the 1840s war over Texas, to give me a break from putting on games as I'd been away for the weekend. He'd even provided a newspaper briefing for us all as background.

Our start was a little delayed as Richard had a serious transport malfunction on the way (he dropped his box of figures and spilled them on the pavement leaving his house) but he seemed to have found everything and quickly set up the table.

Phil and Tim took the US invaders, and Steve and I took the defenders of Mexico's territorial integrity. The aim of the battle was to take and hold the river line and bridge. Secretly we Mexicans harboured the desire to give the arrogant Yankees a good thrashing.

We put all our cavalry (the pride of the Mexican army, wearing proper cavalry uniforms) on the right, so we could envelope their left wing and crush them against the river line.

We also manned the villa across the river, but that was quickly overrun.

The Texas Rangers also quickly crossed the river, and turned our left flank, but we held them off in a fine old style.

In fact our defensive line on the river looked pretty solid.

Until those pesky Rangers broke our square. No matter, we had plenty more.

Out on our right we lost a cavalry action, or two, but finally got a two to one attack on their rear. To the right of the bridge we deployed the Grenadier Guards to fend off the hordes of Yankees rushing across the river.

They burst through our defensive line on the bridge, and it was all looking bleak...

... especially as, although we saw off the Texas Rangers, we were powerless in the face of the massed US infantry.

Just in time our reinforcements arrived on our right, and took back the bridge. Huzzah! And our Guards were doing a good job of holding up the right flank (BTW our 2:1 cavalry attack v infantry in line failed dismally).

As darkness fell, our final reserves marched onto the table, ensuring that for practical purposes we got a draw.

It was a thrilling game with a bit of ebb and flow, - mostly Mexican ebb and Yankees flow, it must be admitted - but we managed to hang on and stay in the game.

Richard ran it using Shako II. He isn't as strict as he might be with some of the rule systems, but he encourages a flowing game with a lot of character, so we can forgive him that.

What fun.


  1. Your frield's mishap reminds me of a friend who had something of the sort happen to him. This was about 45 years ago. He was carrying a whole load of metal Napoleonics on his bike down a busy Auckland street. It was raining, the road was slippery: he came a gutzer. So did the figures, scattering far and wide unde the traffic.

    He spent the next several minutes dodging the traffic, in the rain, trying to retrieve as much of his army as he could. I think the casualty rate in dead, wounded and (irrecoverably) missing amounted to maybe a 30-50%... A 25mm Minifig soldier doesn't do too well under a truck tyre...