American Rampant Again

Gathered with friends for a Truant Friday playtest of America Rampant.  Four of my buddies plus myself gathered at Game Matrix for a game.  This time it was American regulars and militia against a force of Chickasaw Indians supported by some Spanish mounted infantry.

I was really excited about seeing everyone: Mark, Al, Gene and Scott.  It’s been a while since we gamed together.  In fact, it was so exciting to get together, torture one another and push some lead around, that I completely forgot to take pictures.  So I’ll keep it short.

Let’s just say the Americans were out to have the last word in the typical cycle of violence that wove American expansion with native responses to that aggression.  This punitive expedition targeted Chickasaw food supplies and dwellings, while the Spanish were determined to make things bloody for the their dangerous neighbors.

The Americans had four units of regular infantry, supported by a couple of the small King’s howitzers they used on the frontier until the War of 1812.  They were supported by four units of militia, including two units of mounted rifles.

The regulars pretty much had their way with the Chickasaw units facing them.  The Indians tried to pop out of some woods to attack the regulars, but when their double-quick activation failed, they had to show themselves and take a lot of fire. One of the units, rated fierce, actually did make their charge, destroying one regular unit, and badly mauling another, before it was eliminated by fire.

The militia fared less well.  It’s leadership factors were lower, and had a harder time doing much, complicated by Gene’s relatively terrible die rolling. The Spanish mounted infantry chipped away at the four units.  While the riflemen did inflict damage on Spanish, they would likely be kept out of the Chickasaw town.

The game ended with the Americans, bloodied, but unbeaten, advancing on the Chickasaw town, and the natives unlikely to be able to stop them.  I really enjoyed the rules.  Learned a lot more about terminology and the quick way to figure out the differences between pinning and rallying. Very clean, very quick.  I’m anxious to try them again.

But first I need to keep remounting figures.  My goal is to have the entire project remounted by the time I leave for WJEA summer camp on the 26th.  It’s all complicated by the fact that we are also doing some serious home renovations.

big remount

The last of the Americans requiring remount. So far I’ve remounted 25 units totaling some 264 figure.

Even so, I’m usually able to put some hours into the project every day.  It’s time consuming and tedious, but the routines are simple:  pry the old figures off their bases; glue them to new bases and wait to dry; apply modeling paste and wait to dry; paint bases burnt umber and dry brush with Trail Tan; apply flocking and spray with Dullcoat; add some clump foliage and touch up shiny spaces; add magnets.  I can usually get a couple units per day done, sometimes more.

Sounds easy, and it is.  But it does have some inherent hazards. The first part, prying old figures off their bases means using a very sharp X-Acto blade. For the most part the figures have come off without a major struggle. To this point.  I’m not talking 30 or 40 figures here.  The number is over 250. But Saturday and then again Monday the knife slipped and trashed my left palm and thumb.  Blood, a mad dash to stop the bleeding. The solution? The hand bottle of Zap glue on my painting table.

first aid

This is my new first aid kit, with the offending puncture provider in the background.

The good news is the Americans are all safely remounted, leaving only the Spanish to be remounted. But, I’ll be letting my sore thumb heal a few days before taking them on.

8 comments on “American Rampant Again

  1. dean says:

    Nice write up (in spite of the lack of visual stimuli 🙂 ). Good to hear the rules work well. Your rebasing of figures is impressive!

    • kgsmyth55 says:

      You should give them a try Dean. It is really easy to play. Goes very fast. Most enthusiasm I’ve had for a set of rule since, er, Dragon Rampant.

  2. DougH says:

    If you used white/carpenter glue on the existing bases, you can simply leave them in a shallow tray in water overnight. Even with crazy glue or epoxy, the wood you used will have soften enough to pick them off. The water will not hurt the paint. The old bases, now water sodden, will be thrown away anyway.
    Easy and without use of a ‘bloody’ knife…….

  3. So the Americans are well and truly blooded in every sense!

  4. I’ve never considered Zap-A-Gap as a band-aid. You’ve opened a whole new world for me. (I often slip and slash ‘n’ gash my digits.)

    I use a small wood chisel to remove figures from bases. It’s a lot sturdier than an X-Acto knife. I base on plastic with Gorilla Glue mostly, so rebasing (always a nightmare at best) requires heavier tools–but I still managed to impale myself every now and then with the chisel.

  5. Been there; done that. Have the scars to prove it. Crazy Glue belongs in everyone’s medical kit. Doctors and hospitals use it for that purpose too so it can’t be too bad. Rebasing project is looking good.

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