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Review of Bayonets & Tomahawks

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15 Apr 2021 10:00 #322140 by Msample
Upon announcement that GMT would be publishing Bayonets & Tomahawks,...

Even if you have Wilderness War, this game is definiitely worth checking out. 

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15 Apr 2021 11:03 #322141 by Sagrilarus
The map is freaking me out.

Sorry, haven't read your review yet but I took a quick look to get some footing on your write-up and putting Northeast at the top of the map makes it look like something out of a pulp fantasy novel instead of the real thing.

Is there an official publishing rule that forbids putting a player board diagonally on the table?

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15 Apr 2021 11:08 #322144 by Msample
I had reservations about the map when I saw pictures online but after playing it, doesn't really bother me. Sure you could tilt it ,but you might need a wider table. The designer wrote an article stating that it was the only way he could get the map to cover the areas he wanted ( including some distortion along Champlain for instance ) and keep it to one map. Compared to WW for instance, there is more attention paid to the Nova Scotia/Maine area for instance. On my third play now and TBH I don't even think about the map any longer as a issue.

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15 Apr 2021 11:17 #322145 by Gary Sax
Thanks for writing this, I'll sit down with it tonight!

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15 Apr 2021 18:34 #322182 by DukeofChutney
Great review. Can I afford another game right now?

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15 Apr 2021 19:02 #322184 by Msample
At an MSRP of $59 - less online in some places - it’s pretty affordable IMO. Since GMT isn’t in the business of minus, thankfully their stuff doesn’t succumb to the production bloat of larger companies.

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16 Apr 2021 09:25 #322189 by Sagrilarus
Alright, I gave this article the time it deserves. And I'll tell you what -- you landed it right on top of what I was looking for. A nice overview of the fundamentals with some nuggets of specific observations to bring it home. Thank you for taking the time.

This is about a late as I like to get in wargaming, preferring pre and early gunpowder to more modern settings. To some extent it feels more charming to me (which is kind of an irrelevant observation I suppose) and it feels more intellectually manageable to me as well. Seven Years War is likely as politically complex as the best of them, but in the scope of a title like this I can wrap my head around its broader implications more easily.

And it sounds like this game has the right mix of chaos and control for me. Warriors of God hit my sweet spot and to an extent I use that as my benchmark. So card-drivens generally frustrate me with the straight-jacket limitations from turn to turn, but traditional hex-and-chit seem too Best Practicey for me.

One thing you missed though -- combat resolution. Dice? Cards? Wrist-Wrestle? I suppose I could look it up, but I'd be curious to know if there are shades-of-gray in the outcomes.
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16 Apr 2021 09:56 #322190 by Gary Sax
He talks about it. Looks like a dice roll system with symbols reflecting each of the types of unit and flags.

I've always found that wargames really struggle to communicate raids and why they happened, no matter the era. Really anything lighter than a decisive battle. Clash of Monarchs did a really good job with this for the 7 Years War, even though it was complex. A whole different theater of war that denuded areas of supply and ended up being really consequential, in practice. And bonuses for them in regular massed combat.

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16 Apr 2021 14:51 #322204 by Msample
Correct - each unit in combat rolls one of the custom dice. Each die has 2 Flag faces, a Miss face, hit/circle type, hit triangle type, Bayonet/Tomahawk symbol, Basically a unit can only directly hit a unit of the same type - a Light can't hit a Regular for instance. However, Flags while not inflicting Hits advance the Battle track. A difference of three or more Hits results in a Rout which will entail casualties beyond the Hits scored in Combat.

Sorry for the lack of detail in the review. I struggle with not merely regurgitating the rulebook when reviewing ( which I hate ) vs trying to convey how the game feels to play. Hopefully I came across as having played the game enough to relate how the gameplay is esp compared to the natural comp of WILDERNESS WAR.

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16 Apr 2021 14:58 #322206 by Gary Sax
No need to apologize, I know I speak for everyone when I say we appreciate the review---especially for a type of game that doesn't get a ton of coverage on TWBG.

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16 Apr 2021 17:48 #322214 by Msample

Gary Sax wrote: He talks about it. Looks like a dice roll system with symbols reflecting each of the types of unit and flags.

I've always found that wargames really struggle to communicate raids and why they happened, no matter the era. Really anything lighter than a decisive battle. Clash of Monarchs did a really good job with this for the 7 Years War, even though it was complex. A whole different theater of war that denuded areas of supply and ended up being really consequential, in practice. And bonuses for them in regular massed combat.


In an exchange of Geekmails with the designer I asked if he had other ideas he's looking to design. His response "I’m tempted to apply it to other conflicts. Pontiac Rebellion, Jacobite Rebellion, 1775 Invasion of Canada, detailed siege of Québec, Austrian Succession War (the birth of light troops). I’ll have to pick one and I’ll probably poll the community and request help. It takes a ton of research to make it right."

He said he's leaning towards Austrian Succession War.

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16 Apr 2021 17:57 - 16 Apr 2021 18:01 #322216 by Gary Sax
He has massive competition (IMO) from the designer of Clash of Monarchs, an incredible CDG: www.gmtgames.com/p-745-clash-of-sovereig...cession-1740-48.aspx

But this sort of topic can always use more strategic takes---same thing you had to say about this conflict. Hope he tries Clash of Monarchs, a lot of people think it doesn't matter and is just chrome but its treatment of light troops is incredible. The reason they think it doesn't matter is most people only play like the 1 turn tournament scenario of a wargame and make their judgment. The light troops and raiding in CoM only make themselves felt in the longer scenarios and campaign games, and they feel soooo right. They're like a vice that is turning, strangling your economy---and the whole game's economy! I think that's the best part of CoM, it is so dismal and communicates how hopelessly broke both countries become as the turns grind on and how much the war is hurting everyone involved. The last turns of a CoM game that isn't decisive are like two punch drunk boxers in the 12th round.
Last edit: 16 Apr 2021 18:01 by Gary Sax.
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16 Apr 2021 18:38 - 16 Apr 2021 18:39 #322218 by Msample
Totally agree on CoM - the campaign is where the Kleiner Krieg boxes make their effect known. And that's why its almost never hit the table - the campaign is probably the longest of any CDG out there . If Marc decides to do a game on the subject, I'm confident it will be different enough from a traditional CDG to warrant taking a look at regardless of how CoS turns out - B&T has gotten my attention . Don't know if and when that will happen - B&T had a very long gestation period, so we'll see. I'm curious to see how much more accessible CoS is vs its predecessor. The designer has said he's stripped some stuff out knowing it will get more traction that way.
Last edit: 16 Apr 2021 18:39 by Msample.
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16 Apr 2021 18:46 #322219 by Gary Sax
I actually managed a ftf CoM campaign with a dude I didn't know in Champaign over like 3 sessions. It was great though playing with someone I don't know is a weird thing.

Very interesting game too. I kept the horrible leader of the Austrians in charge the whole game because I never got beat very bad in a decisive battle with him. It meant the shape of the game was really really weird because the game leans toward the historical result that (iirc) the pretty incompetent Charles will get blasted by Frederick and Daun will take over. It still worked, since I never got routed I was super cagey and held most of Austria with this titanic force that I could only move around slowly to respond to Frederick. Austrian win iirc.

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16 Apr 2021 19:38 - 16 Apr 2021 19:40 #322222 by Sagrilarus
This was the right level of review, don't change. I just missed the custom die thing. I even searched for "dice" afterward and came up empty.

Msample wrote: Pontiac Rebellion

I'm reviewing a rulebook for Pontiac's war at the moment.

Msample wrote: Jacobite Rebellion

The Welsh don't get no love.
Last edit: 16 Apr 2021 19:40 by Sagrilarus.
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