Battle Report – Down Mexico Way

Last time the Aztec and Tarascan forces met, the Tarascans proved no match for the mighty Aztec Empire. Will this time prove any different?

The rules are To The Strongest, the miniatures 10mm Pendraken and the generals are both…well…me. The Aztecs just about edge the scouting tests so the Tarascans begin deployment and the Aztecs move first. The green dice represent ammo. Individual based figures are heroes and shock missiles. Casualty tokens represent disorder.


The Tarascans at the bottom offer a wide front, hoping to present as large a firing line for their numerous bows as possible. The Aztecs form up for two hammer blows, one to the centre and one on the flank with the Tarascan king and camp.
The Aztecs move forward hoping to tear through the thin Tarascan line while the Tarascan archers move forward to unleash a flurry of missiles
The Tlatoani, the Aztec Emperor, begins the advance on the flank with the elite warrior priests leading the charge.
A group of Aztec eagle and jaguar warriors (the blues in the centre) spot an opening and move to engage the Tarascan bowmen but take heavy fire in the process. The Tarascans seem jarred by the speed of the Aztec advance and do little in response, though do manage to drive of most of the Aztec skirmishers with their missile barrage.
On the flank the Aztec advance continues ponderously while the Tarascans throw out some archers to slow things down.
The eagle and jaguar warriors from the Aztec blue command crumble under sustained archery and an impressive defence from the Tarascan bowmen. Their leader flees back to rejoin the bulk of his warriors.
The Aztec warrior priests rapidly advance up the flank, giving the Cazonci, the Tarascan king, pause.
The eagle and jaguar warriors from the red Aztec command rush in to avenge their fallen comrades, destroying some Tarascan archers but finding themselves cut off when their allies are unable to follow up. Surrounded in multiple sides by bowmen they end up facing the same fate as their comrades and their leader falls back to join the main body of warriors. The Aztec green command forces the Tarascans to pull back in disorder. The Otomi and Chichimeca mercenaries on the Tarascan left flank have thus far been a waste of money, doing little despite their ferocious reputation.
The Aztec priests become a serious threat to the Cazonci, while the Tlatoani powers down on the Tarascan position.
The Tarascans attempt to get out of the path of the fearsome Aztec advance, hoping to unleash their arrows into the exposed flanks, but the support are slow to bring to fresh arrows as ammunition runs low.
The Tarascan’s mercenaries finally earn their pay with the bowmen flanking the Aztec formation and wiping out the raffle and jaguar warriors, while the Otomi warriors move to engage the main warrior body.
Some of the Tarascans from the centre pull back across the stream, hoping to form a defensive ring to bring their bows to bear.
The Otomi get the worse of the exchange as they’re thrown back in disorder. The Aztecs power down the centre that is rapidly disintegrating and prepare to take on the Tarascan Tiacham, Valian Ones.
On the right side the Aztec Tlatoani and his body guard overrun the meagre Tarascan bow and start pressuring the Cazonci. The warrior priests bloody their enemy but are unable to drive them from the hill. The Aztec warriors in the centre, having made short work of the Tarascan “Valiant Ones”, turn towards the flanks.
The Aztecs crash into the already heavily disordered Otomi, putting them into retreat and taking many captives.
With the collapse of his likes and the immediate danger all around, the Tarascan Cazonci sounds the retreat and the Aztecs revel in their victory, dragging many captives to the priests behind their lines to be sacrificed to their every thirsty god.

Once again Tarascan archery proved no match for Aztec might. This is somewhat contrary to the historical outcome where the Tarascans repeatedly defeated Aztec incursions. I do still enjoy TtS as a ruleset for this but the rules around ammunition allowances put a shooty army at a disadvantage, especially without cavalry in play. This may just be down to my poor handling of them and a number of failed activations, but I think it partly comes down to the ammunition rules. Had the Tarascans won the scouting I’d probably have placed the mercenaries in front of the main Aztec advance rather than the flank, then even if they’d still had the string of poor activations they would at least have been a bit of a barrier.

I am tempted, however, to just run a central pool of ammunition rather than using it per unit as it doesn’t really feel right that they’re having to replenish so often. Whether this will include all the standard ammunition and the reserves or have a separate reserve pool that does then require replenishment I’m not sure. Part of me is tempted to just do away with ammunition as a concept entirely. Or adopt the system from FK&P which only consumes ammo for long range and double shots.

In this game I went for a “chit only” approach of using the chits for activation and combat. This did make the game flow quickly, but I think I prefer having the division between the two mechanics so may revert to using dice or cards for combat, or even a different coloured chit set, just to provide a bit of separation between them. I suspect this is a side effect of solo play where you’re repeating the same actions for both sides so having something to break that up, like switching to dice, is a nice transition between combat and activation.

No doubt these forces will meet again in the future, so until then, thanks for reading,

Matthew

2 thoughts on “Battle Report – Down Mexico Way

  1. Nice post, and I agree with you on the ammunition front. I hate excess bookkeeping in a game. In my Feudal Patrol games, which is admittedly are skirmish games, the only ammo issues are caused by a fumble card – which is easily fixed – unless you are a Conquistador in which case your arquebus, crossbow, or falconet is done for the game (and may have blown up in the case of the black powder weapons).

    Like

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I’ve seen suggestions of a house rule just checking for “out of ammo” after firing (with those with more ammo allowance finding it easier to pass) then it’s just a single status to check rather than individual ammunition. I’ve been tinkering writing my own rules for a few periods recently (though not Meosoamerica… yet) and keeping book keeping to a minimum is something I always prioritise. Sounds like an interesting mechanism for Fedual Patrol. It’s a ruleset on my to-do list to investigate, but as I’ve recently invested in a LOT of different rules recently it’ll have to be one for future.

      Liked by 1 person

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