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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Hats Off to The Crow

Since I’m currently dallying with Lion Rampant I thought I might have a go with The Men Who Would Be Kings (TMWWBK) that stable’s colonial variant.

The only collection I have mounted on single bases is for Yellow Ribbon a venerable and excellent recreation of Plains warfare. So, it is to be a "Hokay hey" outing if not one for "the most extraordinary horsemen I have seen yet” *.

TMWWBK requires you to compile the stats for each unit.  It’s not an onerous task but some thought is required and, being a Piquet devotee, I put each unit’s stats on a card replete with an appropriate image on the back.  You will see them when I report the game.

Over the years, I’ve read loads about the Plains Wars and looking at the options TMWWBK offers I could see my way clear to having everyone on the table pretty much operating true to form.  

The US cavalry would be fairly average regulars, many of them were appalling riders, relying on the advantages of carbine fire power and discipline.  A flag for these lads is needed here as you can see.  

The various Lakota etc. societies would be fierce, equipped with modern weapons and totally casualty averse.  The rest of the warriors, ditto but not well equipped at all.  Skirmishing would be easy but a successful charge would be a pony of a different colour.

Which brings me to the Crow.  The 1-1 scale of TMWWBK allows me to field a unit of Crow warriors, a rarity on the table in my experience.  

The numerically inferior Crow had been more or less fending off the more numerous Lakota for a generation but they knew it was a doomed fight.  

Never the less they stuck to it, and of course when the chance came, allied themselves to the expanding USA faster than you could say guns and ammo.  In the long run, it did them little more good than their Lakota foes but it was really their only option.

Today many of the Plains Peoples, Lakota, Dakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho and even Comanche have their aficionados.  Less so the Crow but they too fought for their land and the life of their people and really, you cannot do more than that.

* George Caitlin on the Comanche- Sadly no one makes Comanche in 15mm.


  1. Good stuff! I am a big western Indian Wars fan and game it using 18mm Blue Moon Plains War range. I've tried a bunch of sets of rules, recently Chris Peers Too Few to Fight and Too Many to Die rules.
    Will be following this with interest!

    Oh and I totally agree with you on the Crows.

  2. Thanks Joseph, I'm thinking about some typical scenarios to try out with TMWWBK. Also given the vastness of the West and the fact I'm using 15mm I've halved all distances.

  3. I have never played TMWWBK but my big concern with most western rules is they are just too bloody. Peer's game at least you have to do a lot of shooting to do much as hits are hard to attain - which seems accurate.

    However to us, the Close Combat system is broke. Whoever attacks pretty much wins.

  4. Have you tried Yellow Ribbon Joseph? It's the real deal imo for reflecting Plains Fights. Sometimes the Indians just go home half way through having got what they wanted out of the fight or because they don't want to risk any more casualties.

  5. Cool, nice figures and presentation....

  6. Much appreciated Phil. When I was young I read lots about the destruction of the Plains People and subsequently met some of them. Suffice to say I try to be both accurate and sensitive.

  7. I did play in someone's Yellow Ribbon game years ago and while I don't recall the details, the losses were really too heavy and too fast. I do agree the Indians seemed to be quite unique in how they reacted. Oh and keeping track of ammo also, I grafted that sort of thing onto the rules I use now.

  8. Yes I recall ticking off the ammo boxes-nice feature. Nowadays I'd make a bunch of ammo boxes out of Fimo and remove them directly from the table.