Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mexican Peons

I don't go to a lot of conventions, but at least every year in November I try to attend MilleniumCon hosted by the Lonestar Historical Miniatures Society here in Texas.  The convention takes place in Austin, Texas.  I had a pretty steady attendance record until last year when I was going through a house move and it was just not practical to try and go.  This year I will pick it back up and also have started plans to host a game.  I decided to run one of my growing projects The Mexican Revolution.

I still haven't decided completely on the scenario yet, but I do know I need more troops.  I have enough to make an enjoyable 2 player game, but I would like to target more around 5 players.  Since the Constitutionalistas (1913 revolutionaries) are most likely going to be the attackers I needed more of them.  I'm thinking 3 players are attacking and 2 players are the defenders.  

The bulk of the army were the poor peons who were fighting for the right to have some land to make a living.  So I plan to have 1 larger unit of peons for each Constitutionist player.  The peons mostly wore white, gray, and brown.  Very simple clothing so you won't see a lot of variation in the peons I will be painting.  Here's a batch of 16 I completed over the past couple of weeks.  All these are from Old Glory.

There's more on the painting table.  See you soon.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Skirmish in Northern Mexico

It is 1913, a small town in Northern Mexico.  Once again Pancho Villa leads his Division del Norte (Northern Division) to over-throw a president.  Victoriano Huerta has seized control of the government and declared himself the new leader.  Former President Madero is executed in the "Ten Tragic Days".  Venustiano Carranza has called for President Huerta's removal and the Constitutionalist army is formed.  Pancho Villa answers the call, but has no love or trust for Carranza.  He decides he will lead his army and act independently.

Following the railroad lines he marches south to Torreon.  I small force of his army moves toward a village occupied by Federal troops.  It's early morning, but the Federales have gotten word of the Villistas approach and scramble to take positions.

The villagers sleep,

the Federales assemble,

and the Villistas move in a determined manner.

The stage is set and the skirmish begins.  The Federale captain sends his largest squad and MG team to the North side of the village to meet the Villista advance.  The smaller squad is sent to the West side to guard the flank.

The Villista army forms 3 prongs.  The far left is the humble peons.  The middle and right are veterans Villistas who have served through many campaigns with the Division del Norte.

Several turns have passed and the large Federale squad has occupied a building.  They rain fire on the advancing middle squad of Villistas.  They score first blood!

The Villistas advance and their speed catches the Federales off guard.  The MG team has been slow moving into position and have taken too long to assemble their gun.  The peons are almost upon them before they fire their first shots.  They need these to count if they have any hopes of survival.  The order is given, "FIRE!".
The MG blazes but the hail of bullets have little effect.  The first two peons fall and the remaining troops fire their rifles destroying the MG team.

The two Federale squads have presented better fire but they two have taken many casualties and their morale is almost broken.  The Villistas have closed the gap and the Federales begin to think of only their survival.  The Captain calls for retreat and withdraws his men in order.  But perhaps withdrawing in haste would have served him better.

The first squad, now only 2 troops descend the stairs to find the peons positioned to meet them.  Their final prayers, although short, are never finished.

Pancho Villa's army has won another victory.  The Federale army is crushed.  The victory cheers begin. From a rooftop a man yells, "Viva Villa! Viva la revolucion! Viva Mexico!".

A more somber display happens at one of the buildings.  The Federale soldiers are given the option to join Villa or die.  The officers, however, are never given that option.  Their fate is always execution.


It was fun to pull out the toys and finally play a game again.  Sometimes I spend too much time painting and not enough time playing.  I tried out Chris Peer's "Contemptible Little Armies" for this game.  First time using the rules, but it seems to fit better than the previous set of rules I was using for the Mexican Revolution.  I think I need to stat my troops better though.  Having all the Villistas as Irregulars made them a lot harder to hit than the Federal troops.  I think the next time around I will hope to get a better balanced game.  We'll see.  I hope you all enjoyed this adventure in Mexico.