S&T No. 242 - They Died With Their Boots On, Vol 2 - Chasing Villa

For Labor Day Weekend, I decided to try out "They Died With Their Boots On", Vol. 2. This was originally published in S&T 242 and there's actually two games, the US Campaign in the Old Northwest against the Indians/British in 1791-94 and Pershing's pursuit of Pancho Villa.

My overall impression is that it's an interesting challenge in a small package (not a bad thing at all). I played the Pershing scenario and one of the most striking things was that either the US or Villista player could gain control of the various Mexican Government forces. As the US player, I was able to use them to try and grind down the Villista forces (primarily the Army de Norte) at a loss of VPs or simply send them on a fool's errand, racing down the railroad to Parral or some other out of the way place.

As the Villista, the Mexican Government forces were useful for wearing down the US- US losses count for VPs but anything the US destroys gets no VPs. Of course, there's the roll for VPs for having a Mexican Government force attack US units...(and vice-versa) For the most part, I didn't find the heroism counters to be problem when playing solitaire. In particular, for ambush markers, I went under the assumption that they could be triggered at anytime so movement could be somewhat slowed down.

The only thing that I found difficult was the combat table- it's extremely bloody and in many respects the game is a war of attrition where low odds attacks can be punished severely for the attacker. For the US player, the division of the US forces into commands does act to hinder the US player from gaining high-odds attacks since some commands like the West Collum are pretty weak. I'm going to give this one another try soon.

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Comment by Adam Lid on September 4, 2008 at 1:18am
It's an interesting system although combat is quite bloody. I'll have to give the Custer Campaign a try.
Comment by Darin Leviloff on September 4, 2008 at 12:54am
I tried the Northwestern Indian conflict (Mad Anthony?) scenarios in the same system. Found it worked quite well and the random initiative system added alot of unpredictability. I understand that Joe is going to take this system into Finland in the "World at War" magazine.
Comment by Smitty on September 3, 2008 at 8:02pm
Their Custer campaign game based upon this system is well worth your time and effort.

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