Difficult Canyon

“Capt. Samuel B.M. Young, convinced that the scouting missions sent through the Hualapai country would not be decisive, left Fort Mojave on 11 January with Company K of the 8th Cavalry and a party of scouts under Dan O’Leary.”  — Gregory F. Michno, Encyclopedia of Indian Wars, page 213

It has been a while since my last post.  The Floozy has discovered that writing for money is just as much a full time job as her day job.  But I hope to make amends by offering an encounter that can be played using Six Gun Sound, a THW title from Rebel Minis.  You could use Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory or Chain Reaction with a little tweaking.  Heck, you could adapt just about any Old West rule set which includes Indians.  Well, there may be a few rule sets which may take a lot of adapting.  You know, the ones that are pretty much Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Horror rules squished to look like the Old West – the ones where Indians fight in gangs, cowboys in factions and every cavalryman is a member of the 7th Cavalry.  Oh, and 19th century women wear dresses with the front of the skirts cut away to display stockings and ruffled knickers.  But I’m digressing (not that I have anything against ruffled knickers).

All of the rules and page numbers referenced are from Six Gun Sound.

Introduction

As with most engagements fought with American Indians, half of the battle consisted of just finding the Indians.  Captain Young found himself in the Cerbat mountains facing a maze of canyons.  He split his force sending Lt. Stevenson as a decoy.  He hoped the Indians would focus their attention on Stevenson and allow him time to search the canyons for their camp without being discovered.  With a split command, gaming this battle is broken into two encounters.  The first encounter is a Raid/Rescue Encounter where Captain Young raids the camp of the Hualapai to capture or kill Chief Sherum.  The second encounter is a Confrontation Encounter – once fighting began between the soldiers and the Hualapai, Lt. Stevenson turned his command around and proceeded to the sounds of gunshots.  Arriving after Captain Young had withdrawn, Lt. Stevenson found himself in an ambush.

Captain Samuel B.M. Young
Three Hualapai Chiefs: Hualapai Charley, Sherum & Leve Leve

Raid/Rescue

Your star character is Samuel B.M. Young, early in the career of the man who would become the Army Chief of Staff under President Theodore Roosevelt and end his long career of government service as Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park.

However, in 1868, Captain Samuel B.M. Young is a Rep 5 cavalry officer with the following stats:

Captain Samuel B.M. Young

  •  Star or grunt?  Star.
  •  Class?  Gunman.
  •  Profession?  Soldier (Ranger).
  •  Attributes?  Marksman, Nerves of Steel.
  •  Reputation?  5.
  •  Weapon?  Pistol.

Objectives

For the raid to be successful, Chief Sherum must either be forced to leave the table or go OOF (Out of the Fight).

Forces

The government forces consists of two groups.  The first group, commanded by Capt. Young, consists of the Captain and 4 cavalry troopers.

Cavalry Troopers

  •  Star or grunt?  Grunt.
  •  Class?  Gunman.
  •  Profession?  Soldier (Ranger).
  •  Attributes?  Marksman.
  •  Reputation?  4.
  •  Weapon?  Carbine.

The second group is the party of  2 Mojave scouts led by Dan O’Leary.

Dan O’Leary

  •  Star or grunt?  Grunt.
  •  Class?  Gunman.
  •  Profession?  Soldier (Ranger).
  •  Attributes?  Marksman, Lucky.
  •  Reputation?  5.
  •  Weapon?  Rifle.

Mojave Scouts

  •  Star or grunt?  Grunt.
  •  Class?  Gunman.
  •  Profession?  Warrior.
  •  Attributes?  Marksman.
  •  Reputation?  4.
  •  Weapon?  Rifle.
Looking for Indians in Difficult Canyon

The opposition consists of groups of Hualapai (pronounced Wa-la-pie) Indians.  The war against the whites is in its third year, all warriors are armed with a firearm of some type.  For ease of play, all Hualapai are armed with a Rifle.  The size and number of enemy groups are in the special instructions section.

Hualapai Warriors

  •  Star or grunt?  Grunt.
  •  Class?  Gunman.
  •  Profession?  Warrior.
  •  Attributes?  Marksman.
  •  Reputation?  4.
  •  Weapon?  Rifle.

The object of the raid is to dispossess Chief Sherum (sometimes spelled Scherum, Shrum, or Cherum, “Cherum Peak” is named after him.).  Chief Sherum led the “Cerbat Mountain Band” or the “Middle Mountain People.”

Chief Sherum

  •  Star or grunt?  Star.
  •  Class?  Gunman.
  •  Profession?  Warrior.
  •  Attributes?  Marksman, Resilient.
  •  Reputation?  5.
  •  Weapon?  Carbine.

Terrain

Terrain is “out of doors” in terms of game play.  The battle took place in such rugged terrain that all forces are dismounted.  That’s right, cavalrymen with no horses.

Deployment

Use the standard force deployment for this encounter – page 36.

Special Instructions

The day part is morning.  The cold weather created a false dawn and when the mist finally lifted, both sides were startled as to how close they were to one another.

Follow the rest of the Special Instructions as written on page 36.

Finding the Objective

The object is Chief Sherum.  Use the Finding the Objective section when a PEF is resolved as enemy figures to see if Chief Sherum is among them.

Confrontation

Upon hearing gunshots and seeing smoke, Lt. Jonathan D. Stevenson, who was leading the decoy platoon, turned his force around with the intention of joining the battle.  Unfortunately, Captain Young had already withdrawn his forces by the time Lt. Stevenson arrived.  Instead of reinforcing Captain Young, Lt. Stevenson found himself in an ambush.

Play the Confrontation Encounter on page 35.

Objective

The objective is to escape unharmed.  In the actual battle, Lt. Stevenson was shot six times early in the battle.  He miraculously recovered.

Forces

Lt. Jonathan D. Stevenson is your star and he commands 4 cavalry troopers.  Use the Cavalry Troopers stats from the Raid encounter for your grunts.  Lt. Stevenson’s stats are:

Lieutenant Jonathan D. Stevenson

  •  Star or grunt?  Star.
  •  Class?  Gunman.
  •  Profession?  Soldier (Ranger).
  •  Attributes?  Marksman, Near Sighted.
  •  Reputation?  5.
  •  Weapon?  Pistol.

The opposition are Hualapai Warriors, use the stats from the Raid encounter.  Chief Sherum is not available for this encounter.

Terrain

Mountainous terrain so rugged that all figures are dismounted.

Deployment

Use the “Out of Town” deployment – page 35.

Special Instructions

Use all of the Special Instructions on page 35, the NPCs are Hualapai Warriors.

Band Availability

You can omit this section.

Walk the Walk?

The encounter is a lethal encounter, but there is no “Draw.”  The United States Cavalry does not draw like gunslinger trash.  I know, those new fancy smancy rules where cavalrymen roam in gangs hunting werewolves and zombie Indians and women wear only half a dress may allow it, but not on my watch!

Parting Thoughts

The raid on Chief Sherum’s camp did not immediately win the war.  But as with the Plains Wars, the constant destruction of the camps of the Hualapai and their allies forced the Indians to live a good amount of time without shelter or adequate food.  In the end, it was the outbreak of whooping cough and dysentery which compelled the Indians to surrender.

Cavalry and civilian scout figures are easy to find from several manufacturers.  I prefer Foundry and Artizan myself.  There are no figures of Hualapai Indians.  The Southwestern United States consists of hundreds of thousands of square miles and is home to hundreds of different tribes.  But, the only miniatures made for this area are Apache, so you’ll have to use Apache to represent the Hualapai.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it one more time, if you are interested in the conflicts fought against Native Americans during the Westward expansion of our nation, then Gregory Michno’s Encyclopedia of Indian Wars belongs on your bookshelf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s