The lure that failed.

Musket Smoke II is mainly about an epic replay-able single player resource based war. However, the game also supports online two player matches.

Here is a gripping account of battle between a Master General (green) and the game’s creator (me, playing as the blue Royalists).

thestart

The first sighting of half a dozen (green) Parliamentarian forces made me suspect some kind of pincer move.  However, with nothing in the south and the wheat untouched in the middle, I sensed an opportunity.

 
pullback

So I gathered my forces and ignore any southern defence in favour of a massive strike upon the few in the north. I wisely pull back in the wheat a bit and smile as the puritan howitzer round hits nothing and also gives my movements even more cover.  Although I am also completely blinded.

 
lure2

First I lock up the 2 dangerous Lancers. Those units hit hard when they move and attack. A solid defensive move.

Then I prepare the trap. The bait, top right (blue) is an unarmored Dragoon unit (still mounted). The enemy light-cavalry (top right green),  a Harquebusier could melee lock and point blank blast the mounted Dragoon and only take 1 damage back.  Likewise he could pull in the unarmored dragoon (to his left) in as well for defensive support and help the point blank attack as well.  My bait-and-lure Dragoon would have to break away (what’s left of it) and it would basically be out of the fight before it got a chance to do anything.  Who can resist a mounted Dragoon that foolishly wanders too close to the action?

(Actually the trees didn’t hide much, so it wasn’t much of a trap.)

Hmm.. Where did that RoundHead heavy cannon come from?  There was nothing there a moment ago.

 
cannon4shot

Instead of taking perfectly reasonable bait, so that my 4 heavy units could decimate something. This RoundHead Commander decides to instead obliterate one of my units pinning his Lancer and then embarrass me by shooting 5 of my units in one shot with a Heavy Cannon no less!

 
dragooncharge

After the battle lines wear down a bit I decide to shake things up a bit with a Dragoon charge through two of his locked units. So I charged and then dismounted unscathed. The ‘dismounting confidence’ protecting my pressed unit from outright capture. Before the charge, I could not see that there were so many units back there. So naturally with nothing better to do they gang up on my foolish Dragoon. Now if I had some other plan that required those units to be distracted it would have been brilliant, but alas it was a foolish move on my part.

 
blast

Even his commander enjoys getting on the action of ‘beat the fool Dragoon’. I was a bit surprised the enemy commander did not decide to capture him instead. I guess he had his mind on other things like grape-shooting my other unit to smithereens, which freed his elite unit to rout my heavy cannon.

 
cannonlock

I immediately return the favour and attacked his cannon as well. His cocky cannon had confidence at this point (obviously) and so my Lancer failed to outright rout him.  I was glad I could at least do a tit-for-tat, but it left my precious armoured Lancer vulnerable behind enemy lines.

 
capture

I couldn’t see where the enemy commander was with all the dam smoke and wheat in my face but I did notice a conscripted unit was melee locked near my commander so I told my guys to break away and I moved in and captured the unit.  The pressed unit was relieved to now fight for the RIGHT side and helped protect my commander.  I needed all the help I could get as I was right up there on the volatile front line now.

 
commanderstrapped

Then a bunch of fighting happens, we both take out some more units and then the enemy commander makes a bold move and charges though to my side and surrounds my commander with danger. His howitzer is thankfully a bit too far away to make me panic, so rather than your typical ‘attack defensively to free myself’ I decide to go on the offensive back – and my howitzer IS in range of his commander.  So I give that RoundHead Commander a good thrashing, down to his last 6 men.

 
finalshot

He wisely retreats into the smoke.  I don’t see him.  I move one Lancer to look for him in one area, nothing!   So I move another lancer in for the kill and the best I can do is kill all his men except for the commander himself.  When it was his turn he manages to do the same to me.

Two lone commanders both mounted in a sea of dead horses and men.

It was still his turn and the enemy knows he has no choice and orders a suicidal howitzer round despite being too far away and lucks out and kills me!  He also killed himself as well.

 
doublevictory

A double victory?

 
tiegame2

Otherwise known as – a tie.

More details about Musket Smoke II, here.

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2 responses to “The lure that failed.

  1. Yeah, Woodie’s feint into the cornfield had me fooled! I’d used the ‘massed cavalry down one flank’ tactic before with some success. However, the key with this is to strike first, using combinations of the new units to rapidly take out a couple of the opponents units. A charge by the lancers combined with a flanking attack by dragoons can be very effective (as long as you remember to dismount the dragoons!!). In this case though, Woodie struck first and then things proceeded to fall apart pretty rapidly after that. He deserved the win really – was very lucky to fluke a tie at the end.

    Some quick early thoughts on MS2.

    I really like it (that’s British understatement for ‘wow’). The new units and tweaks to the play make for a very fluid and dynamic game. Obviously I’m a big fan of MS1 but the mini-games could sometimes become a bit of an intricate dance of judging cannon rages and lines of sight. At least before one player loses patience and decides to charge. With MS2, the increased variety expands the tactical options and makes the game ‘bigger’. MS2 looks like being a real step-up from MS1. It is definitely not ‘more of the same’.

    So for anyone who likes MS1 and is in a position to do so, I would urge you to help out with the kickstarter for MS2. I have not been able to find any games like Musketsmoke out there and it deserves to see the light of day and a wider audience. Woodie did NOT ask me to say that!

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