King Philip's War AAR, Jason Neff (Indian) v. Rusty Shields (English)
Since I'd never played before and only skimmed the rules, to start out my deployment was inspired by the play example at the end of the rules booklet; pretty lame, I know, but it got me started. I would be playing as the Indian side, while Rusty was in the role of the Colonies/English. We agreed that Church would enter on 3, and to use the Limited Ferocity rule. Since I didn't have much of a strategy, my only tangible goal was to try to make sure I burned at least a settlement or two a round, so that Philip could recruit allied tribes every turn and keep the reinforcements coming in.
Since there was no Church Roll and no possibly Diplomacy, I dove right in with four battles: The Pocassets attacked Taunton, resulting in an English massacre and no step losses. Philip and crew attacked Portsmouth, razing it. The Sakonnets attacked Swansea where the English lost a step. The rest of the Wampanoags attacked Wickford, which was raided with an additional step loss to the company there. That was the end of the Indian phases for me - although I had managed to raze 1 settlement, it wasn't enough for Philip to bring in any allied tribes in turn 2.
Rusty scooted around some companies to gather strength into two major attacks: one from Massachussetts into an undefended Pocasset village, with the result an Indian massacre and the village razed; the other battle with Winslow into the Pocasset village and war band that had just attacked Taunton resulted in a doubles roll, negating the battle.
End of turn 1, we both had razed 1 settlement/village each, for 1 VP each - all tied up.
Reinforcements/Diplomacy: Rusty deployed his reinforcements first - I have to say for the colonists/English, until Church arrives, they are pretty limited in what they can do. At the beginning of turn 2, I saw an opportunity to really go after Key Leader Winslow, so I added the musket to Philip's band and added a warrior to the Sakonnet warband - the last Pocasset reinforcement couldn't stack with the warband in the middle village, so I threw him in the only other remaining village they had.
Battles were placed in Wickford again, Swansea again, and both Philip's band in Montaup and the large Pocasset warband attacked Winslow's company in Taunton. At Wickford I rolled doubles, so no battle. At Swansea I rolled an Indian massacre and razed the settlement, so I threw the last Sakonnet in the northern-most village to guard their flank since he couldn't stack with the larger warband that had just razed Swansea. Next was Philip's attack on Winslow's company - the first round saw each company in Winslow's stack lose a step, while one of my warriors also lost a step. Due to Limited Ferocity, I had Philip's band press the attack a second round, which resulted in both of us losing 2 more steps: I reduced two more warriors, while Rusty eliminated 1 soldier and razed the settlement. The final attack by the Pocasset band on Winslow's reduced company eliminated the final soldier step and razed the settlement, which meant Rusty had to roll for Winslow's survival - a 1 meant Winslow's death. That pushed me to 7 VP and I had razed 2 settlements, so Philip would be able to start recruiting on turn 3.
Rusty moved around 3 Mass. companies to make two attacks on the Pocasset village with one warrior, as well as an undefended Naragansett village (this would bring the Naraganset into the war automatically, but Philip was going to recruit them next turn, anyway - regardless, Rusty rolled doubles there, so we just removed the battle marker). The other two companies managed to kill the warband in the north Pocasset village and raid it.
End of turn 2: Indians 7VP, 2 razed settlements; English 2 VP, 1 razed village
Reinforcements/Diplomacy: English reinforcements - Church entered the game, and Rusty made the allied indian roll. He strengthened the English companies around Plymouth. In diplomacy Philip recruited the Naragansetts, bringing in Canonchet and company west of Rhode Island.
I moved the Pocasset band into the just-raided village and initiated a battle with the Mass. company north of it that had just attacked. Then I brought the Sakonnet warband up through Portsmouth-Montaup-Taunton to attack the company in Middleborough. The lone Sakonnet warrior attacked already raided Swansea to try to raze it; Canonchet moved with a large warband + musket to attack Providence from the west; and the two reduced warbands Philip left in Montaup attacked undefended Rehoboth. Rusty made two interception rolls to reinforce his companies in Providence and Middleborough, which helped even the odds. First, the lone warrior razed Swansea. The battle at Rehoboth was an Indian massacre, so I got another Naragansett warrior and managed to raid the settlement. The battle at Providence was yet another Indian massacre, so we both lost 2 steps and I got another warrior on the map. The Middleborough battle roll was doubles, so no battle. The final Pocasset battle resulted in 1 step lost each way.
Rusty strengthened up several companies and attacked the lone Sakonnet warrior; Church and company attacked the large Sakonnet band in Taunton; 2 Mass. companies attacked the northern Pocasset village; and a Connecticut company attacked an undefended Narqagansett village from New London. The New London battle raided the village. The attack on the lone Sakonnet was an English massacre - a poor roll meant Rusty lost the Allied Indian to damage, but gained a company in Plymouth. The Taunton battle was an Indian massacre - we both lost two steps and I gained another Naragansset warrior. Another round (Church) saw the English lose 2 steps and the Sakonnet lost another. The Pocasset village battle was another Indian massacre - we both lost 2 steps and I got another Naragansett warrior. The second attack was another Indian massacre - we both lost a step and I got another Naragansett warrior.
End of 3: Indian 10 VP, 3 razed settlements; English 3 VP, 1 razed village
Reinforcement/Diplomacy: Rusty again reinforced in/around Plymouth colony, pushing for decisive battles there. Philip recruits the Nipmucks.
With the Nipmuck arrival, two warbands attack undefended Mass. settlements; all the Naragansett massacre reinforcements from last turn join a sachem and move to the raided village east of New London, then attack New London. The large Sakonnet warband attacks Rehoboth; and then I decide to reinforce the lone Sakonnet warrior with a Wampanoag and musket to cover that flank. The Rehoboth battle was an Engligh massacre - I razed the settlement, but Rusty got another soldier. The New London battle roll was terrible - 1 step loss for me. One of the Mass. battles was a double, the other razed the settlement (Northfield). Oh, and it was an English massacre, so Rusty got another soldier.
Rusty moved around some companies in the exposed western Massachussetts flank; then battles against the Pocassets and Sakonnets in Taunton. The battle against the Pocassets wipes them out, plus it was a massacre, so Rusty got another soldier. The Taunton battle roll resulted in a guide for the English, but no losses either way.
End of 4: Indian 12 VP, 5 razed settlements; English 7 VP, 2 razed villages
Reinforcements/Diplomacy: After all the massacres, pretty much everything possible was already on the board - the winter attrition at the end of the turn probably helped us both by enabling us to move men around the map a little. Philip recruits the Pocumtucks in diplomacy.
Due to winter, Nipmucks attack Hartford and Springfield, then Canonchet's band attack undefended Warwick. Warwick was razed, both Hartford and Springfield are raided.
Rusty tries to eliminate the large Sakonnet warband in Taunton, but they intercept to the final Pocasset village and effectively evade two of the attacks (this was a mistake on our part - we were declaring intercepts after all movement instead of during) - the battle resulted in 2 steps lost for me, 1 for Rusty. He was going to use Church to go another round, but rolled doubles, finishing the turn.
Winter attrition - Rusty loses 3 full strength companies, I lose 1.
End of 5: Indian 13 VP, 6 razed settlements; English 8 VP, 2 razed villages.
Reinforcement/Diplomacy: Rusty reinforces in the west where the new tribes are coming in and attacking. Philip recruits the Abenakis in the north.
The Nipmucks attempt to finish Springfield and Hartford. The Pocumtucks attack Wallingford. Canonchet redeploys to attack Norwich, while I try to take New London again. The battles result in a couple of massacres, two companies lost, and 3 more raided settlements in Connecticut.
Rusty razes a Nipmuck village north of Northfield. A double nixes an attack from Warwick against the Naragansetts. A company from Rehoboth manages to reduce Montaup 3 SP, and Church's company destroys the Sakonnet warband along with the Pocassett village. This moves the English VP up to 12, and the Nipmucks immediately surrender (and the Pocassetts are completely ravaged/destroyed).
End of 6: Indian 16VP, 6 settlements razed; English 13 VP, 3 villages razed.
Reinforcement/Diplomacy: Reinforcements are pretty sparse at this stage - pretty much everything is already on the board due to massacre rolls. Philip can't recruit this turn.
Philip takes the Abenakis and attacks Groton and razes it. In Connecticut there are battles in Wallingford, which is razed; Middletown, killing a company and raiding the settlement; and New London, which is razed and a company is lost. The Wampanoags finally decide to attack Wickford again, but roll doubles.
A company attacks the Abenakis in the north, razing a village there.Two companies, one with Church, attack the Naragansett village west of Providence - it ends up raided, but a massacre gets me a reinforcement from the elimintaed box. One company attacks the Sakonnet village south of Swansea - Panic and a poor roll result in a step loss for the English, gaining me a VP. Finally, a company tries to finish Montaup and succeeds.
End of 7: Indian 23 VP, 9 razed settlements; English 19 VP, 6 razed villages
Reinforcement/Diplomacy: Rusty reinforces in Connecticut and makes an allies indian roll. Philip recruits the Mohawks.
The Pocumtucks attack New Haven, razing it; then Simsbury, which is razed and they advance with their sights on already raided Hartford. Naragansetts attack Middletown, with a massacre giving me another warrior before doubles ends Canonchet's attack prematurely; then another warband attacks Norwich, reducing the defenders. Philip takes the Mohawks to raid Hatfield, razing it.
At this point I had a 9 VP lead, and Connecticut was on the verge of surrendering this turn or next, so Rusty conceded and we ended the game.
Conclusions: King Philip's War really is a pretty great game. This game resulted in way too many massacres results, and doubles tended to cancel what were potentially decisive moments. I would definitely want to look at altering the rules for the effect die and doubles in future games. Other than that, though, the game is pretty balanced; it is an interesting simulation, and fun to play. Rusty was a great opponent - although turn 2 really saw me take a leap ahead, he kept with it and nearly came back several times.