Joined: 18 Jan 2007
|Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:58 am Post subject:
|Just got my copy of the new M&T 2e. Now like Saga 2e, you get the core Rules in a separate hard cover volume but the period specific rules, are now in separate supplements. Unlike Saga 2e the "Redcoats & Tomahawks" supplement is soft cover (and I mean very soft cover). That is probably my only negative reaction on my first reading, as I can see the "Redcoats & Tomahawks" supplement cover falling to pieces pretty quickly as players anxiously thumb through it repeatedly.
Whilst I am frankly very excited about the scope for M&T 2e to eventually cover a number of black-powder periods (and the core rules contain beautiful tantalising images of Kevin Dallimore painted Napoleonic, Indian Mutiny, ACW, and Zulu Wars vignettes), I do hope the latter supplements come in a more robust format.
The main shifts in the rules are essentially three fold:
First, instead of simply turning the top card in the deck to see which units activate, each player now draws a hand of 3 cards. These are supplemented by a number of 'Command points' (you start with 1 Command Point per officer in your force). The players alternate playing a card from their hand and activating units or spending command points to take specific command actions (which may include activating a unit). Once you play your last card from your hand, you draw 3 new cards. I like this mechanism as it gives you some control of which units move, without slowing the game down. It also means that if you have one of your enemy's activation cards, then you can delay playing that card as long as your hand holds out. If you play an enemy activation card, you gain a command point by way of compensation, but the enemy get to activate those units.
Secondly, the d6 is dead in M&T 2e, long live the d10, which M&T 2e plays as generating numbers from 0-9. Most normal units will have a Shooting Value of 6+, Rangers/Chasseurs/Canadian Militia have a 5+, and other Militia or Levies 7+. So unless you are shooting at long range at enemy in good cover, you will usually have a reasonable chance of hitting, unlike the frequently 1 in 36 chance of old M&T 1e. A natural role of 9 is always a hit, if your to hit score is pushed to 10+, but that then takes a hefty to-kill penalty of -3. Long Rifles look devastating, being +1 to hit and killing on a 4+ out to 36". Similarly melee attacks are now determined on 1d10 rolls based on the attacker's aggression and the target's defence.
Thirdly, the firing line is now constituted by a "formed up unit". A formed up unit can either fire normally or it can deliver "Volley Fire". Volley fire is directly straight in front of the formed up unit hitting everything (friend & foe) to a depth of 16" across the formed up unit's front (so if your unit has a 4" frontage, your volley fire kill zone is 64 square inches!), unless interrupted by a building, a hill or a palisade. Every figure within the area of the volley fire is potentially hit and each rolls 1d10: the figure is killed with out a to-kill roll on a roll of 0, if the formed up unit firing is in two lines, then -1 applies to the d10 roll (so a 1 or 0 will kill) or if the figure is behind solid cover they add +1 (so they will only be killed by a 2 rank formed up unit if they roll a natural 0 on their 1d10).
There are new scenarios both in the core book and the "Redcoats & Tomahawks" supplement. Side plots are now subsumed in an optional Intrigue mechanism, which I suspect is optional only in name. There are also detailed rules on weather and boats too. There are just so many shiny new things to look at, I am beside myself!
Overall this looks like an exciting upgrade to M&T 1e. Proof of that will obviously be in the playing. My only other negative is that I am slightly concerned that Long Rifles are now even more powerful than they were in M&T 1e. So maybe house rules limiting forces to no more than 1 unit armed with Long Rifles or x figures with Long Rifles might ultimately be necessary. But only time and playing the game often enough will prove whether that is really required.