Thursday, January 12, 2023

Palo Alto Test Run

Went over to Huzzah Hobbies to run through a solo play thru of Palo Alto with Piquet Field of Battle 3. All figures are from the exquisite range from Cracker Line. I plan on gaming this scenario with my friend Alex but wanted to do a walk through of the rules to gain familiarity with everything beforehand.

Here are the opening battle lines with the Mexicans in the foreground. The center is a swampy area which would play a major factor in how the battle developed (and didn't).

The Mexican left, a cavalry brigade under Torrejon. Two line cavalry regiments (7th and 8th), some Presidials and a bunch of rancheros in reserve.

The Mexican center. These guys didn't really get as involved as they should have, my brain treated the swampy areas in the middle of the table and treated them like they were a landmine. As a result, this was essentially a battle of the flanks.

The US right flank. If you are a student of history, you may be wondering where Taylor's baggage train is.The simple answer if I don't own one yet. If you zoom in you can see Ringold's Flying Artillery in thier pretty uniforms up on the front line.

A rather dramatic photo showing the (second) Mexican charge on the US 5th infantry. This time it was led by the Presidials; They fared no better than the line cavalry.

The final disposition of the battle when I called it. To summarize what occurred, General Taylor (D12) won big against General Arista (D8) in the leadership rolls. The first turn yielded 6 card draws per side and the second turn yielded 5 card draws per side. The Mexicans lurched forward with their flanks as the center brigades ponderously navigated around the swamp area (they should have just pushed through).The Mexicans never really got the center brigades or their artillery into action.

On the Mexican right, the Zappadores and Light Cavalry took some horrendous casualties and routed. The Mexicans nearly won the battle when the 2nd Light Infantry and the Tampico Coast Guard unloaded a withering volley into the 1st Artillery (dismounted as red-leg infantry) causing them to rout.

On the Mexican left, I decided to re-enact an east Texas version of the charge of the light brigade with even less successful results. The 7th routed, the 8th was driven back, both with heavy casualties. The Presidials and Rancheros surged through with another charge only to be turned back with grapeshot and musket balls by Ringold's battery and the 5th infantry.

At this point the Mexicans had lost all of their Army Morale Points (and then some). I knew the loss was inevitable for Arista's army so I called it. 

Lots of fun. There are some rules I need to go back and master (do routing units continue to rout away?) and some things I need to remember (read thru all modifiers and don't pick up the die results before I look to see if I rolled an even). I really enjoyed FoB3, very easy rules and the card decks and different dice really seemed to capture the variance in command, morale and combat effectiveness well. The Mexicans were many but they were very brittle; Once they routed it was difficult to get them back in the game.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Brent. Great set of rules. Look forward to proper games of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma.

      Have some other 10mm armies in the pipeline that I plan to game with FOB3 or your new set (which I've ordered).

  2. Replies
    1. I owe you and your YouTube tutorials great thanks for finally getting me to play FOB. I've watched them numerous times. I'm a bit dense when it comes to learning rulesets and they were an invaluable help in my comprehension of gameplay.

  3. Great looking game! The Mexican-American war is very "Napoleonic" in feel. As in my recent battle of Ocana, the combination of inferior leadership and a lot of DD4 units is a tough one, even with numbers in their favor. In such armies, one might consider dropping the UI of DD4 units by one (so that they don't cost as many Morale Points when they are lost). A DD4 unit down 2 UI is all but useless already!
    The store looks like a super place; I hope they can stay in business for the long term!

    1. I think I will adopt this approach for the Mexicans and some other armies.