Battle Report! Cortes Causeway Escape Attempt – (Feudal Patrol) TotalCon 36, Chapter 3

This post covers the third game that I ran at TotalCon 36 in Marlboro, Massachusetts. It ran on the morning of Saturday, February 26th, 2022, with a snowstorm having dropped a good amount of snow on the night before.

The scenario has Hernan Cortes and his besieged Conquistadores trying to escape Tenochtitlan as the flyer describes below.

The rules used were Feudal Patrol. These games for the Spanish Conquest in Mesoamerica (Aztecs vs. Conquistadores) are run using my supplement Civilizations Collide.

I did run this game before at Historicon. However, since then I have added even more – and I believe better – terrain. So much so that setting this bad boy up is a major effort. Thanks so much again to Bryan Clauss for his help in setting this up with me on Friday night.

Most of this post will be photos of the game. Thanks to Joerg, Mike, and Mal for letting me use some of their shots – it’s tough to GM and photograph a game at the same time! With the previous night’s snowstorm turnout was mixed and this game can easily handle a dozen players. I had to downsize it a bit to accommodate fewer Saturday morning players. Still, I got some walk on players, and in the end had 5-6 players for most of the game. It worked. One of the players, Mark, had seen the game at Historicon back in November and came from Maine just to play in it at TotalCon 36- what an honor and a compliment!

All set up and ready to go – my set up. There are battles on each of the causeways on the far side where the Tlaxcalans are trying to break through to help their trapped Spanish allies. On the near side, the Spanish and their war wagons are trying to get to a causeway and escape Tenochtitlan.
Here you see the game set up at a closer angle. Members of two Aztec Warbands
are on and around my new Temple of Yopico pyramid, facing off against two Spanish Warbands with a couple of war wagons. The war wagons provide cover for a crossbowman and an arquebusier apiece, and are being pushed by Sword and Buckler men. They are prone to breaking down as well.
In the game, the Spanish decided to move towards the nearest causeway seen here on the right.
The Spanish make their move and try to cow (and incapacitate) the enraged Aztecs with arquebusier and crossbow fire. The Aztecs (Mark) would try to flank the Spanish on the right by moving around the small temple.
The players picked up Feudal Patrol very easily and were gaming away in no time. Here I help adjudicate a scrum from the flanking Aztec charge previously noted.

Down on the other end of the tabletop, there were three Elite Aztec Elements (one Elite Warband) attempting to hold off three Tlaxcalan Elements (one Regular Warband) on three different causeways.

This Tlaxcalan Element was loaded with bows, and very deadly. They faced Elite Aztec Arrow Knights (think atlatl’s with two really big spears/darts, similar to Roman pila). Steven moved up his Aztecs to launch a volley, but the Tlaxcalans activated first, and loosed their bows.

The ensuing volley wounded almost every Aztec. The Aztecs returned fire in a massive single volley – unfortunately one poor Tlaxcalan was hit multiple times instead of several (I’m sure his buddies appreciated that!).

Here you see the wounded Aztecs facing the Tlaxcalans. They have moved up a Warrior Priest to remove Morale pips and spur them on in the fight.

On another causeway, the Aztecs sent an Elite Jaguar Warrior Element against an Elite Tlaxcalan Warrior Element (the other two Tlaxcalan Elements were Regular).

The two Elite Elements face off.
Here is a wider shot of the action – showing a few fights: the scrum between the Tlaxcalans and the Arrow Knights is on the causeway on the right; the one between the Tlaxcalan Elites and the Jaguar Warriors is on the far side; the Spanish fight the Aztecs on the left of the photo.

The Jaguar Warriors successfully went berserk and charged the Tlaxcalans. The fight became a draw, with the Aztecs taking some prisoners, losing some warriors, and accumulating a boatload of Morale pips. In the game, going berserk is a way to fight better and avoid being stunned in combat, but Morale pips accumulate. Once a berserker kills another figure, he is stunned, and once a berserking leader is no longer berserking, Morale checks start.

Brutal fighting with the Jaguar Warriors holds up the Tlaxcalans – one of whom is being dragged away for sacrifice here.

The Spanish kept pushing their wagons forward, but one of them broke a wheel and became immobilized. Still, the Spanish made good progress towards the causeway.

Close up shot of the Spanish moving towards the causeway.

The other causeway fight was between an Element of Aztec Eagle Warriors and a mixed Tlaxcalan Veteran/novice Element. The Eagle Warriors also successfully berserked into melee. Fighting here was also heavy, and the Aztecs and the Tlaxcalans took prisoners.

This fight pitted the Eagle Warriors against the Tlaxcalans. No quarter was given.
The view from the three causeway battle side. Leif on the far end (in the hat) has taken command of all the Spanish and is fighting Mark (in the green). One of the Spanish players left, leaving Leif in charge of his troops. He was an RPG player whose game had cancelled and who had to leave for another game – and who had not played miniatures before. I asked him what he thought of the game, and his answer was along the lines of, “it’s ok, just too much of a simulation for me”. That response gave all the wargamers at the table a huge chuckle, and I took it as a great compliment!

At the end of the game, the Spanish had nearly made it to the causeway. The Tlaxcalans and the Elite Aztecs were in heavy back-and-forth fighting on the other end. I added the score up – and it was Spanish/Tlaxcalans 22, Aztecs 20! One figure lost either way would have made a difference – so obviously it was a fair fight. The gamers were very happy, and the tabletop got a LOT of folks coming by to take photos, which was nice to see. As you might well imagine, this tabletop is the best I have ever done IMO.

Thanks again to Leif for all his help, and to the other gamers who were outstanding too.

I will be running this again for sure at HAVOC and HUZZAH!

Lastly, on a personal note, as I mentioned, I had to downsize the game a bit – removing some Elements so that the game could flow. One of the Elements I left off were my cuachicque Elite warriors – known as the “Shorn Ones”. They were the Aztecs toughest. I decided to enter them in the painting contest that was running coincident with the game as a unit – and they won! The post link has better pictures than below – it’s tough to photograph them in a case.

Winners (and they did not even have to fight).

I have one more TotalCon 36 post remaining to share, the Battle of Otumba. You definitely want to see my post on that epic fight!

Thanks very much for looking.

Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.

Author: Mark A. Morin

This site is where I will discuss stuff that I find interesting and that includes family, friends, golf, gaming, and Boston sports!

21 thoughts on “Battle Report! Cortes Causeway Escape Attempt – (Feudal Patrol) TotalCon 36, Chapter 3”

  1. Great battle report Mark, and your board deserved all the attention it got, with the amount of effort you have put into this project.
    Congratulations on winning the painting competition, as your Shorn ones truly deserve the recognition.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Excellent report, Mark, and the board and scenery are just stunning! Beautifully made and painted and they make a refreshing change to the usual fantasy/40K/WW2 boards I see online. Congrats on winning the painting prize!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Another excellent write up! I would imagine that having people want to play with your minis and terrain is about as flattering of a compliment as it gets. The pictures are awesome of the game as well. I’m a little envious I wasn’t there to participate! 🙂 Finally, congrats on the painting award. Its well deserved!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow I’m away from your blog for a week and you post three cracking reports mate! all three game look amazing, but the Aztec stuff is totally awesome!!

    Sounds like a good time was had by all the players, and a well deserved award in my books too.

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As I saw your comment Roger, I’m thinking hmmm here comes #4/4 for Roger!

      Just wanted to get these out before too long. I do have to get ready for more conventions ya know!

      Seriously, really appreciate your kind words. Plus I know if I post more often than usual I will get your attention!!!

      Cheers back at ya.

      Liked by 2 people

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