Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Boyd-Parker Massacre

I recently attended the first of what I hope will become an annual regional wargame event; Wargames Among the Warplanes. The venue was the Geneseo Warplane Museum. There were a number of games offered up in the one day event, including Flames of War, Bolt Action, Force on Force modern skirmish, Musket and Tomahawk, Wings of War, Gladiators and my own American Revolution skirmish game.

The town of Geneseo happens to be the site of a little known skirmish in the American Revolution, the Boyd-Parker Massacre. I volunteered to host a wargame of this obscure battle. I really enjoyed the preparation for the game. Since I am a local boy I was aware of the skirmish from childhood, but knew nothing of the details. I went out on the internet and found quite a bit of detail. I read The Iroquois in the American Revolution, which described the Sullivan Expedition, of which this massacre was a part, in depth. I learned a lot about this fascinating episode of the American Revolution. The roster of individual men on both sides used in the game included many actual names of participants. I used the game as an excuse to acquire and paint up Wargames Factory Indians and Americans from their excellent American Revolution range.

The short version is the American commander sent Lt. Boyd with a scouting party of 26 men (mostly Morgans Riflemen) to locate the position of the Iroquois/British force in the area. They passed through the enemy lines undetected in the night but were attacked on their way back to the American position the next day.
       Boyd's men cross a creek with the Iroquois in hot pursuit
The game wasn't called Boyd-Parker Massacre for nothing. The scenario was designed for the scouting party to be overwhelmed. Victory for the Americans lay in escaping with as many men as possible. In the event, the dice were not kind to the Americans, and few escaped.

I believe the Wargames Among the Warplanes will run again next year. If it does, and you are within a couple of hours driving distance (which would include Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse) you should plan to make a mini vacation of it. The National Warplane Museum is located in prime wine country if you enjoy wine tours. The magnificent Letchworth State Park is right there and the rolling landscape is dotted with beautiful little villages. Check out the local attractions on line.

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