Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Where or Where (and when) to start a campaign.

Battle of Signal Hill - September 15, 1762
Last Engagement in North America of the Seven Years' War
Over the years our little gaming group has talked intermittently on running a campaign for our miniature gaming.   These discussions spring up in part because of the older members fond memories of old campaigns run years (decades) ago and new members who have never really been a part of a campaign. 

Due to the availability of figures and my personal interest I am seriously considering running a campaign based on the French and Indian War in North America. 

The biggest principal of the campaign is to create realistic scenarios for our games which effect the course of the war.   In looking at possible solutions for this I have chosen a Tree Campaign system in which each game has 5 potential outcomes which in turn dictates the scenario for the next game in the campaign. 

The Result of Each Game can be French major victory – French minor victory – Draw – British minor victory – British major victory.   These “results” are regardless of the forces involved, a battle between the Mingo and Chippewa would still be either French or British victory or a Draw.

Further breaking down the results each of the Six major blocks are effected by the outcome.    Britain, British Colonies, British Native American Allies, France, French Colonies, French Native American Allies.   AN example is a Victory by one side might strengthen the resolve of the Native American Allies and thus in the next game more Native American Allies are provided.   Or a defeat results in the loss of resolve and enough losses and the Native American Allies are lessened in an upcoming game.

Certain events also have outcome changing dynamics.   The first time a Provincial Forces is defeated in a battle the British Army will send to North America.    An example of this is battle of Great Meadows (Fort Necessity); the colonial government in Virginia thought this was no big deal, the British Government sent Braddock on an Expedition to Fort Duquesne.     

Where would you start such a campaign? 
  • French destruction of George Croghan’s trading post in modern day Erie PN, 1750
  • French Raid on Pickawillany, 1752
  • Jumonville Glen 1754
  • Fort Necessity 1754
  • Braddock’s Expedition 1755
  • or some other point?  
There are pros and cons to each of these potential starting points.   To me the answer resides in where does a result “change” history.
I personally like the Raid on Pickawillany as a good starting point, even though it kind of violates the tenant of most results will not change the course of the war, unless I get a little “unrealistic” in what scenario’s it generates.   It was debated if Major British Victory would result in an Expedition against Fort Vincennes in Indiana.     

What do other people think?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

French and Indian War Map

Work in Progress

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What's on my Painting Table

Okay, It's summer and my son is at his mother's and it is time for me to get some serious painting done.

25mm Gauls
I have owned these figures forever, okay since 1997/98, but that's 17 plus years ago.  The figures were originally purchased to play test Warhammer Ancient Battles before its release in 1998.   The figures for years were mounted on 25mm square bases (infantry), primed black and had a splash of color added to them.
I pulled out the box and began organizing for Field of Glory - AKA Fog and slapping some paint on the figures.
16 Figures (one battle group) Javelin
16 Figures (one battle group) Slingers
3 Stands (not quite one battle group) Chariots
32 Figures (one battle group) Geseti Warriors
48 Figures (two battle groups) Hill Tribe Warriors

I have unpainted
16 Figures (one battle group) Slingers - Which I will paint up and sell
10 Figures - Mounted Command

What I need
12 Figures (one battle group) Gesetti Javelin
48 Figures (one battle group) Gesseti Warriors

48 Figures (one battle group) Hill Tribe Soldurii
48 Figures (two battle groups) Hill Tribe Warriors
10 - 20 Figures Cavalry
1 Stand Chariot
1 Stand Chariot Command

I have enough figures painted that I could play a non-legal game but it could be fun.

25mm Caesarian Romans
Again purchased in later parts of 1997 or early 1998 for 'WAB' I have decent number of figures painted up.
64 Figures (four battle groups) Legionnaires
10 Figures (one battle group) Heavy Cavalry
4 Stands Bolt Shooters
2 Stands (one battle group) Elephants
2 Stands Stone Throwers (not legal)
4 Stands Command

64 Figures (four battle groups) Legionnaires

What I need
Light Cavalry

Other Projects currently gracing my table
15mm - 52nd Lowland Infantry Division - WWII - Roer Triangle
Modern Micro Armor - French Armored Division - 1988
25mm Seven Years War - Saxon Prinz Friedrich August Infantry

Sunday, June 15, 2014

French and Grenzer War - A New Beginning

ReCon! was held at Geek Partnership Society this past weekend and the War of the Jumbo Alliances got its name, The French and Grenzer War.   Offered up by the Jeff Knudsen Earl of Garfield (at least that is his title in the War of the Jumbled Alliances), the name has taken hold and I assume will last.  

This was the first ReCon! (roughly a quarterly gameday that has been on hiatus for the past year) at the Geek Partnership Society, for much of the past decade ReCon! has been held in Coon Rapids at the VFW hall.   The Building had ample lighting and considering I brought in four tables it had enough tables for the people who attended.     I am not going to beat around the bush when I say the rooms use provided enough space for the games that were played, but increasing the number of attendees is going to make the space tight.

After Action Report – French and Grenzer War

ReCon! – June 14, 2014

Fort St. Jimmy and the French Garrison


French Left (Fort St. Jimmy)
10 French Piquets
12 Canadian Militia
10 Ottawa Indians
2 6Lbs Canons

French Battle Line
French Center
36 - Bearn Infantry Regiment
36 – Languedoc Infantry Regiment

French Center-Right
30 – Croat Grenzers

French Right
36 - Colonial Compagnies Franches de la Marine
24 - Colonial Compagnies Franches de la Marine
16 – Canadian Militia

Compagnies Franches de la Marine

British Right
30 – Highland Infantry
24 – Provincial Regiment
10 – Gorham’s Rangers

British Center
48 – Von Mansbach Infantry Regiment
36 – Erb Prinz Fusilier Regiment
12 – Hessian Jaegers

British Right
British Center Left
24 – Colonial Militia
16 – Mohawk Indians

British Left
36 – Dunbar’s 48th Infantry Regiment
24 – Amherst’s 15th Infantry Regiment

British Far Left
24 – Colonial Militia
10 – Hazen’s Rangers


Hessian Jaegers


French Left – Hold Fort St. Jimmy
French Center – Drive the Hessians from the Field
French Right – Take the Blockhouse

British Right – Take Fort St. Jimmy
British Center – Hold against the French Center and assist in taking Fort St. Jimmy
British Center Left – Hold Farmstead
British Left – Drive the French from the Field
British Far Left – Hold the Block House

The Action

British Right moved against Fort St. Jimmy, quickly driving off the Ottawa Indian Allies, had some minor difficulty getting through the Chevel-De-Frise but by late in the game made it to the wall.  The Rangers finally cleared a section of the wall and storm the fort at the end of the game.
Hessian Brigade moves on the French Center.

British Center moved directly against the French Center which moved forward to meet them.   It was quick and bloody as the French Center pummeled the Erb Prinz Regiment.  Von Mansbach attempted to setup a defense against onslaught of the French Center and was defeated two turns before the Rangers stormed the fort.   The French Center was unable to move British Right fast enough to save Ft. St. Jimmy.

The Colonial Militia held the farmstead, as no one cared they were there.

Karlstädter-Szluiner Grenzer
On the French Right one composite battalion of Colonial Compagnies Franches de la Marine moved against the block house with Canadian Militia Support, while the second composite battalion of Colonial Compagnies Franches de la Marine held the link between the forests.   The Zolton’s Grenzers (named after the famous Grenzer Zolton who held an Austrian village by his lonesome for a turn and half against insurmountable odds) moved through the woods and fired on the Dunbar Infantry Regiment.   After most of the day the French and British forces were exhausted and for all practical purposes routed from the board simultaneously, leaving the Amherst’s 15th Infantry Regiment on the field alone.

Strategic Redeployment of the Erb Prinz Regiment to the Rear!

View from above

The game was laid out for 8 players, with an option to expand to 10 players; however only 6 players participated.   While everyone had fun and was challenged by the scenario it would have been nice to have a couple more players.

The Units are for the most part full strength, or fairly close.  The game is  getting to the point of needing setup tables which I think will be a requirement upon completing the last view under-strengthed units.

The Erb Prinz Fusiliers in full retreat

In Batailles de l'Ancien Régime  aka BAR one of the unique aspects is awarding battle honors to units that performed beyond the level of expectation on the Table Top.   On this day no unit earned a Battle Honor.  The Provincial Regiment held strong but could not take Fort St. Jimmy was the closest unit to earn a Battle Honor. 
On the other end of the spectrum the Erb Prinz Fusilier Regiment unit is halfway to receiving a downgrade however.

It was a hard fought game, a minor British Victory that was extremely costly as 2/3 of the Regulars were pushed from the table or removed as casualties. 

British Forces storm Fort St. Jimmy
Rules Questions
Can a unit move full and Shoot?
What’s the penalty for crossing a Chevel-de-Frise?
Who can fight and how can they fight in a wall assault

Rules we got wrong
Fire Modifier for shooting at Chargers.
Who and when can a light unit shoot.





Monday, April 14, 2014

French and Indian War - French Piquets

Each French Infantry Battalion had a Piquet Company; permanently assigned to the Company was a Captain, a lieutenant, a second-lieutenant, and a couple of NCO's; all others who were assigned to the Piquet Company was on an temporary basis, usually only for a day or two. In theory each fusilier battalion was responsible for providing 3 to 5 soldiers every day for duty with the Piquet Company. After the term or assignment was up those temporally attached tot he Piquet Companies would be replaced by new soldiers from their permanent fusilier battalions.
In Europe the Piquet Companies were responsible for guarding the camp, providing advanced and rear guard on the March, protecting the Colors, Sentries and various other similar duties.   Those assigned to the Piquet Company were exempted from many of the daily duties of the other members of the Battalion, including camp construction, presenting arms, and the like.
In North America soldiers assigned to Piquet Companies were often assigned on a more permanent basis as the use of Piquet Companies was more widespread and strategic rather than tactical. 
Detachment of Piquet Companies occurred often as these "temporary" companies were assigned duties throughout Canada, ostensibly to protect, organize and train French Settlers and their forts from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains and the Gulf of Mexico.    It's estimated by one historian that there were as many as 500 such detachments through New France, I am extremely skeptical at such a number because even with only 10 men assigned to each of those (5,000 total) you are looking at roughly 25% to 50% of all regulars assigned out.   While their may have be 500 places that France had forces, the use of Troupes de la Marine, local Militia (Milices Canadiennes) most likely were the forces present.   That's not saying the Piquet Companies were not assigned out that way, rather in much smaller numbers, maybe 20 to 30 as opposed to 500.
Another use of Piquet Companies in North America was creating rapid intervention force, along with a Corps de Cavalrie.   During the Siege of Quebec Colonel Bougainville command such a force with 1,300 infantry and 200 cavalry and was assigned to watch the Western access to Quebec. 
As a gamer the question becomes how does one model this. 
As I am painting up Bougainville's force, I am also creating 10 companies of French Piquets, half will be treated as light infantry/skirmishes the other half in two converged battalions (one Regular, one Grenadier) it seems like the best way to model that specific force.
In addition in scenarios with Piquets I will simply be pulling figures from my Bougainville box. 
But still I am not convinced I made the best choice.

French and Indian War Era - Trapper's Cabin

 A couple images of a Trapper's Log Cabin that I am working on. 

The body of the house and roof are complete, I still need to fabricate doors and windows. 

I have already roughed up the surface so it is ready to be painted.

The roof as common in the era will be covered in dirt and sod. 

Once I figure out how to make a chimney it will be added to the back of the cabin.

In the background you can see some of the trees I worked on as well over the weekend.   I figure I need about 500 new trees or about 5 times what I made up this weekend.

French and Indian War Era - Trader Fort - Block House

The Terrain Board  is laid out so the Trader Fort will be constructed on rise, or small hill, above the surrounding territory.

The Block House will be situated at the highest point as indicated in the picture.   There will also be a Barn and a Storage Building located on the level to the left of the Block House.  

A Palisade of logs will in circle the remainder of the Fort.

Some additional detail work on the Block House.