The French & Indian Wars, Muskets & Tomahawks, 15mm
I found myself at a loose end it the Edinburgh club this week, but fortunately I was invited to take part in this little French & Indian Wars game, run by club grognard Jack Glanville. there were five players in all – Jack both umpired and ran half of the British. My little contingent consisted of two units of French Companie de la Marine troops – regular troops who have frontier abilities. Two other players on my side ran a three unit Abenaki warband, and three units of Canadian militia.Our job was to stop the British and their Indian allies from burning all of the village of St. Dindon. In our case, we had another mission – to send scouting parties into every 2×2 foot sector of the 6×4 foot table. All players also had sub plots, most of which were pretty unachievable. For instance, mine was for my French officer to kill six enemies in combat, which was possible, but unlikely, given the scope and scale of the game.The British advanced onto the table with a unit of Rangers on their left, two units of Mohawks to their right, and a unit of British regulars advancing down the road towards the village. On their right a unit of British light infantry, and two of Provincial Regulars completed their force. The plan – I think – was for the guys on the right of the road to pin the rest of the French troops, while everyone else – rangers, Indians and regulars – all converged on the village. Now, call me a size queen but I don’t usually play 15mm games. Its probably due to having to don my reading glasses to see what unit I’m moving. However, this game looked quite nice, as did the scenery, with the possible exception of the felt roads, which didn’t really say American wilderness to me. Still, the overall effect was pretty good, which is what counts.As the British moved forward so did we – I occupied the village, while my Huron allies moved up to the edge of the cornfield in the centre of the table. Further to our left the militia also moved up, to stop the progress of the British provincials on the far side of the table. My first shock came when i found I couldn’t actually hit any of the Mohawks in the woods in front of me, as I needed a “7” on a D6. They could shoot out though, and after losing a couple of marines I hid behind the buildings. In search of a softer target I began peppering the regulars on the road.The Abenaki on my left realised the same thing – Indians in woods are hard to hit – so they started peppering the British regulars too. Soon the British unit was down to half strength, and then a quarter. At that point it retired from the battle. so far so good. Then though, the Mohicans advanced towards the village, burning brands at the ready. I thought I couldn’t let them torch the place, so I occupied the buildings at the edge of the village, and tried to fire. It was rather dissapointing when i discovered the woods went all the way up to the windows, so the Mohawks remained in cover. I think I caused one casualty, then retired.Plan B was to form up on the far side of the village. this would force them to break cover after they burned two of the six buildings. i could then gun them down. However, that didn’t take into account the rangers, who were manoeuvring forward on my right, and eventually outflanked me. So, I pulled a unit back, and the two sides – marines and rangers – were still exchanging musket fire when the game came to an end. The Abenaki decided they couldn’t just let their Mohican enemies burn the buildings, so they charged out of cover, and into melee. That seemed a good idea at first, but the Mohicans stood, and next turn they all fell upon the little Abenaki unit and chopped it to pieces.Over on the far side of the table the game had also degenerated into a big old firefight in the woods, with neither side seeming to gain the upper hand, despite the Canadian militia suffering more casualties. So, the game ended with neither side achieving its objectives – the British hadn’t destroyed St. Dindon, and we hadn’t scouted two of the four 2×2 foot squares in the table. However, Jack announced he’d fulfilled his sub plot – something about interrogating a prisoner – and so the game was deemed a minor British victory. All in all it was an entertaining little game, despite the tiny figures. Thanks Jack, for laying it on, and being such a patient umpire.