Friday, 16 February 2018

French Indian War campaign end and game report

I have decided to bring my French Indian War to a close. I was going to set up another game, but looking at the campaign map after 7 games the attacking British forces were no closer to taking the French town. The games themselves were 4 French victories and 3 British victories. With winter coming the British decided to call it a day for this season and started to retire back to their bases.

While the campaign has provided a background narrative to the games. It just hasn't been one that has added that extra interest to the games for me. I was thinking about what I would do differently when setting up another campaign. Here are some initial thoughts:

  • I should have had a set number of turns by which time the fortified town needed to be taken.
  • The map had too many options and should have been kept simple with two linear paths, one north and one south of the river. The prize would still be the town, but taking the fort on the south bank would provide additional troops for the British. The choice would have been: taking extra turns to capture the south fort with the opportunity of adding troops, or focus on the taking the town.
  • Both sides would have to commit to dividing their forces north and south of the river at the start of the campaign.
  • Use random event cards to mix up the games. For example, addition Indian allies, units getting bogged down, etc.

Campaign map
Having decided to end the campaign and with the tabletop ready for a game. I though it would be interesting to replay scenario 20, a fighting retreat, from One-Hour Wargames (OHW). I had played out a really enjoyable game using Napoleonic armies a week ago.

I decided to play the game with 9 attacking units and 6 defending units. The attacking British lined up 4 columns of 3 units and rolled dice for the each one. The lowest scoring column was removed.

Dicing for the British force. One column would be removed.
Dicing for the French force. One column would be removed.
The defending French lined up 3 columns of 3 units and rolled dice for the each one. The lowest scoring column was removed.

6 defending French units
9 attacking British units
The game lasts 15 turns and the side in control of the hill on the northern baseline wins.

French units retire quickly across the river.
French units retiring on the eastern bridge are taking more time.
Disaster the French artillery get bogged and fail to make it across the bridge before British forces arrive.
The British made short work of the unsupported artillery.
Remaining British forces arrive
The first British units cross at the bridge, but were quickly dealt with. 
More British units push across the western bridge while their artillery began to find their targets. 
French units begin to retire out of artillery range.
British units are slow to follow up the retiring French
Casualties are starting to mount on both sides. The frontiersmen were putting up a very effective defence from the far woods. 
British units finally start to organise an assault on the French second line of defence.
More units join the attack. 
British light infantry move through woods to flank the French defensive line.
French defence finally ends on turn 11.
I should have retired the French earlier as soon as the British artillery fired. Artillery in the rules must remain in place once they shoot. The delay meant they took more punishment from some accurate artillery shooting than necessary.


  1. Peter, I enjoyed your FIW campaign very much. Perhaps plopping the campaign into the historical context would have improved your level of interest? What about recreating the entire conflict and only fighting out the important actions on the gaming table?

    What I suggest is using a FIW boardgame to govern the basis for generating battles on your gaming table and placing the games into a historical context. I tried something similar using Montcalm & Wolfe but managed only a few battles that I translated to the tabletop. It was good fun but I cannot refight battles at quite the rapid rate as you.

    Perhaps a joint venture would be of interest? That is, I could build the historical context at an operational level using a boardgame while I turn over resolving the resulting battles that emerge on map to your table? That might be fun for both of us as I play out the operation aspects of the conflict while you get pulled into the narrative for your table top battles.

    What do you think about this proposal?

    1. Hi Jonathan - Sounds very interesting. You can email me on and I'll then send through my normal email for correspondence. Look forward to hearing from you - Peter

  2. It was a splendid campaign to witness. Very enjoyable.

    1. Thank you. It was an enjoyable campaign which in many ways came to a successful closure.

  3. I can understand the campaign being called. The third 'approach' had the potential to stalemate and I agree that two would give abetter dynamic, also agree with Jonathan's observation that a historical context might help.

  4. Essentially the campaign was won by the defending French. Agree, having more of a historical context would have helped, and probably caused me to consider the objectives a bit more when planning.

  5. The indecisive nature of the British campaign is in keeping with early British operations in the FIW. It is interesting that the early battles went the way of the British and then the further they went the harder it was for them to win. I'm not sure if this was a coincidence, but it played out quite well.
    One of the things that I'm doing with my campaign is keeping unit logs for units that performed well or poorly in various battles. At the moment after two battles the Malachowsky Hussars have earned commendations while the Hadik Hussars have got a lot left to prove.
    Anyway, thanks for this series, I really enjoyed following it.

    1. Thanks. The keeping of logs on units does add a nice dimension to a campaign, and the scale of the FIW does lend itself to keeping unit logs. Some interesting considerations for future campaigns.