Friday, 23 February 2018

French Indian War campaign preparation - The rules being used

I now have information on the first battle from Jonathan's Palouse Wargaming Journal so I can start the campaign games. Before I post the setup for the game I thought it may be useful to post the rules. So here they are rather hastily written up.

And as I cannot put up a post without a photo - here is the game setup ready to be played over the weekend.

Fort Oswego

French Indian War Rules - OHW Variant


These rules are a variant of One Hour Wargames Horse and Musket rules. There are a number of additional rules include:

  • The need to dice to move a unit
  • Cover increases a units resolve by allowing them to accrue more hits while in cover, rather than reducing the hits taken.
  • Army resolve used to determine when a commander decides to retire from a battle
The game is played using a 6 inch square grid to regulate movement and ranged shooting. The facing of a unit is free form and not dictated by the square. In the rules the term "bound" is used for movement and shooting where one bound is a square.

The game uses both D6 and D3 dice (where D3 is 1,1,2,2,3,3)


The rules cater for the following units:

  • Regular/Line Infantry
  • Skirmisher/Irregulars/Light Infantry
  • Indians/Natives
  • Artillery
  • Grenadiers

Sequence of Play

The game is played in a series of turns. During a player’s turn they complete the following steps:

  • Movement
  • Combat
  • Unit Elimination
  • Check Army Resolve


For units to move they must first be activated. To activate a unit roll 1D6 on a score of 2+ a unit can move. Subtract from the score should the following conditions apply:

  • -1 Line Infantry or Grenadiers in woods or difficult terrain
  • -1 for every 3 hits a unit has accumulated

A unit that failed a move activation may still engage in combat.

All activated units may move one bound. Indian units may move two bounds until they accumulate a hit, after which they too only move 1 bound.

Artillery must cease movement after shooting. They are still allowed to turn their facing.

Unit may turn as part of their movement.

Turning a unit to change it's facing still counts as movement.

Units may not move or shoot.

Units may not pass through other units.

Design Notes - Terrain is quite unpredictable and introducing chance for movement helps reflect this and differentiate between units that deal well with difficult terrain and those that don't.



  • Artillery may never enter woods. 
  • Infantry and grenadier units when rolling to activate for a move into woods -1 from their activation D6. 
  • Skirmishers can sustain 6 more hits when in woods. 
  • Infantry and Grenadiers -1 from their shooting score when occupying woods.


  • Artillery may never enter towns.
  • Units occupying a town has a 360 degree field of fire
  • All units can sustain 6 more hits when in a town.

Marshland and Lakes

  • No units may enter.


  • These may only be crossed via bridges and fords.

Difficult Terrain/Streams

  • Artillery may never enter woods. 
  • Infantry and grenadier units when rolling to activate for a move into difficult terrain -1 from their activation D6. 
  • Skirmishers can sustain 6 more hits when in difficult terrain. 


  • All units can sustain 6 more hits when in a town.
  • Attacking units must be at short range to engage in combat.


Units may only shoot at units within 45 degrees of their frontal facing.

Units in towns and fortifications have a field of fire of 360 degrees.

Muskets have a range of two bounds (1 bound short range and 2 bounds long range).

Artillery have a range of 4 bounds (2 bounds short range and 4 bounds long range).

To determine casualties units roll a D3 and make the following adjustments:

  • Grenadiers roll D3+1 short range and D3 long range
  • Infantry roll D3 short range and D3-1 long range
  • Skirmishers/Indians roll D3-1 for both short and long range
  • Artillery roll D3-1 for both short and long range

There is no adjustment for cover. This is factored in by units being able to absorb more hits when in cover.

When attacking units in fortifications the attacking units may only engage at short range.

When infantry, grenadiers and Indians are attacking a unit in an adjacent square. If the unit is eliminated, then they automatically move and occupy the vacated square.

Design Note - Skirmishers hits do not degrade at long range as they are considered to be better shots. Regular infantry do better at close range when they can use the cold steel.

Unit Resolve and Elimination

Units are eliminated when they accumulated more hits than their resolve value.

All units have a base resolve value of 6 which can increase in the following circumstances:

  • Skirmishers (not Indians) in cover increase their resolve by +6 hits.
  • Infantry and Skirmishers in towns and fortifications increase their resolve by +6 hits.
  • Infantry when in the open terrain, towns or fortifications and within 1 bound of their commander increase their resolve by +6 hits.
  • Grenadiers and veteran units always have their resolve increased by 6 hits.
Design Notes - Increasing a units resolve in cover rather than reducing their hits does mean once a unit has exceeded 6 hits, they must remain in cover for should they leave it they are eliminated. Likewise regular infantry with 6+ hits may rout on mass (be eliminated) should the commander be removed. So have him in reserves rather than leading the charge!


Each side fields one commander who is attached to a unit and remains with that unit throughout the game. If the unit is eliminated the commander is removed as well.

Commanders raise the resolve level of all line infantry units within one bound.

Commanders can re-roll any failed move activations for units within one bound.

Design Notes - the commanders ability to help infantry resolve and movement encourages infantry to operate closely and as a block of units and not go charging off all over the tabletop.

Trusted Officers

Each side can field one trusted officer. They are attached to a unit and must remain with the unit throughout the game. If the unit is eliminated the officer is removed as well.

Trusted officers can re-roll any failed move activations and re-roll any shooting dice, but must accept the second score rolled.

Design Notes - Trusted officers can be used to help increase the success of units undertaking critical orders often on the flanks or a forlorn hope. Typically, they can be attached to an elite unit such as a grenadier unit to take advantage of their attack value.

Army Resolve

At the beginning of the game determine an army's resolve which is equal to the number of units being fielded.

When a unit is eliminated the army resolve is reduced by the score of a D3 with the following additions:
  • +1 if the unit eliminated is a grenadier, veteran or artillery unit.
  • +2 if the commander is lost
Design Notes - If you want to introduce a commander quality into the game. Add the score of a D3 if commanded by an above average commander, or subtract the score of a D3 for a below average commander.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. Your information on the battle situation and OB was just right. Doing a post on setup today.

  2. Peter and Jonathan - this is a really interesting project/collaboration and I'm looking forward to seeing it in action.

    1. Me too! It is going to be a bit of an unknown wargaming journey.

  3. Peter, since militia are in abundance in the campaign, how are you classifying them? Certainly not as steady as Regulars and would not classify in the sense of skirmishers/irregulars/lights since they would not have the frontiersmen or light infantry training.

    In the upcoming Fort Oswego battle, will commander differences between Contrecoeur and Shirley be qualified or are all treated the same?

    1. Jon, my initial thoughts on militia are they do not benefit from any increased resolve due to limited training and always shoot with D3-1. Not sure if the campaign will have some militia that have gained a level of experience. Thanks for the tips - really helpful as we start the campaign relay.
      I want to differentiate between commanders. How high does a commander's A# and D# rating go in the campaign rules?

    2. Hi Peter, militia are always just militia. No progression for those guys.

      Max Commander Rating in Montcalm & Wolfe are A4 and D4.

  4. Nice getting the different perspectives from looking at the two blogs.

    1. It will be interesting to see how the games adapt as the campaign progress.