Saturday, 31 March 2018

French Indian War - Game 7

The next battle in the French Indian War campaign is a small game, but is important for the progress of the campaign. For if British win they will be able to threaten French settlements on the Great Lakes. For the campaign background and operational moves goto Palouse Wargaming Journal where Jonathan provides the context for this battle.

A quick search to get some idea of how to layout the tabletop delivered this contemporary drawing.

A contemporary drawing of Fort Le Boeuf
As the game is quite a small one with the larger British force having 6 units. I decided the game will be played on 4x4 foot tabletop using a 6 inch grid (8 squares by 8 squares). To represent the edge of the plateau upon which the fort sits, I laid out some difficult terrain which the British will have to negotiate. If they get held up the French will hope their fort guns will cause some additional casualties.

Tabletop setup
Orders of Battle

Commander Bougainville (A0D1)
3 Regulars (representing 1 regiment)
1 Artillery (must be located in the fort)
Army resolve = 5

Commander Braddock (A0D1)
6 Regulars (representing 2 regiments) and 1 of the units will be Grenadiers
Army resolve = 7

Game Report
The French under the command positioned a half their force in advance of the fort in the hope the British line would be disrupted moving across difficult terrain and they could inflict some casualties before retiring in line with the fort.

French open fire at the advancing British line.
Return fire from the British line found its mark and the French took quite a few casualties.
Failing to retire quickly meant another volley of the British line which resulted in the loss of a unit and their commander Bougainville.
With the French commander killed or wounded. The British pressed their advantage and quickly eliminated the second French unit outside the fort. French army resolve collapsed and they ceded the fort and marched out. Neither side lost any regiments as a consequence of this engagement.

This turned out to be a really quick game played out over just 4 turns. Just one of those unusual games campaigns throw up and ones you would never think of setting up and playing yourself.

What happened to Commander Bougainville? Does he live to fight another day? A quick D6 roll decided his fate (1-2 escapes injury, 3-4 wounded and needs to convalesce for a couple of months, and 5-6 killed in action). A 2 was scored and he survives!


  1. A sharp action, Peter, and a close call for Bougainville! Could Bougainville and the French all have begun within the fort? This victory may provide the jolt the British need to turn around their war effort.

    1. In hindsight it would have been a better option to stay in the fort. The British would most likely have still won, with two regiments of regulars, but would have paid a higher price.
      One of the disadvantages of defending the fort (and my rules maybe) is the attacker with regulars can focus a number of units on a corner of a fort and gain a foothold in the fort. Keeping a unit or two outside the fort is an attempt to harass the attackers.

    2. Is the concentration on a corner brought about by the nature of the grid system?

    3. The challenges with defending the fort on 2 by 2 squares is when attacked only half the units can actively defend. They can rush up to fill the breach providing the attacking unit has not successfully scaled the defences. So if attacking one side of the fort, the corner will be attacked by 2 units. Providing the attackers have good quality troops they sustain the hits units until the corner is stormed.

  2. Great four move game Peter- hurrah for the British taking the Fort...the noose tightens on the French. Cheers. KEV.

    1. A surprisingly enjoyable for a game and very dependent upon the context provided by Jonathan's operational narrative.