Saturday, 11 April 2015

"Save the Whiskey" a French and Indian Wars affair

I had a rare opportunity to attend the Trumpeter club night and with TerryS's ( game director) usual frantic calls for games, I decided to bring my FIW collection out as I thought I had the rules set down tight (incorrectly as it turns out) , and in 28mm should look OK.

My submission described the scenario as thus: Dark Woods, Howling Natives, Provincials scared witless.  But the whiskey wagon must get through.  What more do you want?
The large British escort for the important whiskey wagon

My second misperception of the night was that people actually read Terry's club emails as everyone came by to ask what I was putting on.....

Anyway, KevinA and PeterM decided to give it a go with the former taking the French and the latter the British.  Just because I wanted in, and that the table was the largest area I have used for my FIW so wanted to 'fill some space',  I lead the Natives aka Red Indians aka the Savages.  Probably unfair to use them against one or the other I thought; so I diced per turn and see who I would attack! Hopefully both during the battle.
The French in their summer wear red sleeved waistcoats await the British advance

Both players took plenty of regulars with each thinking as the wagon must go down the road and in open ground, the regulars would be best suited than the Provincials, Militia or lights.  Therefore Kevin lined up his French regulars and started blasting away.
The 'cannonball' markers behind many of the elements represent the number of hits.  The result of the firefight across the open wheat field and road
The British lights covering the wagons move up the road.
The French militia in the lower right gang up on the Gage's boys (in brown coats)

  Peter responded by fanning out with his lights on the flanks but his command was slowed (poor pip rolls) and Kevin took out his lights and with continued fire from the front, eventually eliminated most of the British. With few left, Peter had no choice but to turn the wagon around and get out while he could.  The fort's liquor rations would be slim for some time.
"Jeb, where be the wagon? I am thirsty"  The fort awaits the whiskey.  It was constructed from clippings directly from a gentleman while out for a walk visiting my parents a few years ago.  They will make a great fort I told my incredulous mother.

And my Natives?  Well, my leading war band charged and took out the unsuspecting French militia (mon du, are dey no on ouwer side?!) but switching sides the next turn, went up against the Highlanders and were "quick-killed" - basically an all or nothing fighting unit these war bands! With their loss, I would have to roll higher than the number of native elements left which I did not do so the others left for the longhouse.
Images of Bushy Run?

painting of the Battle of Bushy Run by Don Troiani

The longhouse is a resin bought years ago and I think OOP.  Took some effort to paint it to look realistic.

Players view of the battlefield. The stick is actually a stem from my spring clippings.  I thought that they would make great measuring tools rather than rulers as to 'blend' into the terrain somewhat.  I have them in differing lengths.  They can be seen in some of the other photos.  Some of the blank markers might be seen - but blend in quite well!
Kevin and Peter gave good input into the rules and my phase sequencing and so Peter and I with a bit more time in the evening, set up again with the British and once again mostly regulars escorting the whiskey wagon.  I took the Indians placing them randomly around the forest using blank stands (artfully decorated with 'shrubbery' ) not knowing who is real and who is not.  No command control for the savages!
Checking out shadows in the woods.  I have many of these blank stands to create a bit of fear of the unknown wihtin the woods for the player.
However with the blanks, Peter was unsure which way to face as I moved the natives to all sides of his developing 'square formation' but he left a gap uncovered so I had one group move to take the wagon. With all the British still around, the tribesmen decided moving the wagon was unfeasible and so merely smashed in the kegs feverishly drinking the contents! That, we decided would make them go "warband" but next turn the British regulars would shortly dispose of the Indians to their front and next turn and eliminate the last native threat.
Close up of a war band and the 60th line in their campaign dress with dark blue gaiters

We ended the game continuing to examine the rules with the result I will now need to totally revamp the entire set.  Two steps forward, two steps back.

I hope the boys enjoyed themselves and it is good to get the collection photographed under the nice lights.


  1. Very lovely game, Doug. The figures, terrain and photography most excellent. I like the multi-fig basing too.

    1. Dean, while I designed the basing to match a DBA style ( I had to point out to the boys that the regulars are 4 to a stand, lights 3 and if 2 then the "woodsie" types ) the multi- basing is nice as one can add all the shrubbery and all.

  2. Ditto Dean's comments; a fabulous looking game and an excellent report, as usual, Doug.
    It is such a fascinating period, isn't it?

    1. Thank you James, and yes it has a bit for everyone. You can have a small raiding party intent on taking a lone cabin type affair or the full on large battle involving hundreds of regulars in straight lines. As my whole collection and rules are somewhat ambiguous so the scale is really what the player believes it to be, the players can not only pick and choose their troop types but the method of warfare with regulars loving the clearings and close combat, the rangers the woods and skirmishing. In my scenarios, each player gets the same number of elements but can select which ever they want.