Earning their moniker, the coureur des bois make a wide sweep around the British left and prepare for a rear attack. Ever vigilant, the British lights spot the trappers and turn to engage.
With a whoop, the natives strike into the surprised militia cutting them to pieces. Massacre!
Failing to stem the panic, the remaining two coys of militia fall back upon the Royals. As the militia retreat, only the rangers stand between the Royals' flank and the natives. Despair grows among the colonial commander.
Continuing volleys between the Royals and La Reine witness bending but no breaking of the lines. The Royals are able to cycle fresh troops into the firing line while exhausted companies regain their cohesion.
The light coy retraces its path back to the stream and then crosses to threaten the French right. Order is restored to the regulars and the advance upon the French positions is resumed.
Climbing the hill on the French right, the lights catch one of the La Reine companies in the woods. Better able to operate within the confines of the woods, the lights eventually succeed in scattering the French. Victorious, the British commander joins the lights from their vantage spot to direct the advance. Remnants of the French withdraw back into the safety of the woods.
Thus ended the game.
The French held the upper hand throughout the early and mid game while the British were completely frustrated by the natives in the woods. Once the close-order troops pulled back into the clearings, native surprise attacks diminished. Using the rangers and light infantry in the woods against the natives turned the tide in the game. Had the French pressed the attack across the stream with their regulars while the Royals were wavering and militia encircled, the game may have ended with one hard push.
This scenario produced a hard fought battle with both sides believing they were winning one turn and then losing the next. With terrain dominated by woods, the irregulars become quite powerful when used to their best advantage. Rapid movement through woods, ability to thwart surprise attacks, and their prowess in woodland close combat all combine to produce tough adversaries. As the British player discovered, militia in woods are no match for natives. Likewise, the French player discovered that natives in the open are no match for regulars.
Although I didn't count the number of turns played, we must have completed at least a dozen turns. Le Petite Guerre rules worked well and allowed a smooth running game with few questions. I did make some notes during the game for later consideration and possible adjustments.
While I only moderated this game, it was great fun to deploy the FIW collection on the gaming table and watch the battle unfold. With very little pre-game preparation needed, hopefully, we'll return to the frontier soon.