Friday, March 7, 2014

Montcalm & Wolfe Campaign Begins

A few weeks' ago, I began laying down some thoughts on conducting a wargames' campaign (Thoughts on Selecting a Wargame Campaign). Keeping the operational/strategic aspects of the campaign simple was key in selection.  A second key criterion was that the scope of the campaign should remain small.  Finally, I needed to have a majority of the troops required already in hand and battle-ready.

After some time spent in contemplation, my choice for this trial will be the French & Indian War.  To govern the operational activities, the DTP effort, Montcalm & Wolfe will be utilized.  Luckily, there is an excellent VASSAL module available and in many ways provides a much more handsome tool than the original game.  Oh, the module is free as well!

The campaign begins in May 1755 with monthly game turns.  All units begin deployed in set positions with the exception of three French regular regiments.  These variable regiments are placed, one each, in Fort Duquesne, Fort Niagara, and  Isle aux Noix.  With these deployments, Fort Duquesne can be defended from a possible stab north from Braddock, the upper reaches of Lake Champlain can be protected, and allows a possible strike against the British garrison at Fort Oswego at the start of the campaign.  Only the larger engagements will be transferred to the game table for resolution with miniatures.  Hopefully, this exercise will generate a few interesting encounters to play out on the table. 
Situation May 1755
Looking over the OBs for both sides, the number of militia units may outstrip what I have painted.  While I have a number of colonial units that can be pressed into service for the British, only a handful of militia units for the French are service-ready.

To remedy that shortfall, I placed a small order to 1st Corps.  Now, I have not purchased from 1st Corps in several years but I do field several of their British and French units in the FIW collection.  The 1st Corps figures come in at the larger end of model size compared against Old Glory and Dixon.  Painted and deployed on the table, most of these size differences vanish.  

What I ordered were two dozen figures from the Coureur de Bois and French in Campaign Dress SKUs.  The order arrived within two weeks and are primered and ready for the brush.   Painted, these will provide the foundation for two more French militia units wearing a mix of dress.
French militia from 1st Corps

16 comments:

  1. They look good - I didn't even realize 1st Corps had a FIW range - I will have to take a look. Best, Dean

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    1. Thanks, Dean! The figures are from the SYW range and I like them quite a lot.

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  2. Interesting...I'll follow the French militia with pleasure!

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    1. Phil, you'll see them here eventually...

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  3. Great stuff Jon, really looking forward to seeing how this goes

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    1. Thanks, Jonathan! I figured I would dive in with a small campaign first.

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  4. I must admit I'm looking forward to following the progress and really curious to see the battles on the tabletop.

    Christopher

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  5. What rules are you going to use for the actual battles?

    FMB

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    1. Marcus, long time, no hear!

      For rules to resolve the miniature battles, I will be using a set of my own based, in part, on Whitehouse's "Ironsides" and "Old Trousers" rules.

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    1. Even more fun might be having commanders submit orders for both the operational and tactical activities. Montcalm & Wolfe is an obscure title so I would not expect many to have the game. Do you agree?

      Maybe if this goes satisfactorily, I may try an interactive campaign in the future with remote players.

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  7. Good start, and at least some troop painting motivation as well... but not TOO much!

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    1. Thanks, Peter! I hope to have the newly recruited militia on the table before they are actually needed. The problem is my painting queue is already quite long.

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  8. A very interesting choice for a campaign setting. I shall look forward to more. VASSAL is something I am currently trying to figure out - I need to find an opponent and a suitable game.

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    1. Well, the campaign choice was governed by a desire to start small. With dense terrain and wicked supply rules, there likely won't be many larger field battles. If either side occupies a non-supply hex, they will be forced to forage with potentially severe results.

      As for VASSAL, with which game are you currently experimenting?

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