In an attempt to stabilize the quickly deteriorating situation, Britain risks rolling on the Activation Table rather than taking the assured, one activation. The Activation die roll allows the British three activations. They needed that!
After Braddock's disastrous expedition into the wilds of the Monongahela, he retreats back to the safety of Fort Cumberland with the remnants of his force. Shirley, with one ranger and two militia strike out for Fort Carillon to deny the French player use of the fort when it becomes available later in September. Using bateaux, Shirley's force hugs the shore and disembarks on the construction site of Fort Carillon presumably scattering the engineers and halting work. Johnson finally convinces the Cayuga to ally with the British. The Cayuga warband sets off to bolster the Fort Stanwix garrison.
With Shirley stealing a march on the French to reach Fort Carillon before it could either be completed or garrisoned, the British gain the strategic upper hand on Lake Champlain. Since the lake is the main conduit in this theatre, Shirley's ploy may represent a major mistake for the French. A better play would have been to place Rigaud and his force at Isle aux Noix on Reserve status. That way, after Shirley moves into the Fort Carillon hex, Rigaud could make his reserve move and slip into the hex before combat. Rigaud would be considered the defender and receive the woods benefit. Hopefully, an oversight to which the French will not regret.
A question on the game concerns the status of Forts William-Henry and Carillon. Both begin the game under construction. Both forts become active "during the September 1755" turn." At which point "during" the turn do these become active? That timing is unclear. For this campaign, I will rule at the end of the September turn both forts will exist.
The French opt to take only the guaranteed one activation and activate Rigaud. Rigaud sets off by bateaux with two regulars and one militia to Fort Carillon in an attempt to intercept and thwart Shirley's strike. Rigaud will be considered the attacker in the first major engagement of the war.
With three regimental equivalents per side, I plan to resolve this action on the gaming table. Three maneuver units (MUs) per side may not be enough to make much of a game so my plan is to double (or even triple) the number of MUs. While the French will have a qualitative advantage, the British will be holding favorable ground.