With winter approaching, the British want to ensure that troops are back on supply sources to minimize attrition and demobilization. Rolling on the Activation Table, the British roll an '8'. The French get one activation! This bonus activation is used to bring Rigaud and force back to Isle aux Noix. After briefly losing the initiative, the British roll again for activation. This time, five activations are scored. The two militia at Albany are placed into reserve as is the one militia at Fort Edwards. Johnson returns to Albany and Shirley returns to Fort Edward.
All units are currently stationed at supply sources so no normal supply attrition occurs. In winter, however, attrition is much more severe and having a supply source is no guarantee for survival. Each non-militia unit must roll on the Forage Table with one unit in settlements and two in fort being exempt. Militia units must, however, roll for demobilization. Militia units accompanied by a leader gain a bonus as do militia in a friendly port or fort. Since Fort William-Henry was not a British fort at the stat of the game, it will not count as a fort for winter demobilization purposes. That is one reason Shirley returned to Fort Edwards vs Fort William-Henry. French militia in Quebec receive a double bonus.
All non-militia fall under the limits for forced foraging so only militia demobilization occurs. One militia at Albany is demobilized and the French lose three militia; one each at Fort Frontenac, Isle aux Noix, and Quebec. Ouch!
With winter in full swing and content to hunker down, neither side makes any activations for the Winter 2 turn. With no military operations, supply and winter attrition are checked. For militia demobilization, all British militia decide to head home with the exception of the militia in Fort Edwards while the French militia stay on post. Four British militia disband during the harsh winter. What will be left by Spring?
1755 Strategic Interphase. Currently, the Political Track stands at '3' in favor of the French. This level will influence the strategic reinforcements allocated for 1756 to both sides. French will enjoy a '+1' while the British will suffer a '-1' DRM.
Rolling and placing first, the French receive two militia and Drucour. Drucour and one militia are sent to Isle aux Noix while the second militia is sent to reinforce the ungarrisoned Fort Frontenac. The British also receive two militia. One is sent to Fort Edwards along with Monckton and the other arriving at Albany.
Thus ends the first year of the war.
The winter was brutal on the militia and militia reinforcements were not enough to cover losses to those disbanding. Both sides appear to be building up for a renewed offensive in the Hudson Valley and the lake region in spring. Not having built Fort Carillon will significantly hamper French control of Lake Champlain and the Hudson Valley. All is quiet on the Western Front but will it last? The French in Fort Duquesne seem quite isolated in their outpost and far removed from significant action. I suppose the presence of French regulars there does defuse any British attempts on a deep end-around.