Thursday, February 22, 2018

Montcalm & Wolfe Campaign - MAY1755-SEP1755

The Campaign begins!

As summarized in the earlier post outlining the project (see: Solo Campaign Relay), the French & Indian War campaign is underway.

May 1755
In Montcalm & Wolfe (MW), the British always maintain the first player role in each turn.  With the start of the conflict in May 1755, the British roll on the Command Table receiving only one command.  With that one command, the British force at Albany is activated.  Having both Shirley and Johnson present at Albany, two forces are selected to strike out on the frontier.  Shirley, with two regiments of Regulars, moves by bateaux up the Mohawk River to garrison Fort Stanwix.  Johnson, leading rangers and three regiments of militia, marches to Fort Edwards.  
May 1755
The French, choosing to roll on the Command Table, receive three activations.  With these three commands, one militia is ferried from Montreal to the fort at Isle aux Noix, one regiment of Regulars is ferried from Quebec to Trois Rivieres, and Contrecoeur (with 1 Regular, 1 Irregular) takes the ungarrisoned British Fort Oswego after a brief skirmish.  The capture of Fort Oswego shifts the Political Track one place in favor of the French.

Note that road networks are minimal and cost for movement on land even along roads is high.  Waterways become the natural and least costly method of moving troops on the frontier.  This constriction tends to channel campaigns along the major waterways.  When troops are out in the wilderness, they are truly out in the wilderness.  Attrition rates are high when not in a settlement or fort.  With all forces in supply, no attrition or need to forage.

June 1755
Rolling on the Command Table, the British roll a result giving one activation to the French.  One risk of rolling on the Command Table is that the opponent may receive an activation disrupting your own design cycle.  To counter this, a player may always choose to take ONE guaranteed Command Point rather than risking a roll on the variable Command Table.  

The French use this one activation to move one Regular regiment by bateaux from Isle aux Noix to the future site of Fort Carillon.  Carillon does not become active until September 1755.

Back to the British activation.  Not wanting to risk another interruption, the British choose the automatic one activation.  Braddock and his force march from Baltimore to Alexandria.  The Oneida ally with the British and make an attack on the ungarrisoned Fort Presque Isle.  The raid is driven off.  
June 1755
The French receive two activations and use those to bring troops out to the frontier.  One Regular moves from Trois Rivieres to Isle aux Nois.  One militia is sent to Trois Rivieres from Quebec.  The Tuscarora ally with the French and immediately make a successful raid upon Wilkes-Barre.  Political Track shifts one more place towards the French.  No attritional losses for either.

July 1755
Needing to be in more than one place at once, the British roll on the Command Table and hope for the best.  They are rewarded with four activations.  Not wanting the roaming Tuscarora to raid a major city, one militia is sent from Albany to New York.  To prevent the French at Carillon from stealing a march and disrupting construction at Fort William-Henry, the rangers are sent to secure the site.  Braddock splits his force at Alexandria.  Braddock, one militia, and one Regular move to Fort Cumberland while the second regiment of Regulars moves into a blocking position along the Baltimore-Fort Duquesne Road.  The Oneida make another unsuccessful attack upon Fort Presque Isle.   
July 1755
The French reinforce Fort Isle aux Noix and send the Regulars stationed at Fort Duquesne out into the mountains along the road to Baltimore.  The raiding Tuscarora move on to Eaton but are unsuccessful in their raid.  No attrition as the Oneida unit is the only one needing to forage.  It does so successfully.  A note on forage rules.  All units not on a supply source must roll on the Forage Table.  However, if all units in a stack fail their forage rolls, one unit will survive unless the stack is all militia or natives.  The result of this exception is that a lone Regular unit not on a supply center is exempt from attrition unless in winter.

August 1755
With the threat of Tuscarora raids continuing and the need to accomplish more than a single task, the British roll on the Command Table.  Two activations are received.  With these two activations, the militia stationed in New York marches to Philadelphia and a militia in Albany marches to New York.  The Cayuga come over to the British and head to Fort Stanwix.  
August 1755
The French are content to take a single, automatic activation.  A Regular regiment from Isle aux Noix moves down Lake Champlain and comes ashore between the building sites of Fort Carillon and Fort William-Henry.  No attrition as the natives manage to successfully forage.  Both sides seem to be jockeying for position in the expectation of the completion of the two forts in September.  If the enemy occupies the friendly building site, no fort is built.  Risk of conflict over these two sites increases as completion nears. 

September 1755
Needing to take more than one action, the British roll on the Command Table.  The result is that the French get to interrupt the British turn with one action.  Not again!  This action the French use to move Rigaud and two militia to Fort Carillon.
September 1755
With a French build up on Lake Champlain, Johnson marches two militia to Fort William-Henry to join the rangers.  At Fort Stanwix and the headwaters of the Mohawk, Shirley marches out with two regiments of Regulars and the Cayuga.  Their destination?  Fort Oswego and Contrecoeurs' force.  The first action of the war will be fought along the banks of Lake Ontario. 

Battle of Fort Oswego
Situation: Fort Oswego sits on the shore of Lake Ontario not too distant from the shore.  To the south and west of the fort is enough open to deploy for battle.  The British approach the fort from the south with woods to their back.  Shirley wants to throw the French out of Oswego and regain control of the fort.  With recapturing the fort, Shirley hopes to regain a lost Political Point.  Without recapturing the fort, his party will likely suffer from attrition in the upcoming winter months.

OB:
British: Shirley (A0D1), 2 x 5-6 Regular regiment and 1 x 3-8 Cayuga warband.
French: Contrecoeur (A2D2), 1 x 5-6 Regular regiment and 1 x 4-7 Irregular regiment

Keeping OHW in mind, perhaps leaders' ratings of '"A#" and "D#" represent the ability to influence the troops under their command and denotes a hit modifier.  For example, Shirley cannot increase hits to an opponent unit when one British unit attacks but may remove one hit from a friendly unit when defending.   

For a combat unit, the first number represents Combat Effectiveness (CE) and the second number represents Movement Allowance (MA).

In this case, the CE of Regulars > Irregulars > Warband.

Over to you, Peter, for scenario setup and combat resolution.  To make the force size enjoyable, perhaps multiply total units by four.  That way, the British would be fielding twelve combat units (8 Regular, 4 Native) to the French's eight (4 Regular, 4 Irregular). 

Of course, scenario interpretations are only suggestions.  Peter, you may modify as you wish.  

NB:  See Peter's battle play out at: Battle of Fort Oswego.

20 comments:

  1. It's nice to have a campaign like this to provide the "big picture" for battles.

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  2. An interesting opening game to translate to the tabletop. And just in time for the weekend. Thank you!
    I will most likely do two posts: first the tabletop setup and interpretation of the situation and OB, and a second post on the game.

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    1. Peter, I look forward to both of your upcoming postings!

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  3. Enjoyable narrative and unfolding back story. I was interested to see the road v waterway movement allowance dynamic, if I see roads on a map, I just see roads, so that insight helped me picture the unfriendly nature of the terrain somewhat.

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    1. Glad you are enjoying this activity, Norm.

      Movement is costly in this game. Woods and mountains consume 3MPs each, clear and roads take 2MPS, each and pikes take 1MP. Waterways use up 1/2MP per hexside plus 1MP each for embarking and disembarking. With harsh attrition rules, non-regulars do not want to spend time in the wilderness.

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  4. Campains add a lot...but it needs time! Nice looking one Jonathan...

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  5. Interesting start to the campaign, a favourite of mine when I was a child! I look forward to more posts here and on Petes blog.
    Best Iain

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    1. This will be an interesting experience, for sure. A separation of duties is certainly present here. CinC's plotting out the campaign often oblivious to the battles in theatre until much after the fact. Introduces a bit of fog of war into the process.

      I hope Peter accepts the uncertain tactical situation his troops will be plopped into on the battlefield as I must accept those results!

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, Ross! Peter’s layout for the Fort Oswego battle looks superb.

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  7. Great background form the campaign; I look forward to the tabletop action!

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    1. Thank you, Peter!

      The Battle of Fort Oswego can be read at:
      https://gridbasedwargaming.blogspot.com/2018/02/montcalm-wolfe-campaign-game-report.html

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  8. I like the back and forth here with Peter as well. Interesting stuff.

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