Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Montcalm & Wolfe: The Winter of '56

Attrition is harsh during the early stages of winter
After the fall of Fort Stanwix to French assault (see: Peter's Battle of Fort Stanwix), the defeated British Regulars were allowed to march out of the fort and into the wilderness.  Without resources, the Regulars would face foraging during winter.

In Montcalm & Wolfe, winter is especially hard on troops.  In addition to each turn's Supply Phase where units not on a Supply Source forage, winter has its own Attrition Phase.  In winter, even stationed on a Supply Source is no guarantee of making it through winter.  In winter, settlements can only exempt one non-militia from foraging while a fort or port can guarantee that two, non-militia units will not have to forage.  Militia have a special demobilization roll where every militia must make this roll regardless of location.

With those preliminaries out of the way, how did the armies far during the 1756 Winter 1 Attrition Phase?  The British Regulars marching out of Fort Stanwix were successful but one Regular in Fort Edward and one Regular in the Cumberland Wilderness succumbed to the ardors of winter foraging.  No British militia demobilized.  For the French, two militia demobilize and head back home.  Those militia were garrisoned in Fort William-Henry and Quebec. 
Winter 2 Movements
For the second winter turn of 1756, the British roll on the Command Table.  Again, the British CinC rolls one activation for the French!  The French use this single activation to march one Regular regiment from Fort William-Henry toward Fort Stanwix.  It appears the French prefer reinforcing and holding Fort Stanwix than garrisoning William-Henry in strength.  After the French complete their interruption of the British player's turn, the British again roll on the Command Table.  This time three Command Points are drawn.  With these three activations, the Regulars on the march to Fort Oswego reach the fort, Shirley returns to Albany, and Monckton, seeing the garrison drawn down, once more descends upon Fort William-Henry.  Yes, Fort William-Henry is the site for another conflict.

Battle of Fort William-Henry
OB:
British: Monckton (A2D1), 2 x 5-6 Regulars, 1 x 3-8 Ranger, and 1 x 3-5 Militia
French: Dieskau (A2D2), 2 x 5-6 Regulars

Can the French hold the fort or will it change hands once again?

12 comments:

  1. Fort William-Henry is to be hotly contested again.

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    1. Once more unto the breach! Numbers will be with Monckton this time.

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    2. Thanks! Numbers were with Monckton but not luck. Great report, Peter.

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  2. I'm catching up Jonathan (as you know). So pleased to see a campaign of the French and Indian War.

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    1. Great to have you back and following the FIW campaign, James! Good to go back to the beginning of the campaign and begin anew. Don't forget to visit Peter's blog to see the tactical battle results.

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  3. Peter's rule tweak might perhaps hold more certainty for a Garrison force this time around. I wonder whether Peter will be allocating artillery in this one?

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    1. It is always interesting to watch the battle unfold on Peter's game table. Will the defenders hold out this time? We will see! The French brought along a gun to the major battle when they took the fort. Perhaps that gun remained?

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  4. Montcalm and Wolfe? Nah, I think this version is William and Henry!

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  5. I was thinking the same thing as Peter. It is more the William & Henry war. An interesting development none the less. Is it an outcome of the game design, or does the map really give such strategic significance to this location?

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    1. To answer you question, yes, the game and map do give strategic significance to Fort William-Henry. Let me explain.

      The two main avenues of approach into the others' sphere of influence is via either the Mohawk River or the Lake Champlain/Lake George/Hudson waterway. Tackling other routes can lead to high attrition in the wilderness as parties are forced to forage when not occupying a fort or settlement. A force unable to reach a supply source can literally disappear in the wilderness.

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