Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Solo Campaign Relay for the French & Indian War

Montcalm & Wolfe VASSAL Module
Solo Campaign Relay?  Yes, Relay not Replay.  What is that?  Sounds like something akin to the Winter Olympics' event Luge Team Relay.  Let me explain.

Peter, at Grid Based Wargaming - But Not Always, has been running a series of interesting campaigns punctuated by his table top battles.  The latest rendition of campaigning was set during the French & Indian War.  After several battles resolved on the tabletop, Peter ended the campaign early.  Upon reflection, Peter sensed that while the campaign added a background narrative, the campaign did not provide enough historical context or interest for the resulting battles.

Having fought through a few battles in my own FIW campaign several years ago, I offered an alternative arrangement.  That arrangement consisted of me conducting the operational aspects of a FIW campaign while Peter fights out the battles on his gaming table.  Since Peter cranks through games and BatReps faster than I, this seemed a good solution in providing Peter the campaign context for his miniatures' battles while providing enjoyment to me as well.
Thus the notion of a Solo Campaign Relay was born.  To govern the operational activities, the 1997 DTP effort, Montcalm & Wolfe by Rob Markham will be utilized.  An excellent VASSAL module is available and in many ways provides a much more handsome tool than the original game. Oh, the module is free as well!  When two forces meet in the same hex on the campaign map, I translate the force dispositions and terrain to an OB and scenario. Situational details are then handed off to Peter.  Exchange One of the relay.  Peter then fights a solo battle on his own terms.  When the battle is resolved, Peter publishes his Battle Report.  Hand-off Two of the relay.  Peter’s battle results are translated back to the boardgame and the campaign continues.

The campaign begins in May 1755 with monthly game turns with the exception of condensed winter turns. All units begin deployed in set positions with the exception of three French regular regiments. These variable reinforcements 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.

Montcalm & Wolfe is a game focused on command, attrition, maneuver, and short campaigning seasons punctuated by few, large battles.  Only the larger engagements will be transferred to the game table for resolution with miniatures.  Hopefully, this exercise will generate a few interesting encounters for Peter to play out on his table.

Sound like fun?  I think so!

20 comments:

  1. Great stuff, Jonathan. Just the sort of thing that will open up whole new ways to play. Will be following your and Peter's efforts with great interest.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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    1. Thank you, Aaron! Glad to have you following along on this gaming journey.

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  2. Great idea! It will be interesting to see how this goes.

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    1. I hope it is interesting especially for Peter!

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  3. I like the concept, and look forward to its execution!

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  4. Sound like a great idea, especially for those disparate gamers. I wish I had a bit more time to engage in similar projects

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    1. Glad to have your support, Matt! You always remain quite engaged on your own hobby front. I thank you for those efforts!

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  5. Superb blogger support (as always), this extra dimension to play is going to be really interesting to follow - a slow burn project due to both of your time limitations, but perhaps all the better for that. Good shout.

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    1. Thanks, Norm!

      Only now found your post in my SPAM filter.

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  6. Definitely sounds fun, and very interesting. I hope it works for you both.

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    1. Thanks, Ross! You could play along too by fighting out the battles generated.

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  8. Sounds really interesting, I look forward to how it pans out ,will you be updating your end on this blog or will it all be on Peters?
    Best Iain

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    1. I will update the operational aspects and history of the campaign via Montcalm & Wolfe here while Peter will play out the battles on his site.

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  9. Sounds interesting and I think I have that as well.

    Christopher

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  10. Interesting idea, should be a fun experiment.

    I’m like Peter, and have found that campaigns are more work for little gains. But maybe the split in effort will pay off?

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    1. Perhaps this division of labor will work?
      Stay tuned!

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