Checking the units that were available without too much fudging, I decided to field 6 companies per side. The British, marching up the road from Fort Edward had the Grenadier and 2 line companies of the Royal Irish (yes I know this was 10 years before the date they say they came to America but the reason for that will be seen and yes they do look a lot like the Queen's Irish in the service of Rosmark), 2 companies of Massachusetts militia and a company of elite highlanders who have presumed the dark blue facings of a royal regiment a few years too soon. The French marching down from Beaubasin perhaps, had 2 bands of Miq'ma warriors, 1 of veteran irregulars and 1 of less enthusiastic Acadian irregulars as well as 2 Companies Franches from the garrison at Louisberg serving as line troops. The Miq'ma and Acadian irreguars are 8 man skirmisher units, the rest are 12 man line infantry.
The tracks were deemed open ground rather than roads. None of the pictures of the columns marching on seem to have survived so please picture the columns snaking forward separated only by a wooded hill until they spot each other across the open field and begin to deploy.
|About 5 turns in. The battle lines form. On the riverside the farm is about to be contested while inland a group of Mik'ma warriors is working their way through the woods to flank the Highlanders.|
I started off using the original 1 unit at a time card draw system which is still an approved option but after 2 turns it just didn't feel right for this scenario so I went back to the initiative option. I added a twist though, instead of dicing, I pulled cards like I have been doing for Square Brigadier and other games for the last few months. Worked like a charm including some chance cards. The rules allow units to fire on their turn instead of moving or to fire just before the joint melee phase so the initiative is important but not as much as in some of the other games.
Just after the dramatic repulse of the grenadiers I made a careless error. I pulled a chance card allowing the French to force a morale check on a company of militia. They failed and retreated off table while the Grenadiers also failed (2+ to pass with the Colonel there...) and fellback, except that's not the way it works. Units either rout when they take the test or they fallback a normal move and automatically rally on the next turn. Oops. When I figured it out a few turns later I brought the militia back.
The game was full of twists and turns and drama, some of it due to extreme die rolls at key moments as well as to gambles taken. I was rather surprised at the end to find that I had spent nearly 3 hours playing the 11 turn game. It didn't feel like it.
I was even more surprised at a brand new unit, the varnish barely dry, rolling high consistently through the game. I'll have to watch those lads!