The game was a minor variation of the Scenarios for Wargames version of Grant's wagon train scenario. Since troops were short and cavalry largely inappropriate I fielded a Commander, 1 cavalry troop, 2 infantry companies and 1 sharpshooter detachment to guard 2 carts and a (small) herd of cattle. The fort was garrisoned by a gun and 2 infantry units one of which had to stay in the fort. The Metis and Indians fielded 2 commanders and 7 bands of sharpshooters. In all 36 Canadian infantry plus a handful of cavalry and a gun against 28 Metis and Indians. Not a very big game.
|The Black Watch in action. Protect the beef and the beer!|
Having initially set out units for the Square Brigadier I had to scramble to prepare for MacDuff and ended up with insufficient figures, apart from Redcoats of which there is an excess even if most are historically inappropriate. I had to replace the irregular mounted rifles with hussars and field the rebels and the Sharpshooters as 4 man units which the rules weren't designed to handle. This meant that every hit on these units would cause a morale check but in the end it worked ok given the sharpshooter bonus. Once I get more Cree and some Metis painted up I may try 6 man units for this period but will probably just build up 8 man units.
|Turn 4. The Hussars move forward but are fired on and come tumbling back into cover. The Metis manouver around the flank of B company and open fire|
At the last minute I decided to change the rule that said roll 1/2 the number of dice at long range to inflict 1/2 casualties at long range. The idea was to be consistent which is often a good thing. Since all units were skirmishing that meant long range fire was at 1/4 effect. I was able to handle that but when I had a target that was receiving fire from one enemy at close range and another at long range, I had to roll the dice separately and remember to add 1/2 the hits from one lot to 1/4 the hits from the other and suddenly rolling less dice at long range made sense since I could just roll them together and apply the same modifiers.
The small size of many of the units meant that there were fewer dice but each hit was more important. Suddenly deciding whether to round up, round down, carry over or dice for halves made a big difference. I think that this is one of the areas where I will list options and say pick the one that works best for you for the particular game. The more units and figures on the table, the less it matters.
|Turn 6. The convoy slowly creeps up the steep hill while under fire from all directions. A company of Fusiliers has sortied from the Fort and the gun has open up in support. Feels a bit sticky for the convoy as losses mount and more rebels appear. |
|The Fusiliers supported by the gun wreak havic amongst one band of Cree caught in the open, the survivor flees into the woods. The young band who first opened fire blazes away but without the influence of the Chief refuse to close with the convoy.|
The current morale rule replaced the original system of removing figures and trying to rally back stragglers with an eye to a fixed 50% morale rule. Once again it did the job with much less fuss and bother but in both this and the earlier game I kept rolling to rally disordered troops rather than it being automatic. I might not change that since there is an element of double jeopardy but I might as it adds uncertainty and may speed a conclusion.
|The first oxteam reaches level ground, the driver whips them up to race for the fort and rolls snake eyes for movement!|