Monday, October 10, 2016

On the Road To Who Knows Where

Orders had arrived at Fort Sackville for Colonel Fitzwilliam to march to Fort Edward with all haste. The infamous French partizan and agitator L'Abbe Le Corbeau had been seen visiting Acadian settlements along the Pisiquid river accompanied by the famed Mi'kmaq war chief La Moufette (easily recognized by his black and white war paint).

As the column approached St. Croix, Fitzwilliam  welcomed the sight of the first Acadian farms. He had cut his military teeth in the service of King Michael of Rosmark and had thought he would never see a wilder place than the Eastern Frontier of that land. When King George hired his regiment from King Michael and offered amnesty for the men whose father's had fought for James, Fitzwilliam thought he would be serving in Flanders but here they were in the wilds of New Scotland.

So far the march has been quiet but one never knows who is lurking in the forest.
He had brought a company of Rossish Chasseurs with him and they led the advance. His Grenadiers and a company of Highlanders formed his advance guard while two companies of his Irish Regiment formed the main body. Should be enough to handle any number of savages and French peasants but it was a long two day march along the military road through the dreary wilderness between Sackville and Edward.

As the advance neared the first farm, blood curdling yells came from the woods to his left, soon accompanied by the Pop Pop and smoke of musket fire. Indians! He ordered the Irish into line facing the enemy and spurred ahead.

The Irish deploy rapidly and prepare to blast the enemy back to where they came from.
It was all going so well at first. The initial fire from the Indians seemed to be doing little harm but the return fire was cutting the woods apart and suddenly there was no one there. By the village the light infantry and grenadiers had uncovered some militia but they seemed like little threat and the road ahead was open. Fitzwilliam ordered the Highlanders up the road supported by the light infantry and grenadiers and ordered the Irish to take ground to their right while watching the woods. All was in hand.
There seems to be an enemy hidden behind every tree and rock! 
Suddenly things were no longer going so well. The Irish had no sooner started moving when the Mi'kmac reappeared almost on the flank and soon the gaps in the Irish line showed just how effective their fire had been so far. It didn't help that every wounded soldier seemed to be escorted by two friends.

Ahead, a group of Canadian colonial troops and courer des bois was more than holding their own against the light infantry and new bands of Indians were emerging from the woods ahead of the column, or was it the same ones?

Suddenly,  the Grenadiers ceased fire, gave a cheer and threw themselves against a stone house that had been pouring fire into them. After a long struggle they came tumbling back and reformed but, there weren't nearly as many as before and the Abbe had led a party of militia up close to their flank to pour  in a deadly close range fire.
The impulsive but futile charge of the Grenadiers.
(Damn those chance cards! The one that sent a band of Abenaki scuttling backwards was much better!)
That stone house was a pain in the ...neck. Fitzwilliam ordered the Highlanders in and minutes later they had it. Behind them though the Chasseurs had had enough and the last handful scampered back down the road allowing bands of Indians to creep up close enough to do serious harm to the Irish while weakening the Scots enough that they didn't dare leave cover. The Grenadiers tried to drive off the last unit of militia but these fled back to the woods then resumed a long range fire. Eventually the Grenadiers could take no more and fell back  with the handful of remaining militia content to let them go.

Suddenly La Moufette appeared behind the Irish with a small band of Mi'qmac. A surprisingly accurate long range fire combined with the fire from in front was more than the Irish could take. The ranks faltered then broke. Luckily the enemy had been mauled so badly that they let the Highlanders cover the retreat  without even attempting to follow up.
To me! Rally to me! Men! Men? Oh damn!
Ed note. 
British: 1 commander, 1x12 Grenadiers, 1x8 elite Highlanders capable of acting as light infantry, 8 light infantry, 1 battalion with colour party and 2x12 infantry. Ttl 55 figures. 5 units,  4 units broken.
French: 1 commander, 1 subordinate commander, 1x8 veteran irregular light infantry, 5x8 irregular light infantry. Ttl: 50 figures. 6 units. 2 broken, 2 more 1 hit from breaking.
Rules: With MacDuff to the Frontier. (Quick reference sheet available here)


  1. Exciting little game, makes me want to get my 40mm figures out and play.! , Tony

  2. Yep. Just the thing (along with a mug of coffee) to clear up my hazy head his very early morning.

    Best Regards,


  3. Ross,
    Superb photos of the Action - well done! Like the little musket smoke too. Regards. KEV.

    1. I like the look too but its also practical as it marks units that have already fired.

  4. May have asked this before , but were did you get the Highlanders ? , Tony

    1. Its a long story that begins with a 2 in the morning comment but essentially I converted 6 Meisterzinn figures and had them cast up by John McEwan of Reviresco.

  5. Oh...I was waiting for this!
    Great looking game, thanks for sharing it Ross!


  6. Beautiful figures and a great game. Thanks.

  7. Ross,
    At the risk of being redundant, that looks like a blast!
    How long did it take you to decide on forces and terrain layout?
    You always make it seem so effortless, like you just throw some soldiers and terrain down and come up with a great game.

    1. Actually that's basically what I did! I wanted to do an ambush and the table can't hold many more figures unless doing a pitched battle between regular armies. The cloth has terrrain painted on so I let that guide me. Probably spent 15 or so minutes laying it out. Habit and instinct guide this sort of game.

  8. Hi Ross,
    The battlefield display ranks right up there with some of the best you've done. The terrain looks terrific, the figures are a pleasure to view and your photography skills are excellent. The narrative of the game wasn't too bad either!

    1. Thanks Jerry, I can only suppose that the fuzzy, underlit photos are disguising the tired nature of the worn, 15 year old scenery and figures. Still, suits me fine.

  9. Great looking game and rules. I shall get the 40mm out later this week!