Saturday, December 30, 2017

1759, A Minor Affair

This incident is not recorded in any history book.
This is the only period for which I have  an appropriate card deck.
(Note: the troops in the foreground are my own originals)

It was late summer in 1759 and Brigadier Murray had landed with a party of troops on the North Shore of the St. Lawrence, up river of Quebec. He learned  that French troops were approaching from the south and decided to await them at Petite Ile. His force consisted of detachments from the 27th and 58th Foot, Louisburg Grenadiers and Fraser's Highlanders along with two companies of Rangers and a field piece.

 The game began with artillery and skirmisher fire against the British positions, answered by the British gun but soon the French infantry began their advance. In the far distance Indian scouts can be seen hunting for a ford.
The French force, commanded by de Bougainville, had orders to  protect the inhabitants but above all, to protect the string of supply depots. Knowing that there was a major cache just downriver, he decided to force his way past the British.

None of the troops with him were local but he knew that many of the tributaries were fordable in places so he sent some of his Algonquin and Huron allies  to scout for crossing points. To keep the enemy occupied, he decided to deploy and attack the bridges on the main road. His force was comprised of 5 detachments of infantry, mostly Troupes de la Marine, 2 parties of skirmishers, 2 bands of Indians and 2 guns.

The French pinning attack on the Western bridge closes up and a long distance fire fight ensues.
The scenario was again an adaptation of "Holding Action (2)" from CS Grant's Scenarios for Wargames.

The British hold the Western bridge, repulsing 2 charges and winning the firefight.

Those who have been paying too much attention may have noted that the preview showed 30mm European armies on the full 4'x6' table but that here we have a 30mm French & Indian War game on a 4'x4' board. All will be revealed next year.

General Murray, alerted to the Indians fording the river and dispersing a company of Rangers, and noting the French movement to their right, begins to shift half of his infantry to block the ford.

The game was played using our Seven Year's War Portable Wargame based on the Ancient version. Line infantry count as "Heavy Infantry" in melee and have a range of 2. Light infantry have a range of 3 and do not suffer the -1 for fighting in woods.

The Highlanders  hold the Compagnies Franches after a protracted fight. 

The game lasted 9 out of a possible 15 turns and ended when the British became exhausted after heavy casualties. They were not in a position to block the ford and were no longer allowed to attack. There was really nothing they could do to prevent the French marching off.  It was one of those games where the British units decided that they would rather die than retreat while the French were very sensible and fell back quite often. This was of course, part of Bouganville's cunning plan, to wear the British down so they couldn't counter attack any troops slipping across the ford. 

The British are still holding but casualties have been heavy and Murray is forced to drop his planned counter attack on the ford. Instead, he will have to let the French pass and reembark when the fleet returns.

So that is it for 2017!

Thank you to all who have stopped by over the year and an extra thank you for those who took the time to leave a comment. Not only do comments help reassure me that someone besides bots are looking in but I confess that the comments even more than the viewing stats sometimes influence which games and periods get played or painted when I'm undecided.

Last, but not least, an even bigger THANK YOU to those whose comments occasionally contain suggestions, observations, opinions, questions etc. Not only are they often valuable in their own right but the two sided conversation aspect helps me feel connected from my old farmhouse on the far fringe of wargaming civilization.

May you all be blessed and enjoy life in 2018.


  1. Have you written up your 7YW variant of the Ancient PW anywhere please?

    1. Not yet. We are doing our best not to actually change any rules so its mostly how we define troops.(As above). The biggest change is to point at the corner of hexes and to remove the penalty for light infantry in woods . I will probably write a summary soon.

    2. That would be great if you wrote a summary soon.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Steve, may you have good gaming and smooth sailing in 2018

  3. Ross Mac,

    A minor affair ... but a great battle report!

    I am thinking about writing a follow-up PW book later this year, and I would like to include any modified rules that you produce, possibly with a battle report. I would not be able to pay for your contribution but would be very willing to send you free copies of the book in return.

    All the best,


    1. Thanks Bob, I will think about that. In each case we have kept the changes as small as possible and only in matters of detail or specific troop types so no full sets of rules would be needed.

  4. All the best Ross...

    I love the miniatures... full of old school charm.

    All the best. Aly

    1. Thanks Aly. Sadly the old diorama has been replaced, or so I'm told, and these may be all that remains of it.

      All the best for 2018.

  5. Looking forward to the vicarious pleasures of following along with your activities in 2018--I think it's safe to say that there are many, like me, who are "in" the room with you there. The Grant scenarios always left me cold, for some reason. Seeing your use of them, however, puts them in a new light and causes me to think about revisiting them. So your reference to the source of your scenarios has been of value as well.
    Happy New Year
    Ed M

    1. Glad to hear that Ed. I found it important to contemplate the book intro' and the old magazine articles as well as his father's books. All of them encourage gamers to use their minds and adapt everything to suit themself.

      I wish you a good 2018! A bit less than 5 months to Huzzah!

  6. Oooh, finishing the year with my favorite period!

    1. Pity my 15mm F&I Wars figures left the country nearly a decade ago. But it was them or these guys.

  7. Enjoy the visits to your old school collections. Busy indoctrinating my grandsons into the hobby. Have just about every common period, to my delight they favor the knights and castle.