Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Fort William Henry Project

A few months ago, after watching The Last Of The Mohicans for the 1200th time but knowing my French and Indian urges would soon be satisfied by some games of Muskets and Tomahawks, I set about what one could do to make a creative scenario based on the Fort William Henry scenes from the movie.  Arrive project "Fort William Henry" - my attempt to do something I haven't seen done yet (not to say someone out there hasn't done it yet).

First, my thoughts about the scenario.  I didn't want to have to build the entire fort as it really isn't necessary for what I was thinking.  I was looking to build half of the fort or two "faces" of the battlements.  I would deploy the fort along the table edge and it would stick out giving a natural separation to the game table.  On one side there would be the seige action.  Four British guns would face the French seige works.  In addition to the fort I will build a four gun French seige position (four French 24 pounders) complete with wood work and gabions.  In addition to the gun position I would build a three to four section engineer trench (which they were digging to get the mortars into range).  On the other side of the table (a 4 x 10' table) I would have a lake front with canoe docking area. 

The British are attempting to get a "courier to Webb" which occurs when they get a messenger off of a specific section of the table edge.  Once that occurs, there is a small number of turns (randomly checked each turn, increasing the odds each turn) the Britsh would hear back that they should seek terms for their surrender (but we'll call it a British victory ... can't really say that they get rescued now can we).  The French are attempting to force the British to surrender by winning the seige (mortaring the fort) before the British can complete the courier business they are set about doing.  Each turn the French are building the engineering trench.  When complete they win the seige at the end of the turn in which the final section of the trench is complete.  The British guns in the fort can slow the progress of the French engineer trench and the French guns are meant to surpress the British guns in the fort to allow their engineers to work unharrassed.

While all this seiging and courier nonesense is going on there are several side plots that can be accomplished by both the French and the British.  I'm still working on what those will be, but a couple I've been thinking about are the escort of Cora and Alice Munroe from the lake to the fort and a raid on the French ammunition supply area to force the French guns to be slient for a turn or activition (no ammo).

Anyways --- that is where I am at currently.  With all this in mind I've set about building half of Fort William Henry.  I worked off of a diagram I got from the handy-dandy internet.

As you can see, the fort is anything but square so determining which half to use took a little thought.  In the end I split the fort along the red line as depicted in the picture above (intending to build the "left" half).  I then set about scaling up the diagram into something that would work for 28mm (but not be stpudily large as it would actually be if I did it exactly).

Top Diagram

Side Diagram

 Despite my complete lack of artistic skills and any ability to draw (as seen above) it started to come together to the point I could start tracing out the fort on my mapboard (dense cardboard).  After some hacking and slashing today I was able to get something that is starting to look like the foundation of the fort together as pictured below.

Next up I need to work on the interior wall and gun ports.  Once that is all done I think I'll be logging for some time - lots of dowels and such to cut and glue on.  It is coming together now though.  I'll post updates as I make progress and hopefully finish sometime before the sun explodes.


  1. Rather than dowel - look out for bamboo skewers (types used for kebabs - mush cheaper)

    Looks like we are both in the fort building business.

    Great blog


  2. Excellent ... Skewers here I come. Thanks Eric!