Friday, March 25, 2016

Raid On Fort William Henry Playtest Report

Before I jump into my report here ... just a small milestone achieved on the blog.  Quietly passed 300,000 hits this past week ... never thought I would get this far along - hooray!

Alright then, as promised I got to play test the Raid on Fort William Henry scenario for Muskets & Tomahawks.  Perhaps a blessing in disguise was when I pulled out my "base" for the fort ... it had warped in storage a little bit too much to fix ... so I'm going to have to put some work into fixing the small amount of interior and exterior fence for the fort.  I say blessing in disguise because the base is large (roughly 4 feet by 2 feet) and not the easiest thing to store and transport.  In retrospect I would have taken a totally different approach - which I'm going to do now by creating a modular base for the fort.  Once I nail that down I'll certainly do up a post or two on that project.

If you have not seen the scenario yet, you can see the details here.

Roy Scaife joined me for the game and played the British while I took on the role of the French and Indians.  The game lasted three turns.  We decided to award victory points as follows:

  • 1 VP for each casualty.
  • 2 VPs for each worker saved by the British.
  • 2 VPs for each worked captured by the French or Indians.

The first turn saw a string of French cards come out early, enough to get everything on the board before much happened on the British side (a couple of cards came up, but without the alarm having been sounded the British really could not doing anything useful).  

In regards to the alarm, one additional trigger was decided upon - if any enemy unit moved to within 12" of one of the British units the alarm is triggered immediately.  So, shooting at the British from any range, moving to within 12", or the Random Events #1 card would trigger the alarm.

After getting my units onto the board I moved some Indian units to within 12" of one of the work parties, triggering the alarm and freeing up the British units.  I used the activations from the first turn to position my Indian, Canadian Militia, and Compagnies Franches de la Marine as close as possible to the work parties so I could engage them in melee while they attempted to retreat.  I did shot at one of the work parties, which was a bad idea because they "recoiled" after taking some hits which pushed them farther away from me!

Note that although the fort is full of miniatures, those are just for show and do not participate in the actual game.  Also, I need to paint my tents --- for this game I just quickly sprayed them white.

French forces staged to move onto the table.

The Random Event #1 card was drawn after the alarm was already raised, so we resolved a random event.  The result was 16, which meant it rained for a whole turn (until the random event #1 card was drawn again).  This made shooting at long range -2 instead of -1, and turned the forests (difficult terrain) into very difficult terrain (-2" to movement for Scouts, versus ignoring the terrain normally).

The first captured worker.  Indians recoiled from a
couple of rounds of melee, taking their prisoner with them.

British Highlanders move into position to cover the
retreat of the work parties.

Civilians and militia are curious as to the activity
going on outside the fort.

Light infantry nearing the safety of the British regulars.

British regulars moving out from the camp.

I played aggressively with the irregulars and managed to engage all three work parties at one point or another due to some luck with the draw order of the activation cards.  Still, while I managed to wipe out one work party completely, parts of the two others managed to make it to safety.

My French regulars were the last to get into position against the British regulars.  They managed to deliver a solid first round of volley fire, but the return fire of the British units became crippling.

The dead pile at the end of the game.

My French regulars performed poorly, being wiped out to a man.  My irregular and Indian units managed to withdraw in good order, taking 5 prisoners with them.

The final victory point count was 75 for the British (saving 3 workers) and 72 for the French (capturing 5 workers).

All in all the game played very well and all three turns took about 2.5 hours to play.  Other than the small change to the alarm being raised, I don't think I have to make any other changes at this point in time.  There was some big swings in the game, but mostly due to dice than anything else.  As the British player you'll suffer the first turn for sure, but if you get your units into position you'll come out in a better position in the long run.  The French need to be very aggressive and do what they can in the first turn and or two before the British get their "wall" of regulars into position and those work parties get too far away to engage.


  1. Great looking game and the scenario sounds fun

  2. Excellent Batrep Jay,

    Lovely looking table and really enjoyed the narrative.

    I shall look forward to trying this out in Africa. Very nice.

    Well done that man ;-)


    1. Thanks ... looking forward to seeing the African report ;-)

  3. Yet another of your superb collections, both in quality and quantity, you don't do things by half Jay.
    A great report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

    1. You are too kind Pat! I'm getting my $$ ready to buy that winter terrain book of yours ;-)

  4. Fantastic looking game, interesting scenario, and a fine report!

  5. Great deserved 300K hits! Congratulations!
    Game looks amazing. Love your fort and the camp.

    1. Thank you, the 300k just kinda snuck up on me :-)

  6. what make of figures are they as am just looking to develop my FIW collection

    1. Mostly Conquest Miniatures (Warlord Games), some Galloping Major, Redoubt Enterprises, and Northstar.

    2. the do look really good and well painted, who is the best for french and british artillery? and th best for british light infantry?

    3. Thank you! The British Artillery are Seven Years War crew from Front Rank Figurines (forgot to mention that) ... the British Light Infantry is from Redoubt Enterprises ... which are the only period appropriate models I've found to date.

  7. Congratulations for the 300.000 hits.
    It is no wonder that your blog got so far. Looking at this blogpost is the best way to get known why it came to this.
    The report is very nice, the pictures great and I like the Vauban fort very much.

  8. Cracking looking set up, top notch work!

  9. Who made the excellent Fortifications

    1. Scratch build by me ... if you go to my first posts on my blog I step through building it.