Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Its Raiding again !

Date: Monday 10th September
Venue: The Shed
Action: French Indian Wars
Scale: 28mm
Figures: Redoubt, Perry, Galloping Major

Last night we managed to fight the second Muskets & Tomahawks game. I umpired again and prior to the guys arriving I set up the battlefield and the forces.
Kings Creek Settlement

French Forces:

3 x 8man units of Regular line Infantry with the Commanding Officer
1x 6 man unit of Canadian Coureurs des Bois with Officer
4x 6 man units of Native Indians with One chief (The Indians were armed with Bows & Muskets – 2 of each)

Total Points c500

British Forces

2x 8 men units of British Elite Line (Sharpshooters) plus Commanding Officer
2x 6 men Indian units with Officer
2 x 8 men units of Rangers (Rifle armed, Sharpshooters) with Officer

Total Points c500

Once the players arrived we diced for objectives. The French were targeted with a raid (again) and had to burn down the buildings in Kings Creek. The British were designated as a protecting force and as 30% of the force had to be off table the Rangers would enter via canoe. (Bottom right of main picture)

The settlement at Kings Creek
The cards were shuffled and off we went.

The following actions are not necessarily in sequence of play but give a flavour of the battle. We eventually went through the deck four times before the Morale cards (for both forces came into play). Side plots were rolled but these had very little bearing on what was a very fierce and bloody engagement.

Observation: Whilst I remember we discovered another one of those little rules that appears to be tucked away but has massive consequences in game play. When units roll reaction tests (ie after casualties have been suffered) they roll a d6 and compare the score with modifiers to a reaction table based on their troop type. Last night I noticed that if a unit had less than three stands they only roll a d3. This means that those smaller units are even more likely to run & rout than a stronger force. Up til now we had only rolled the d6. This means our native Indians are even more fragile than before.

Observation: We also introduced the throwing weapons rules and great fun was had by the Natives throwing their weapons into the mass ranks prior to a charge. I need to check the rules but yesterday we decided that rather than roll reaction dice for any Tomahawk kills straight away we would add the impact of these to the final scores in the ensuing melee. This prevented the defending forces from running before combat.

I have posted a question on the M&T forum to establish if you throw under 4” do you get +1 to hit bonus plus are reaction rolls made by defenders straight away or are the kills added to melee results?

Looking to the hills
The Indians & Canadians quickly crossed the river and targeted the lone building to the south of Kings Creek proper. This was set on fire in rapid succession and the poor innocents soon scalped as they fled the scene.  This flanking force then headed towards the settlement.

Buildings need six actions to set on fire so if all six natives light the fire can this be done in one action?
Indian War parties advance

Supported by Canadian militia

Defending my home


Meanwhile the French regulars massed on the outskirts of Shed Creek (the name of the settlement and prepared their muskets for a duel with the advancing British Line and native allies. Defending solid walls is a good advantage in this game and the desultory affects of musket fire from the beleaguered defenders had little impact. I treated stone walls as hard cover

A crushing volley of fire from the two of the French regulars crashed into the advancing British line. Capitalising on the two successive actions that regular troops get the French charged into the Redcoats.
This is a really powerful tactic – the troops still need to reload but the thought of volley and cold steel got the British player very worried.
Frantic hand to hand action over the next two phases of play ended up with the French winning albeit suffering casualties. With both units of French troops against buildings fire soon took hold.

Back to the flanking action. The Canadians advanced on the second British unit of redcoats

Despite hiding behind the wall a volley crashed out. Half the force dropped and the rest of the men from the woods ran from where they came.
The sharpshooter combined with firing lines at close range is deadly.

Their Indian allies threw themselves desperately against the thin red line. Despite rising casualties the line held bravely to the last man, With more Indians quickly arriving on the scene the carnage was total. The Red jackets lay quiet and the village was open to slaughter. It was at this point the error of reaction dice (d6 vs d3) may have made a difference.

Not before time the Rangers finally arrived and quickly engaged the Indians at long range with their impressive rifles. Having suffered dreadfully at the hands of the redcoats (many Indian units were now in flight) the cards issued the dreaded Morale card for the French. With no intact forces remaining the remnants of the proud Gallic force quickly retreated back into the comfort of the woods. Four of the six settlement buildings were on fire and many of the civilians had survived the encounter. A victory for the British, just. Had the British morale card been drawn first – things might have been different

However, like all good stories there was a twist in the tale, the French Commanding office had been tasked to be bold (side plot) – had he in been sight of the enemy for four consecutive actions and insight of his men. Yes he had. Net result a draw for both sides. A fitting result to the bloody encounter at Shed Creek.

Some observations

This 500 point aside game took just over two hours to play out. The game was rapid, thanks to having an umpire, movement trays for the figures and a sense of urgency. The movement trays work well for these big games and I’ll be looking to source some more irregular shapes at the next show I visit (Warfare ?). They also help to denote facing and formations.

Stone Walls (aka Hard Cover) were vital for defending troops. Eventually I will replace many of these with wooden fences (light cover)   .

We didn’t use the hidden movement rules last night but I suspect the Indians may have been more effective earlier on if they could sneak up on the defenders. Likewise we didn’t use the officers as playing pieces - they just added bonuses to morale and the special officers card.

All in all a great game and looking forward to the next one.

Next week we are taking a break from the forests of 18th century North America and moving forward in time and further south to the hills of Virginia and the American Civil War.

Thanks for reading



  1. A fantastic setup and report, thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Now thats one great looking game well done!

  3. Very nice game layout. Cheers.

  4. Bobs Babbitt bobbles12 September 2012 at 17:20

    Oh my gosh. I have been looking at you blog ever since it started any this is the best yet.

  5. I have Ben searching for ages looking for a good blog about French Indian wars . This is the best I have seen so far. I love the huts. Where are they from.


    1. Hi FrenchIndian

      hank you for the complement (thank you to all !) - the huts/log cabins are dealt with in another posting called Log Cabins. They come from pegasus hobbies


    2. Thanks eric

  6. Thank you for the comment Bobs Babbitt bobbles - my son loves your title !

  7. Inspiring stuff. Looking at buying M&T for a project in 2013 and your awesome table top is helping with the desire!

    1. Should get the fort finished soon and then onto the big river, waterfall and rapids. Just need to sort out canoes

      Thanks for the positive comments, glad to be an inspiration

  8. Absolutely fantastic. I've been working on my table for a while now and now that I see yours, I'm in love. You have given me great ideas and some very simple ways to make my table pop.

    I'm a huge fan, please keep the FIW photos coming and don't stop writing your fantastic summaries. I don't read, I mean really read, many blogs, but this was a must. Can you tell us where the stone walls are from? That's something I have had trouble sourcing for a while.

    Thanks again, and keep up the great work. More of the same!

    Fergal from SYW6mm.com

    1. Good Evening The Haggis

      Wow, what can I say say about your great comment..Mrs Shed might have something to say about love though..

      Much appreciated comments - come back soon for the fort ( I finished it tonight but still need to take photos) and next week I have two games on the go...

      Loads of photos promise

      PS - I cannot recall where the walls came from but I know a man...will report back soon