Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Campaign Update 1755

Volley Fire In the woods by British Highlanders

Results for the 1755, "Battle in the Wilderness" year of the World-wide Muskets and Tomahawk Campaign are beginning to roll in. As a refresher here is the background and basics to the 1755 campaign.

On April 14, 1755, Governors of the British Provinces met in Virginia to determine a strategy to force the French from North America. It was determined that three separate expeditions would be launched against the enemy.  Collectively these three expeditions have some similarities.  All three entailed an expeditionary effort through remote wilderness areas.  Both land expeditions ended up being ambushed.  Additionally, during this year there were efforts on both sides to erect  and improve the fortifications that protected the wilderness frontier for both sides.  This required men, supplies and significant transportation effort to bring the needed supplies to these frontier forts.  Often called the “battle for the Wilderness”, Commanders during 1755 had to make tradeoffs between escorting supplies, scouting, defending or launching an attack against an enemy expedition.  Finally there were several instances where forces had to mount a hasty defense, conduct a pursuit of fleeing enemy or conduct rear guard actions.  To reflect the nature of the conflict during 1755 five new mission objectives are created and the following tournament guidelines are provided to fight the battle of the Wilderness Campaign 1755.      

Round 1:  Expedition vs Ambush
Round 2:  Pursuit vs Rear Guard
Round 3:  Engagement vs Hasty Defense

Force Construction:  Force point totals for 1755 are to be between 225 and 230. 
Results Thus Far (as of 15 Sept 2014):  Below are the results.  We do have several players with incomplete set of rounds, but I decided to post the situation as it looks right now.  Some of these players are new and may not complete all three games before the end of the campaign year. 

French Players
Player                       Character's Name          Total Points     Character's Promotion Points
Nick G                      Squinting Dog                      1                               Died in Battle
Pat H                        Lieut. Hillaurd                      1                One more round to complete
Nick N.                     Lieut. Nestericue                 0                 Two more rounds to complete
Todd                        Lieut  T                                0                     Died in Battle
Tristan                       Egushwa                            9                     2 + Natural Talent
Brian/Jim                   Lieut Lipscomb                  4                 One more round to complete
Dillon                         Indian Leader                     0                Two more rounds to complete
Tom K.                     Lieut. LeBouty                     10                          2+Natural Talent


British Players
Luke D                     Lieut. Dixon                          8                 One More rounds to complete
Ranger Bob             Wolf with Two Kills                0                Two more rounds to complete
Roy                          Lieut. Williams                      1                 Two more rounds to complete
Jeff W.                     Lieut Wiltrout                        10                       1+ Natural Trait
Oskar/Maanus         Lieut Goldsberry                   5                        1+ Natural Trait
Bill/John                   Lieut Hawks                          4                 One more round to complete
Larissa                     Lieut Larissa                         4                 Two more rounds to complete
John K.                    Lieut McBean                        2                 Two more rounds to complete
French Allies Charging up a hill in "Pursuit"

Updated Results as of 13 Sept 2014:

1755 Round 1: Expedition vs Ambush objective.
French Points: 7 
British Points: 16 (British victory)

1755 Round 2: Pursuit vs Rear Guard Objective.
French Points: 8 (French victory)
British Points: 5
1755 Round 3: Engagement vs Hasty Defense
French Points: 10
British Points: 13 (British victory)

Here is what the campaign game overall situation looks like leading into the next round.


British have a slight lead in the 1755 results.


Pictures of our M&T Games Day at Barrage 2014:



Early Morning. All four tables set up.
  I'm in the red shirt running the demo in the distance.
Two players playing the demo.
Table 2 starts the Expedition vs Ambush Scenario.
A unit of Goreham's Rangers (with Pursuit Obj) fires on French Regulars serving
 as a Rear Guard.
British Regulars open fire at French Marines
Pursuit vs Rear Guard
Everyone had a great time.  I think we've recruited a few more players to the M&T system and perhaps to the campaign.  



Saturday, August 30, 2014

Visit to Fort Loudoun 1756 British Fort

Along Braddock's Road in Central Pennsylvania is an important fort built in 1756 on land donated by Matthew Patton.  Fort Loudoun was one of many "frontier forts" that popped up during 1756 as the French Allies of the Ottawas, Mississaugas, Wyandots, and Potawatomis tribes conducted raids throughout the Cumberland Valley to "break the backcountry" of the British possessions in central and western Pennsylvania.  Mr. Patton donated the key piece of property to the British Army after his own homestead was raided by such a group the previous year and his house burned to the ground.  My Brother and I had a chance to visit Fort Loudoun a few weeks ago. 

My brother and I walk the interior.
The fort was built by Colonel Armstrong in a hurry during the month of November and had to be finished before the winter set in.  It was a simple fort measuring only 127' x 127' and set along side a stream.  The location was strategic in that it protected the "New Road" and was at a key intersection of several valleys that served as key avenues of approach for the Indian raiding parties to enter the valley.  See the map below.  The red dot in the lower left corner is Fort Loudoun.  Notice the mountain valley to the north feeds directly into the position of the fort.


Its construction lacked much of the elegance of a typical fort of the era.  The picture below shows a current day replica of the fort and its unique firing platforms.  These were much criticized but apparently Colonel Armstrong had to make some compromises to erect the fort in a timely manner.
Inside picture of firing platform.

External view of firing platform with Parnell's Knob in the background.
In a letter from Colonel Armstrong to the Governor dated November 19, 1756, COL Armstrong describes the location of the fort. 
    "According to yr Honour's Orders I have...fixed on a place near Parnell's Knob where one Patton lived, the spot I hope will be agreeable to your Honour as it is near the New Road......I am making the best preparation in my power to forward the new fort as well as prepare the Barracks, &c, all the others for the approaching Winter and today we begin to dig the cellar in the new fort; logs & roof of a new house having there been erected by Patton before the Indians burns his old one.  We shall appraise this house, and then take the benefit of it, either for Officer's Barracks or a store house, by which means the provisions may the sooner be moved to this place (referring to McDowell's Mill) which at present divides our strength."


Patton's House is approximately 200 feet Southeast of the fort.
  You can see the palisade of the fort just beyond the house.
My brother and daughter and I had a grand time exploring the area in and around the fort.  Below are a few additional pictures.  I highly recommend you visit the fort if you get a chance or at least visit the website where there are many other pictures for your to enjoy.  Historic Fort Loudoun Website
The well is located in the Northeast corner of the fort.
When archeologists excavated the well they found a fully formed bucket at the bottom along with many other items.
Trace of the "New Road" as it leads away from the fort
Standing next to the well looking Southeast towards Parnell's Knob.  Notice the front gate.
View from the edge of the stream looking up at the fort.
The stream, the "Conococheague"  Easily fordable about 2 feet deep at its deepest point.
New Road trace heading back in the direction of the fort.
Fort Loudoun in the foreground with the mountain range to the north.
During the FIW the other side of those mountains was "Injun Territory"   

Friday, July 11, 2014

Campaign Page Updated

General Braddock and his staff make their way across the Monongahela River
Monitoring some of the comments I've received from emails and some of the discussions over at this group Diefestung Group Discussion , I decided I really needed to update my original idea to create a tournament system.  Most people are not interested in setting up a M&T tournament but are very interested in the idea of linking games and in the system that allows for their "character" to progress in Talents and promotion. 

So I've changed the blog page that used to be titled "Tournament Format" to "Campaign Ideas."  I also cleaned up the comments there to clarify how characters earn "Talents" not "Traits."  Talents are officer capabilities whereas Traits are unit capabilities.  So I think I have cleared up some of those ideas. 

As always I enjoy your comments and the ideas you share with me.  Please keep them coming. 

1755 has started.  I sent out the Campaign rules for 1755 as well as the scenarios for this campaign round.  If you were expecting to receive them and you did not please let me know. 

As the picture above indicates, Braddock is on his way to Fort Duquesne.  Will the French and Indians successfully spring the ambush or will he escape?  You decide the fate of the F&I War this time around by playing more Muskets and Tomahawks.  There is a great write up about Braddock's Defeat that you can read about here Braddock's Defeat

Play more Muskets and Tomahawks!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

1754 Coming to a Close

The 1754 Campaigning season is rapidely coming to a close.  There are only a few more days left before I close out the first part of the worldwide Muskets and Tomahawks Campaign on 30 June.  

Ive updated the results as of 27 June below.  With 23 players submitting results so far things have heated up here at the end.  All input has followed the 1754 rules I published in March for the Cold Wars Tournament.   Here is the breakdown of the players, their force alignment and final scores.  A max of 6 points was available for each of the three rounds.  3 points for accomplishing the round's objective, 2 points for accomplishing your subplot and 1 point if you prevent your opponent from accomplishing his objective.  Tie breaker for individual tournament champion determined by kills during all three rounds.

French Players
Player                       Character's Name          Total Points     Character's Promotion Points
Nick G                      Squinting Dog                      10                             Natural Talent
Croft                          Lieut. Fontainbleu                 2                             1 + Natural Talent
Tim H.                       Lieut. Temps                         9                              1 + Natural Talent
Kevin S.                     Lieut Chiroc                          9                             1 + Natural Talent
Tristan                       Egushwa                               12                             1+Natural Talent
Matt S.                      Lieut Pierre Eux                     5                              0  Died in Battle
Gary C.                      Monge Tu                              0                              0 -Died in Battle
Tom K.                     Lieut. LeBouty                      16                             1+Natural Talent
J Gandy                    LT DeGande'                        14                            1+Natural Talent
J. Mumford              Niz Alemos                            18                            1+Natural Talent
L. Watson                LT Templare                         14                             1+Natural Talent     

British Players
Tom M.                     Lieut. Weatherby                   9                                    0
Jeff C.                       Stalking Elk                          10                             1 + Natural Trait
Matt D.                     Lieut. Dalton                           8                             Natural Trait
Jeff W.                     Lieut Wiltrout                          8                              0 - Died in Battle
Oskar/Maanus          Lieut Goldsberry                     8                             Natural Trait
Ralph P.                   Lieut Burns                            12                             0 - Died in Battle
Bob C.                      Lieut Jenner                          16                             1 + Natural Talent
John K.                    Lieut McBean                         4                              1 + Natural Talent
M. Oakford               Lt Dover                                 2                             0 - Died in Battle
R. Maltham              Lt Bawls                                   0                             Natural Talent
R. Taylor                 Lt Frederickson                       0                             0-Died in Battle
B. McDonald            Lt. Lee-Jackson III                  0                             0-Died in Battle  

Campaign Results.  For those that may not be familiar with the Campaign format of these games please take a look at this Campaign format discussion  French & Indian War Campaign Game Format
Each battle of the year's scenario has an impact on the following round and on the overall Campaign Game.  This first phase of the M&T campaign game reflects the opening year 1754 of what would become the French and Indian war and each round was reflective of objectives and sub-plots that would likely characterize the French, British and Indian maneuvers in the Ohio River Valley 1754 on the eve of this great conflict.  The 1754 rules and scenarios can be found here  Ohio River Valley Tournament Rules

Updated Results as of 19 June 2014:

Round 1: Testing the waters: Scouting Objective vs Scouting Objective. 
French Points:  37  (French victory)
British Points:  24
  
Round 2: War Begins – Raid!: Raid Objective vs Defense Objective.
French  Points: 40  (French victory)
British Points:  20

Round 3: It’s time to battle: Engagement vs Engagement. 
French Points:  32
British Points:  33 (British victory)

Here is what the campaign game overall situation looks like leading into the next round.

RESULTS FOR 1754 AS OF 27 JUNE
Those last results were a devastating blow for the British.  With only a few more days left in 1754 it is unlikely enough games will be played to swing the results back into favor for the British.  

The next phase of the World-wide M&T Campaign will begin on 15 July.  I will provide a copy of the 1755 rules to any interested party.  The 1755 Campaign will introduce five new mission objectives that will not have buildings as a function of the mission objectives.  In fact all the terrain boards for 1755 are without man-made structures.  After all 1755 is the "Battle for the Wilderness".  The five new mission objectives are:

                                          Ambush
                                          Expedition
                                         Rear Guard
                                         Pursuit
                                         Hasty Defense

Its not to late to get in on the fun.  1755 Force totals will increase up to 225 points and since only 50%  of the officers survived 1754, you will not be at to much of a disadvantage if you enter the campaign now.  Just post a comment below letting me know you want to join and I will forward you the campaign rules and the scenarios for 1755.

Friday, June 20, 2014

There has been a great response to my March post on our Muskets and Tomahawk Themed Tournament at Cold Wars.  Several M&T players from all over the world asked if they could join in the campaign and make their M&T games have an impact on the opening moves of 1754.  So I extended the 1754 phase of the Campaign till the end of June.  With the 1755 scenarios play tested and about to launch I know some of you have planned M&T days to close out you input for 1754.  So as  prelude to those hotly contested events I wanted to provide an update to 1754 based on the input I have received as of 19 June.

All input has followed the 1754 rules I published for the Cold Wars Tournament.   Here is the breakdown of the players, their force alignment and final scores.  A max of 6 points was available for each of the three rounds.  3 points for accomplishing the round's objective, 2 points for accomplishing your subplot and 1 point if you prevent your opponent from accomplishing his objective.  Tie breaker for individual tournament champion determined by kills during all three rounds.

French Players
Player                       Character's Name          Total Points       Character's Promotion Points
Nick G                      Squinting Dog                      10                             Natural Trait
Croft                          Lieut. Fontainbleu                 2                             1 + Natural Trait
Tim H.                       Lieut. Temps                         9                              1 + Natural Trait
Kevin S.                     Lieut Chiroc                          9                             1 + Natural Trait
Tristan                       Egushwa                               12                             1+Natural Trait
Matt S.                      Lieut Pierre Eux                     5                              0  Died in Battle
Gary C.                      Monge Tu                              0                              0 -Died in Battle
Tom K.                     Lieut. LeBouty                      16                             1+Natural Trait

British Players
Tom M.                     Lieut. Weatherby                   9                                    0
Jeff C.                       Stalking Elk                          10                             1 + Natural Trait
Matt D.                     Lieut. Dalton                           8                             Natural Trait
Jeff W.                     Lieut Wiltrout                          8                              0 - Died in Battle
Oskar/Maanus          Lieut Goldsberry                     8                             Natural Trait
Ralph P.                   Lieut Burns                            12                             0 - Died in Battle
Bob C.                      Lieut Jenner                          16                             1 + Natural Talent
John K.                    Lieut McBean                         4                              1 + Natural Talent

Campaign Results.  For those that may not be familiar with the Campaign format of these games please take a look at this Campaign format discussion  French & Indian War Campaign Game Format
Each round of the year's scenario has an impact on the following round and on the overall Campaign Game.  This first phase of the M&T campaign game reflects the opening year 1754 of what would become the French and Indian war and each round was reflective of objectives and sub-plots that would likely characterize the French, British and Indian maneuvers in the Ohio River Valley 1754 on the eve of this great conflict.  The 1754 rules and scenarios can be found here  Ohio River Valley Tournament Rules

Updated Results as of 19 June 2014:

Round 1: Testing the waters: Scouting Objective vs Scouting Objective.
French Points:  21  (French victory for round 1 is slipping away)
British Points:  22
 
Round 2: War Begins – Raid!: Raid Objective vs Defense Objective.
French  Points: 26  (French victory)
British Points:  20

Round 3: It’s time to battle: Engagement vs Engagement. 
French Points:  16
British Points:  33 (a major British victory)

Here is what the campaign game overall situation looks like leading into the next round.

1754 Campaign Map as of 19 June 2014

The British continue to lead the overall results for 1754.  While they did make some gains for the scouting vs scouting scenario of round #1 their true strength seems to be in the round 3 engagement scenario.  I guess once those British Regulars can come to grips with the French they are truly in their glory.   This will give the British team an additional 7 victory points for the Ohio River Valley Campaign if they can hold onto their lead between now and the end of June. 

Next up is 1755  Battle of the Wilderness  225-230 point forces, Traits can be bought using promotion points earned in the Ohio River Valley Campaign (does not count against force point total).  The Wilderness Campaign is worth 10 Campaign Points to the side that is declared the overall victor.  1755 rules and scenarios will be posted with the final results of 1754 in a few weeks.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Liebster Award

This blog has been nominated for the Liebster award.  I want to thank Jonathan Jones for nominating this blog.  I encourage all of you to check out Jonathan's blog.  It is well worth your time to visit it.  Here is the link.  JJ's Wargames

So what is the Liebster award. There are actually several different descriptions of it if you check it out in a Google search.  In summary it is a promotional concept to get visibility of good blog sites that have interests similar to your own that have limited populations signed up for the site.  So in that vein let me recommend the following great sites.



After nominating these sites for their own Liebster Award, I am supposed to tell you a little about my self and my blog.

1). Why did I start blogging?  I seriously love the game Muskets and Tomahawks.  It is by far one of the best miniature wargame rules sets I have played in my 40+ years of wargaming.  I wanted to share my excitement for these rules and try and get a worldwide campaign started to give more people a reason to play more games of M&T.

2) if I could change one thing about wargaming what would it be?  I hate editions and the ever changing marketing strategy of some wargaming writers.  I don't need a perfect set of rules.  In fact I believe there is no such thing.  What I need is a consistent set of rules that doesn't change rules and more importantly army lists every few years.  I got it.  They were not perfect when you published them.  Give me a FAQ or addendum, but don't make me buy the rules again.  I won't do it. 

3). Do you read battle reports and what makes for a good BR?  I do like to read battle reports.  I will be honest.  I am a terrain freak and if the battle report doesn't have some decent pictures and good terrain, I am not likely to read it.  But that being said.  I have read some great reports without these "must have" components.  What makes a good BR is someone who takes the time to discuss the thinking of the commanders and what they were trying to do.  This allows me to understand the tactics being attempted and allows for an assessment of what worked or didn't and why.

4) Is figure painting a chore or a pleasure?  Yes.  It is a chore and a pleasure.  I have never achieved nirvana as a figure painter.  I fuss and fidget, spend time choosing colors and then rethinking the colors I have chosen.  But when I finish a unit I must admit it is a huge pleasure.

5) Napoleon was once quoted as saying he preferred lucky generals over skilled.  What are you, lucky or skilled?  I am absolutely unlucky but I can't say I am skilled.  I guess I accept the fates as they are, and NEVER rely on luck.  I strive to learn the craft of becoming a skilled general and that is what makes the hobby pleasurable for me.  I have occasionally had remarkably great dice rolls that defy the odds but I have also had remarkably bad dice rolls.  I usually take these for what they are; oddities that are also part of warfare, and this also adds to the aura of the hobby.  The plan's of men can only ever be just plans and once it runs into the enemy, generalship is what wins the battle.   

6) If I had to limit my gaming to a single period and scale what would it be?  28mm French and Indian War!

7). If I had to limit my figures to a single manufacturer which one would it be?  Perry Brothers are simply fantastic.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Muskets and Tomahawks Campaign Tournament Results

We had 8 players for the Muskets and Tomahawk Themed Tournament at Cold Wars.  I want to thank Loyalhanna Outpost and Architects of War for sponsoring the tournament with prize support.  Please visit their websites linked to their names in the sentence above.

 Here is the breakdown of the players, their force alignment and final scores.  A max of 6 points was available for each of the three rounds.  3 points for accomplishing the round's objective, 2 points for accomplishing your subplot and 1 point if you prevent your opponent from accomplishing his objective.  Tie breaker for individual tournament champion determined by kills during all three rounds.

French Players
Player                       Character's Name          Total Points       Character's Promotion Points
Nick G                      Squinting Dog                      10                                    Natural Trait
Croft                          Lieut. Fontainbleu                 2                                    1 + Natural Trait
Tim H.                       Lieut. Temps                         9                                    1 + Natural Trait
Kevin S.                     Lieut Chiroc                          9                                    1 + Natural Trait

British Players
Tom M.                     Lieut. Weatherby                   9                                    0
Jeff C.                       Stalking Elk                          10                                   1 + Natural Trait
Matt D.                     Lieut. Dalton                           8                                    Natural Trait
Jeff W.                     Lieut Wiltrout                          8                                    0

As you can see from the above scores we had a tie for first place between Nick and Jeff C.  The tie breaker was number of points of enemy figures killed or routed from the board during the three rounds of tournament play.  Nick took the final honors having eliminated 254 points of enemy during the three rounds compared to only 154 points for Jeff C.  Congratulations to Nick for taking the individual honors. 
Campaign Results.  For those that may not be familiar with the Campaign format of these games please take a look at this Campaign format discussion  French & Indian War Campaign Game Format
Each round of the tournament had an impact on the following round and on the overall Campaign Game.  This tournament reflected the opening year of what would become the French and Indian war and each round was reflective of objectives and sub-plots that would likely characterize the French, British and Indian maneuvers in the Ohio River Valley 1754 on the eve of this great conflict.  The tournament rules can be found here  Ohio River Valley Tournament Rules

Results:
Round 1: Testing the waters: Scouting Objective vs Scouting Objective.
French Points:  13  (A French victory by a narrow margin)
British Points:  12
 
Round 2: War Begins – Raid!: Raid Objective vs Defense Objective. French players may choose objective and table edge due to winning the scouting round.  Three French players chose Defense and one chose Raid as their objectives.
French  Points: 14 (a resounding French victory)
British Points:    4

Round 3: It’s time to battle: Engagement vs Engagement.  French are still in the lead for the Campaign and may choose the table edge and whether or not to deploy first or second.
French Points:    3
British Points:  19 (a major British victory)

Here is what the campaign game overall situation looks like leading into the next round.

The British lead the overall campaign with a total of 42 points. (35+7)
 The British team came back in the last round with an overwhelming victory that propelled them to 35 points for the tournament.  This meant they not only surpassed the French in victory points for the last round but also for the entire tournament.  So despite narrowly losing the scouting battle in round one and failing to successfully raid the French settlements in round two, the British thoroughly trounced the French in open engagement during round three with three of the four British players meeting their Engagement Victory conditions but also three of the four British players  accomplished their subplot.  This gives the British team an additional 7 victory points for the Ohio River Valley Campaign.  Thus the British lead in Campaign points 42 to 30 in the overall scheme of the campaign.  Next up is 1755  Battle of the Wilderness  225-230 point forces, Traits can be bought using promotion points earned in the Ohio River Valley Campaign (does not count against force point total).  The Wilderness Campaign is worth 10 Campaign Points to the side that is declared the overall victor.  Plan is to play this round of the Campaign during HISTORICON.

Here is a great battle report from Kevin S. and the exploits of Lt Jacques Chiroc.  Lt Chiroc in the Ohio River Valley 1754  Really great Battle Report.  Thanks Kevin.

Some pictures from the tournament.

Pennsylvania Militia during round 1 trying to scout the woods are ambushed by an Indian scouting party.  The militia are quickly routed.


French Regulars surrounded by hidden movement markers during the scouting round. Where is that Chasseur Company when you need it?  Do they hold their ground or take the initiative?  What would you do?


   French Provincials move through a settlement as they prepare to defend against the British raid in round 2 on the "Fall Board".  British Light Infantry are about to emerge from the woods on the other side of the stream.


Coureurs des Bois (in the foreground) move towards an orchard to secure the right flank of the provincials as they defend in round two against British Light Infantry Raid.


British Militia Raiding party successfully lights a cabin on fire just before they are attacked by an Indian force allied with the French.  Here we see Lt Thomas Weatherby (mounted) trying to rally the militia after taking devastating losses from the Indian Ambush as he brings up a supporting unit of militia.

On the Winter board, French Provincials lay in ambush defending the Indian camp as they wait for Jeff C's Indian  raiding party during round 2. 


The British had a hard time with the Raid Objective in round two.  There were some successes as seen in the picture above.  Just not enough to make a difference and complete the objective. 

The Engagement vs Engagement in round three caused much action on all four boards.  Here we see some heavy fighting in the densely forested board on one of the Spring/Summer boards.

All in all a great time had by all.  Thanks for everyone who helped set up and tear down.