We had a learning game of a Wilderness War, and my first-time opponent bid for French. I was then given the heavy burden of British colonial command. For learning purposes, the first half is a very good scenario, because it allows some time for game concepts to sink in. We were not in a hurry and our time to walk through the game and it’s various nuances. Wilderness War can sometimes require a good nerves, and tolerance for ever present defeat and destruction. It is too easy to fail the personal morale test at the dire looking moment but one just have to carry on for a reward. Usually there are tons of options to play with a devilry cunning.
Knowing the momentous task ahead of British, we opted for two optional rules, a surrender could be played by either side, and that 1VP is granted for Regulars entering in game on first two turns. Latter is definite advantage to the French.
Meanwhile, we started the warmongering, and I opted not only to take, but to keep Oswego fort, while pushing aggressively through Champlain / Hudson River Corridor towards Montreal and eventually, to victory. That corridor would become real pain later on. We did start off well by assembling proper Royal colonial forces dressing in our beloved red.
Loading all the furniture, tea, dogs and tweed shooting jackets, muskets and newly gotten piles of plankets into a boats, it was time to go hunt for some French. Expedition went well on the Oswego and Royal Americans took charge there. Not only did we keep the front but also the nearby Indians flocked to our forts and provided much needed wilderness expertise. Thanks to our great frontiersman Johnson for forging the jolly good alliances. Fellow officers thought that we might win the war even without a tea and biscuits.
As we prepared for the coming winter we distributed gifts along our new friends, and were struck to discover that they took very ill. In few weeks our great Iroquis Alliance were gone, most were hastily buried, some dying and those still alive, fleeing. Cursed suppliers, playing on French hands!
Meanwhile, our progress in Hudson Carry was good, and new solid forts were built by ever active Shirley, and we started to threaten Crown Point. That would be the last French obstacle between us and the fur laden town of Montreal.
We also initiated push towards the ever increasing menace of the southern and southwestern Indian tribes. Clearly an action was needed against that bloody Ohio Forks fort that attracted all the savages. Indeed it was a savagery, since our southern department was struck so many times by raiding parties that the locals started to think of our military success a source of troubles, and the assembly withdrew their support. Braddock had no choice but to call in Loudoun back home and ask for additional troops to be sent in – which deteriorated the colonial tensions even further.
While of all that was going on, we lost control of Oswego in one clever side sweep, and as a result the Iroquois nations were flocking into French fold and foiled our attempts to ever get it back. Additionally, Montcalm arrived from Europe.
That said, we still had some cannon fod… Erhm. Colonials to help us out with the prospect of Montreal. Just in time for the the great party, Wolfe arrived from Scotland with his lads, and they made a short work of Luisbourg before French could carry out planned evacuation. Unfortunately there were no prospect to move forward to Quebec from Louisbourg and hence Wolfe was called in to Champlain Corridor.
Before Wolfe managed to get into position, Montcalm did made attempt to relieve Montreal, only to be defeated in the field by a provincial help. Not before long, Wolfe did force Montreal to it’s knees, but timely surrender saved them from the destruction of forces that promptly retreated to Quebec. Indeed, French had revenge ready and the pestilence in Montreal was unleashed to our weary troops wiping out five of 11 battalions there. Luckily our supplies and reinforcements were on their way, and Montcalm could not deliver the final death blow.
A stalemate developed, French still had enough victory points to win, should the fighting be inconclusive, and British had no option but to try to get Quebec, which French managed to reinforce with additional two battalions, on top of the garrison from Montreal and hence giving margin just enough to make assault very bloody prospect. It all boiled down to a skirmish over the control of Hudson valley and it was decided literally on last card draw.
It was not Montcalm who finally decided the fate of France, but most unlikely figure of French frontier forces – Vadreuil. He accompanied a force of single marine detachment and several Indians to threaten my stockades. A Hudson River cat and mouse developed. Finally my opponent saw a light and learned to wage a war where I am not – a lesson so crucial in Wilderness War.
Supply chain threatened, British had no option than to rid the Indian harassing force from the Champlain Corridor. Finally, all it took was a single die that caused single point of damage and hence prevented an overrun and blocked the Wolfe from advancing to Quebec. Without him, the siege failed, and French won by 3 VP at the end.
It was so close, so close indeed!