Saturday, 22 September 2012

Ambush - A French Indian War Wargame

We don't need much of an excuse to get our John Jenkins collection out and on display.

An invitation to our local Wargame Show Eastern Front was another perfect opportunity.

Eastern Front is presented by Monarch Military Books and Renegades Wargames Club, the 2012 show was held once again at St Andrew's Hall in Norwich on Sunday 16th July.

There was a good selection of traders, display and participation games ranging from highly detailed and superbly presented to quick and easy. Historical, fantasy, sci-fi and, as is common these days, an amalgamation of both. All of the games had one thing in common. A very British club night focus on fun.

The display game we presented was a small scale skirmish set during the French Indian War.

Following the capture of two daughters of a British officer a deployment of Rangers scouted the surrounding forest and, upon finding where the prisoners were being held, a small contingent of Fraser Highlanders and British Line were sent to bring them home.

The Fraser Highlanders led the way, creeping through the forest, unbeknownst to them, straight into the jaws of a trap.

Hidden movement rules meant whilst the British knew something was out there, they were unsure of the exact numbers they were facing.

The Fraser Highlanders fell back under strength of fire from the Indian forces, some of which, seeing the British Line push on, thought better of a head-on clash and disappeared off into the forest, never to be seen again.

Slowly but surely the British pushed on, driving back the unconventional Indian skirmishers and slaughtering a unit of French irregulars.

Unfortunately for the British, the Ambush was enough to blunt their advance, giving the French officers enough time to rally their men and march against the British, driving them away and securing their ill-gotten bargaining chit.

We played the game using a relatively new rule set, Muskets and Tomahawks, from Studio Tomahawk. The game is skirmish focused, with a relatively low model count (about figures 35 a side), so perfect for a collection of John Jenkins Designs French Indian Wars models. Studio Tomahawk are a French company responsible for other hugely popular games such as Saga and Shakos and Bayonettes so we were quite eager to see how the rules complimented the period.

Most players use 28mm, or similar scaled, models but the relatively simple mechanic meant translation to 54mm was easy enough.

The game was well received, with a few visitors having recently purchased the rules but not having played it yet. There was also considerable interest in John's figures, with a quite a few collectors who have already begun, or became inspired, to do something similar with their own collections.

You can see more pictures of the game, and the rest of the show, on the New Buckenham Historical Wargamers facebook page.

All in all it was a pleasure to present and we're very much looking forward to putting on another game and with the imminent release of the Monongahela Pack Horses, we have a perfect reason try a different scenario.