Thursday 17 September 2015

The Battle of the Totem Poles

Whisky Galore!
Over the weekend the Rejects gathered for a French Indian Wars game in Posties Shed-o-War. I was a last minute attendee but Postie made room for me at the games table. I would live to regret his generosity of spirit...I should have known he had some devilish toll to exact in return! 

An Indian war band is returning from a successful raid on a British settlement. They have taken several women prisoner and helped themselves to cattle and other loot in the process. Unbeknownst to them they are being pursued by several British units intent on recovering the booty and rescuing the women.

Order of Battle
c/o Major (Mark)
 2 Indian Character figures
   55th Foot
   Rodgers Rangers
   Militia Unit 
   80th Foot 
   Gordon's Rangers 

French /Indians
c/o Major (John)
 1 Indian Character 
   Compagnies Franches de la Marve
   Coureurs de Bois 
   Indian Warband with Prisoners
   Indian Warband
   Indian Villagers

The Action
The Indian Warband returning from a raid with prisoners and other loot

The Indian village. 

Meanwhile a unit of Coureurs de Bois navigate the river on rafts piled with more stolen loot

The full sized table was used for this game - 6ft by 12ft and lots of trees.

The view from the other end of the table. Pictured from left to right are Postie (Stuart), Surjit, Richard and; wargaming newbie, Wendy.

My troops, Rodgers Rangers.

Richard, Surjit, Mark, Wendy, Postie, Ian and John

Very large hidden movement markers denoted units yet to be revealed to the other players. These were French and Indian reinforcements. 

A rather blurry picture of a single stationery marker...what could it be? My rangers were ordered to sweep through the woods and flush out hidden units so this marker was in my path. I'd get to the bottom of the mystery token eventually, and I wouldn't be happy with what I found.

French rangers disembark the rafts to attack the flank of our Militia.

Meanwhile French regulars move up to the end of the woods near the Indian village. They know that any British unit crossing the open to attack them will have a hard time.

Protecting their flank an Indian Warband. 
Meanwhile my rangers have begun to outflank the warband with the prisoners. One Indian takes the prisoners back to the village while the rest of the unit seems to prepare to attack my men. In one quick move my unit forms up in a firing line. 

Some of these Indians have had a little too much stolen whisky!

British reinforcements in the form of Gordon's Rangers arrive on the table and rush forwards to support the beleaguered Militia. 

An overfiew of the action by the river. Gordon's Rangers and the Militia are by the river and the 55th Foot are lined up on the edge of the forest overlooking a wide clearing. 

Meanwhile Rodgers Rangers have engaged the Indians. In a stroke of luck the Indian leader is killed and enough casualties are caused to enable the rangers to outnumber their opponents in the next turn of melee.

Meanwhile the 55th Foot are desperately trying to 'spot' the French raiders in the forest across the clearing. Until the French are spotted they cannot be targeted by musket fire and cannot be charged in melee. 

Close quarters shooting and viscous hand to hand combat finishes off the Warband facing Rodgers Rangers. 

Last to fall is the drunken Indian, too drunk to know what killed him!

Gordon's Rangers and the 55th Foot prepare to cross the clearing even though many of the opposing French cannot be seen and targeted. 

Outnumbering the French defenders the fight is bloody and costly to both sides. 

And now for something completely different.... The Battle of the Bear Essentials:

Having dispatched the Indian Warband my rangers continue their orders to sweep the woods clear of enemy. Then the umpire throws a Grizzly Bear at me....!!! 


The Bear eviscerated one ranger with ease and pounced on a second man also ripping him to shreds before the rest of my unit were able to bring the beast down with a volley of shots. 

Back to the game....

Hand to hand fighting eventually cleared the wood of French rangers allowing the British to move forward. 

But another gap in the woods, and a fresh French unit stand in their way. (again sorry for the shaky picture....I was still smarting after the Bear Incident)

The French begin to retire as the British regulars and Rangers push forwards...but darkness is descending and the game comes to a close. 

The game was declared a French/Indian win despite the steady advance of the British troops. None of the stolen booty or hostages were recovered by the British. When Postie checked the points scores it was a closer run thing than expected with the French ending with a narrow lead. 

Crossing open ground against concealed troops in woods has always been a tough proposition in these FIW games. More so when the trooped faced are hardened woodsmen. Having said that the British units on the left flank did succeed is beating back the French, but it took far too long. Belatedly Mark agreed that one of the reserve units (the 80th Foot) should have been directed to my area to exploit the flank I had swept clean, but to be honest it had taken so long to do this (did I mention I faced a f***ing Bear!) I'm not sure we would have had time to exploit the success. The main advantage of a right hook would have been to draw more troops away from the left flank....but hindsight has always been a harsh mistress. 


  1. Very nice report, thank you.

  2. Great Bat Rep, was the bear essential? LOL


    1. Groan...Most definitely NOT from my perspective. I was having a good battle up to that point. Still a good game, but I wasn't really able to make any difference after this because my rangers had been reduced to a shell of their former selves (a hollow shell in the case of one guy).

  3. So, you bearly got away with a narrow loss. Next time you might want to panda to Postie's whims - that way you might not end up all defeated and grizzly.

    1. lol. It was a very good game though, despite the attempt on my life from Postie's teddy!

  4. Gutted I missed the game! Looked great though and you've gotta love the cuddly bear........haven't you??

  5. Interesting period and super figures as ever

  6. Who make that great Indian village?

    1. The village is all from the very expensive but nice, Grand Manner!

  7. Absolutly excellent! Most beautiful pictures and great looking game...

  8. Postie said it was not just a bear, it was Yogi Bear....ok Boo Boo?

  9. Postie still loves you Lee, despite all the cruel remarks!! That's what he told me to type anyway????
    ps They are Gorhams Rangers, and its Smiffy in the 5th pic not twit!

    1. Lol...yes, twit indeed. I clearly wasn't thinking straight when I label the picture... still in Bear Shock I expect.

  10. Great looking game and whatever made you think it was just going to be a walk in the woods?

  11. No one needs a bear attack very unsporting of Postie. Naughty Posty, bad Postie. Still I bet he did it with a smile. (the evil git, erhm genius!)

    Glad it was fun though.


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