Tuesday 19 April 2016

Battle of Fort Lee 1756

On Monday some of The Rejects gathered for a special weekday evening game in honour of our temporarily returned Fran (aka The Angry Lurker). Fran is here for a week and was at Salute over the weekend but we couldn't let him go home to Ireland without a game in the Shed-o-War. For me this meant traversing the QE2 Bridge in rush hour to get to Gravesend for a 7 pm start. As it was the traffic wasn't bad at all and I made it to the game with plenty of time to spare.

I haven't done a full BatRep this time, because there wasn't really much time for note taking and carefully considered plans. It was out to the shed and start fighting as quickly as possible. Normally we would play a game like this over a five or six hour period but this time we had a maximum of about four hours, less if we started nodding off. I still had a long drive home and I know some of the other rejects also had long trips ahead of them so none of us were eager to stay too late.

Order of Battle
British Colonel (CiC - John)
   44th Line (16 Figures)
   60th Line (Royal American) (20 Figures)
   80th Light Infantry (12 Figures)
Special Character (Indian)
Civilians (30 Figures - Some armed with Rifles)

French Colonel (CiC - Fran)
   Bearn Line (20 Figures)
   Campagnes Franch de la Marine (12 Figures)
   Trans Rivienes Militia (12 Figures)
Indian Chief
Special Character (Indian)
   Indian Warband (12 Figures)
   Indian Warband (12 Figures)

The Action
The Table looked spectacular. British are closest in the fort with two patrols out on the roads and several militia armed with rifles among the general population. 

My troops out on patrol before the alarm  is raised

Ray's Light Infantry hold the bridge...but not for long.

More British on patrol, again these are Ray's.

Inside the Fort John also has a unit of infantry

Another view looking down the table across the British village towards the woods beyond

The French win Initiative and launch a surprise attack on the Bridge defenders. Richard immediately send his Indians forward who kill several of rays infantry. 

Then Fran advances his rangers and finishes the British off. The Bridge is clear and nothing can stop the French crossing.
My side of the British defence. Lots of unarmed civilians to get out of the way and a mix of lien troops and armed Militia to defend against an Indian warband.

The remainder of Rays Light Infantry leg-it for safety.

Reinforcements are sent out from the Fort

Overview of the central section of the table where most of the action took place. Closest are my troops and militia beginning to exchange a few shots with the Indians which can just about be seen by the top right of the larger cornfield. Across the table Ray's Rangers continue to fall back and Line troops move forwards towards the French and Indians that have started to come across the bridge.

My line troops (half of the 60th Line) move forwards towards the oncoming Indians in the distance

John, Ray, Richard and Fran across the table. Richard is moving his Indians forwards and preparing to set fire to a farmhouse.

More French cross the bridge and two large groups of infantry come out of the woods. The Blue discs were hidden movement markers but both units have now emerged from the woods and can be spotted by the British. 

Civilians flee as fast at they can to get away from the raiders and head for the fort. Meanwhile my Infantry break into skirmish order and begin to fan out.  

The Indians reach the edge of the |farmstead, look down the road and a row of levelled rifles... and decide not to take the direct route! One Indian can be seen saying "Er guys... maybe we should go around the back?"

Meanwhile French Marines and the Bearn Line pour across the bridge.

My troops place themselves to stop the advance of the Indians while Ian's troops (further back flying the flag) begin to reach the front.

The game progresses as we feed troops forwards while Ray pulls back his Light Infantry.

The French Militia and Indians start burning farms and looting the buildings. 

Meanwhile the Indians on my side of the table seem more interested in staying away from my guns rather than looting and burning. As far as I'm concerned this is a result. However by this stage I should have shifted some of my militia troops to support Rays fight across the table. I did this eventually but a bit late to have any effect. 

Rays Light Infantry try to slow down the advancing French while British Line troops move closer to firing range.

A mass of British red coats starts to move forwards, but its starting to get dark and there are still a lot of French heading their way.

Surjit's Indians are still loitering in the woods trying to build up the courage to attack the British. 

Of course the British have a nice defended position and a LOT of guns. If the Indians are stupid enough to attack they will get a pasting.

John and Ray laugh in the face of mounting losses.

At last the Indians move to the end of the woods and open fire. I return fire and kill three Indians. 

My god there are a lot of French and Indians moving through the village.

Finally some troops meet in hand to hand combat but its a one sided fight.

Meanwhile all the British Civilians have now made it into the relative safety of Fort Lee.

A swift exchange of musketfire.

Pretty much the end of the game. Postie had allotted 10 turns for the French raid and time was up. He added up the victory points and it was actually closer than we though with just five points between the British and French. If Surj's Indians had been more 'Indian' and done some looting instead of skirting around the woods the difference would have been even clearer. 

Game over and the Bromance continues!

The British chances of success were slim from the outset, especially when we lost the initiative in the first round and Ray subsequently lost the bridge. Any effective opposition to the French here was over from the start and Ray spent most of the game in a fighting withdrawal to reach more favourable ground on which to mount a defence.

Essentially this was a battle of two halves, with one side having pretty much all of the action and the other side being a rather low key skirmish of little importance. My troops were not about to engage Surjit's Indians in melee and he wasn't going to charge into my gunfire, especially as I had half a dozen civilian riflemen in my ranks. Our game consisted largely of a stand-off that secured the flank of John and Ray's troops and kept the Indians on our side of the table out of the action. I did eventually feed a few of the riflemen back towards the other side of the filed overlooking Fran's advancing troops but this was too late to play a role. I should have moved them a couple of turns earlier, but I suspect the battle was already lost for us by then.

It was great to see Fran again, catch up on all the news, talk about our experience of Salute and all our purchases and of course for Fran to reintroduce the work 'Fek' to our vocabulary. 


  1. Beautiful terrain (love the buildings!), wonderful armies (love the Fench militia!)...and great looking players (love...no, no, I won't choose anyone!)...what's not to like here? Splendid report!

  2. Agreed - that fencing is pretty snappy. Where did you (all) get it?

    1. The fencing is all from "The Last Valley", he hasn't got a website as such, but his terrain is quite cheap and very effective.

  3. Great report Lee, was a great game, a tad one sided!! But great to get Fran back for a game with the gang!

  4. I cant help thinking that Ray (in the last picture) looks like he comes from "Wallace and Gromit!".

    A very nice report and terrific to see Fran on this side of the water.

  5. A pleasure to game again and meet the boys and of course to give Ray a pasting, nice one Lee!

  6. Excellent gaming table, pictures and battle report!
    Thanks for sharing Lee!


  7. Battle of the Week!



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