Sunday, December 7, 2008

Brief session report: Clash for a Continent

Mark K and I had the opportunity to get in a very full day of gaming. Among our achievements was a match of Clash for a Continent, the Fort Dusquene scenario.

Fort Duquesne is Braddock's famous defeat by a French and Indian ambush in the French and Indian War.

Being more experienced in the game system, I took Braddock for the first game. We used most of the optional rules, but did keep the Command Action Point allowance at the Historical 1 + d3 roll for Braddock compared to the 3 + D3 die roll for the French. This meant that my force would have between 1-4 CAPs while Mark's had 4-6 per turn.

Recognizing that maneuver would be difficult, my basic plan was to push against the French and Indians facing the left front of my column while spending the absolute minimum elsewhere. This worked as well as one might hope, actually, as Braddock and some British regulars was able to do some significant damage to the Indians in his neighborhood and proved nearly invulnerable to fire while on the hilltop near the river. Unfortunately young George Washington caught a bullet, decreasing my already meager CAP state (as well as prompting some discussion about how events a generation later would have been different without the "indispensable" man.

In the end the French and Indians were able to get their six VPs in lost Anglo-Americans while just losing a few themselves.

We switched sides, but this time gave Mark's Braddock the same 3 + D3 CAP allowance as the French.

In this case I decided I needed to take my time because I knew I wouldn't have a CAP edge over Mark. I did, however, still have a maneuver edge, due to the Indians speed in wooded terrain and I followed a policy of retreating any Indian that took a loss. I likewise pulled the French back after they took a few losses. Mark, meanwhile, was less willing to pull troops out of the fight and this resulted in several of his units being eliminated. After spending a few turns rallying Frenchmen and Indians, the restored Franco-Indian force returned to the fray and got the last couple of losses needed for victory.

This battle took longer to win without the CAP edge, but overall the awkward tactical position of the ambushed British column was too much for either of us to overcome, although I do think that the battle is winnable for the British player. Still, in the historical event they did lose, and this scenario reflects that rather well.

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