Monday, May 25, 2009

Quebec 1759 2.0 session report

Mark K. and I capped off our full day of gaming with a match of Quebec 1759 using the new 2.0 version of the rules, which adds leaders Montcalm and Wolfe and changes the value-less decoys of previous editions into 1CV "detachments" that proved to be of considerable value indeed.

Unlike the other session reports from that game day, this one won't include any pregame strategy notes for the very good reason that I had very little clue what I would do under the new rules!

Mark drew the French first, which suited me fine, because that meant I could put off deciding what to do even longer as the British setup is fixed and I could see how Mark might cope with the new conditions. He opted to stick with a typical French defend-the-beaches set up, with his blocks divided more or less evenly between the four zones of Levis, Montmorency, Beauport and St. Charles. I decided to use four of the detachments on suicide scouting missions which revealed that each beach was defended by a substantial force, with St. Charles a little stronger.

As each assault was going to be about as tough I decided to go for Levis, on the theory that it was the hardest to reinforce and success there would open up a larger part of the board. My first attempt at an assault by four 4CV regiments was bloodily repulsed, although I did do significant damage to the defending French militia. A second landing stayed ashore, as the outgunned French took their double-shot volley at the disembarking British and then retreated to Etchemin.

As the British built up their strength the French consolidated their troops at Abraham. There ensued a conventional British campaign of burning farms (occupying zones) and cutting supply (capturing Cap Rouge) followed by a turn 16 move into Abraham for a climatic battle that ended up going the British way.

Pondering the lessons of the first game, I decided that the forward French beach defense was obsolete now that the British had a plentiful supply of expendable scouts. Under the old rules impatient British players might be ambushed by an unexpectedly strong French force and more prudent British players would be forced to spend a couple of turns and risk some decent units to scout the French setup. Now the British could simply send out four detachments to use skirmish combat to reveal the whole French force.

Instead I decided to stuff St. Charles and Levis with units, almost half the French host, while holding Montmorency and Beauport with a detachment and a militia, respectively. My idea was that I would make St. Charles and Levis unassailable and force the British to commit to a north shore advance.

The British did, indeed, land at Montmorency and Beauport and started a buildup. When they got about halfway through I pulled the St. Charles forces back to Abraham and started the Levis troops to Etchemin. This was done to try to induce the British to split their forces and also use the whatever Levis troops survived (they were mostly Quebec militia with a few Montreal militiamen) to reinforce the main army.

About half the British force ended up going the Levis route, followed by the fleet. It soon became apparent that the British were stuck between the horns of a dilemma. Neither half of the British force was strong enough to take on the whole French militia-enhanced army by itself, but there was no way to combine them in the time left. Likewise there wasn't enough time left to capture Cap Rouge and hold it long enough to cut down on the number of Montreal militia. The British conceded on turn 15.

Mark K. and I have decided on a rematch. I want to see if I can come up with a counter for this new French approach.


  1. I fear that regardless of your approach you are doomed due to the bad karma the French give you. When was the last time they won a war?

  2. They have undeniably had a rather spotty record. Losing wars doesn't seem to have hurt the martial reputation of the Germans, so I'm not sure the French should take undue hits in that regard.