Monday, February 09, 2009

Comments on "The Siege"

In response to my last post, two of our commenters, DC and Bill made interesting comments that I felt deserved a better response than I could make in the comments section.

I will interpolate my replies within the body of their text.

DC elaborated on my request for more info on his own Niagara campaign:
" all began about 20 years ago when i obtained a copy of Dunnigan's book on the siege - which is essential (i think you have a copy..?).
GH - Yes, I picked it up via Amazon 6 months ago. I'm reading it for the third time at the moment.
The first effort was a 15mm display game that was inspired by Niagara rather than an attempt at a faithful reproduction. Using 15mm allowed us to not only model the fort and works but also a section of lake (with watercraft), the river, cliffs, camps, and associated followers, livestock, etc. that the excellent freikorps range provides.
GH - I'm intending something similar but in 28mm. I'll model the shoreline, but not the lake and will put smaller scale ship and boat models on a wheeled trolley and navigate them around the playing table - an idea I've long been wanting to try out.
Our rules for this and other large FIW games were published in MWAN a few years later. The subsequent 25mm project was intended as a replay of the entire campaign at 1:10. I intended to use Bill Protz's siege rules (highly recommended) for the siege itself, and was developing a new set of rules (set at a lower level than previously) for the field actions.
GH - I am probably going to use Bills' "Drums of War on the Mohawk" with a couple of minor tweaks here and there. I'm not sure about which siege rules I'll use - either my own or Bills'.
The plan was to reenact Belle Famille and the siege solo, and then move on to umpire a 3 player campaign where the players had free rein (within certain boundaries of plausability of course).
GH - My thoughts exactly! I'd like to put on la Belle Famille as a convention game, while I play out the siege for myself at home solo. I have been thinking about the mechanics of running the whole Siege as a campaign, too.
We would use Protz's campaign rules too - with a few amendments and expansions.Was Little Niagara the stockade on the portage? If so, then yes, i made a model of that.
GH - that's the one; information on it seems quite scanty. I have hopes that Chartrands' next "FORT" series for Osprey will be helpful. It's sure to be for Fort Niagara proper.
I painted about 200 figures and then moved on to Maximillian in Mexico - as you do. They have sat unused at Mr 'Making Miniatures' house now for years. Writing this has created an urge to dig them out again...oh dear...

Bill had some very interesting thoughts on La Belle Famille:
I continue to be confounded at the defeat of the French Relief Column. Perhaps it can only be explained in my mind as:
1. Blockheads in charge of the column failing to scout properly.
GH - Was tactical scouting done all that well in this era?
2. And to not deploy into line with l'compagnie franche de la Marines in the center with the milice on the flanks sooner.They would have swept the much numerically inferior Brit. force away by outflanking them. Instead, at first, it appearss as if the column was shot to pieces as Oman might remark of French columns in Spain in the Napoleonic Wars. There is perhaps a diagram in Dunnigan showing a French line at an odd angle. I've seen it someplace. If this line did happen, I still don't get it unless the initial volleys caused a bad morale situation and a throw of snake eyes using the morale system of Drums of War Along The Mohawk.
GH - I'd have thought this a difficult fight for the Frencjh to win, charging in column against a line that was ready to receive them, then trying to deploy into line under fire. Perhaps too, the Militia were in the van, taking casualties from the typically scorching British vollies; perhaps they recoiled into the CFdlM behind them and wrecked their chances of deploying? We don't know much about the French order of march, really. Alternatively, perhaps the french were proponents of l'ordre profond and thought they would easily smash the numerically inferior Britich aside?
I've been on the spot of La Belle Famille several times. From the French perspective the Niagara Gorge is not too far from their left. To the right there would be endless forest. Forest all over the place actually except for the road and the clearing beyond the fort.
GH: If I am eventally to game out the campaign, I'll need better topographical detail on the area. I guess the maps are available online somewhere.
There are other mysteries in the history of battles why one side won in spite of impossible odds. This one is in the list for me.
GH - agreed!
Greg this is a very good battle to wargame as the real thing and with the above in mind. I'm sure you will find it satisfying.
The thing is at 1:10 it is easy to build too!
Best of luck to all concerned.
Votre serviteur,Bill


Capt Bill said...

In response for all you've done for Imagi-Nations, Reich Duke Wilhelm von Beerstein has invested Augustus II Rex of the Duchy of Alzeim into The Ancient and Honorable Order of The Tankard. A copy of the posting is on my site. Best regards...Bill

Bloggerator said...

Thank you Captain Bill - and please pass the thanks of the August Personage to his beloved Cousin.

Likewise, my best to you and all the good people of Beerstein, especially the Boozy family.