I find I loose interest in some of the longer campaigns if I don't keep notes. I thought I'd post these here, tarted up a little with the odd cliches, with conclusions on the game, which is such an improvement on BOA1 its unbelievable. I've been playing on medium difficulty, with regular land supply rules, no naval attrition in boxes, A.I. activation bonus set to full (always pass), A.I. medium detect bonus and allowance of more time "to think".
The war on the frontier began with an assault on Fort Necessity by a combined force of Natives and Couriers (Contrecoeur and Lignery). Splitting into two groups, the Natives went on and raided down both sides of the River Potomac into Maryland and Virginia; razing the Fort at X and Fredericktown on the edge of the forest and routing a column of British Regulars and Colonials under Braddock whose intention it was to capture Fort Duquesne; the key to the Ohio country.
Fearing that Braddock would return, reinforced, Contrecoeur and Lery burnt Fort Necessity and with the Native forces withdrew first to Fort Dusquesne and then to winter quarters, leaving a trail of destruction behind them and a long road through the wilderness for the British to contemplate a counter attack along.
In expectation of attacks such as Braddock’s, in a continent where French garrisons were tiny, Couriers Deschamps & Langdale had already been dispatched to raise the Native Tribes of New France and Georgia, to spread the war to the ends of the map in order to tie down the enemy and prevent an overpowering concentration of his forces.
Langdale spent the whole year winning the Southern tribes over to the French cause while Dumas gave meaningful strategic direction to the raids conducted by the tribes of New France against their New England cousins. Meanwhile, in the far North Eastern province of Acadia; Britain’s garrison at Halifax threatened to scoop up Fort Beausejour and St. John by bold action.
Although resigned to the inevitable British expansion of their Halifax toehold the French command were dubious of their enemy’s abilities to either mount an attack over the Northern Appalachian Mountains or to remove the check of Fortress Louisburg, with its Naval Yards, on maritime operations against the Gulf of St. Laurence.
To bolster the defences of Acadia Capitaine Lery was sent to command the men of Fort Beausejour while Capitaine Deschamps and his Courier de Bois arranged with the local tribes to savage any existing force foolish enough to cross from Nova Scotia. Two freshly arrived Infantry Regiments and a force of Marines bolstered the garrison of Louisburg to prevent its easy fall and maintain it as a base for any French squadrons that should arrive in the New World.
If this base was held it was hoped any British conquests in Acadia could be contained by naval control of the New Brunswick coast or rectified by an eventual descent on Halifax should the war escalate into a war for empire.
However, in the immediacy, with the flank protected, the available forces of the centre prepared to defend the most likely invasion route to Montreal and the St Lawrence valley: along Lakes George and Champlain from Albany, at the head of the Hudson Valley. Such an obvious route tempted the British General to launch a sudden over land strike to the heart of New France which would sever the arteries of French military communication and precipitating the fall of her garrisons on the Ohio and Great Lakes.
To prevent this catastrophe the Governor General of Canada, Marquis de Vaudreuil, demanded the establishment of a bulwark here, lest Britain establish herself on the lakes where France had no forts herself, other than at the Northern end, guarding the portage, too close to Montreal for comfort.
Mustering at St Frederic, a force of Colonials and Couriers under Lotbiniere soon ventured further South to a position on Lake Champlain near to the head of neighbouring Lake George, around which they hoped to establish a presence.
In this advanced position, Lotbiniere, reassured Vaudreuil, would be reinforced by a force of Regulars under Baron Dieskau, expected daily in Quebec, ferried up country and followed by supplies to sustain them indefinitely.
Unfortunately, this plan was upset by an energetic advance from Albany by a large force of New England Colonials led by X. Colonel Lotbiniere’s men were heavily defeated by this force and despite abandoning their cannon and stores were pursued closely and only saved from remorseless destruction by the belated arrival of Dieskau’s reinforcement.
This fresh force of disciplined Regulars put the New Englanders to flight and then harried them, in turn, back along the West bank of Lake George, giving the invaders no respite. Lotbiniere’s broken force returned to Montreal to recoup, while Dieskau’s victorious but exhausted force retired to St Frederic, abandoning the construction of a fort for this year, satisfied, in having routed Britain’s impudent expedition but infuriated at the delays suffered in the face of the approaching winter.
The lateness of the season also brought to an early close Capitaine Deschamp’s Acadian Native’s pursuit of a defeated Nova Scotian expedition under Governor X, backed by British Regulars, whose returned to Halifax would certainly not be for good. Other successes were won in the Mohawk valley where Fort Stanwix was burnt by the Natives of the Great Lakes, unopposed due to the New Englanders concentration on Lake George.
Montcalm’s arrival in Quebec early in the spring with heavy cannon, more men and numerous capable subordinates allowed renewed activity on the central front. Cannon were ferried forward and joined Dieskau in an assault on Britain’s freshly built fort at the Southern end of Lake George. The taking of this toe hold reduced Britain’s ability to make war on the lakes but in turn stretched France’s logistic capabilities beyond what was already her maximum so that she, neither, could carry the war to the Hudson.
Irregular warfare on the other hand raged deep into British territories, including those of her ally, the Iroquois Confederacy. These lands suffered the same fate as the Virginia and Maryland frontier the previous year. The French allied Tribes of the Great Lakes and Ohio territories converged first on Ft. Niagara before systematically putting to the tomahawk and torch the lands the unprepared Iroquois Confederates.
Further south, those tribes from the far West assembled around Fort Duquesne in hope of fresh plunder but were disappointed by the early departure North of the local tribes and had to content themselves with prowling on the frontier, aware of the presence of Braddock, seething in Alexandria, almost another world away.
Further south still Langdale’s winning of the Southern tribes led to the taking of Virginian Forts at Lynchburg and Ft Chiswell aim at dissuading Braddock from risking what forces he had on any more profitable ventures than costly, abortive punitive raids.
Capitaine Deschamp’s Acadians fought with rather more purpose in the far North of the theatre and succeeded in forcing the British to quit Fort Beausejour’s neighbour, denying it use to their ever strengthening enemy as a stepping stone to St John or as a sally port from Nova Scotia.
In response to this escalation of British troops committed to the New World, France could spare but few Regulars, so that what men were needed to balance the situation had to called from the settlements of the St Lawrence under threat. Happily, men flocked to join local militias, who, under the tutelage of Levis, quickly became proficient in arms and stood ready to join their comrades in defence of the interior if the Regulars had to fall back from their exposed position.
The third year of the conflict.
British build up in Halifax evident. Ft Beausejour burnt and all Acadian Militia and Colonials concentrated in St. John. Forward defence to be entrusted to the Natives, defending the South, swampy, bank of the Petitcodiac River. British regulars advance and force a crossing but are later cut off in the swamps by the Natives who had chosen discretion, earlier, rather than valour. Scalp count high.
In the centre, all Regulars were relieved by Levis home defence forces to concentrate in the Lake Champlain area, sustained by a depot at St Frederic with Dieskau’s Courier providing early warning of British advances. Other than small raids in launched through Vermont, dealt with by local Natives, no action was encountered in this theatre.
Ft Niagara on the other hand, defended only by Eastern Great Lakes Natives, fought a sting of engagements with a British led Colonial force that was only broken up on trying to cross to the West bank of the river before Niagara, opposite the shell of Seneca’s village.
Ohio Natives similarly defended Fort Duquesne by setting up ambush sites along the Potomac, around the site of Washington’s Ft Necessity, sprung by more than errant Pennsylvania Colonials, the British Regulars obviously still hurting from their defeats around Lynchburg and Ft Chiswell.
Creek tribes in the South raided Georgia, easily routing what Carolinian forces had assembled there, then returned to encourage the other Southern tribes to join them in an attack on Charleston in the spring.
Disposition of French and British Forces in the summer of 1758, including garrison and support units.
Louisburg 9,000 men, 14,000 sailors.
Acadia, 4,000 militia and natives.
Halifax 2,000 men, most probably on stopping over.
Acadia, remainder of the 3,000 men defeated in the swamps the previous year.
Quebec, 8,000 militia and continentals
Montreal, 10,000 militia and continentals
Lake Champlain, 10,000 regulars
Niagara, 2,000 natives.
Lake Champlain, 2,000 light troops
Albany/Mohawk Valley, remainder of the approx 5,000-7,000 Colonials defeated near Oswego plus 5,000+ reinforcements.
Boston, 13,000 continentals
Ohio, 3,000 Natives, virtually unopposed by any formed body of troops.
Georgia, 3,500 Natives vs. 1,500 men of the 60th Royal American Rgt about to arrive at (the former site of) Charleston.
I got to the point in playing the French and Indian War Grand Campaign where I felt that I had taken advantage of the A.I. and was pretty much assured a boring game from then on.
My strategy, as France, was to attack the Albany/Oswego/Ft. Necessity then raze those forts and depots and withdraw to the Lake Champlain, Niagran and Ft. D Objectives, leaving scorched earth and wilderness between his supply centres and objectives.
This worked because a) the scenario is set up to give France an initial qualitative advantage in the early years and b) the A.I. does not tend to reestablish forts or depots.
I turned the Fog of War off and watched the A.I. for a year, building its forces, properly I might add, and launching respectable attacks against most of my objectives. I can’t fault it here.
However, each time these stacks were rebuffed by conservatively used but not overwhelming forces and then destroyed by pursuit or weather when they should have been able to fall back on their prudently re-established forts and depots and resumed the campaign in the spring.