Saturday 17 December 2011

Battle of Johnson's Farm - Muskets and Mohawks AAR

Battle at Johnson's Farm - 1756

A Battle Report of a French & Indian battle using Muskets and Mohawks. While I'm waiting for my figures to arrive from the painter I substitute top down paper minis found online.
Word has come down from Headquarters of a stockpile of supplies located just north of Johnson's Farm. Captain Furnum (Rep 4), British Regulars, has been charged with the task of finding these stores and destroying them. He is in command of two platoons of Regulars (4 units) and a platoon of Colonial Militia (2 units). The battle starts with the Regulars entering the table south of Johnson's Farm


The territory where the battle is being fought over is controlled by French Indian Allies and contested by the British.

Investment Levels

This number reflects the likelihood of either side receiving reinforcements during the battle. The higher the Investment Level number the greater the chance of receiving reinforcements.
·        French Allies 3
·        British 4


Weather is clear and it is mid-day.


The Encounter is a Raid: Attack. The British objective is to exit the table from the opposite edge that it has entered.

At the Start

The British enter the table in a column of platoons, each platoon commanded by a Lieutenant. The Colonial Militia is in column to the left moving next to the trees.


PEF stands for Possible Enemy Force. At the start of the battle the players, if playing same side or in this case me, as the game was solo, do not know what they are facing. This is where the PEFs and Investment Levels come into play.
At the start of the battle, after the player's force enters the table, three PEFs are generated at random and placed on the table. When possible they are hidden by intervening terrain. In this case one PEF (yellow marker) was placed behind the farmhouse and one (green marker) in the woods to the right. The third PEF was in clear terrain in front of the British. As a Line of Sight was established it was time to resolve the PEF.
"Captain Furnum, sir. There appeared to be some movement to our front but it seems to be just wishful thinking on the part of the men. It appears clear to the farm."

The British move onto the table. The three triangles represent the Possible Enemy Forces, as yet, unresolved.

The first PEF was resolved and turned out to be nothing. Because there is chance that a PEF can actually be nothing it increases the uncertainty on the player's part. Now it was time for the first complete turn.

Turn One

The column of British Regulars moves forward while the Militia platoon on the left breaks out into line as they advance on the left.
To the right a splash of movement is seen as a group of Indians enter the edge of the woods.
Indians appear in the woods to the right while the last PEF is resolved to be a unit of French Irregulars.
On the British turn the units move towards the opposite table edge while the Militia extends its line.
The yellow PEF rolls and does not move. The green PEF in the woods scores an advance towards the enemy. Stopping at the edge of the woods and entering a LOS of the British it is rolled to resolve and proves to be a party of Indian warriors.
As the British column moves forward the first platoon advance towards the farm house and into sight of a party of French Irregulars. Meanwhile second platoon wheels into line and faces the Indians in the woods. The Militia advances farther up the edge to keep pace with 1st platoon.
The French Irregulars open fire on the 5th Regulars who retire from the unexpected fire behind the safety of 6th Regulars.
On the other side and not to be outdone the Indians open fire on the green 7th Regulars who also retire disordered towards the cover of woods to their rear.
All in all a rather inauspicious beginning!
Both units came under fire, both took Received Fire test and both rolled bad dice. It also pointed out a mistake in my deployment. If I had placed my officers in a better position they could have been there to halt the retiring units.

Turn Two

On the right 8th British Regulars volley fire at the Indians in the woods, causing light casualties. The cover of the woods braces the Indians who appear unfazed.
Back at the retiring 7th Regulars there's panic in the faces of the lads but the veteran offices and NCOs whip them back into line, ready to rejoin the battle.
No so back at the 5th Regulars who decide that they've had enough and continue their retiring ways back towards camp.
Up front, 6th Regulars fires a volley drawing blood on the French Irregulars who keep to the fight.
The Colonial Militia moves cautiously around the farm house towards the flank of the French Irregulars
As they come up the Irregulars calmly load and fire, picking their targets carefully. Eventually 6th Regulars begins to retire to the spot vacated by the 5th.
Looking about in disgust Captain Furnum can see the battle slipping away.
"Steady men, steady," says Lieutenant Adams in a calm but firm voice. The fire from the Indians in the woods continues but the men hold firm.

Cotton balls are used to signify that the unit has volley fired and is now firing at will.

I'm starting to realize that I've spread my forces out, too far apart. I have to make better use of my officers and realize that it's better to move my officers first then my troops.

Turn Three

The battle is starting to speed up. As 8th Regulars continue to trade shots with the Indians in the woods 7th Regulars, newly recovered, advances and takes up position on the left of the 8th and behind the now reforming 6th that are suffering under the tongue lashing of their commander Lieutenant Barnes.
Meanwhile Captain Furnum rides over to the Colonials on the left and wheels them around the side of the farm house and onto the flank of the Irregulars. It's a race as the Irregulars frantically attempt to change direction to face the Militia before they can get off a volley.

Turn Four

"Ready, aim fire!" The Colonial Militiamen fire as one. As "A" Militia fire "C" Militia move through the woods to take up position on the new flank of the French Irregulars who take heavy casualties from the fire.
The recovered 6th, still stinging from the tongue lashing of Lt. Barnes move aggressively towards the other flank of the Irregulars who break and flee under the pressure, their Leader having been a casualty from a Colonial musket.
Over on the right the 7th has returned and along with the 8th continue to fire at the Indians in the woods. Suddenly the NCO is hit by fire and out of the fight. As men rush to his as Lt. Adams joins the ranks and orders the men "Eyes front!"

The Militia force the French Irregulars to leave. Casualty markers, the yellow triangles keep track while the red arrow signifies a retreat.

Big turn of events occurs in the battle with the Militia driving off the French Irregulars. That leaves only the Indians in the woods to deal with and a dilemma. Do I leave them alone and head off the table with them sniping as I move or do I continue the fight and try to drive them off. Remembering that as long as there is an enemy PEF or unit on the table there is a chance of enemy reinforcements arriving, being drawn to the sound of the guns. I've no choice but to press forward.

Turn Five

French Reinforcements!
From behind the Indians two more groups of Indian warriors have arrived. As they make their way forwards Lt. Adams draws his sword and orders the platoon forward. "Cold steel men," he yells as the two sides enter into combat.
The outnumbered Indians break under the pressure and rout away through the woods. Lt. Adams retires the 8th out of the woods to reform while the 7th covers them from the woods.
Hearing the gunfire in the woods to their right Captain Furnum leads the Militia towards the gunfire. Lt. Barnes wheels the 6th to face the woods and the order to advance is given.
Meanwhile the two parties of Indians have moved into range and combine to pour a deadly fire onto the 7th and the Regulars are driven back out of the woods.

As the two new Indian units arrive Lt. Adams gives the order to charge. The red circle signifies that the NCO has been a casualty.

Reinforcement dice came up "7" with the Indians scoring the higher number. Rolling versus their Investment Level and a further roll resulted in two parties of Indians entering the battle, placed randomly in the woods.
2nd platoon charged into contact with the Indians who melted away in combat being outnumbered two to one. I'm realizing that fresh units and officer placement is important.
The battle continues…

Turn Six

8th Regulars reform into line as the 7th continues to retire farther from the woods. Captain Furnum and "C" Militia enter the woods while "A" Militia follows up. Unbloodied and eager to fight "C" Militia is about to get their wish.
As one party of Indians turns to face them the other pursues after the retiring Regulars stopping at the edge of the woods.
Because the British are on a Raid: Attack Encounter this means the French Allied side is on the Raid: Defend movement mechanic. This means that they will usually move to cover and fire depending upon what they roll. The NPC Movement System allows for the opposite side, when fighting solo or same side, to automatically move in a rational way.

Turn Seven

The 8th, firing at will as they haven’t had a chance to properly reload,  fire at the Indians at the edge of the woods, causing casualties.
7th Regulars finally halt and reform into line.
Lt. Barnes leads the 6th Regulars into the woods while "C" Militia gets off its first shots of the battle, a volley that drops the Indian Leader. Unflustered the Indians return fire along the line but are effectively outnumbered two to one and being encircled.
This final pictures hows the outnumbered Indians as they are forced to retreat from the field.

It all hinges on whether or not the French receive any reinforcements as the battle is now becoming one of attrition and the smaller force will lose.

Turn Eight

The battle ended abruptly as the Indians, one party without its Leader slipped away as they were outnumbered and outgunned.
The British had won but it was an eye-opener. Only four French Allied forces had been met but they had inflicted a goodly number of casualties. The Colonial Militia saved the day whether from placement or brilliant leadership by Captain Furnum. In any case writing the report to Headquarters would be interesting. What did I learn? Being in formed lines in the open while your enemy is firing from cover is n not a good thing. Hmm, where had I heard that before?


  1. The paper minis looked really good and I just wonder why more wargaming is done this way

    In my heart of course I know it is because we love the figures ;)

  2. I like the paper minis for periods I'm thinking of getting into but don't want to buy minis until I know I'll game in it.

  3. It's a good idea to test the waters but once the trigger is pulled it's 3D for me all the way.


  4. Very nice game. I like the paper minis too for trying out a new period.

  5. Are these rules similar to Colonial Adventures...i.e. individually based figures, for larger units? Or RRTK, with multi-figs per base for even larger games?


  6. They are for ten man units. You can mount them individually or in the following way,
    two 3 figure stand
    one 2 figure stand
    two 1 figure stands per unit.
    Leaving them singly mounted would allow them to be use with other rule sets.