Last weekend was the latest instalment of David Hunter's ongoing Saindoux Campaign, set in the British and French colonies in 18th century North America and using the Sharp Practice rules by TooFatLardies. (It is probably worth pointing out here that Saindoux is the French translation of the word Lard.)
Anyway, all the usual suspects gathered once more at BIG in sunny (not so sunny, actually) South Bristol for two days of French and Indian Wars gaming.
I'm not going to say too much here, except that the tables were, once again beautiful to look at and the scenarios gave all of us much thought, and more than a small amount of grief. I took a lot of pictures, but the low light levels meant that the ISO level on my DSLR ( a Pentax K70, in case anyone is interested) was pushed out to 128000 and therefore shooting without flash ended up producing grainy pictures, so apologies for that.
Anyway, the first few pictures are from my first game. My co-player had a force of Huron Indians and their behaviour was decidedly odd. First, they spurned an obvious opportunity to advance on the far bank of the river to outflank the British via a ford, instead deploying close to a pair of deserted Mohawk lodges. Then, after a couple of rounds of musketry, they entered the lodges and looted them. I was somewhat nonplussed, but what could I do? They were immune to reason. Things only got worse when the Huron warriors then set fire to the lodges and proceeded to escape with their loot, leaving my French to face the combined British forces alone. Luckily, I managed to kill an escaping British commander, so the French objective was achieved without actually defeating the British. It was only afterwards that I discovered that plunder and destruction was the Huron objective.
So, after Day 1, the French had a strong advantage, but the British hoped to come back strongly on Sunday.
This was another WHAT???? moment. The French had to destroy the fort that they had captured from the British the previous day. After accumulating 50 task points, the fuse would be lit and the fort would explode at the next Chapter end, ideally giving the occupants of the fort time to get away. Unhappily, the Tiffin chip came out too early to see any Command chips emerge from the bag. OK, never mind, we'll have another try in the next phase. Inevitably, the very first chip of the new phase was Tiffin. End of Chapter. Ka-Boom! the fort went up, killing everyone inside the building and causing many casualties and monumental levels of shock on those inside the pallisade. The game limped on for one more phase after that, but having achieved the objective, the French withdrew, somewhat shell-shocked and battered.
In gaming terms, my high-spot was the way my fusiliers from the Régiment de Guyenne performed. With the close terrain, getting a formation into action was a slow process, but when they arrived, the dice pixies were generally kind to me, and firing Controlled Volleys paid off handsomely, giving Les Rosbifs a series of bloody noses.
In the end, the two days ended with a French victory, so Hurrah! Mon Dieu! Vive le Roi! etc.
It was another terrific weekend of gaming and I enjoyed every minute of it. Ultimately, though, it isn't about winning or losing, it is about enjoying some excellent gaming with a bunch of friendly and like-minded gamers.