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1754: Conquest – The French and Indian War» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Got in the first playthrough rss

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Paul Buchholz
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Warren
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I will be demoing 1754 at Wintercon here in Michigan in a couple weeks. I sat down with my copy last night and gave it a solo play through. I am a huge fan of 1775 and I have 1812 as well so I am familiar with the basics. Since it was a solo play through with me playing all 4 seats I won't speak to the tactics of the game.

I will start with the things I liked. I was pleased to see the basic 1775 mechanic of defender rolling first was still present as I enjoy that. I liked the map set-up especially the ability for the muster points being flexible. That seems like it will lead to more varied games once everyone develops their tactics. I also liked the Random Native American reinforcement mechanic. It gave a reason to control more than just the objective points. Another plus for the reinforcing phase is the different methods for regulars versus militia. The regulars all come in at ports since they are English and French whereas the militias form inland as if from the populations. I also like the objectives. You get no points for holding your own territory, the only way to score points is holding the native American areas of the enemy's home territory. All of this left the game with some cool differences from the other two games but enough similarity for me to really enjoy it.

Now I will get to the things I did not like. This is a very small list. There is only one thing and it is pretty minimal. I liked the forts and the fact that you could build them during the game but I didn't find them to be effective enough. I would possibly add a second fort dice. The ability to possibly block one enemy hit didn't seem powerful enough. I will however preface this with the admission that I didn't really play the game so perhaps forts are more effective than they seem.

All in all I am super happy with this game. Before the only time I would grab 1812 is when I had a fifth player. Now it will be a tough choice whether to grab 1775 or 1754 off the shelf.

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Jelly Pantz
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Des Moines
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Quote:
The ability to possibly block one enemy hit didn't seem powerful enough.


I've played a lot of 1775 and the Fort ability seems tremendously powerful. To be an attacker and potentially watch one of your rolled Hits just *poof* disappear on your turn to attack will be something that you will take very seriously.
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Bill Eldard
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stick1975 wrote:
. . . I liked the forts and the fact that you could build them during the game but I didn't find them to be effective enough. I would possibly add a second fort dice. The ability to possibly block one enemy hit didn't seem powerful enough. I will however preface this with the admission that I didn't really play the game so perhaps forts are more effective than they seem.


Ironically, more major forts in the F&IW fell to sieges than assault, and some were just abandoned without a fight.

Oswego (1756) and William Henry (1757) surrendered to Montcalm and the British battle casualties were mainly from Indian massacres of the captured garrisons. In both cases, Montcalm burned the forts and retreated.

The French did defeat Abercrombie's force at Ticonderoga (1758), but from behind some fieldworks at a considerable distance from Carillon; the British didn't get close enough to be fired upon from the fort proper.

In 1758, Duquesne was demolished and abandoned by the French as Forbes' superior British force approached the Ohio Forks.

Montcalm demolished Carillon and St. Frederic in 1759 as he retreated up Lake Champlain to defend Quebec, where Wolfe's British force was threatening after the fall of Louisbourg to siege and assault in 1758. Louisbourg could more properly be described as a fortress than a fort.

At Quebec, Montcalm opted to fight Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham rather than defend from behind the old walls of the city.

So, in most cases, the defenders in forts had little effect (or opportunities) on inflicting casualties on assaulting forces. Perhaps the effectiveness of forts in the 1754 game as you described is close to historical reality.
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G. H.
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"The French did defeat Abercrombie's force at Ticonderoga (1758), but from behind some fieldworks at a considerable distance from Carillon; the British didn't get close enough to be fired upon from the fort proper"

To be fair, had Abercrombie's army been able to get to the walls of Carillon and besiege them, Montcalm knew that he would have been doomed. Hence the fight at the abatis he created.

This Wikipedia article mentions the battle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abatis)
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Bob James
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Forts
Historicly forts in the French Indian war were more important than in Revolutionary war, but like all static defenses thought to be great in fact gave only a possible slow down versus most advances against them.
British lost forts, then the French lost them and the war.
A good read of Ft. Oswego, William Henry, Ticonderoga, Louisburg, Quebec all come to mind and SO FORTH.
 
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Paul Buchholz
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Yes perhaps ten games in I will change my mind but that was my initial feeling.
 
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Bill Eldard
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m0rtaar wrote:

"The French did defeat Abercrombie's force at Ticonderoga (1758), but from behind some fieldworks at a considerable distance from Carillon; the British didn't get close enough to be fired upon from the fort proper"

To be fair, had Abercrombie's army been able to get to the walls of Carillon and besiege them, Montcalm knew that he would have been doomed. Hence the fight at the abatis he created.

This Wikipedia article mentions the battle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abatis)


That's true. Abercrombie was incompetent, and his defeat at Ticonderoga was of his own making. Had he waited to bring his guns up to blast the fieldworks, the defenders would've retreated into Carillon, and Montcalm would've been faced with

a) A British siege with no hope of French relief, or

b} Withdrawing up the lake to St. Frederic (or further), which is what he did the following year when Amherst resumed the British advance on Ticonderoga and up to Crown Point.
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Bill Eldard
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BOB JAMES wrote:
Historicly forts in the French Indian war were more important than in Revolutionary war, but like all static defenses thought to be great in fact gave only a possible slow down versus most advances against them.

The geography of the wars may be the key factor.

In the F&IW, New France and the British colonies were separated by vast wilderness expanses, forcing troop movement and logistics to rely on waterways and ships. Forts are very practical barriers/obstacles along waterway chokepoints to interdict movement of troops and supplies. They were excellent defenses against attackers who lacked artillery. Moreover, they served as logistic bases from which new campaigns could be launched.

The ultimate success of the British was due less to their military victories in the wilderness than to the Royal Navy's ability to circumvent the wilderness (and its natural restrictions on large conventional forces), and land and sustain large conventional forces at Louisbourg and Quebec to wage war in the European style.

In the American Revolution, the Royal Navy afforded the British access to the entire eastern seaboard of the 13 rebelling colonies, so the most significant battles were waged by British forces that arrived on the coast at friendly ports. It's true that some British forces came overland from Canada in 1776 and 1777, but they were much smaller in size, and they failed to succeed because of that. Burgoyne's 1777 campaign was part of a combined operation to link with British forces advancing east along the Mohawk Valley and north up the Hudson Valley, but his force was too small and ultimately outnumbered by the defending forces assembled by Gates. The British defeat at Ft. Stanwix can be largely attributed to the inadequate caliber of St. Leger's artillery, too small to smash the stockade walls, together with his reliance on Iroquois contingents who had no patience for siege warfare.

So, while there were many forts in the American Revolution, they didn't play a significant role in the outcome.
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