FIW Indian Organization Revisited

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FIW Indian Organization Revisited

Postby john de terre neuve » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:02 am

I got in my first FIW SP2 game this past weekend. I had played a couple of Napoleonic games before. We made quite a few mistakes as it was my first outing with SP2 where I was the more learned player!

Reading the FAQ actually clarified almost everything but as luck would have it I read it after the game rather than before.

My gaming partner has good knowledge of the FIW and we have played quite a few games of This Very Ground as well as Muskets and Tomahawks. Both good games but really my preference is with TFL rules, they are just more fun to me as I really like the complexity of command choices as offered by the Command Card process and of course the mechanisms are quite familiar to me from playing many games of CoC and Dux.

So back to the Indians. I note the previous threads questioning classifying the Indians as tribes rather than skirmishers. I also note some questions about the French allied Indians being poor shots. These threads are from sometime ago when the ruleset first game out.

So what are players doing now with several more months of playing experience?

From reading the threads it seemed to me that players were allowing Indians to be fielded as irregular skirmishers in units of 6 rather than as tribes or were allowing both group organizations to be fielded. Is this still the case and if so what is the points value and characteristics of Indians as irregular skirmishers? Still aggressive, moveable DP, Tactical, TH's and Tactical with Step Out as 1? The Sharpulator seems to be 7: Base=5(IS) and Modifier=2(SO1)+2(Ag)+1(MDP)+1(T)+1(TH)=7, so +2 to base), but maybe I am doing it incorrectly.

Are players still making French Indians poor shots, this sounds a little dubious to me.

From reading the FAQ it is clear that Rich is quite happy with players adjusting the lists, but I was curious what was the consensus if any.

Thanks,

John
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Re: FIW Indian Organization Revisited

Postby SteveBurt » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:05 am

We field them as skirmishers in groups of 6, not poor shots. Aggressive, movable DP, tactical, step out for 1.
Dunno how many points that is because I don't use the points system.
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Re: FIW Indian Organization Revisited

Postby Captain Reid » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:11 am

Light Infantry (Braddock's Defeat makes it pretty plain to me that they were comfortable engaging at close range with firearms and were good shots. They were also feared at close quarters).
8 points.
Formation - no. First Fire - no (reflecting lower quality arms and powder). Controlled Fire - no.
Crashing Volley - no. Step Out - 1. Drill - no.
Aggressive, Moveable Deployment Point, Prominent Leader, Tactical, Tomahawks

Game mechanics relating to Fisticuffs mean they must whittle even lesser rated enemies down before charging in or they will suffer disproportionate losses (11 points for a Group with a Status I Leader means usually only 5-6 Groups in an all-native force - note also I count Prominent Leader as a negative characteristic, which it certainly seems to me to be, in the calculation).

I have experimented with them as Skirmishers and Irregular Skirmishers with tweaks to the above attributes and settled upon the Light infantry rating and above characteristics as the most satisfactory to me. That said, rating roughly as above but as Skirmishers instead of Light Infantry isn't unreasonable either.

I also like Simon's idea from the 2016 Summer Special that native groups should take a point of Shock when they suffer a casualty but suffer no roll on the Bad Things Happen table if forced to withdraw, and I'm going to use that going forwards, I think.
Faith! If they tried to outrun a Hielandmon, they stood but a bad chance, for Whash! went the broadsword.
- James Thompson, 78th Foot.

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Re: FIW Indian Organization Revisited

Postby Archdukek » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:15 pm

I'm still swithering between treating them as Skirmishers or following David's (Captain Reid) approach of going all out as Light Infantry. I also like Simon's suggestion about them gaining a point of Shock when taking a Kill.
I usually forget about the French Indian allies being Poor Shots. It makes little odds if you field them as Tribe, but does make a difference if you use them as Skirmishers when I'm not sure the penalty is really warranted.

John
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Re: FIW Indian Organization Revisited

Postby john de terre neuve » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:24 pm

Thank you all. I believe I will go with the option of having Indians as Skirmish Troops. Still not sure which type.

1)All types get an extra d6(not Irregular Skirmishers) of movement and may evade if confronted.

2) Firing all get a +1 to hit but in different situations.
LiIn +1 to hit
Sk +1 to hit if not close range
IrSk +1 to hit if not close range and in light cover

3) Fisticuffs
LiIn #2 in quality
Sk #3 in quality
IrSk #4 in quality
where each quality increase give an extra 2d6 in melee.

If Light Infantry, this makes them quite similar to Colonial Rangers and Coureurs de Bois aside from the positive attribute of First Fire and the negative attribute of Prominent Leader.

It is a bit of a tough decision and as I am no expert of NA Indians in the 18th century I am still not really sure which choice is correct. Were they that good of shots at close range or that feared in melee?

Thanks,

John
Last edited by john de terre neuve on Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FIW Indian Organization Revisited

Postby sjwalker51 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:30 am

I added a few more tweaks to further differentiate the Ohio Indians' tactics from those of European light troops, which are included in the Summer '16 Special article on Washington's War.

I'm more inclined to make them Skirmishers rather than Lights, as this encourages them to either fire at longer ranges or get stuck in when closer and they lose the firing bonus.
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Re: FIW Indian Organization Revisited

Postby Captain Reid » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:30 am

If you charge in as light infantry before the enemy are seriously weakened, you end up with your force mauled whether you win or lose the fisticuffs. The Natives have so few troops, relatively speaking, on the table that they can't afford that.

That, coupled with the facts that they appear to have been comfortable engaging at all ranges and they seem no whit inferior to any of the Europeans at close quarters, leads me to preferring Light Infantry (everything being relative in SP - so a Highland Light or a CFdlM Light, both LI and Aggressive with Tomahawks, are not inferior to LI natives and neither in their rulebook form are Roger's Rangers, in fact all three have the advantage that they cannot be downgraded if their leader is killed).

That said, I don't think Skirmishers is wrong per se (though I think that in that case the downgrade to Irregular if their leader is killed is probably unjustified, so I'd tend to want to drop Prominent Leader if fielding them as Skirmishers)
Faith! If they tried to outrun a Hielandmon, they stood but a bad chance, for Whash! went the broadsword.
- James Thompson, 78th Foot.

The Saindoux Campaign, 1757, my French and Indian War blog

Cerro Manteca, 1811, my Peninsular War blog.
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Re: FIW Indian Organization Revisited

Postby Archdukek » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:58 pm

John,
One correction to your summary which may sway your decision. Irregular Skirmishers do not get an additional 1D6 movement, that's confined to Skirmishers and Light Infantry (see Skirmish Drill page 32). However, they often have a low Step Out characteristic which lets you spend a Command Card for a similar benefit.

John
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Re: FIW Indian Organization Revisited

Postby john de terre neuve » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:37 pm

Thanks John, I did miss that.

So I think with the loss of extra movement I will not make them as irregular skirmishers.

My tendency is to make them skirmishers rather than light infantry. I find the quality boost in Fisticuffs maybe a little high.

Thanks again, it was an interesting process for me.

John
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Re: FIW Indian Organization Revisited

Postby Archdukek » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:58 pm

I'm inclined to agree, bearing in mind that giving them Aggressive gains +2D6 putting them on a par with normal Regulars in Fisticuffs. That's obviously before the effect of Tomahawks if any. Makes them dangerous in the right circumstances but not excessively so.

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