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French & Indian War Review

French & Indians wa battls

Imagine Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis rushing through the dense woodland of what is now upstate New York as he did in the film The Last of the Mohicans. As he runs, a black powder horn bounces at his hip. He is carrying a long rifle in his right hand, and a tomahawk in his left as he tracks down a war party of French-speaking Huron who have attacked a column of British redcoats and stolen his sweetheart in the process. The frontier is wild and expansive, and the fighting is brutal. It is the time of the French and Indian War, a continental struggle between the British and French – and respective indigenous allies – for control of North America. It is part of the wider Seven Years War, arguably considered the first truly world war and one that pitted the armies and navies of Great Britain and France against each other around the world, from modern day Canada and the South Seas, to India and the Mediterranean. This game simulates three battles form the war in North America, and it does it well.

Object of the game

This a standard “hex and counter” type of game that is commonplace in the war game genre. Players take turns moving cardboard counters on a top-down view of a battlefield. They conduct attacks, with combat typically resolved with an odds-based combat results table known as a CRT, using six-sided dice. The “hex” aspect comes from the overlayed hexagonal grid, which is part of the map and used to regulate the movement and actions of the counters that depict military formations, commanders, etc. As the genre goes, this game is pretty standard, especially for one that comes in a military history magazine. The game includes three unique battles from the French and Indian War (Lake George, 1755; Fort Oswego, 1756, and the famous battle for Quebec in 1759). It certainkly feels like it offers a bit more than the average magazine game, mainly due to the inclusion of three battles instead of the usual one. The object of the game is to beat the French if playing as the British player and vice versa. There are individual scenario victory conditions for the battles that each offer something a little different.


The term “standard” is in no way meant to belittle the quality of the components offered, as everything is presented as one would expect from such a game. The map is plain but pretty, and has topographical features clearly defined. The counters are also attractive and easy to differentiate and read. The issues with the presentation and ease of playing are more to do with the fact that this is a magazine game and the rules form part of the magazine itself, making it fiddlier to thumb through them than if it was a boxed game. The single map is a paper sheet, which again is fairly standard, and includes the three different battlefields, respective turn tracks, CRT, and other charts necessary to play the game. They are mostly easy to read and determine despite being included on the map; separate player aids are usually preferable for CRTs and the like, but not common in magazine games. The game comes with one map sheet and one counter sheet that includes 176 counters.


The game is at the grand tactical level and plays smoothly and quickly enough. There are no surprises in the format, with a fairly standard I-go/you-go turn order and a simple sequence of play. The three battles are varied in the number of turns and the size of the battle scenario, allowing players to learn the system and the rules with the smaller battle(s) first. With different sides to play as (British and French), and different tactics and strategies to employ, there is enough replayability in the game and system for those wishing to improve the historical result of the battles, as well as their own personal performances against their opponents or themselves if playing solitaire.

History and Research

This is more than a game. Aside from the game and the rules, the magazine also includes articles on the French and Indian War, the Sack of Delhi in 1398, Goose Green in 1982 and more besides. Strategy & Tactics is a long-running publication that provides both entertainment and education for those with an interest in the past.


Much of French and Indian War Battles is what you would expect from a Strategy & Tactics magazine game, which in itself is no bad thing. It is a perfectly serviceable attempt at throwing players into a pivotal moment of history, with tactical decisions on the battlefield to make that historically had strategic consequences that are still felt today, like a mostly English-speaking North America!