Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Road to AdeptiCon – The Virginia Regiment – French and Indian War

As the countdown to AdeptiCon continues, I’ve been spending at least an hour a night painting my Virginia Provincials. I chose these guys early on for our Sharp Practice game for our “Royal American Regiment of the Brush” project we’re doing this year. I wanted to do something on the British side but knew that Geoff would want to do British Regulars. The provincial models from Galloping Major were beautiful so that made my choice easy
Why the Virginia Regiment? There are a few other notable provincials of the time – the Jersey Blues, the Pennsylvania provincials, the New York provincials. Mostly I chose the Virginia Regiment because of the dearth of information available about them. I also really enjoyed reading about George Washington and his early influence on the war with the regiment.

I am painting my troops in the uniforms to the right
In terms of Sharp Practice, they’re the main part of a ‘settler defense’ force. The author put together some basic forces for each period and they’re the ‘regulars’ so to speak in a force defending settlements from French and Indian attacks. We’ve used these forces as we’ve started playing the game but they’re not the end-all be-all – you can add to them since TFL also included a points system.
I’ve also purchased a ton of 60th Foot from Galloping Major so I’d like to figure out a way to include two groups of those in my British list. The French lists are all 15-20 points more, so I don’t think that should be a problem.

You can see how bad these guys are - hard to get crashing volleys and step out, lack of special rules, conscripts and volunteers. They do have the ability to stay in formation always, though. Hearth and Home basically makes them a bit better if the scenario takes place in their own state. If they are not in their own state then they are Weedy Coves, which makes them worse at fisticuffs.
The Virginia Regiment was the first American professional force. They had uniforms and drilled and recruited regularly. It seems that most of the men were rather poor, as there was a buyout of the draft at ten pounds and you could also provide a substitute. There were also noted to be some men of native American or African descent.

Surveyor, frontiersman, warrior, president
Washington commanded the regiment from 1754-1758 after the first colonel, Joshua Fry, fell off a horse and died. Washington was 22 years old at the time, which to most of us now seems extremely young to be taking over command of hundreds of men. He had already been a surveyor at the age of 16, and spent much time on the frontier looking at land. At the age of 21 he was chosen to deliver warnings to the French to keep out of the American territorial claims in the Ohio valley, a treacherous journey that solidified his standing as a frontiersman. Afterward, he was given a commission as Lt. Col. in the Virginia Regiment.

The regiment itself participated in the battle at Jumonville Glen, a really interesting tiny skirmish that kicked off the war. He was very successful there, but the native Americans that had joined his force murdered a French prisoner in command and caused a shockwave. 

My favorite depiction of the regiment
They were then stationed at Fort Necessity, widening roads and keeping an eye on the French. They had been told that there was a large French force preparing for attack that would greatly outnumber British forces. The position of the fort itself was not a great location, as the French could sit on both sides in forests and direct fire at troops manning the swivel guns. Washington ended up sallying forth out of Necessity, but his own Virginia troops fled when the French advanced to meet him, and he had a total lack of cooperation with the Crown forces that were supposed to support him. The French humiliated the British forces, causing them to surrender with military honors and retreat.

They participated in Braddock’s disastrous expedition to try to take Fort Duquesne (now Pittsburgh) and were ambushed on the Monogahela river, where Braddock was killed. After that, they were stationed at Fort Cumberland and engaged in small skirmishes in the frontier of Virginia. Their last true action was the expedition to Fort Duquesne under John Forbes, a small portion of which we'll be refighting at AdeptiCon. They were disbanded in 1762.

Next week I’ll go over the uniforms and what paints I’m using, as well as review the models – thank you for reading!

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