Map Variant French and Indian War *Seeking 2 yr Playtest*

This is the place for games which are currently being created and developed, and where the designer is listening to feedback from other players. The game is not ready to play, and the designers are not looking for sign-ups - indeed, they may have no intention of GMing the game themselves when it is finished. But your input is welcome!

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Map Variant French and Indian War *Seeking 2 yr Playtest*

Postby bilbert2 » 31 Jan 2020, 04:53

Playtest to Begin

This playtest is beginning and awaiting confirmation by participants. Last-minute sign-ups are still welcome.

Players:

Strategus
patatevolante4
TTBen
bilbert2

patatevolante4: France + Shawnee Nation
Player 2: Spain + Huron Confed.
Player 3: Britain + Chocktaw Nation
Player 4: Iroquois League + Chickasaw Nation


Note: Map Draft 3

Intro
I have become increasingly interested in three things lately: Diplomacy (the game), the French and Indian War, and drawing on my iPad. Luckily, there is an outlet to all three--variants! Cue: The French and Indian War Variant. It is an eight-player standard-rules map. It would begin Spring 1750.

I am looking for feedback for balance issues. Other suggestions are welcome. If a GM wants to do a test run, I'd be thrilled to participate, but I've never GM'd. I can provide help with the map.

Background
The French and Indian War is regarded as the North American theater of the Seven Years' War. The primary factions were French forces and their Native American allies against British forces, American colonists, and their Native American allies. The war took place primarily in the late 1750s to early 1760s. The conflict sparked over occupation of the Ohio River Valley, where French crept down from Canada to establish forts before American colonists pushed out that far. Native Americans inhabited all of this land of course, so they were drawn into the conflict along their old tribal wars. The French allied with the Huron Confederacy and the Algonquian tribes, while the British allied closely with the Iroquois League. In truth, the Huron Confederacy was mostly defeated by the Iroquois a couple of decades earlier in the closely-associated Beaver Wars. Spain was involved in the Seven Years' War, but it did not mount any real offensives in the American theater. But they could have!

The map includes the Chickasaw Wars, since they more or less coincided. The British armed the Chickasaw Nation with firearms, who then turned and raided their rivals, the Chocktaw, to sell them into slavery to the British. In turn, the French armed the Chocktaw so that they could defend themselves and attack and disrupt British trade.

Rules
Standard rules and order apply. However, there are some map differences that require explanation. First, the St. Lawrence and Mississippi Rivers are not occupied spaces, but the land on both sides (just the one side for the Mississippi) count as coasts--meaning fleets and armies can occupy them, move up and down the river coasts, and cross to the other side.

Map
There are a few points to explain.
-Wyandat is the same as Constantinople, straddling a waterway.
-The Great Lakes are directly connected, meaning fleets can move directly from one lake to the next.
-NO (New Orleans) and Montreal (Ville-Marie) occupy both sides of the river. They function as coasts, a bit like Denmark. They can be attacked by an army or fleet, but they cannot be bypassed by a fleet wishing to pass by.
-Biloxi has a river coast and a gulf coast, with New Orleans separating the two.
-Neutral-Niagra and Ottawa-Wyndat function as Constantinople, if it were divided into two territories at the Bosporus, that is. Armies can move Neutral-Niagra and Ottawa-WYN, and fleets can move Lake Onterio-Lake Erie and Lake Erie-Lake Huron.

I have named some regions by the geography, some by Native American tribes that were nearby, and some by forts or cities. There are several divergences from history to accommodate game-play, but I feel like it gives a semi-realistic map of the time.

*Edit* New draft based on feedback from PlayDip comments. I have included icons of the fleets for clarity. I left the armies as colored stars.
FrenchIndianWar_Map_Draft3.gif
FrenchIndianWar_Map_Draft3.gif (97.42 KiB) Viewed 1557 times

Powers

France
Mobile (F), Quebec (A), Montreal (A), Fort Beaséjour (F on north coast)

Iroquois League
Mohawk (A), Seneca (A), Onieda (A)

Huron Confederacy
Ottawa (A), Georgian Bay (A), Wyndat (A)

England
Boston (F), NY (A), NJ (A), Maryland (F)

Shawnee Nation
Miami (A), Toledo (A), Upper Ohio (A)

Spain
Pensacola (A), East Florida (F), Havana (F)

Chickasaw Nation
Chickasaw Bluffs (A), Etowah (A), Lower Ohio (A)

Chocktaw Nation
Natchez (A), Alibamu (A), North Mississippi (A)

The map could also serve a two-player mode along historical lines, where France, Shawnee Nation, Huron Confederacy, Chocktaw Nation, and Spain are controlled by one player, while England, the Iroquois League and the Chickasaw Nation are the other's. In this mode, England and her allies would begin with one free move for all units before game-play begins.

Note: The territories for many of the tribes are not exact and include other tribes' territories--e.g., the Miami Nation being a territory of the Shawnee Nation. The Algonquian peoples fought more than many of these other tribes in the war, but their territories were so intertwined with the French forts that, for game-play purposes, I replaced them with the Huron Confederacy. No offense was intended, and I apologize if anything is inaccurate.
Last edited by bilbert2 on 18 Mar 2020, 06:42, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: New Map Variant: French and Indian War

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 31 Jan 2020, 17:32

This is neat! I have some information I can share about how I model theoretical balance. It's not a perfect methodology, but if you're willing to do the legwork, it can point out some potential trouble-spots.

PM me, and I'll send you an invite to the Discord where I have files and explanations.
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Re: New Map Variant: French and Indian War

Postby patatevolante4 » 31 Jan 2020, 19:10

The variant is a great idea. I'm canadian (acadian and french canadian in fact) and maybe I can help you out.

For the territories, some names aren't really where they are supposed to be. Most of them are existing, but not at the right spot.

First off, switch Québec and Montréal. if you want to be historicaly correct, change Montreal to "Ville-Marie"
Secondly, Ottawa is completely off-course. It is technically supposed to be in frontenac today (if we place it in an area on your map) but Frontenac is pretty exact. I recommend replacing George. Bay with Ottawa, as this is where they lived. If you want to be historicaly close to accuracy, the Ottawa region wasn't really explored.

Finally, Fort Louisbourg made me chuckle when I saw it took over southern New-Brunswick, but I guess it is somewhat a sphere of influence. I would recomend splitting it in two and calling southern New-Brunswick Fort Beaséjour.

I, of course, want to be in the game testers. Thanks.
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Re: New Map Variant: French and Indian War

Postby bilbert2 » 01 Feb 2020, 05:51

patatevolante4 wrote: The variant is a great idea. I'm canadian (acadian and french canadian in fact) and maybe I can help you out.

For the territories, some names aren't really where they are supposed to be. Most of them are existing, but not at the right spot.


I appreciate the input! I began drawing the map with excitement. I found writing the names by hand reduced the file size for some reason, and I thought it gave an appealing aesthetic (despite my penmanship). Unfortunately, it was time consuming, so I was a bit hurried by the end. The Montreal and Quebec gaffe is embarrassing and will be addressed in the next draft, but I do have reasons for the other choices. I'd be glad to have French and era-appropriate names, as long as they don't lengthen too much - I already am having to abbreviate many names.

Fort Louisbourg is written where Fort Beaséjour exists, but I put the center's star close to the fort's location. I will change 'Michigan' to 'Ottawa' and make it a Huron supply center.

There are two points of tension in the map, French centers in the northeast and French centers around New Orleans. I think your ideas will fix the northeast issue. For the north, looking into what you said made me realize New Foundland shouldn't be French after all. I may make it neutral, playing the role of a Tunis, of sorts. I think I will separate Ft. Louis. into two territories, Fort Louisbourg and Fort Beaséjour, with the former beginning as a neutral supply center and the latter being a French home center with a Fleet on the St. Lawrence Gulf. I want to keep the feel and dynamics similar to the standard version.

I am still trying to figure out what to do with the Mississippi delta region. I want to give France New Orleans, but I don't want to weaken Spain or Chocktaw Nation any further.
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Re: New Map Variant: French and Indian War

Postby Kahn1884 » 01 Feb 2020, 16:25

How do I get to French - Indian wars?
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Re: New Map Variant: French and Indian War

Postby patatevolante4 » 01 Feb 2020, 16:44

Indeed. In fact, Newfoundland was English, with the French having fish-drying access allowed. (Utrecht treaty)
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Re: New Map Variant: French and Indian War

Postby bilbert2 » 01 Feb 2020, 18:03

Kahn1884 wrote:How do I get to French - Indian wars?

This is just a map I'm designing. It won't be playable on site, but I hope it may be tested in the forums sometime.

patatevolante4 wrote:Indeed. In fact, Newfoundland was English, with the French having fish-drying access allowed. (Utrecht treaty)


Indeed. I'm afraid I won't be able to include the fish drying into the map, but I'll make the ownership change when I have time to redo the map.
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Re: New Map Variant: French and Indian War

Postby patatevolante4 » 01 Feb 2020, 19:12

A neutral center debated between France and England would be alright. But I see you have placed Annapolis Royal as neutral, so I don't know.
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Re: New Map Variant: French and Indian War *Revised*

Postby bilbert2 » 02 Feb 2020, 12:58

patatevolante4 wrote:A neutral center debated between France and England would be alright. But I see you have placed Annapolis Royal as neutral, so I don't know.


I have created three neutrals to fight over: Port Royal, Fort Louisbourg, and New Foundland. This will create a bit of tension between France and England, which is okay by my book. The first year has a lot of intriguing ways for England's Boston fleet and France's fleet to play out. Though, most would be impacted by the Iroquois League's first move.
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Re: New Map Variant: French and Indian War *Revised*

Postby patatevolante4 » 02 Feb 2020, 15:21

I agree. Historically speaking, it' basically how it went. Tell me when it's ready to play!
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