I think Indians were smart people and showed how they adapted to and adopted many items of European culture readily. Horses and cows, sheep and goats, chickens and ducks, the colonists they raided from they could have had aplenty if they wanted to engage in serious animal husbandry. After reading Wiliam Cronin’s “Changes in the Land” and many other such anthropological and environmental stories, I think they could have easily done it, and they could have adapted the settlement of the Europeans had they been able to accept modified European ideas. Not only animal husbandry, but blacksmithing and other artisanal crafts could have been learned which would have broken the bonds of “gift giving” that put them in bondage to the Europeans. For example, the real enemy to the Indian and especially the Iroquois confederacy was no the settler but the land speculator who sold large tracts of Indian land to the settlers and then let the settlers go out and take it. Had the Indian been able to cut out the middleman of the land speculator it might have been different. That is where the Indian sold land to individual farmers, or also modified their idea of land sovereignty as Cronin shows. The Indians already had the idea of sovereignty over the land but saw it mainly as the “usufruct” of the land as far as hunting. They were quite able to make wars against the Cherokee and others over hunting, why not political sovereignty as residence. The Indians also as part of these sales were always offered the chance to send some of their young men to the schools the white men set up. Mostly they judged this to be no real life for a man. However, had they, it would not take more than a dozen “shyster” lawyers to be able to hold their own in any courtroom against land claims put up by the speculators. A few Indian lawyers would have tied up these people in litigation for decades.
And besides this is Imagi-Nations where we can do what we want.
And in the end, if the Speculators decided to use their political influence with the crown to send an Army against Iroquoia, if the Iroquois had an army, there, on the scene, which did not have to be transported across the water…
There’s no cause or drum to beat here. It’s purely to make nifty armies and units. I have a system for my games which you all have probably heard about elsewhere. Rather than tying my brain in knots trying to figure up mechanisms of making Europeans and Indians equal on the table top, and bearing in mind I don’t like gaming massacres of isolated farmhouses, the best way to do it is to simply accept equality. The game system provides a means of setting up battles quickly and workably. There are two strategic units, the Army and the Brigade. All armies and brigades have the same units in them and are identical across national lines. Armies are of one type (mostly) and Brigades are of many types but a smaller number of units so there are infantry brigades, elite brigades, artillery brigades and so on. An infantry brigade of Saxe Burlap and Schleswig Beerstein und Saxe Burlap and one of Bad Zu Wurst are identical in numbers and values, and have four infantry regiments, one dtragoon regiment, one light gun, and one wagon and a number of officers. In setting up a game you can a maximum of two units in a force. The legal combinations are one brigade, two brigades, one army, and one army and one brigade. This is usually derived from the campaign.
An Army is much larger and has five line infantry regiments, two elite regiments (which you can make either light infantry or Grenadiers, or Engineers) and if you chose light infantry you can have them in several organizations and break a unit down to six stands of SCUM or skirmishers. There are also four heavy cavalry and four light cavalry regiments, two light, and two heavy guns and five wagons and a passel of officers.
Now… I use the same for my Turkish Army. It has five regiments of regular infantry same as line infantry, two regiments of elites which can be either Jannisaries (grenadiers) or Bashi-Bazooks (light infantry) four regiments of Spahi’ heavy cavalry, four units of Light Cavalry (tatars perhaps) two light and two heavy guns. I allow the Turks, if they wish to convert all their guns to the big super-heavy but immobile ones they used if they wish.
I want therefore to keep the Iroquois “army” within that format. Five regiments of braves acting as line infantry, two regiments of Elite (Grenadiers from white settlers or light infantry as Courier DuBois as skirmishers etc. with light and heavy cavalry etc. and a few other choices special to the Indians . I admit this is not historical at all, but … admit it… wouldn’t you love to see a regiment of European colonists in Indian lands in long overcoat advancing on skates? With a light gun pulled by deer?