Sunday, 27 June 2010

The Boyne

My apologies for the break in posts, but recent events on the domestic front have confirmed, (as if it was ever in doubt), that family comes first and that means that wargaming, delightful hobby as it is, must take a back seat.

Our group did start a scenario covering the Battle of the Boyne three weeks ago, which hopefully will be completed later this week. The true king/usurper (delete as appropriate) had ordered his main force to attack across the river and disperse the rebels/royal forces (again delete as appropriate). The flanking manoeuvre at Roscree was included, but there was a time zone included which required a number of game turns to cross.

Here are the Jacobite forces at Oldbridge awaiting the Dutch attack.

The initial Williamite artillery bombardment was mostly ineffective, so, as the forlorn hope of Dutch grenadiers crossed the river and emerged on the far bank they were met with a shattering volley. Still disordered from their crossing they broke and ran back into the less then friendly ranks of the Dutch Guards who were following them. Even these elite troops struggled to make headway. The second battalion in particular suffered such heavy losses from the sustained volleys of 2nd battalion His Majesty's Guards that they were eliminated as a fighting force. Surveying the bloody scene, William hoped his force at Roscree was having more success.

The mixed force of Hugenot and Northern Irish infantry, supported by dragoons, had managed to force their way over the bridge in spite of determined resistance by the French dragoon regiment opposed to them .

They did inflict heavy casualties and also delayed the advance for several turns, which meant that a covering force was able to take up a position to block the Williamite flank attack.

Back at Oldbridge, William had seen the first battalion of the Dutch Guards charged by the Jacobite cavalry and pushed back into the river, pinning Oxford's Horse who were crossing in support. Buoyed by their success the Jacobite Horse plunged into the bloodied waters determined to prove they could defeat the much vaunted Oxford's as well as the Dutch Guards. A bitter struggle ensued, but in the end the blue coated Williamite horse prevailed . However, they did need to fall back to reform and by doing so pinned the infantry poised to advance. This delay suited James very well. Not only did it use up yet more valuable time, but it also allowed him to recover from a potentially disastrous failure of ammunition supply to his front line units. The Guards' volleys had been accurate and sustained, but their ammunition supply was now exhausted. Civilian drivers would not come forward to deliver the ammunition, so reluctantly the Guards had to fall back to get it for themselves. Their place at the barricades was taken by the support unit (Lord Grand Prior's). The delay in sorting out the Williamite advance, due to the prolonged cavalry melee, gave these new troops time to get into position to face the next wave of attacks. James also found that his elite units were now in position to support either the Oldbridge or flank positions.

More photos are available on flickr at

So with everything in the balance, this week's gaming should have plenty of interest.

I did attend the St Helen's show and a very enjoyable 'Sudan' game the same weekend. Hopefully reports on both will follow shortly.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Napoleonic 1813

Planning for the big Napoleonic game is progressing. The OOB rosters for each side have been completed and with a little fudging, two well-matched adversaries have been assembled. The French have the numbers, but their opponents have the advantage of position and like Russians throughout history they have improved that position with earthworks. Each side has three corps commanders and a C in C who controls the reserve.

For years my 'French' army consisted of regiments of Confederation of the Rhine troops, Baden, Wurttemburg etc plus Bavarians and Poles. It is only relatively recently that French units have begun to feature and they were of the line and legere types, no Grenadiers of the Guard for me! This stand against elitism has crumbled in the last couple of years; Fusilier Grenadiers and Fusilier Chasseurs have appeared and also five regiments of Guard cavalry. These were the result of a trip to the Kirremuir show.

Thoughts are now beginning to drift towards the St Helens show, one of my favourite trips of the year; although a couple of years ago a failure in navigation saw me travelling some miles in the wrong direction. There is always a good variety of games and traders and there is usually something of interest on the bring and buy.