Sunday, 13 September 2015

Honours of War - the '45 Rebellion

As planned Dave and I had a go at using Honours of War for the '45 Jabobite Rebellion earlier this week. We decided to run the mini-campaign from the Black Powder supplement 'The Last Argument of Kings'. Now I know very little about this period other than the 'Battle of Culloden' and most of that from a film we saw at school, shot in a reportage style with an American reporter IIRC. So this would be yet another new perioed for me to game this year.

Troop Types
From our discussions the existing troop types would all work nicely, with the exception of the Highlanders (see below). For this kick-off game we broadly had:
  • The Jacobites with Standard troops but Dithering commanders.
  • The Hanoverians with Inferior troops but Dependable commanders.
This seemed to about right for the start of the '45, but there were a few units and commanders that differed from the above.

For the Clansmen we were guided by some thoughts from Keith Flint, the author, at the start, but tweaked a few things as the game progressed. In the end we came up with the following:
  • Move as Light Infantry.
  • Massed Formation. In essence they form a Double Line to represent the mass of kilted mayhem. +1 to hit as per the additional artillery modifier for 2 deep cavalry line.
  • Shoot as Inferior Line.
  • After their first volley, they must charge into combat if at all possible. This represents their tactic of massed volley followed by a charge.
  • In close combat they roll on as Standard infantry.
  • Point of Honour. The Highlanders on the far right flank count as Superior infantry in the charge to represent the best clan taking the postion of honour.

The Game - A Sort of Prestonpans
Both sides started off the table. The Jacobites simply had to exit the table as quickly as possible, but without suffering more than 50% casualties. Anymore and the Rebellion might be over before it really started. For the Hanoverians they had to delay the Jacobites for as long as possible and inflict as many casualties as they could, to allow the the garrison of Edinburgh Castle to prepare themselves for the Rising of the Clans.

As we were sort of playtesting this period, I didn't make any notes and only took a few pics. So some notes to the pics will hopefully give an idea of how the game played.

The Jacobites took some time to get their troops moving, largely down to the poor quality of the commanders. They put their cavalry and the French on the right to try and move round the Hanoverian flank, relying upon the Lowland Scots and the Highlanders to tie down the Hanoverian centre. The Hanoverians for their parts amanged to manouevre quickly into position, with the flanks anchored by the woods and the hill, with a small reserve. Their Dragoons deployed on their left flank to try and counter the movement of the Jacobites cavalry. 

The Hanoverian cannon deployed at the end of either line to try and gain maximum fields of fire. The Line await the mass of Jacobite troops that are advancing towards them.
The Hanoverians gained the advantage of firing first, seeing the demise of the Jacobite centre, which kept running after receiving a 'whiff of grapeshot'. Despite this the Jacobites still presented a formidable threat to the Hanoverian Line, that had to move to meet the attack going in against their right wing on the hill. After some fierce fighting, the Jacobites took control of the hill, but at the cost of losing too many troops, leaving them too weak to push onto Edinburgh. On the Hanoverian right flank, the cavalry fought each other to a standstill, whilst the French arrived too late to alter the outcome of the battle.
The Hanoverian commanders look on as their troops are posied for victory, albeit it a somewhat Pyrrhic one.
Post Game Thoughts
Well in the end quite a close run thing and the Hanoverians suprisingly survived the massed ranks of the Jacobite Clans attacks. We were both pleased with how the game went and the rules worked really well for the '45. As mentioned above, we tweaked the rules for the Highlanders as we went along, but not to the point that they affected the outcome of the game. So a few thoughts as always:
  • The poor quality of the Jacobite commanders told in the end. It took some time for them to really get going, allowing the Hanoverians to defeat them in detail. Some poor die rolling by Dave didn't help in the Rally phase, where a series of 1's saw the Jacobite centre continue to retreat off the table after receiving one Turn of grapeshot and volley fire. We blamed this on Dave using a Hanoverian commander to control his centre. Obviously they had no faith in him or simply could not understand his accent!
  • In contrast the Hanoverians, despite having Inferior troops, were able to have the upper hand for most of the battle. This was especially true of the Firing phase, as they got a +1 to their die roll. 
  • This period is certainly very colourful, with the ability to make the Jacobites a very distinctve looking army. Add in pikes, Lochaber axes, swords and targes and you have a great looking army (Just don't expect me to paint them in tartan).
  • For those that are interested, Pendraken do a nice range of Jacobites, with the Hanoverians simply coming from their Marlburian or SYW ranges.

So the next game will be in a few weeks time, with the Hanoverians most likely trying to capitalise on their victory. In the mean time I plan to try and get a solo game in set in the AWI, but again using the 'Honours of War' rules. These will be with my Kreigspiel blocks as my figures are still a 'work in progress', which is sadly true of most of my projects. I will use the Black Powder 'Rebellion!' supplement as my guide.

No comments:

Post a Comment