Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Somewhere in Ireland (Part 1) A Beautiful Big Battle (Aughrim 1691) alate New Year Xmas game!

And it came to pass that a large elaborate table (please note the very impressive hill which was a work of art on the left hand side and authentic 28mm handmade buildings scattered around) was laid out with lead and plastic soldiers and a grand battle did take place earlier this year (just slightly "after" New Year, but well after Xmas but we called it the "Christmas Battle" nevertheless):


In fact this represented the last chance of the Irish Jacobite Army to face down William III and try and defeat him in open battle; it was the year 1691 at Aughrim, in Ireland (see below):

I was an Englishman and I commanded the left wing, five regiments of horse and two boisterous bands of skirmishers (one of which was the Royal Dutch "elite" Guards) and a light gun (see below, my "combined arms"!):

Facing me was a disruptive river (certainly to the horse to whom it was not fordable), crossed by a small bridge. The bridge was overlooked by a small hamlet garrisoned by Irish skirmishers. The opposite banks of the river were lined with more Irish skirmishers, behind them (off camera to the left) were four regiments of regular Irish horse (see below, as the enemy viewed my position):

To my right were lines and lines of English and Dutch infantry regiments, facing across the most boggiest of grounds I had ever saw, facing an enemy on a hill behind the cover of hedges. Luckily we were provisioned with four pieces of good artillery that were soon to be used to good effect (see below, a flooded stream with both banks horrendously "boggy"):

The Irish were about a quarter less in number, but with the uphill advantage and defensive works. However their troop quality was of dubious quality in parts. Yes there were "Irish Guards" but many a line regiment had been supplemented with a draft of naive peasant farmers armed with no more than scythes and pitchforks. Certain regiments were poor;y positioned and did show "bodies of men" in full display of the English and Dutch guns (see below, a fortress or graveyard?):

On the far right an aggressive looking force of skirmishers, a line regiment, a light gun and several regiments of cavalry. The the skirmishers are drawn up in a "Forlorn Hope" column that seemingly wish to "rush" the bridge. Ticked behind then is an engineering party with crude bundles of straw to fill the bog and let the passage of horse and foot go unhindered. An ambitious ploy that would need a certain amount of luck to succeed (see below):   

The Irish troops facing them seemed to put all their trust in a defensive artillery position and fortified church manned by skirmishers. Behind them lay a reserve force of cavalry. Not seen off camera were yet more skirmishers manning the ruins of a old fort covering the bridge, which made the prospects  of the "Forlorn Hope" seem unappetising. The English and Dutch in this sector did however possess a distinct advantage in artillery (see below):

Meanwhile I surveyed "my lads". They seemed good enough for the tasks that lay ahead. As I were not facing any "regular infantry" the two regiments of line to my right would not be immediately needed, but offered as a reserve if needed. I thanked the Lieutenant-General kindly (see below):

First I had to wrest possession of the the "hamlet that was on the wrong side of the river". The light cannon would have to be brought into position to reduce the place to rubble then I could send in my skirmishers 2:1 odds. The "elite" of the Dutch Guards should take the day. The cavalry would be in place to stop the enemy making a run for it or reinforcing the position. The Irish lads already in the hamlet were already lost but did not yet know it. Then it would be a matter of a skirmish at the bridge and forcing a passage. My duty was to tie down this flank while the British and Dutch regular infantry assaulted the "hill" unmolested from Irish horse (see below):

I awaited upon my General's signal to advance (see below):

Next: Bombardment and Movement to contact


Michał Kucharski said...

Game looking awesome!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

It certainly looked a "spectacle" although I remember it as a "slow moving" game, but I think people were just taking their time and enjoying it!

Ray Rousell said...

An excellent looking game!!!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Cheers Ray
A lot of people's hard work coming together here
Ultra respect for the Irish Commanders terrain and Model building skill and art
It was a great one to be invited to play at