I played the British and Tim took charge of the Scots for a Jacobite battle. The first picture shows my troops arriving on the battle field. I had only 1 artillery piece, Tim had none, we had one cavalry unit each and I had 8 infantry units to the Scots 12. My mission was to take both the villages and level them. One village on the hill to the left the other on the right beyond the trees.
It is fair to say that we got the rules wrong and continually corrected them as we discovered the right solution. So movement at the start was very slowly and we both struggled with the dice and motivating the troops. However it was equally stifling for us both so no biggie. It was good to have a slow start anyway as it gave us both chance to get used to what we were doing.
My plan was that to try to split the Scots defenders and target one village while using a smaller force to keep the rampaging Scots at bay. Tim had different ideas of course. The picture to the right shows where my firing line came to a halt on the right. Tim hurled his Cavalry unit straight at my centre The Scots Horse of this period were not very effective and that proved to be the case in the game. They hit a unit of Loyal lowland Scots and suffered so badly that they turned tail and withdrew both disrupted and shaken. For most of the rest of the game poor Tim could not get a general to motivate them again.
The next picture shows where my advance was halted by a series of bad command rolls. Tim had sent 4 foot units to my left out of shot, hence the bent line. He sent his troop forward, down from the hill on the right and into melee with my right flank unit. A series of good dice rolls (from my point of view) first tied the melee and then allowed me to win it. And then the four units to the left hurtled into my loyal Scots who were able to get of shots at close range and disrupt the charge. The resulting fights did not go all my own way but neither were they disastrous.
My right flank was out shooting the Scots quite dramatically, which is not to say the return fire was having any effect. More to say they mine was becoming about twice as effective overall and Tim had to move leaders about and rally troops at every opportunity. I did finally manage to motivate the horse and send them into the highlanders who had finally lost the melee and had withdrawn. They did what any good formed horse should do against fleeing troops and totally wiped them out. They were then on the flank of Tim's troops and after a turn of resting and recovering were able to launch another charge into his troops which had been using a stone wall as cover.
meanwhile to my left the 4 units of highlanders contacted my lowland loyalists. Ouch! One unit acted as a "speed bump" and slowed the Highlanders down but did not stop them. After a couple of turns they crumbled and the unit routed of the board never to be seen again. Of course I reinforced them plugged the hole and steeled myself for the next onslaught. This temporary gap encouraged the scots still on the hill to commit themselves. and I had 1 unit at the corner in danger of having to fight or more than one face, so I got them to form square. While not a conventional tactic we were trying the rules so it was worth a try. They did not fight as efficiently in square as I hoped but it did mean that any failed morale tests would still keep them there and not scatter them. So they did not flee and they did allow me to support the square and I managed to squeeze his highlanders between my two units (square and line).
At the same time my left flank was hurting I managed to charge my horse again into the flank of the unit seeking cover behind the wall. They could not get a last shot off lost the morale check and with a bad dice roll also fled the field. At this stage Tim's flank started to withdraw out of charge range and I made a steady advance with my foot on my Right.
So my left flank was under pressure my centre was holding but my right had pretty much dealt with the defenders of the first village. With some fortunate motivations (despite rolling double 6). A natural 12 on the motivations mean the unit concerned fails to understand the order properly and may act in a random manner. This surprisingly worked in my favour and they were put in a position to threaten the Scots Horse which had continually failed to motivate and of course Tim was too busy elsewhere to spare a commander to order them back to the fight.
With my right flank free I was able to support the left which were slowly and systematically being worn away. Bringing so many now fresh and rested troops over to the left allowed my to push the remaining highlanders back and I secured the second village.
Conclusion: Although the unit losses tend to make it look like a one sided battle I only lost 3 foot to Tims 11 and a horse. The battle was not as this would reflect. I grant you that Tim was continually on the defensive and to much extent the back foot but a few different dice rolls and I could have been crushed like a bug at one point in the game.
Overall the rules worked well and we shall use them again. They are not a set for picky rules lawyers but they do seem to be a good set for club fun games. The basic rules are simple and despite the hesitations and our initial lack of understanding over motivations worked as I would hope a club set should work. The best part for me was that I have played skirmish games the most part of the last year or so which made a big battle set a very pleasant change.
When I first thought to do War of Spanish Succession I did buy some 6mm Baccus miniatures. I can see that I might have to hunt them out and get them painted now. Given that I am not buying any wargames figures until September at the earliest this seems to me to be an excellent idea. So give me a while to clear what I have on the paint table already and I can start them.
I hope you found something of interest here today. Thanks for tuning in and I should do my next post on Wednesday. All the best Clint.