Wednesday, June 3, 2015


I found myself just having to post (and share) this link:

http://mcristobylacew-abdul666.blogspot.ie/2007/07/from-solo-wargaming-to-world-wilde.html

It is not new, in fact it was written quite a long time ago. But I think, like all worthy matters of interest to the passionate gamer, such articles never grow old, or die... they merely mature; and endure with tasteful lasting charm... remaining as true and relevant decade(s) later as they were when first written.

L F




Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tempus Fugit

"Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"

.... and so, with great joy, a true sense of frabjous spirit and adventure; miniatures are lining up to be painted in full glorious colour: rules ("Maurice") are being scoured with an ever critical eye, now with serious intent to the `main chance` of becoming the official rule set we employ for all our future jovialities.
 
Time sits on our side once again, and my partner (Stevie Blakeney*) and myself are up, ready and able to concentrate on our gamely endeavours once again... Callooh! Callay! So please, do keep an eye open over the coming while, as we work hard to thrill and entertain ourselves and hopefully peek some `external` interest from others too, in our (now fine tuned) imaginary tales of times that never were... but perhaps, should have been.

* naturally, a distant relative of that said same dashingly handsome, elusive scarlet fop.
 
The only major change (actually, when I think about it, quite a biggie really) is that we have decided, entirely to expand our 40mm and our 15mm collection... primarily those made by Irregular Miniatures and Prince August Toy Soldier Factory & Shop which is just up the road from us; a pleasant short journey, and picnic`s drive away. Prince August make the most amazing moulds and sell readily available cheap metal bars for making our very own 40mm miniatures and vignettes, and there is something delightfully therapeutic about casting all your own pieces; but end of the day, sadly... finding those `special` little bits and bobs, needed to bring a game to life (gentlemen and their ladies standing about looking dashing and pretty in all their finery: maidens o` milking,:villagers going about their daily routines, etc) can become an endless nightmare in this greatly undiscovered scale. Similarly, in 15mm we have a vast range of miniatures at our disposal, and equally extensive terrain collection to match; and again, its sometimes hard to find that WOW factor when it comes to taking photos of everything.... especially for the blog and fleshing out the vignettes for our storytelling, it can be quite a chore.

So we have decided to add 28mm to the mix... primarily in plastic or/and resin too. Always had the thing about plastic over metal; and the new "Black Plague" miniatures game looks to be pretty awesome and just up our street... combined alongside the rather delightful and excellent "Pike & Shotte" miniatures, I think we have found our perfect match to incorporate alongside our existing miniatures. Especially as this now means we can cover all bases. Small scale for large scale battle games. the BIG scale miniatures for skirmish, and that old school `feel good` thing (and which my partner really seems to love). And this leaves 28mm and the vast ranges of models and terrain available for that scale, to flesh out some really nice camera work... plus its always a nice scale actually to play in as well.

Combined with my fascination with `zombies... but with a twist` after having seen the most delightfully enticing blog "O My Ruritania!" and especially after reading the "Pride and Prejudice, and Zombies Playtest" including all those stunning miniatures and photos. The book grabbed me long ago, and when I read this blog, I just knew I wanted to do something similar, but totally my own. "Black Plague" by Cool Mini Or Not" & "Guillotine Games" suits my notion of this perfectly.... and some custom made highland zombies (Pike & Shotte - Stafford Games) will finish this scene nicely I think. 

I also fancy I might flesh out some of my heroes and heroines, from the exquisite Reaper Bones range of minis. Perhaps I might, at last, find the ideal Lady Floss, me thinks?

http://bogdanwaz.blogspot.ie/2015/02/pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-playtest.html
 
Please do stay with us... the coming weeks and months should see a lot happening on this blog. Having taken so long planning, setting up the backdrop... the history, the setting, its finally time to stop `floating` this campaign and ground it with some real  `hands on` gaming down time. I may even go a bit retro on the whole Jacobite thing, and add another prequel century to the story..... Highlander (the film) here we come.

Soon.... very soon.
 
 
 
Lady Floss
 

Monday, February 16, 2015


Imagi-Nation Background For A Simultaneous European Theatre: 

~ circa 1753/1790`s ~
 
The Beggar Armies of The People of Liberty are advancing through the Holy Roman Empire.
 

An ancient walled town stands in the army`s way.


 

 Situated in the Holy Roman Empire, both the town and the surrounding area have been in turmoil for much of the past 13 years, caught up as they have in the events of the Many Years War.

 

Much more on this to be added later.
 
..... and so.... now, the scene is finally set for many happy weeks, months, perhaps years of blissfully contented gaming (my partner and I).
 
The story arches from 1637: and the Lady Dwimmerwraith`s ghostly encounter with her `earlier` self; this is followed (upon her return in 1737) by her fierce burning ambitions to take on the Sofia Scoatish High Queen and rule all of the `Hylunds` for herself... perhaps one day, even pushing southward into the Royal Britannic Lowland country, further... down, down south, and an eye to the main chance... the Throne of The United Kingdom`s Queen Georgina and her imbecilic son, George: The Prince of Wales?
 
The Scoatian story gives me plenty of scope to play about in: ranging from 1737 all the way to 1780`s at which time Britannia has much strife and civil unrest of its own to contend with, stretching the whole width and breadth of Britannia, over seas, and up into the far flung regions of Sofia Scoatia... and all this with zombies milling about, and of course, the Britannic Army desperately attempting to keep this situation adequately contained for the safety of the civilian populace.... until war overtakes their united efforts *gulp*

But wait!

Oh crikey, suddenly we have the Bunny Prince landed in the Hylunds (the 1745/6 campaign) and steadily making his way south, and with a sizable army, barely contained on its leash, all just champing at the bit waiting to `have a go` at the loathed port swilling Britannicans.
 
And then we have events taking place in Europe (here we push forward to `my made up` Revolutionary events taking place in Armorica and spreading dangerously to encompass the whole of France... between 1770/1799), and a whole different kettle of fish to deal with there.
 
All in all, I don`t think I exaggerate when I say, yep... we have created many happy years of fun ahead of us to puddle about in.
 
 
 
Lady Floss and Lord Stevie Blakeney.

 

The B`tannic un-Civil War of 1642

...... Now, back to B`tannia.

A hundred and more years earlier.....
 

The B`tannic un-Civil War of 1642

(This being a semi-imaginary treatise on the events leading up to the 1st B`tannic Civil War.)
Written in part(s) long ago; restored and completely revised to be included, in full, for my new campaign world. This tells a prequel story of events that took place long before
 the current game is set (this is a one off, preserved for posterity, to honour my long gone, once treasured, 6mm miniatures).
 

Years of Tyranny
The years 1629-40 were the so called Eleven Years Tantrum when King Charles I, sometimes known as old stiff britches by those New Religion lot, used his Prerogative Powers and the Devine Right of Kings to govern the country largely without the aid of what he considered to be his troublesome Parliament. Charles had dissolved Parliament following many disputes in 1629 in favour of a small council of advisors which included William LOUD the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Thomas Wentwell the Earl of Scaffold. Those who opposed the King called this royally select system of Government The Council of the King's Boudoir.
LOUD wanted to impose uniformity within the Churches of the B`tannic United Kingdoms, and in 1637 persuaded Charles to make it compulsory for the Scoats to use the B`tannic Prayer Book in place of their own. Various Scoattish noblemen and members of the Scoattish clergy united in their objection to this imposition and in 1638 signed a national Covenant rejecting its usage. In November of that year, as a further act of defiance, the General Assembly of the Church in Galloglass expelled the Scoattish Episcopalian Bishops one by one, with public displays as dire as... throwing putrid rotten vegetables at the holy men`s nice white dresses, finger raising - and more than a few vulgar cries of, "Sucks Boooo to ye laddy". One even went so far as to stamp his foot in Church. Such acts officially united the whole of Sofia Scoatia under the single banner of. Presbytari.... Presbyta.... Presbi.... Pre....... Reformed Newrelists*.
 New Religionists... or in other words: the belief in Presbyterianism.
When Charles demanded that the Acts of Assembly be withdrawn, the Covenanters refused with predictable inevitability. When the Sofia Scoatian “Army of The Covenant” marched south, there was no standing army in existence within B`tannia to oppose them. Without the aid of Parliament, therefore without the ability to raise money for an army, Charles was able to field only various local militia units of badly trained and ill equipped troops who were unable to put up much opposition. Consequently, the First Bishops' Britch Fight, as it came to be known*, ended quickly with the Treaty of Blairwitt in June 1639. This treaty was effectively a compromise, with Charles agreeing to form a new Assembly in Edinburg in August of that year. At the same time he refused to accept any of the decisions and rulings of the Galloglass Assembly.
*Sofia Scoatia liked its clergy the good old fashioned way, wearing rough cotton cowls and barbed wire undergarments. Whereas the B`tannians favoured their holy men to adorn themselves in the more fashionably modern Armocrican styled Britches.
In September 1639 the King was desperate for the means to fund an army and turned to an unlikely source of revenue. Word that an explorer (called Christophorus Columbo, now a street hobo from the Republic of Genoa) had recently discovered a far away land that he was calling, "That new place over there."  News of this, naturally, filtered to the ears of court in every European nation. Although B`tannia was one of the last to hear about the discovery of the supposedly new continent, neither Armorica nor Spinnia wished to fund the proposed expedition. They considering it nothing more than the ramblings of a mad man, and fearing persecution from the Spinish Inquisition, Columbo was forced to flee for his life.
King Charles I learned through his personal spy network that Columbo was thinking of approaching King Phillip The Turd of Portugreek whose country was seeing its wealth dwindle due to disrupted trade from sanctioned Dootch and United Kingdom buccaneers. Charles was fearful the Portugreek King might accept Columbo`s pleas for sanctuary and intercept the explorer before any rivals even got a look in. Charles offered Columbo a naval commission and offered to fund the venture. Thus the First Great Expedition Into The New World began to take shape in earnest.
On April 1st, 1640 the newly dubbed Sir Christophorus Columbo secretly set sail for a new continent that would later become known as New Armorica (by the Gauls). Under advisement from Charles` nephew, Prince Rupert Comte de Sanduce, Columbo took with him several ships and a large force of Royally sanctioned mercenaries led by a Spinnish Bucaneer Captain Seconde Han De Carr Salse Mon. Ronald Lacey the Baby Eating Bishop of Bath & Wells (and a loyal advisor of King Charles), was also to accompany the flotilla of ships. It was his intention to minister to the religious needs of any indigenous peoples they might encounter within the New World.
 
baby eating Bishop
The Edinburg Assembly in August 1639 gave Charles no respite. In complete defiance of his authority it not only confirmed all of the decisions of the Galloglass Assembly but went even further by declaring that the appointment of Bishops was not only wrong in practice, but against the law of God.
John Pimms Stamps His Foot
In April 1640, upon the advice of Wentwell, the King decided to recall Parliament under its new leader John Pimms in the hope he would be granted the money with which to finance an army to fight the Scoats. Parliament`s numerous grievances, however, were again aired and what became known as The Really Short Parliament was dissolved after only three weeks.
The King was now politically, financially and militarily worse off than before. Despite having additional troops in Hibernia he could only put another poorly trained army into the field. Any spare pocket change he might have been jingling with, was now well and truly spent or promised away... including the King's funding of Columbo`s harebrained expedition. When the Scoats saw the King's pathetic army they peed themselves laughing. In fact, each clansman offered to tie one hand behind his back to make the ensuing battle more evenly matched, and a few offered to fetch their wives to fight instead.
The Royalist army could do little to stop the Scoats from marching further south. More importantly the Scoats had captured the port of `New Castle` and therefore had a stranglehold on London`s main coal supply. The Second Bishop Britches War was over almost as soon as it had begun and Charles was once again forced into negotiations with the Scoats.
Negotiations began on the 2nd October, 1640 and agreements were reached. The Scoats would receive payments and retain control of the captured British counties until negotiations could take place later in London. It is said John Pimms stamped his foot in the House of Commons and with fury shouted, "B`tannia is but a flock of innocent sheep, and has a posturing catamite as it's shepherd". Some say he went too far with this outburst, an obvious attack against the King, while some thought he had an objection to mutton; others silently nodded their heads in mute agreement.
Grand Remonstrance
In November of 1640 the King had no choice but to call another parliament, known as The Boringly Long Parliament, during which there were two important sessions. The first, in the autumn and winter, saw the persecution of the King's advisors LOUD and Wentwell. Both were imprisoned and later had their heads taken off. This led to the systematic destruction of The Council of the King's Boudoir. The King was then obliged henceforth to recall Parliament every three years which could then only be dissolved by its own consent.
At the same time a second session of Parliament was taking place. Though less radical, many members felt they needed to maintain pressure on the King in case he should retaliate against their demands. They drew up a Grand Remonstrance in 1641 which was a listing of all the King's successes and failures. The King was affronted and immediately went with some musketeers to arrest Pimms and four other radical members. Pimms and the others, having been alerted, had all ready fled. Charles was reputed to have muttered, "Hmmmm. I see the birds have flown - bugger it". This blunder led to the King fleeing London, angry and frustrated... and a tad worried lest his own imminent impeachment should swiftly ensue.
Parliament insisted a power struggle with the King could be averted if three things were placed under their control. Firstly, they demanded that they should oversee the religious education of the King's children. Fear of Old School Religion (Catholicism) ran high in Britain at the time, and Charles` Armorican Old School worshipping Queen did nothing to lessen their fears. Secondly, they should be allowed to choose the King's advisors. Thirdly, they should also be given complete control of the armed forces. Whilst the terms of the first two demands might be negotiable, the demands for control of the military was completely unacceptable. The King raised his standard at Nottingtom in March 1642 and thus started the Civil War. Furthermore, the first ship had finally returned from New Armorica with news: and even more importantly, were laden with something called Ah-hec gold!
The Melrose Affair 1642
Melrose (pronounced Mel - ROOse) was an ancient pre-Christian settlement on the south side of the River Tweedle. The Border Hills a mile to the south were an important base of the Wotadini tribe during the middle Romani era of B`tannia. The remains of a huge hill fort around the top of the most easterly of the Borderlands was as a reminder of their presence. Maybe a mile to the east of Melrose was the site of an even larger Romani settlement originally called Trimontium. A fort large enough to house hundreds of late Roman cavalry it was the most northerly amphitheatre in the whole of the Romani Empire.
Throughout Melrose's history it has, like it's abbey, suffered from invading English armies due to its strategic location. By the end of the Reformation the small town of Melrose was well established as a centre for wool and linen production. Despite this, the textile industry never really took off there as it did in other Border towns. By the early sixteen hundreds Melrose was a noticeable dot on the map. It had become enfolded into the larger United Kingdoms domain of Edinshire, though privately the Scoats would have preferred to call the area Melburgh. Instead the people themselves settled for Melroseshire.
Close to Melrose there was an ancient abbey in a walled parkland called the Priorwood Garden. This was one of legend's supposed resting places of the First Scone of Density later known by some as The Royal Scone.
History tells us of a small cavalry skirmish which occurred in Worcestershire at a place called Pow-Wow Bridge... which later developed into a full blown battle near Egg Hill. Most historians fail to mention that hours earlier, the first strokes of the war had already occurred near Melrose. The first battle of B`tannia's unhappy and un-civil war took place a few miles to the southeast of this uneventful little town.
The Earl of Mount Rose
The Mount Rose family got their name from the large Iron Age burial chamber situated at the back of their stately home which was located picturesquely at the centre of Priorwood Gardens. This mound, or mount as it was usually called, was a gardener's nuisance. Despite this, the locals were too afraid of disturbing the evil fairies believed to reside within, to have the heap dug up or removed. If the walled garden estate wasn't enough to keep strangers away, the legends of the evilly aligned puka certainly helped keep the indigenous New Religionist majority away from the staunchly Old School Mount Rose family.
 
 
In late March 1642 King Charles I wrote to Jimmy Grail Mount Rose and informed him, "Your King doth greatly fear Old Angle-Londe is on the verge of a grait battile, a most un-civil affair, which will disrupt hir people... so pricketh them nature in their courages. Then loyale folk to go on Kingly charges."  It was all Earl Jimmy could do to stop himself leaping for joy at the thought declaring himself an Old School Religionist through and through. By the time Charles had raised his standard at Nottingtom, word had been sent to Earl Mount Rose to, "Raise your colours, in the name of your Kinge".
It takes little speculation to see what Charles had in mind. By instigating a small Scoattish rebellion, perhaps with the intent of disrupting Parliamentarian trade in the north and drawing enemy forces away from himself in the south, he would certainly take the pressure off the expected military campaign soon to start in B`tannia. The King could not have truly believed the Earl would be able to withstand the entire might of the Sofia Scoat`s Covenant forces.
Lord Mount Rose, however, was a born soldier, always inventive and bold to a fault. The second he received the order from his king, he mustered those loyal to the `Old` cause which  include many highlynd clans who still remembered the Hag Queen Hairy Mary. These swept down from the mountains in a great wave of royal patriotism, and by mid March Mount Rose had a sizable army at his back.
Captain Seconde Han De Carr Salse Mon
On April 1st, 1640 Sir Christophorus Columbo secretly set sail for New Armorica in a highly secret expedition, funded by King Charles I. The Portugreek* Bucaneer who Captained the expedition was called Seconde Han De Carr Salse Mon.
* Portugreek is a large island off the rugged coast of Portigaul. Its waters are rocky, usually shrouded in mist and extremely hazardous to navigate safely; which is why most ships give the place a wide berth. Portugreek was originally colonized by Greek buccaneers and formed itself into an independent free state in 1507.
However, when part of the fleet returned to B`tannic waters in March 1642, laden with Ah-hec gold, no one was more surprised by this sudden turn of events than the King. Captain Salse Mon had been expecting to land at Hull, but quickly spun his ships about and sailed for the Isle of Mudd the second he realised a Parliamentarian navy was blockading the port city against the King. In a shrewd bit of sailing, he brought his tired fleet safely into secure Scoattish `Old Schoolan` waters, and delivered his men and cargo ashore.
Mudd was like a nest of dangerous vipers, but Salse Mon was a Beggar King to the last strand upon his beard, and the indigenous people of this Scoattish west coast island were his people, who were loyal to the very last man jack and woman of them. These Puckathite and Pandonite people** were grim and sinister. Above all they were also dwimmer and fay.
** Old B`tannic Pre-Christian followers of Puck, and Greek Pantheonists who follow the ancient spirit Pan. This exiled seafaring people founded a colony on the Isle of Mudd, off the west coast of Scoatia in 1509.
Salse Mon was to have delivered his findings and any New Armorican wealth to Earl Jimmy in Melrose by pre-arrangement with the King. The war and new events, however, had completely overtaken this agreement, and Captain Salse Mon found himself embroiled in a rebellion of which he wanted no part. Nevertheless, by secret paths and pirate zeal, he made his way to Melburgh to aid the Royal Earl with three regiments of newly acquired Hybernian mercenaries (originally recruited and intended for a second planned expedition to New Armorica)***.
*** It can be speculated that Salse Mon was also hoping to enlist any of the Earl's fighting stock and bring them safely to Mudd, should things go ill for the Mount Rose Army.
 
Salse Mon's ship The Black Pig.
 
 
 
 

Eastern Association Parliamentarian Army


When John Pimms` Parliament drew up the Grand Remonstrance a war was pretty much a foregone conclusion, given the King's temperament and unwillingness to bend to the peoples' yoke. Therefore, it was no surprise to some far sighted individuals that Pimms` Parliament (although grubby and full of self interest) was, in itself, a means to an end. If managed properly, they could be the vehicle for great change within the very infrastructure of B`tannic law.


One such far sighted man was Oliver Plunkett. An Anglian farmer from West Wunton in the Shire of Nofat. From the moment King Charles I raised his standard, Plunkett had been the prime spokesman and advocate for creating a professional army the Reformers could use to counter the King's latest travesty. In March1642 Oliver Plunkett started in earnest to raise and train a new army capable of dealing with the increasingly likely event of a civil war.


Plunkett hoped not only to create a standing army for B`tannia, but also wanted to make this force capable of fighting anywhere, on land or at sea... the first true Marines. Plunkett even suggested use of the new invention... the balloon... proposed by the Montgolfier family. Armorican King Louis the Undefined, however, thought the idea was silly and refused to fund the project. He even went as far as to confiscate the plans, thus effectively preventing the invention from seeing light for another hundred and fifty years.


History records Oliver, one evening as he stared at the ceiling of his family home, noticed a fly caught in a spider`s web slowly twirled around in the breeze. In an instant he came up with a name for the army he was training. Capable of operating anywhere it might be sent, and fighting in any terrain the New Mobile Army was born. So it was in October 1642, somewhat jealous of Plunkett's progress and wanting him out of the way, Parliament chose this new, barely half trained, micky-whack outfit to take on the Earl of Mount Rose in the north, leaving the real fighting to the professionals down in the South.

The New Mobile Army began its long trudge northward with orders to neutralize the Royalist insurgence and best the upstart Old School Scoattish faction gaining momentum in Edinshire.
 
Thus it was a somewhat strung out army... spread along a seven mile front, that arrived, tired and hungry, at the fields near Bentwater Bridge in the hope of checkmating the Royalist Scoatian army all ready assembled somewhere to the north. The land was not ideal, but Plunkett was confident his lads could overcome any difficulties imposed by the bad terrain. The Lieutenant Colonel was quoted to have said, "We will fight them across the rivers, we will fight them on the land...."
 
The Battle:
 
The B`tannic un-Civil War of 1642
(This being a semi-imaginary treatise on the events leading up to the 1st B`tannic Civil War.)
 
Parliament Forces
The Parliamentarian battle plan was actually quite simple. Plunkett told the entire line of his army to, "hold your ground and allow the enemy comes forward in force. Shoot your muskets and diminish their lines until, by the grace of God, it comes to push of pike. Let Matherson's musketeers tease the enemy with firepower, advancing to do so if need be. Let our cavalry tackle the enemy's horse in the usual manner, if opportunity presents itself. But with this treacherous ground before us, such engagements with our horse may prove unreliable and inconclusive".
 
On the left flank, but behind the Cromer Regiment, Plunkett's son Richard leads four of the New Mobile Army's cavalry squadrons.


 Next we have John Cromer's regiment of foot
 
 
 

 
Slightly ahead of these are William Matherson's Forlorn Hope (skirmishers) taking up defensive positions along the roadside hedges.
 


 

To the right maybe sixty paces and also placed along the road, are William Blyton's regiment of foot The Red Coats.

 



 
To the side and slightly to the rear of these troops is Nathanial Singleton's lone Galloper, the only field artillery piece from the entire artillery train to have made it through the muddy roads unhindered. Near the farm and the farmer Buxley's lovely daughters.




 


On the right flank, Oliver Plunkett himself leads his Ironhides.

 

 


 


  
Side view of the Parliamentarian's initial disposition.
 
 
 

Royalist Forces


Meanwhile, the Royalists have moved up to the road and are deploying in force along an entire front.


Starting on the Royalist right with the O' Sullivan "Corkers", the Hybernian men in the White Shirts, Campbell's Blue Bonnet Highlanders, and nearby two squadrons of Mount Rose's personal household light cavalry. Salse Mon sits proudly and somewhat rakishly astride his horse, shouting words of encouragement to the men about him, while drinking fine claret from a cut crystal glass.
 
 

Continuing to the left, we have Curly Murphy's Hybernian Pike and Shot and O' Hare's green shirt Halberdiers. On the extreme left Mount Rose himself with his Argyle Lancers and Outrider scouts.



 

The battle begins!
 
October 23rd 1642
Turn 1
Oliver Plunkett was growing impatient and highly bored by the Scoats incessant chanting and clannish prayers, and he issued an order for Gunnery Major Singleton to start the proceedings with a few timely rounds from his lone Galloper. But at almost precisely the same moment the cannon fired, Mount Rose's attack began along the entire length of his line. As though by a silent command, the Scoats moved as a single being in grim unison.
Plunkett smiled savagely to himself, Good! Those walls and hedges will dash their hopes of a clean Highland charge. To his adjutant he said aloud, "I'm blown if I know how they plan to cross that there river. Are they going to dive in head first and go skinny dippi-"
The rest of his words were lost in a sudden deafening roar as Singleton's Galloper sent a solid round hurtling toward the advancing green clad Halberdiers. All heads arched upward and followed the trajectory of the shot, like watching a tennis ball glide from one side of a court to the other. The shot fell flat in the grass well short of its target. From the Hybernia Halberdiers a set of uilleann pipes suddenly struck up a creepy and tuneless dirge.
Blyton's regiment of Red Shirts watched and waited until the Halberdiers came within decent range. They then let loose a withering volley of musket fire into their enemy's midst, inflicting a number of wounds on the poor Hybernian men. Having a devastating effect upon their morale, the bloodied men turned tail and rushed back toward the safety of the hedges just recently vacated. The uilleann pipes now sounded a manic, sped up and fear induced parody of a tune. A cheer and many taunts rose from the throats of the B`tannic men across the water on the far bank. Particularly from the puffed up Red Coats.
Encouraged by these results, William Matherson's Forlorn Hope situated along the hedge beside the road facing the advancing Scoattish white shirted regiment, let off a volley of their own. Not even one round trimmed the whiskers of the Hybernian mens' beards. More worrying were the two squadrons of Scottish horsemen rapidly approaching the Forlorn Hope from the extreme left flank. Meanwhile, on the right flank, Plunkett calmly wheeled his cavalry slightly to the right, so as to observe Earl Mount Rose Argyle's own horse as they attempted to cross the river.
Turn 2
 

Realising an entire regiment of foot and some nasty looking sword wielding Scoattish cavalry were going to descend upon him any moment, Matherson gave the order to retire in good order.

Just in the nick of time his men reached the dry stone wall situated neatly between Blyton and Lord Cromer. There they took up defensive positions in the safety on the far side of the farm wall.
In the centre of the field the O' Hare's Hybernia Greens had managed to rally themselves, and came on once again. They advanced fitfully to the river bank where they prepared to attempt a crossing. Behind them Curly Murphy's Hybernian Pike and Shot trudged slowly but steadily in support. On the far right flank, the Scoattish Outrider cavalry slowly waded across the Tweedle to the south bank. The Alrgyle cavalry also prepared to cross the shallow stretch of water.
The smug expression on Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Plunkett's face faded and was replaced with a momentary look of utter confusion. Mount Rose would have paid many gold sovereign to have seen such a picture. Once again the Parliamentarian muskets rang out all along the front line. Almost all the shots flew wide, no doubt hindered by the gunpowder smoke already wafting across the battle field. Singleton's Galloper gun had more success playing skittles with a few of the O' Hare's Halberdiers.




The Parliamentarian Red Coats "at 'em" again with another volley, which failed to inflict any serious damage.

Oliver Plunkett, seeing a cavalry engagement on his own flank seemed imminent, prepared a rousing speech for his Ironhides. It was a last minute morale boost to spur on his troops before the big clash. Not that he felt they needed any uplifting, but Plunkett was a cautious man never the less.

Turn 3

Plunkett himself sounded the charge and his horsemen thundered towards the enemy cavalry now situated on his extreme right flank. In the ensuing skirmish the Argyle Scoats put up a poor show and were soundly thrashed and beaten. The few survivors were either routed from the field or taken prisoner lock, stock and barrel.

Plunkett's smug smile returned to play across his lips. "Now, if I can just chase these Godless heathens back across the river, I can swing my horses and come about soundly upon the Scoattish infantry in the centre." He complemented himself for the discipline he had installed within his New Mobile Army.

In the middle of the battlefield, Blyton's Reds decided discretion was the better part of valour and retreated several paces to take up new positions on the safe side of a farm yard wall. Along the entire front the Parliamentarians waited in grim silence, while the Scoats continued their slow but steady advance.

On the left flank, Lord Cromer only just got his regiment into proper formation (to receive a charge) before the Mount Rose Household Cavalry crashed into them. Once again Plunkett's training of the men paid off, and the Pikemen stoically held the Scoats at bay with many a jeer and snarl through clenched teeth.

Over by the apple orchard, where Singleton's gun was set up, a shot boomed out and a whole line of Curly Murphy's Pikemen lay down for eternity in the river they had been wading across. The cannon ball seemed to skip across the top of the water like a skimming coin. The morale results were decisive, and the whole regiment waivered and fell back in mass panic. This affectively removed the Scoattish threat in the centre; and a second cheer rose up from the throats of the Parliamentarian Red Coats behind the wall.

Turn 4 & 5

On the left, Scottish infantry prepared to engage the Parliamentarians with close range musketry. Mount Rose's Cavalry disengaged from the Cromer Regiment and retired to the rear, allowing Florrie Batt's Corker City Boys to form a solid attack line of musketry along the Parliamentarian front. Meanwhile, in the centre, things were also hotting up, as the Halberdiers charged the Parliamentarian infantry ahead of them. Greatly reduced in strength, due to casualty attrition, the Hybernians had all ready been cut down by nearly one third of their number. To the centre rear of the field, Curly Murphy's Pike & Shot regiment amazingly regained their discipline and reformed their ranks. But would they attempt the dangerous river crossing a second time?

 
 
The brave Hybernian Halberdeirs charge Lord Blyton's Red Coats behind the farm yard wall.

The ensuing cavalry battle on the right flank between Oliver's Ironhides and the Earl of Mount Rose's Argyle Cavalry came to a sudden head. In an exchange of close combat, the Ironhides received heavy casualties, as the Argyle horsemen gained the upper hand during this round of the fighting. The melee continued into a second round of combat.

In the centre, O'Hares Halberdiers ended up coming second in a clash against the disciplined defensive ranks of the combined Pike and Shot of the Red Coats. The Hybernian lads come apart and their regiment was pretty much destroyed in a wholesale extermination of its ranks. The centre was secured for the third time during the battle - as Blyton's regiment cheered victoriously.

 

 

Lord Cromer's Regiment faces the Blue Bonnet Highlanders.


On the left flank, Lord Cromer saw his moment and declared a sudden charge. His boys stormed over the wall and fell upon the O' Sullivan Clan infantry regiment... with devastating consequences for the Hybernian men. The ensuing rout saw the white coated Scoats utterly unable to hold regimental cohesion. As the formation came apart they were forced to retire from the field, scattered and thrashed. This left the Blue Bonneted Highlanders to contend with. Lord Cromer had a deuce of a time stopping his lads from following up with a second charge, straight into the waiting sword and targe wielding Scoattish barbarians.


In truth the fight had gone out of the Highlynders. Seeing so many regiments in rags and tatters, the whole Scoattish advance seemed to crumble dismally. Within a few minutes, fighting across the whole field was over. The Scoats, almost as one, finally decided it was time to call it a day and started to back away from the B`tannic troops. On the left flank, Salse Mon offered a silent prayer, and breathed a deep sigh of relief so many were saved.


Although half a squadron of Oliver's Ironhide cavalry had been lost to savage Argyle cavalrymen, losses were fortunately low for the B`tannicans. On the far right flank, Mount Rose sounded the general retreat and the battle was officially over. Fortunately the myriad of hedges, walls and even the river itself made it fairly easy for the Scoattish Old Religionists to retire from the field unmolested by Parliamentarian cavalry. Also, fortunate for the Scoats, the location of Mount Rose's baggage train was not known to the victorious B`tannicans, and was safe from pillage and plunder.


Conclusion

In my own rules campaign, casualties usually amount to no more than perhaps 10% to15% of total losses, if even that high. But even so, Royalist losses during this small engagement amounted to no less than 17 strips of figures, five or six figures per strip, almost exactly 50% of Mount Rose's entire force present at the battle. Parliamentarian losses were 1 strip of cavalry, lost in a melee exchange with Argyle's elite horsemen. I would imagine Mount Rose learned many lessons during this initial engagement. The learning curve for all combatants during the un-civil war, especially during 1642-43, was very steep indeed.
What will the Scoats do now? Will Plunkett, confident after his recent victory, pursue the fleeing Scoattish army? Or will he be cautious and wait for his baggage trains and the rest of his brigade to arrive? Will Mount Rose fall back to re-group the clans? Or will he try to lead the B`tannicans deeper into his own territory in the hopes of picking them off a piece at a time?

Only time will tell.


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in memory of my much loved 6mm Irregular Miniatures collection.
Gone but not forgotten.