T’were a sad and sorry day for the Jacobite cause at the last Gathering of the Clans….er sorry…I mean : the Brothers . We assembled, once again, amidst the wargame detritus and debris and the understated elegance of my garage (read : Man Cave) to determine the fate of the Rebellion of the ’15, Scotland, The British Isles and the course of European and possibly WORLD History. Well I may be overstating the case – it may have just been to push little toy soldiers around a table top and hurl abuse at one another- of which more later on. Anyway enough small talk and poor displays of alleged wit- but suffice to say that the Duke of Argyll has redeemed the Honour of his Family Name, and his Clan, in the eyes of his nation, his king, Western Europe, God and…….ooops sorry I’m waxing lyrical again. Well he won.
|The Battlefield: Hanoverians on the left, Jacobites on the right.|
The Brothers were very eager to play this third clash of our campaign and much discussion went into the deployment of the troops and the battle plans that subsequently took place when both sides revealed said deployment.
|The center of the Hanoverian line|
The Hanoverians had massed their infantry (both Dutch and British in the centre (under Roger (Van Walderen) and Ross(Argyll) respectively). On the left flank was another brigade of Redcoats and all the Dragoons commanded by Phil (Earl of Stair).
On the right the Dutch cavalry were commanded by Lochlainn (Van Vorst).
|The Dutch Cavalry|
What proved to be a very crucial oversight of the Jacobites in the early stage of the game was the failure of 1st Baron Carpenter(Nick) to appear in his traditional flank position to make his usual mad stampede at the enemy. This was factor that the Jacobites were counting on.
The Captain General in London has been asked by his Britannic Majesty, George I, for an enquiry into the non-appearance of General Carpenter- rumour has it that he was in a house of ill repute and found that someone had absconded with his unifrom and purse...but that's just a vicious and slanderous rumour- no doubt probably spread by his enemies at court. As he was Marlborough’s favourite and reputed to be ready to replace Argyll….there are bound to be consequences!
|The Horde of Highlanders on the Jacobite right- standing in the woods.|
The Jacobites deployed in what has become standard practice and was used at both the Battles of Dundee and Braemar. One flank – right- was heavily weighted with a sizeable majority of the Highlanders- 2-3 ranks deep in this case commanded by Richard (Rob Roy Macgregor). The centre was held by the French cavalry and infantry under the Maquis du Conde in the first line and a line of Jacobite infantry behind them. This centre section was commanded by both the Laird of Borlum (Ralph) and the Earl of Marr (Paul) in a determined show of unity for the cause of the Old Pretender. The left flank was lightly held by the forces of the Earl of Derwentwater and the Earl of Stair (Chris- who was playing his first game in our campaign). He also had the three units of Jacobite horse. It seemed that after deployment Chris was going to have problems facing the disciplined Dutch cavalry.
|The French Line beyond the trees.|
|La Couronne Regt of Foot on the left, Auvergne on the right,....a die in the middle!|
|The Dutch advance|
|The Generals deliberate|
|The Dutch cavalry (Du Wuttemburg Regt) charge.|
On the Jacobite’s left the Dutch cavalry were in for the shock of their lead lives when the first squadron of the Du Wuttemburg Regt charged the Earl of Derwentwater’s Regt of Foot- they survived the feeble volley only to be thrown back during the melee. To cries of ‘Bravo!’ and ‘A hero is born!’ from the Jacobites and ‘your rules are crap’ and ‘ they’re only Raw troops ‘ and ‘it wouldn’t happen with WRG!’ from the Hanoverians, Chris basked in the glory. Ross even demanded that his army withdraw – which was a shock to yours truly! So much effort for so little result!
Then Lochlainn’s 1St squadron of the Nassau Sarrbruck regiment ploughed into the same regiment, smashing it and breaking through to the cavalry unit behind it which was also sent packing.
But the Scots fought back and in the end although Marr's 5th column was wiped out, the other Scottish horse rallied and saw the Dutch off- the Earl of Marr’s horse was responsible for defeating one squadron and hitting the rear of another and routing it!
|The Siege guns prepare- the French in the distance|
|The Duke of Argyll- Montjoy's Horse in front|
The centres very quickly advanced to contact and acrid smoke filled the Man Cave as both lines of regulars blasted away at each other. The superior numbers and quality of the Dutch and British infantry soon saw gaping holes torn in the French line.
|The Du Wuttemberg Regt charge the Earl of Derwentwater's Regt of Foot ( and lost!!)|
|The two lines engage|
On the Jacobite right the huge sweep of the Highland horde did not materialise. There was some desultory skirmishing which cost the Clan Campbell regiment its existence and two Hanoverian foot regiments were forced to withdraw. The Hanoverian Dragoons failed to get to grips with the Highlanders despite an enticement to Phil by Richard to: ‘Come on mate! Don’t listen to Ross- this is supposed to be fun! Just advance!’
|Allied to the Hanoverian cause, Clan Campbel charge the Jacobite guns- they didn't make it.|
But it was all over bar the shouting and the abuse so the Earl of Marr, his centre collapsing, decided to fight to the last Frenchmen as the rest of the Jacobite army withdrew to accusations of ‘Scum’, ‘cowards’ and ‘a disgrace on the honour of the Highlands’…and that was just from Chris who was a Jacobite!! The French infantry paid a heavy price and the Hanoverians were left in control of the field of battle.