Sunday, July 13, 2008

Jacobite Victory At Carmudgeon

Jacobites scale the town walls (built by Ian Weekley). Old Glory SYW highlanders doing double duty as rebels in the Forty Five.

On Saturday July 12th we convened at Brown Deer to fight the next battle in our Jacobite rebellion. The scenario was that the Pretender's forces were seeking powder and arms to supply their growing army and word filtered back to Prince Charles in Edinburgh that the town of Carmudgeon, to the north, was loaded to the gills with ball, powder and several thousand brand new Brown Bess muskets. The Jacobites quickly put a strike force together to raid the arms depot before word would reach the Government garrison, commanded by Colonel Munro of His Majesty's 44th Regiment of foot.

The battle was to be divided into 3 separate battles, each covering a day. On Day One, the Jacobites would assemble in front of the town of Carmudgeon and attack it. Hopefully, they would drive off the garrison of the town and move on to Carmudgeon Castle, where all of the munitions were being kept.

On Day Two, the Jacobites would attack the outer defenses and the redoubt that guards the road to the castle and drive the garrison back into the fort.

On Day Three, the Jacobites could elect to scale the walls of the castle in an escalade (complete with purpose built ladders for the game) or settle down into a siege of the castle.

The town of Carmudgeon and the Cardhu Burn from the Government's side of the water.

Nicholson' s Redoubt - the object of Day Two's battle. Redoubt built by Herb Gundt.

Carmudgeon Castle - the Day Three objective where all the munitions were stored. Castle walls from Miniature Building Authority.

The Respective Forces
The Government forces commanded by Colonel Nicholson consisted of 120 foot, 60 militia and 40 dragoons, plus 36 pounds of artillery and supporting crews. Their quality was determined by the roll of a D6 (six-sided die) as Poor (1-2), Trained (3-4) or Veteran (5-6). Additional reinforcements were available, as determined by a die roll of which I, as Jacobite commander, was not privy to. Local farmers advised the Prince that a column of redcoats was marching down from Fyvie-o to support the garrison of the castle.

The Jacobites had a rather large force of 360 foot and 6 light horse plus up to 42 pounds of artillery and crew. (In practice, we only used two 3 pounders and I think that we only fired them once or twice throughout the whole game). Jacobite troop quality was 1/4 each of Poor, Trained, Veteran and Elite. If I had to do it all over again, I would eliminate the Elite troops from the Jacobite force as they had plenty of foot soldiers to overwhelm the redcoats.

Day One: Storming the Town

The Jacobite army deploys in front of the town in two wings: the right wing commanded by Lord Talisker and the left wing by Lord George Murray. The Prince and his escort are seen in the center.

The dilapidated town walls of Carmudgeon town did not prove to be of much help to the Government garrison. The Jacobites rapid movement of 15-inches plus one D6 meant that they were storming the town walls by Turn 2. Several companies of the 44th Foot manned the walls, the bell tower and a few of the buildings, but Captain Nolan, the leader of the town contingent, quickly saw that a defense was useless and so he pulled his troops out of the town lickety split.

By Turn 2 the Jacobites were already in the town. Murray's wing skirts around the town and heads for the stream, hoping to cut off the retreat of the redcoats, while Talisker's wing attacks the walls with scaling ladders.

Lord George Murray placed two of his clan regiments (MacDonnells and Clan Chisholm) under the command of Colonel vonn Bergmann, an adventurer from Tradgardland who had come across the North Sea to join the Rising, and gave him the task of capturing a battery of Royal Artillery. Afterall, the Jacobites needed cannon as much as they needed ball and powder.

Colonel vonn Bergmann leads the MacDonnell's (left) and the Clan Chisholm regiment to the burn, where a brace of 6 pounder Royal Artillery awaits them.

The Jacobites stormed across the stream like possessed demons. Nothing could stop them and soon they overwhelmed the Royal Artillery battery that tried to cut them down with cannister. Vonn Bergmann grabbed the lieutenant commanding the battery, pointed his sword at the fellows neck, and declared, "I'll have those guns sir - surrender or die!" With the rest of his battery crew either dead or running away, the lieutenant had no choice but to surrender the first battle trophies to the plucky Tradgardlander.

Vonn Bergmann (in pink coat) leads his men into the maw of the Royal Artillery, with successful results.

Clan Stewart regiment pours a flanking fire into the company of the 44th Foot that are trying to defend the bridge. They fall back to the left of the picture to where the rest of the regiment is formed up.

The 44th Foot reforms on the west bank of the burn. Stewarts and Frasiers are working their way across the water to support the attack.

While the Jacobite left was across the burn and hacking away at artillerymen, Lord Talisker was fighting his way through the town and working his way across the bridge. The 44th Foot retired across the bridge and set up a company or two to block the bridge. The Stewart regiment took up position in the attics of the town buildings and poured a deadly covering fire into the 44th, while the French Regiment d'Albany and the 500 strong Cameron regiment stormed across the bridge.

Albany Regiment has crossed (left) while the Camerons (right) cross the bridge over the Cardhu Burn.

The Government forces reformed on the west bank of the Cardhu Burn and allowed the Albany Regiment to come across the bridge. The plan was to then pour in a volley of musketry and follow it up with a cavalry charge. This proved to be a successful tactic as two squadrons of the 10th and the 11th Dragoons pitched into the blue-coated French volunteers d'Albany and drove them back across the river.

Fortune smiles on the Hanoverians, albeit briefly, as the 10th and 11th Dragoons (Old Glory figures) smash into the Albany Regiment and rout it across the bridge, and into the waiting Camerons. Much confusion on the bridge, and a glimmer of hope that the whole lot will rout.

Some of the Jacobite artillery crew that were crossing the bridge suddenly saw a mass of kilts and horses coming their way. They had no choice but to dive off the bridge and into the water. We rolled a D6 for each figure and a Snake Eye (#1) would result in a drowning. All of the artillerists survived the leap into the water.

A desparate hand to hand melee on the Cardhu Burn bridge. The veteran Camerons repelled the brave British Dragoons and saved the day for Lord Talisker's wing of the army. Some of the artillery crew (Perry ECW Scots) are seen swimming in the burn.

The remnants of the Government cavalry retired back to the redoubt and covered the retreat of the infantry as best they could. One unfortunate militia unit (the von Bungle Hessians), though stayed too long and found themselves charged on both flanks by the Jacobites. After this, the rest of the army retired , ending the action of the first day of battle.

The Hessians get caught on their right by the Athol regiment (white flag with red saltire) and the Frasiers on their left (blue flag). Kids, do not try this at home by yourselves. It is a very bad thing when it happens to you.

I will post a report of the second day's battle (both battles occured in one day of gaming) with more pictures in another day or two. This was a fun battle for the Jacobites, obviously, but the British commander (Bill Protz) did an exemplary job of whittling down the Jacobites and slowing them down for a bit. It was a hopeless assignment, but Bill did as well as anyone in this situation could expect. His cavalry charge could have saved the day had the Camerons also routed, but fortunately for Prince Charles, they held the bridge.

We used Batailles de l'Ancien Regime (or BAR) rules with a couple of minor changes. Unit sizes were approximately 30 figures per battalion or clan regiment and I thought that the game flowed nicely with the smaller battalions. One need not use 60 figure battalions in every BAR game. I think that this game serves as an example of the fact that the rules work quite nicely with smaller battalions in the 24 to 36 figure range.

Thanks go to Bill Protz (Colonel Nicholson and Capt. Nolan) and Randy Frye (Lord Talisker) for providing an enjoyable afternoon of gaming, and to Bill for providing the gaming venue.


  1. A good account (even if you didn't mention Pipe Major Sean MacLeod). And some great scenery and nicely painted figures too.

    -- Jeff

  2. Pipe Major MacLeod was attached to Lord Talisker so I did nae have the opportunity to follow his exploits during the battle. I believe that he gets mentioned in the summary on the Elector vs Empire posting. He plays a larger role during the second day's battle.

  3. Great stuff. Well written and full of enthusiasm.

  4. Jeff,

    Sean McCleod spent the day with Lord Talisker playing the pipes to encourage the men. The force advnaced well with the Help of McCleod's playing.

    PS. The Character Blade saw a lttle bit action running around. He actually help to capture one of the Government Cannons.

    Lord Talisker (Randy)

  5. I had an exciting and fun time. The visual and textual recording here is also very rewarding. Der Alte, I again congratulate you for the super appealing nature of your blog. A+.
    In my post-game contemplations it occurs to me a fighting withdrawal when outnumbered is a dangerous mission. It was a good thing and necessary there were terrain items to slow down the appraoching foe with defiles, streams, woods, fortifications, buildings for a Bastogne defense (though I did not defend Carmudgeon like the 101st Airborn did in 1944). I got out of there fast!
    On the Jacobite left flank the Hessian von Bungle unit indeed bungled. It was initially charged by a Highland unit and managed to win two rounds of melee! Hurray! Well, usually.

    In BAR the loser is pushed back 6" and must check morale. If that loser makes morale, the melee continues to a max. of three rounds. Von Bungle won two rounds and therefore went forward a total of 12" shoving it's foe backwards. Thus, they went deeper into Jacobite held ground. At the end of the second melee round the Jacobite unit routed, von Bungle failed to pursue and was essentially surrounded like Custer at The Little Big Horn.

    All was not yet lost because I had two cavalry squadrons positioned to assist. They were to change a neighboring Jacobite unit that had capturend the two 6 Pdrs. The latter was disordered in the capture and therefore a juicy target for horsemen. In Jacobite BAR Poor and Trained horse must check morale to charge. Both failed. Ugh!

    Had they charged, the liklihood is they would have recovered the lost cannons and been better able to support poor over extended von Bungle.

    Nope. Didn't happen.

    That was fine because it offered fog of war unpredicability taking total control out mf my hands, or planning.

    So when von Bungle as pictured here was crunched on both flanks, it thankfully routed in the right direction - the survivors that is!

    My opponents are to be congratulated for their performance, graciousness and many companionabilities. Fun!

    Your Humble and Obt. Servant,

  6. Jim,

    I noticed that you had my Carpanian and Courland gentlemen adventurers active in the game. I'm glad their ship arrived in time.


  7. Absolutely lovely ...
    And the campaign continues ... so my figure may actually get there (got a new little box for him today).

  8. Also, each of us commanded smallish forces. On Day #1 my forward forces amounted to 170 infantry, cavalry and artillerymen. The rest were back at Castle Carmudgeon out of action. I think Randy and Jim commanded numerically similar but slightly smaller forces too.

    My only point is, BAR is playable with small forces too.

    Day #1 (on my front line)
    44th (50)
    von Bungle (30)
    Protzdamers (30)
    Cavalry (40 in four squadrons)
    2 x 6 Pdrs. and 10 crew

    In the redoubt (mid-table)
    1 x 6 Pdr, 5 crew and 5 infantry.

  9. Bill,

    Have you contemplated what chages would be needed to use BAR in the WSS?

    -- Jeff

  10. Hi Jeff,
    Yes, but I did not get far with it. I am confident BAR can be adapted given differences in doctrine amongst the three branches of the armies of the time. My forces are 1680-90s though and still have pikes; another nuance with which to easily contend I am hopeful.

    No plans to go farther with this at this time. I may even want to sell my 1680s 28mm French given disuse.

    Votre Serviteur,

  11. The Couland/Carpania contingent joined up with the Tradgardland Jagers for the game. The combined unit scurried up the narrow table on the Jacobite left in order to harass the Government troops with the jagers' rifle fire (40" range). Alas, they only fired off a couple of shots during the game, but hopefully they gave the retiring redcoats something to think about. They did clear out one of the defending block houses guarding that flank, but the redcoats apparently had cleared out long before the Courlanders arrival.

  12. An excellent and stirring battle report! Great pictures as usual, too!
    A participant from Saxe-Urquhart may yet make his way over to join the glorious adventure!

  13. ...proof if any were needed that a pink coat is no indication of a lack of heroism or bravery... :o))

  14. There are plenty of historical examples of pink or "rose" used in uniforms. The SYW Austrian regiment de Ligne had rose coloured facings. A number of Napoleonic French dragoons had pink facings and their musicians wore reverse colors with pink coats. Several of the SYW Prussian musketeer regiments had rose facings (IR7, IR18 and the very gaudy looking IR40 fusiliers with pink breeches and waistcoat and the DR3 Meinicke Dragoons). Something to think about.

  15. Gentlemen
    exciting times- I am in Yorkshire so I did not get the result until today (Friday ) such excitement - Vonn Bergmann has come up with the goods once more - HuzzaH!!!!!!!
    p.s thanks for stirring photos and battle account

  16. Living in Scotland, I feel I have to point out an important inaccuracy for your game - it's not endlessly raining.

    Perhaps somebody up a ladder with a watering can could be the solution? :-)

  17. For a back story on the participation by the Carpanians in the battle, please see "Confusion at Carmudgeon or Campbell's Revenge" on the Emperor vs Elector blog.


  18. A very pleasant initiative was to invite players, living too far away to attend the game, to send minis depicting characters from their own Imagi-Nation to join the battle. Now for some reason the unobtrusive Monte-Cristan observer(s) attached to the Jacobite army nicknamed Pipe Major Sean MacLeod "Couillu le Barbu".