Pendraken Miniatures Forum

Wider Wargaming => Batreps => Topic started by: mmcv on 17 June 2019, 03:30:09 PM



Title: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: mmcv on 17 June 2019, 03:30:09 PM
Have just set up a table for the Battle of the Boyne (sadly using 2d armies and terrain rather than figures).

On holiday with the family together, so have set up a few scenarios with the 2d armies to play out. The Battle of the Boyne is the first one. Have also scenarios for Culloden and Gettysburg if we've time this week.

I had been all set to run the game on a dining room table when to my pleasure I found a table tennis table in the garage of the place we're staying. I've had to improvise a bit to make the terrain stretch but well worth it for the more spacious play area!

Going to use Pike and Shotte as the rules for the game, along with a bunch of special scenario rules I've set up to try and balance it a bit. James has fewer troops but the better defensive position, William has to get his forces across the river but will receive a number of penalties in doing so, so will have to make some decisions on where and how to cross.

Not sure I'll get a blow by blow report done given I'll be teaching the rules as I go along (in part to myself, though I'm familiar enough with Hail Caesar that the core mechanics shouldn't be an issue) but will try and give a bit of a summary report at the end. Will try to take some pictures too, I know you'd all prefer to see shiny well-painted miniatures rather than grubby 2d counters but we'll just have to make do!

Here are some shots of the setup:

(https://i.imgur.com/gEPKFxgh.jpg)

Oldbridge Town, the main objective of the game to hold/take. The fields in the distance cover the whole area enclosed by the hedge (as I said, expecting a smaller table!)


(https://i.imgur.com/Kk7hZZCh.jpg)

The River Boyne, I've set up two crossing points, one a ford, the other an island with slightly different rules for each. There's marshy ground on the other side of the island.


(https://i.imgur.com/nZspU5vh.jpg)

Some sheep in their enclosures.

Hopefully more to come soon!


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: Techno on 17 June 2019, 05:05:16 PM
Look forward to it, M.

Cheers  - Phil.


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: Sunray on 17 June 2019, 06:55:22 PM
Look forward to it, M.

Cheers  - Phil.

Indeed.  Remember the Boyne is tidal up to Oldbridge. As the tide goes out more crossings are fordable.   The Dutch Blue crossed at Oldbridge, the French Prods around the island, and the cavalry where the new road bridge straddles the river.

I do battlefield tours of the Boyne.   It is still "fields" which is quite unique. :)


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: fred. on 17 June 2019, 06:58:13 PM
Loving the sheep!

 8) 8) :D


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: mmcv on 17 June 2019, 07:17:49 PM
Indeed.  Remember the Boyne is tidal up to Oldbridge. As the tide goes out more crossings are fordable.   The Dutch Blue crossed at Oldbridge, the French Prods around the island, and the cavalry where the new road bridge straddles the river.

I do battlefield tours of the Boyne.   It is still "fields" which is quite unique. :)

If I'd known I'd have run the scenario ideas past you before playing! I did it as best as I could based in what I could find online. I made a ford crossing at Oldbridge and massed the infantry behind it lead by the Dutch blue. The cavalry were towards the island crossing. I made some marshy ground after the island, not sure if it is accurate but added a bit more interest to the scenario. Didn't include the new bridge (is it before of after the island?) so was no crossing there. Hopefully got it pretty close though. Played out not too differently from history though ended sooner than I'd hoped, partly due to me forgetting a rule followed by some abysmal rolling.

Report to follow..


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: Steve J on 17 June 2019, 07:33:14 PM
Looks good to me and looking forward to the AAR.


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: mmcv on 17 June 2019, 08:26:30 PM
I took the role of the James' defenders and dad took on William's attack. My brother declined to play in the end.



William started his advance by sweeping the cavalry round towards the island, and moving his elite infantry up to the ford. He opened combat with a somewhat ineffective artillery barrage. The defending forces deployed the dragoons along the hedges and moved the cavalry over towards the ford to try and support the Oldbridge defence. The infantry fired a few potshots across the river to no real effect.

William's cavalry moved across the island with great elan, only to end up mired in swampy ground and milling about in skirmishing disorder for most of the battle, while the Irish dragoons picked them off one by one. The infantry began their inexorable advance across the river ford under the fire of the defenders.

The Dutch guard advanced up to the walls of Oldbridge before being thrown back by the king's foot guard. The Irish cavalry tore along the river towards the encroaching enemy but stalled in confusion under the harsh battering from William's artillery barrages, eventually becoming broken and scattered.

William's infantry kept advancing under heavy fire and getting thrown back by the elite kings guard at the walls. Confident in the defense ability of the guard, two units of infantry hopped into the open to enfilade the enemy and managed to break a couple of units before getting bogged down in combat. A shaken unit of Williams infantry (mistakenly) advanced on the guard and despite drawing combat, the support of the units coming up behind was enough to cause the foot guard to take a break test, inexplicably breaking completely without having taken a single casualty. Luck of the Irish...

The Williamite forces surged forward seizing the town and taking the victory. James turned up at the end to see what was going on, far too late to do anything worthwhile.



Some shots from the game, Dutch in Orange, Irish in Green. Obviously!

(https://i.imgur.com/C1LTtB2.jpg)

William's forces advancing towards Oldbridge

(https://i.imgur.com/GM2pNKh.jpg)

Some milling cavalry

(https://i.imgur.com/RYiGFqQ.jpg)

The advancing cavalry, looking frisky, unaware of the artillery barrage about to cause them some consternation



All in all the scenario played out well. I think I managed to balance the forces well and the terrain added a lot of flavour to the game and helped balance the overwhelming forces of William. I did get a few rules wrong, only one of which really altered the overall play, but was a good close game regardless.

I might make a few tweaks to the scenario if I play again. If anyone is interested in it I may share it here for others to try out. Just need to tidy things up a bit.

Was my first time playing P&S but found then to flow as well as the HC games I've played. It would have been good had I time to play them solo first to iron out a few rough edges as was teaching my dad as I went. His summary was it was good but a bit too complicated to remember all those rules! Hopefully with a few more games he'll get more into the flow, certainly he had a better grasp of things by the end. I'm sure winning the game was a nice incentive too!


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: paulr on 17 June 2019, 08:44:44 PM
Good you both enjoyed it :)

Hopefully your brother will join in one of the other games ;)


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: mad lemmey on 17 June 2019, 09:16:11 PM
Top idea


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: Sunray on 18 June 2019, 12:15:20 AM
Now the prophecy has come to pass
Lillibullero bullen a la
For Talbot's a dog and Tyrconnell's an ass
Lillibullero bullen a la      :)


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: d_Guy on 18 June 2019, 04:43:24 AM
Your set-up is a great way to learn rules and experiment with scenarios. Obviously a good deal of work went into creating it. Thanks for the report and the pictures, have always thought that the Boyne is one of the more interesting battles of the period, particularly with king’s commanding both sides.
I hope no sheep were harmed in the making of battle!  :D


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: Techno on 18 June 2019, 07:19:57 AM
Nice one.

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: Sunray on 18 June 2019, 09:28:59 AM
Yes,  I am a supporter of family war games - the Father's Day skirmish had to be revised as the WW1 Turks (proxy for WW2 Iraqi ) failed to make it.

The Boyne is a classic.

From a Jacobite perspective, it is an indifferent position -  the City of Drogheda needs a sizable garrison and are "out" of the battle,  the fact that William is cute to the falling tide and postpones his assault till after 10am, the Jacobite fear of being flanked once they learn learn that Meinhard (still a popular name amongst Ulster Protestants !) Schomberg was over the Boyne at Rosnaree,

Oldbridge was a modest settlement.  Excavation reveals no walls, rather the fact that Lord Antrim's (McDonald) Regiment threw up hasty earthworks.

The Dutch Blues need very special elite status.  The issue of the new socket bayonet in the hands of very disciplined troops meant that they deployed in squares and beat of three wild charges by 1,000 + Jacobite Horse under the Duke of Berwick.

It was a bitter sectarian battle.  The persecuted Huguenots were fired up by Old Duke Schomberg (KIA)  and the Ulster Protestant regiments under Siege of Derry veterans like Walker and Murray  crossed at Oldbridge and at Grove Island as the tide receded.  The hand to hand by the water's edge forged a collective folk memory of "the Boyne's red shore" .  The Inniskilleners  were to win their "Guard" status.

When I was researching the commemoration of the Boyne for my PhD I discovered that, in the 1790s, an attempt was made to convert the First of  July Old Style (Julian) to the New Style Gregorian calendar.  The new date was the Twelfth of July.  But they got it wrong by one day. The correct anniversary of the battle of the Boyne is ....the Eleventh of July.  (But don't tell that to Ulster Protestants !)  :)

Can I recommend a coffee table book ?  John McDonald, Great battlefields of the world (London, 1984).   It unpacks the Boyne, Culloden, Naseby, Waterloo, and Gettysburg in 3 D graphics. 

Thanks again for sharing the game. 


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: Westmarcher on 18 June 2019, 10:08:30 AM
Interesting stuff from both mmcv and Sunray.  :-bd

p.s. Wasn't aware of the Gregorian calendar mis-calc (and, yes, it's probably not worth mentioning in certain company  ;D. )


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: mmcv on 18 June 2019, 11:18:36 AM
Its also fun to point out that the pope was technically on William's side.

I treated the "walls" as generic good cover and marking the boundary of the town rather than full blown walls to be scaled, and to represent earthworks and barricades and the like built up around the town, and the buildings that could be garrisoned. Kept it simple.

The Dutch Guard I gave bonus hand to hand and some elite special rules to represent their socket bayonets and professional status. I also gave the Danish foot grenadier status, couldn't find much info but they seemed to be a relatively elite unit too.

Berwick's horse sadly never made it to the Dutch lines so didn't get to see much of them in action.

It was definitely a fun scenario, and offers various options to try out, with James' forces able to take an active of passive defence strategy. Would be interesting to try out different deployments too. I'm wondering if I had Oldbridge too close to the river and the horse too far away, moving the horse up felt a bit too charge of the light brigade against the Dutch artillery, and it felt wrong that they could shoot each other from the other side of the river into the town.

I'll check that book out Sunray as other than Waterloo those are all battles I'm building scenarios for!

Thanks to everyone, glad you enjoyed. There was a fair bit of work involved designing the 2d elements and cutting everything out and affixing the magnetic tape to the unit counters, but it's worked out well. It's a relatively cheap project though and easy to do small bits here and there, which has suited me well as I'm two months out from a big expensive life event that has sucked up a lot of my time and money!

Can reuse them easily enough for other battles. Also have red and blue forces done the same way for Gettysburg and Culloden so plenty to choose from trying out new rule sets and testing the waters for projects. This'll free me up in my choice of projects as well as I'm not having to try and build up forces just to play a game, I'll now have these counters to complement the couple of miniature armies i do have so far, so can take a broader approach to painting bits here and there until something grabs me.


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: Sunray on 18 June 2019, 12:24:28 PM

It was definitely a fun scenario, and offers various options to try out, with James' forces able to take an active of passive defence strategy. Would be interesting to try out different deployments too. I'm wondering if I had Oldbridge too close to the river and the horse too far away, moving the horse up felt a bit too charge of the light brigade against the Dutch artillery, and it felt wrong that they could shoot each other from the other side of the river into the town.

William's battery of 6-pounders, on the high ground of the north bank, could  range into Oldbridge and dominate the killing ground. We have found their shot on the green baes where the sheep still graze.
 Indeed the the Victorian British Army - stationed at the Curragh- took field trips to impress on young officers the dangers of enfilade fire.  General Sir Frances Clery and General Redvers Buller made much of it.  Too bad they forgot these lessons in 1899 on a loop of the Tugela River.

But that is a game for another table.  ;)


Title: Re: Battle of the Boyne
Post by: mmcv on 18 June 2019, 12:49:16 PM
William's battery of 6-pounders, on the high ground of the north bank, could  range into Oldbridge and dominate the killing ground. We have found their shot on the green baes where the sheep still graze.

That's good to know, I had them set up so their medium range could sweep the banks and their long range into the riverside area of the town and across the fields and enclosures, so my positioning was probably about right. The horse got stuck in medium range and were devastated while the long range fire chipped away at the infantry.

They say history is doomed to repeat itself!