Friday, 25 April 2014

An Alternative Falkirk, January 1746 A Glorious Jacobite Victory (again).

This weeks gamin session was something a little different.
I had recently replaced all my 28mm Jacobites with their smaller 15mm cousins.
I had also (at last) acquired a British force to oppose them.
As most people are aware, the 1745 Rebellion was a pretty quick affair.
Three major battles only, but the potential for gaming the period is huge as there are many what if's.
I had been working on this little gem of a scenario for a couple of weeks and we finally put it to the table last night.
A three player game, two controlling the Jacobites (Andy & Glenn) and Myself with the Very static Government forces.

Here is the brief for the players.

                                      Alternative Battle of Falkirk

17th January 1746
After the hapless Cope was defeated at the battle of Prestonpans on the 21st September 1745.
Charles Stuart’s jubilant army had invaded England.
But disparity in the Jacobite command and the thought of facing fresh Govt troops under Cumberland had forced the tired army back into Scotland.
The Jacobites knew time was running out, not enough help had arrived from France.
They were short on everything, although their numbers had swelled from the march into England, powder, muskets and food were now the main concern.
News arrived at Charles Stuarts camp that Cumberland had been re-called to London.
This was to organise the defence of the capital as rumours of a potential French invasion were rife and London was in a panic.
The command of the Govt troops had now fallen to Lieutenant General Henry Hawley.
Hawley advanced with fresh troops to Edinburgh where he met with Generals Cope and Wade.
Hawley, now had a combined force of 8,000 men.
Hawley, also had a problem, he needed to garrison his supply route to Edinburgh if he was to advance against the Jacobite main army.
He knew the Jacobites were massing at Perth and had now begun the siege of Stirling castle.
He decided to move most of his army to Falkirk in an attempt to relieve the Siege at Stirling.
He sent what was left of Cope’s force to occupy Falkirk and prepare the supplies for his arrival.
General Wade was sent North of Falkirk to clear the area of Jacobite sympathisers.
Hawleys force was spread out, he had no intelligence to say that the Jacobites had moved from their siege of Stirling.
Wade’s Dragoons were camped and had spent the night in Polmont, enroute to Falkirk.  
They had some artillery (2 light guns) and supplies with them.
Cope’s 2 battalions and one light artillery were at encamped at Falkirk.
Wade with his 3 battalions of foot and one Horse were at Larbor, (doing a bit of ethnic cleansing)
Hawley was marching towards Falkirk, with his force of  5 battalions of foot, 2 medium artillery and 2  regt’s of Dragoons.
He would arrive later in the day.

This was indeed good news to the Jacobite command.
Hawleys army was divided.
The weather had been bad, but much needed supplies were available and news that Cumberland was now on his way back up to Scotland with a large force of veterans from Flanders had just been confirmed.
The Jacobites needed to strike now.
If the Govt troops could be destroyed, it would leave Edinburgh open once again to a Jacobite entry to the capitol.
This would certainly bring the French into full support of the Stuart cause and a French invasion of England would be a real possibility.
This should make Cumberland retire back into England again and leave the whole of Scotland to the pretender.

Charles, with the full support of the Scottish clans can invade England again to join with his French allies and re-claim the British throne.

Simple really, the Jacobites the opportunity to deliver a decisive blow to the crown.

Would it be so easy.

Andy and Glenn prepare their strategy.

British Player. (Myself)
Try to gather your forces together at Falkirk, if you can, you will have a substantial force to face the Jacobites. Wade at Larbor may not move until turn 3. Hawleys force arrives on turn 6 on the Edinburgh Rd and in column of march with Dragoons at the front.

Brigade 1, Cope’s force at Falkirk. (3 units for Brigade Morale)
1 x British Yeomanry Foot
1 x Scots Yeomanry Foot
1 x Light Artillery

Brigade 2, Wade Dragoons under Hamilton at Polmont. (4 units for Brigade Morale)
2 x Dragoons, Freshly Raised.
2 x Light Artillery.

Brigade 3, Wades Force at Larbor. (4 units for Brigade Morale)
2 x British Yeomanry Foot
1 x Scots Yeomanry Foot
1 x Horse (Yorkshire Hunters) Freshly Raised heavy Cavalry.

Hawleys Advancing Column. (Artillery does not count towards Brigade Morale)

Lieutenant General Henry Hawley.

Brigade 4. Ligonier
2 x British Yeomanry Foot
1 x British Grenadiers
1 x Medium Artillery

Brigade 5. Pulteney
1 x British Yeomanry Foot.
1 x Royal Scots (Highlanders)
1 x Medium Artillery

Brigade 6. Cobham
2 x Dragoons.

Jacobite Player Brief.
Try to engage the dispersed Govt forces and destroy each before they can re-group.
Then use your entire strength to defeat Hawley as he arrives and struggles to deploy.
Jacobites start with no artillery (It’s all at Stirling),if Cope is beaten, the Jacobites gain 1 Light gun.
If Hamilton’s Dragoons are beaten, the Jacobites gain an another 2 Light guns.

Charles Edward Stuart, The Young Pretender.

Brigade 1. Duke of Perth      (Glenn)
Clan Chattan
Clan Clanranald
Lowland, Duke of Perth’s Regt.
Highland Skirmishers.

Brigade 2. Lord John Drummond.      (Glenn)
Clan Farquarson
Clan Fraser
Clan Mackintosh
Lowland, Lord Ogilvy’s Regt.

Brigade 3, Lord George Murray       (Andy)
Clan Cameron
Clan Atholl
Stewarts of Appin
Clan Maclean
Lowland, Edinburgh Vols

Brigade 4, John Finlayson        (Andy)
Clan Gordons
Clan Macdonells
Clan Keppoch
Irish Piquets.

Brigade 5, Lord Elcho       (Andy)
Lifeguard Horse
Baggott’s Horse
Pitslogo’s Horse

Hamiltons Dragoons, unaware of the approaching horde
 Andy orders Murray's brigade to engage Hamilton's sleepy dragoons at Polmont.
They are totally unaware of the approaching mass of kilted madmen.
Finlayson's brigade are still slow to catch up with Murray's nutters.

Glenn's Clans are slow to move towards Falkirk
Glenn managed to get Drummond's brigade to advance on Falkirk, but Perth's brigade dragged it's feet.

Jacobite Horse sweep past the camp 
Hamilton manages a limited reaction to the fast approaching Highlanders. The Dragoons are caught by surprise as Murray's men are into them.
Fast reaction firing , fails to stop the Highland Charge.
The Jacobite horse look on as they ride past the engaged camp, they have other booty in mind.
It ends quickly for Hamilton's small force.
 Hamilton's camp is over-run, one Dragoon regt is destroyed and the other retreats off the table.
The Victorious Jacobite's capture two stacks of supplies and two Light Artillery.
The Jacobite horse now proceeds to skirt around the Falkirk defences and requisition the Govt supply wagons the were stationed on the outskirts of Falkirk.
The supply guards, (part of Cope's brigade) were completely oblivious to this.

Hamilton's camp is looted
Finlayson now advances on the left of Falkirk as Glenn's brigades Assault Falkirk.
Wade, who now reacts to the gunfire, gathers his force together and prepares to advance to Falkirk.

Wade is on his way to besieged Falkirk, Perth will be waiting at the bridge.
The Jocobites press the attack on Falkirk, but Cope and is single battalion and light gun, hold fast.
The Jacobite horse, with the supply wagons now enroute to the rear, now turn on the supply guard.
A volley from the loyal Scots fails to stop the charging Jacobite horse.
Falkirk is still under assault, but holds fast again.

Falkirk about to be surrounded.
Wade heads towards the Bridge with his force and the Wagon guards push back the Jacobite horse.
Falkirk still holds.

Wade reaches the Bridge before the Jacobites.
Wade dithers and his force fail to get across the bridge before the Jacobites can deploy to face them.
Glenn is quick to react and orders Pert's brigade to hold wade on the opposite side of the river.

A typical British break test result.

Finlayson move forward to aid the retreating cavalry and a rash charge from the loyal Scots at Finlaysons brigade see's them destroy themselves in the melee.
Falkirk is now open to attack on all sides.

Wade held in check at the bridge the Jacobites swarm onto Falkirk
 Perth's brigade are giving as good as they get in a prolonged firefight with Wade's troops on the opposite side of the river.
Wade's orders his lone horse regt to chatge across the bridge.
They do and the Jacobite defenders fail to stop them with a rather poor volley.

Wade's short lived moment of Glory.
Wade's horse destroy the Jacobite defenders at the bridge and sweep onto the flank of a unit that is supporting the assault on Falkirk.
Wades, now tired horse fail to break the Jacobites, who now swamp them and kill them to a man.
Andy now manages to get Murray's men back into order after they looted Hamilton's camp.
They head towards Edinburgh road as their scouts inform them of approaching Gov't troops.
Falkirk is assaulted from three sides.
Round after round of melee and Falkirk still holds.
Cope and his men are putting up one hell of a scrap.
As Murray's Brigade deploys across the Edinburgh road, Hawleys lead battalions start to arrive and deploy into battle line.

The Heroic defence of Falkirk is about to come to it's inevitable conclusion.
A final assault breaks the defence of Falkirk and Cope surrenders the town to the Jubilant Jacobites.
Believe me Andy and Glenn were Jubilant, haha.
Perth's brigade still engaging Wade's on the other side of the river, gave a devastating volley and broke one of Wade's battalions.
That with the loss of the Horse meant that Wade's brigade was now broken and forced to retire.
But to late, Hawley had arrived.
Even though all three defending British brigades had broke, it was a turn to late.
Hawley was at full effectiveness.

Hawley surveys the situation and thinks Bugger this.
Hamilton, Cope and Wade had all been destroyed.
As the jubilant Jacobites rampage around Falkirk, Hawley's advance is checked by the deployed Murray's brigade with two captured guns.
Even though the Jacobites had captured all the supplies, Hawley was in good shape to fight.
But the only losses the Jacobites had suffered was a single unit of clansmen (to Wade's Horse).
A formidable opponent in the shape of Lord George Murray faced him.
With the Jacobite horse moving to engage Hawley's dragoons on the flank and the victorious Jacobites streaming out of Falkirk to join Murray for even more carnage.
Hawley chose to turn tail and run for Edinburgh.
He was heavily outnumbered and although in a strong position, weight of numbers would surely break him quickly.
The British retire, Game over and a superb win for the Jacobites and the combined leadership of Andy & Glenn.
A superb game.
Great gamesmanship, plenty of banter, laughter and piss taking.
Some great and crap dice rolls, all in all, a great evenings gaming.
Cheers Guys.
All the game sheets, rosters etc, are available from me if anybody would like them.
Contact me and I can email them to you.


  1. Envious!

    I got up to Culloden Moor last year, a life-long dream to visit the site, and another little dream of mine is to have some Jacobite forces to clash against Government troops. Inspiring!

  2. Great lokking game with a beautiful terrain...really impressive!

  3. Well done to the Jacobites! Great looking game Kev!

  4. Up the rebels, up the Jacobites!

  5. Great looking game Kev, one of my favourite periods, I too have owned them in both 15 and 25. Posties got them now and we haven't played a game with them in years!!!!!!

  6. Wonderful game there Kev and a good time was had. Great scenery and good to see the Jacobites win

    1. It's not often the Kilted ones manage a win, but they deserved this one Pete.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Great stuff I will contact you re getting a copy of your charts etc.
      What rules you using?

    2. All forwarded Graham.
      We are using Black Powder.
      The Last Argument of Kings supplement.


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