Tuesday 24 May 2022

Culloden -The Refight

 Well returned from Partizan absolutely shattered after a most enjoyable weekend. The show was extremely busy and I shall do another post on the show itself, the weekend in general etc. This post shall focus on the game.

As mentioned earlier I used Charles Grants rules with hopefully suitable tweaks which I shall briefly mention below.

In 2014 when the group of A Military Gentlemen gathered at Kelham Hall to refight Ligny and Quatre Bras 18th Century style I worked with Charles to adapt his rules for smaller units 24-30 figures. The primary change being that Officer casualties were recorded rather than having the individual figures. 

I also use 2/3 scale for movement and ranges.

So for this game the main changes were as follows


Firing - no first volley and no close range. The range is split in half and deductions for Medium and long apply. 

When charging into contact they can fire needing a 6 to score a hit, muskets discarded and no longer available.

Melee - first round of combat +2 ( this makes the impact very powerful ( maybe too much!) but casualties inflicted and received by musket fire count towards working out first round of melee ( so it’s important the Government troops get that volley).


No first volley and again no close range deduction. ( I find it’s a simple way to reflect poorer training, fire discipline etc) melee as normal.

The only other change I made on the morning was to bring a little uncertainty into the Highlanders stepping off so I just threw a d6 for each clan on a 6 they set off +1 was added if they’d been subjected to artillery fire and a further +1 if adjacent clan had stepped off, it seemed to work and produced some interesting results. 

So onto the game my son and I decided that we’d pretty much follow the orders from the real battle so the Jacobites weren’t allowed to occupy the enclosure etc. ( we are going to refight this again with freedom of orders) 

The British opened the game with an opening barrage, largely ineffective although the two small mortars caused a couple of casualties and they were to be an irritation all day. The Government militia began to move up to the enclosure and Hawley and his cavalry began to follow.
Starting from right to left I began to roll to see if any of the Clans were stung into action, The Atholl men and the Cameron’s stood still but the Fraser’s, Chattan and Maclean all suddenly lurched forward and on the Jacobite left the Macdonald’s of Keppoch and Clanranald also stepped off leaving the Macdonalds of Glengarry stationary by Culloden park. The Jacobite artillery returned fire with no effect except for the French Gunners in the park who caused a casualty on The Royal regiment.

Bounds 2 and 3 saw all the remaining clans with the exception of Atholl, Cameron and MacDonald step off towards the British lines Prince Charles dispatched a messenger to to both flanks to determine what the issue was. British artillery continued to be largely ineffective except one 3pounder and the two mortars destroyed one of the Jacobite guns in the centre.

Bound 4 saw the Cameron’s step off but still the Atholl men and Macdonald’s declined to advance despite the shouting from the Prince’s ADC’s, the Macdonald’s of Keppoch had slowed as they were now making their way through the boggy ground.
The Government troops still held their fire waiting to use the first fire bonus to good effect ( hopefully) 
The Government 3pounders were starting to take effect on the advancing Highlanders in particular a number of clans were losing Officers in the advance but their morale was holding.
Bound 5 actually saw the Atholl men move off, despite increasing casualties the Highlanders forward momentum was seeing them on then in bound 6 all hell broke

Pulteney’s regiment had moved from the third line to extend the British line and cover the flank from the advancing MacDonalds of Keppoch.
The MacDonalds of Clanranald and the Chisholm’s struck  the Royal regiment despite a fairly effective first volley after two rounds of combat the Royal regiment broke!
The Maclean’s had struck Cholmondeley’s regiment who’s first volley on the clan closing was destructive taking down their leader and many a man, despite a bloody round of combat the regiment held and the following rebound Maclean broke.
This situation was repeated along the line with, in the majority of cases the Highlanders causing casualties on impact but receiving significant casualties from musketry on closing and the combats were going to two or three rounds of bloody combat.

Pulteney and Cholmondeley fired destructive volleys into Clanranald and Chisholm, who had stalled after breaking the Royal regiment. Being small clans the casualties broke them and it was now that the Macdonald’s of Glengarry decided to advance! 

Three clans had fallen below 50% and dispersed, The Royal regiment had fled following my sons abysmal dice throwing when called to rally.

At this stage the majority of the clans that had attacked the centre of the British line had been repulsed, although Cumberland had been forced to move the second line regiments forward because of the casualties the front line had received.

The Atholl men were now about to close on Barrels regiment and the Cameron’s were ready to charge Munro.
Barrels regiment fired their first volley and disaster struck a flurry of 1’s and 2’s resulted in only 4 casualties being inflicted. However the Argyl militia secure behind the wall inflicted another 4 from their flanking fire.
The melee was a different matter and despite the highlanders receiving a +2 to their dice rolls the Government troops consistently rolled high and despite losing 6 men they held.

The Cameron’s attack on Munro was a different matter as they charged home Munro’s volley inflicted 9 casualties including the Clan chieftain the Cameron’s impact was devastating they killed the Colonel and inflicted 13 casualties 

Barrel’s  and Munro’s regiments held and another round of combat was fought, neither Barrel’s men or the Atholl men appeared to be in the mood to fight with only a couple of casualties being inflicted but again the Argyll militia inflicted another 4 casualties into the rear of the clan and they broke to the rear. The Cameron’s however broke Munro’s men and followed through the gap in the line although their pursuit was not sufficient for them to catch the fleeing troops.

The last stand of the Cameron’s was now about to take place they found themselves behind the Government front Lina faced by three full strength British regiments and a 3 pounder hastily wheeled to fire on their flank. Three crashing volleys and a round of canister destroyed the clan with less then 40% of the clan left they turned and fled.

Hawley now arrived on the Jacobite right flank with his dragoons although the Royal Ecosse and Lord Lewis Gordon’s foot supported by Fritz James cavalry had faced off to meet them.
We called time at this point, the Clan Chattan had managed to rally, the MacDonald’s of Glengarry were unscathed but all the remaining front line units were broken. 

Perhaps historically the front line units received a significant number of ‘Officer casualties’ which proved to be their downfall once casualties started to mount whereas my son only lost one officer ( he managed to make the saving throws) 

We found it a most enjoyable game - the battle lasted 12 turns so around an hour, as with most games casualties were higher than reality the Government front line in particular felt the pain - with the exception of the Fusiliers all the remaining first line regiments were just above 50% strength. 

It’s certainly worth a replay keeping the deployment but allowing the players to do as they see fit.

I shall do another post on the show and my thoughts

Friday 20 May 2022

Ready for Partizan

 Even after 30+ years of putting on demo games I still find myself working to the last day and there’s still a bit more I wish I could have done. Anyway everything is ready for driving down tomorrow.

The additional bonus is that my son has managed to get some time off so he’s coming to help, it will be good to spend some time with him and also takes some pressure off on the day of the show.

If you’re going pop over and say hi, I think I’ve mentioned it before but I’ve decided that this will be the last demo game that I’m doing.

Thursday 19 May 2022

Auction Details of Vintage Wargame Collection

 As a couple of people have mentioned the Auction for this collection is being handled by Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers 


It will take place as an online auction between 27th May and the 3rd of June. You will need to register with the Auctioneers prior to the sale if you wish to bid.

The collation is just about complete and it is currently being organised into lots ( around 200) so I guess the catalogue will be available shortly.

Hope all that helps 

Monday 16 May 2022

A quick shout out to Vintage Wargame figure collectors

 I have been contacted by a colleague today to shout out to any of you who collect vintage Wargame figures - Hinton Hunt, Spencer Smith etc. He is assisting an Auction House in collating the collection of the late Clive Smithers. Many of you may know him better from his blogs - the Hinton Hunter, Lone S Ranger and Vintage Wargamer.

The collection is huge the below picture shows one of three rooms which house his collection each box holds an average of 300 figures - I shall let you do the maths.

The sale is on behalf of his family and I’m advised that the figures will be sold for a few pence each but in lots  of which there will be 200-300. I should have more information toward the end of the month as to date of auction etc and will post here.

In other news the kitchen is almost finished and it’s almost killed me. I’m behind on Culloden so Thursday and Friday will be long hours spent finishing off and sorting the figures to take to Partizan