Friday, November 8, 2019

The Battle of the Boinne (1/2)

Life does have a habit of interfering, instead of a tight series of games, this mini-mini-campaign has been dragging its heels with this game being played in three sessions over the course of a week. I haven't the time and "Mental Oomph" (technical term) to create a proper narrative so it'll have to be a quick recap, game thoughts and pictures, all rolled together.

Before I go further I would like to thank everyone who left a comment on the last post about Stuart Asquith and apologize for not answering any of them. I couldn't think of any reply other than "Thank you" and "I agree".   Being an Asquith & Grant Scenario and a Solo game with occasional bits drawn from Stuart's book on the subject, this game could be considered a sort of tribute but it was already in progress and is just the way my gaming has developed under those and other influences. However, I am planning an intentional Big Wars, Toy Soldier, Stuart Asquith tribute game for the near future.

But for now, "On with the Battle!".

The Maritime Attack Begins.
(See for the set up and forces). The rules used were A Gentleman's War by Howard Whitehouse ably assisted by Dan Foley. You should really buy a copy if you haven't yet. Its available from or from Amazon.

The rules were played straight up except for a) making the occasional mistake and b) being the biggest AGW game I had played, especially being solo on a 6'x4'6" table, (meaning lots of rushing back and forth from one side to the other)  with initial deployment set out by the scenario and thus beyond my control,  I fielded a few extra commanders to  increase the number of group moves I could make. To keep things under control I ruled that they had to stick with their own "brigades" and had the Generals sit at the back. I won't bother next time, afterwards I realized that it would have worked just fine out 'of the box' with the commanders being sort of "Wing Commanders" rather than "Brigadiers" and the Generals earning their place in history. ("Lee to the rear!")

I also used a minimum of unit attributes largely because I'm just getting this campaign set up and haven't sat down yet to review all unit histories and assign attributes, nor did I want to assign too many blindly. Still some units have already earned them or worse, in one case, assigned them and once assigned, in campaign terms, they need to carry them 'til proved inappropriate. So, the Red Grenadiers remained Brave and the Bluecoats were Slow, and they were slow, apparently they thought they weren't supposed to roll higher than 3 on their single die. I'm thinking of getting them their own Colonel and a burly Sergeant Major with a big stick.

MacDuff's Fusiliers are one of those regiments with a 20 year history of gallant, sometimes desperate battle winning charges and stubborn defences from their first game on, so I left them in the capital to guard the King. I'll figure that out another day.

Now I had intended to make most of the Rosmark cavalry Gallant based on past history but I forgot. They didn't though and rolled handfuls of 5's and 6's in every charge and never any melee die lower than 4!


The game started out with the lead Red Brigade rushing across the ford and assailing the house but the Grenadiers took horrendous casualties and their Brigadier chickened out from storming the house though mid-battle analysis suggested it might have been safer to do so. A theory later proved correct as well as reasonable.  

Point blank volleys blasted holes in the plaster walls and occasionally hit someone on the inside.

The artillery on both sides proved remarkably deadly at fairly long ranges despite my forgetting that they get 1 die per gunner not 1 for 2. Halfway through the game I remembered but decided that it was best to just carry on. Perhaps the powder was wet on both sides.

Now the Furland Trading Company's brown coated troops, despite being used to garrison duties at trading posts and occasional irregular warfare, fought like lions. Both battalions were reduced below 1/2 strength without leaving the field while one fought to the last man. Just as well I hadn't laid some Metropolitan prejudiced negative attributes on them.  I'll have to take a note for the future.

The view from the other side as the Redcoats charge the gun and struggle in melee for THREE turns before they finally capture it by killing ONE gunner! (Lets see that was something like 24 dice for one 5 ...Argghh). Best note this battery as Stalwart.

At the far end of the table, the Maritimers made good use of Aces  to hurry across the bridge and deploy before the slow moving Frontier troops could wade through the marshy stream. (Why bother? Not sure, I'd ask the Colonel if he could be found.) The Frontiersmen were pummelled by musketry from the converged Flank Companies and raked by enfilading artillery fire and soon headed back to the marshy ground.

The Rosmark cavalry however, doesn't really like going backwards so they spurred forward.

The clash by the bridge, phase one. Please note the heap of red horsemen from the 1st Squadron and the hasty tactical retreat of the remaining 2nd Squadron Dragoons. 

At this point I had to leave the battle half done as I was overdue for a trip to New Brunswick to visit my big sister and the kids. 

Oh, and my brother and succeeding generations as well.

The battle however has already been concluded and this report will itself be concluded tomorrow. (If this approaching  snowstorm permits). 


  1. Great pictures Ross. I like the fact that some of your regiments have got a history.

    1. MacDuff's was special, not just named after my original web "handle" but my first homecast figures of any sort. In their first outing at the 2000 Cold Wars con, they charged a gun guarding a bridge which was the key for victory for either side in a game of Charge. The bridge was currently being held by 1 artillery piece. MacDuff's were 2 figures above their break point and the gun would fire 1d6 of cannister, the die rolled and came up 1! The gun was taken and the game won on the last turn. Great first outing and they've never looked back!

  2. Looks like a great little battle!

  3. OK, Can never resist it so here goes... 'Which one is your brother?'


    1. He'd be one of the old goats.....but if you saw us together you'd know him at once.

  4. Lovely looking game as usual Ross, I enjoy browsing all of those big figures, so much character and charm.

    1. Once you get over the semi-flat thing they have tremendous charm and character, especially to older HE sculpts.