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"The Sword in the Heather (Jacobites)" Topic

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Action Log

22 Aug 2012 7:24 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from 18th Century Battle Reports board
  • Crossposted to Playtest board

1,366 hits since 21 Aug 2012
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2012 7:17 a.m. PST

This weekend, I'm going to test for the first time under fire my The Sword & the Flame variant rules for the 1745 Jacobite rebellion (which I'm calling The Sword in the Heather -- see the OFM's "The Sword & the Haggis" topic in the 19th century board for the genesis).

A number of modifications are being made to the core rules to better reflect this period and these soldiers but the essential mechanisms remain, if it ain't broke I don't fix it, and I think this will work very well. The rebasing has been knocking me out for weeks (I've got blisters on me fingers!) but I expect to be ready with several hundred figures and will report back on how this plays.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2012 7:25 a.m. PST

God bless them all! I shall be there.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2012 7:29 a.m. PST

Gee wiz…
Since I posted my thoughts on that, I painted a little bit of red on some kilts, some scarlet on Government troops, rebased about a dozen, ordered two packs from Old Glory and then got distracted by the Boxer Rebellion project. grin

Sadly, that is the story with my Jacobites. They are always the next in the queue, and will continue to be for a while.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2012 7:47 a.m. PST

Looking forward to your report(s). As a member of the group that helped Larry develop TSATF, we are always glad to see new uses for his rules.


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2012 8:04 a.m. PST

The discussion here
TMP link
is one of the reasons I think TSATF is one of, if not THE finest rules sets ever written.
It is almost infinitely adaptable, and if you beg permision to change The Rules, the writer and developers give a cheery "Hey! That sounds great!"

TSATF is the antithesis of the white-knuckled clenched-sphincter type of game (and gamer) we all pretend to hate.

And now, I am going to have to sneak a unit of highlanders back into the queue.

Royal Marine23 Aug 2012 3:07 p.m. PST

John … I finished all my 10mm Jacobites!! It was hard work though, them tartans just keep moving as my eyes keep crossing. Now for some Government forces to do a bit of quelling, where is that red paint?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2012 6:49 p.m. PST

"If it's Thursday, I paint red!"

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member23 Aug 2012 7:59 p.m. PST

Sorry to miss it guys but I'm painting the booth with the Mongolettes.

spontoon24 Aug 2012 2:38 p.m. PST

What range have you given a haggis?!

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2012 1:03 p.m. PST

Short range, long range, or effective range? Is that an African or European haggis?

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2012 1:23 p.m. PST

OK, so…

26 August 1746 (O.S.) Thanks to the big group at Great Hall Games in Austin that turned out for my first playtest of The Sword in the Heather, a spinoff set of rules from The Sword & the Flame specifically for the Jacobite rebellion of 1745-46. I fielded about 300 figures -- this was not a small game but not as big as it might have been -- and there were four Government players and five Jacobite rebels plus attendants and valets. The general of the Lowland Brigade took pictures that should be available soon, in which case I will post a link.

I postulated a world where the Jacobites, after Prestonpans, chose to gain firm control of Scotland during the autumn and winter of 1745-6 and await reinforcements from France and not invade England until spring 1746. So Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army of clansmen, Lowlanders, and some French foreign units (Irish piquets, Royal Ecossais) were spilling down the west coast of Cumbria and Lancashire while the Hanoverian army gathering in the Midlands marched to head them off before they could swing into Wales or pivot southeast toward London.

Things went fairly well for a first experiment, altho' I can see how a scenario this big can be sped up, and there are some important tweaks and revisions and rules clarifications to be made for next time (while still keeping
true to the core rules and spirit of TS&TF set). My thanks to all players for being patient and considerate of my figures, many of which are old and brittle and no longer in production and so would be difficult if not impossible to replace in the event of damage.

Metaphorical dusk (i.e., the store closes at 6) put an end to the fighting before everything had been finally
decided, but I would rule the battle a marginal Government victory. The key objective, the strategic River Mersey bridge crossing at Warrington, was indeed seized and crossed by the Jacobites but they were unable to expand beyond a toehold on the opposite bank and their remaining troops in this sector were taking a musketry and cannon pounding by strong
redcoat regiments that would surely prevent any further attempts to cross and hold the bridge. The Jacobite center was effectively gone as a credible force. The Jacobite wings, often floundering in wooded or boggy terrain, failed to ford the river in sufficient numbers or with any speed or coordination and were unable to turn the Royal Army flanks. Despite some redcoat infantry battalions being mauled by scattered Highland charges -- St. Clair's 1st Foot, the Royal Regiment, was broken by the Glengarry MacDonnells in a
furious hand-to-hand combat -- the Government line was holding and much of the clans' strength was spent. Furthermore, the rebel army today is mourning the loss of the popular James, Duke of Perth, shot down from his horse as he led a Highland brigade advance, and also the
redoubtable Lord John Drummond, killed with nearly all his men of the Royal Ecossais in a bloody assault across the bridge.

Thwarted in their campaign in northwest England, the Jacobites will surely fall back across the Border to regroup, recruit, and defend Scotland against the Hanoverian riposte. Followup game in September or

Royal Marine27 Aug 2012 1:45 p.m. PST

Pictures? Show me the Tartan.

Just painted my Government Jockenish Regiment in 10mm. I'll blog them one day, honest.

spontoon28 Aug 2012 5:31 a.m. PST

Hey! @ Piper 099;

You've more or less stolen my backstory for my imagi-nation, the Dalriadic Confederacy!

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2012 9:40 p.m. PST

Oh my. Your seconds may call on my seconds in the morning. Claymores at fifty paces! The winner may claim all royalty and film rights

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