Monday, February 10, 2014

Bloody Aughrim July 12, 1691 - refought by the LoA Part 3 - Our armies

Warfare, Dixons, Reiver and Foundry models all in this shot
Amongst my gaming circle there has been a gratifying and high quality effort to ensure our games are fought with as many Warfare Miniatures as possible. Most of us have worked on the 'I'll do that unit because I like it' principle so we did not have all of the regiments present at Aughrim within our collections.

This meant a reasonably high degree of substitution. A good example was the inclusion of General High Mackay's Scots Dutch Brigade from my own collection. Although the bold Sir Hugh played an enormously prominent role in the engagement, his brigade, cut to pieces at Killiecrankie in 1689, was not at Aughrim. In our version they were!

General Mackay's Brigade... interlopers at our Aughrim refight!
Similarly we included a battalion of the French Regiment Zurlauben because it looked nice! Interestingly, there is absolutely no surviving information on many of the Jacobite regiments present at the battle. Their clothing and flags are pure conjecture. this means we felt largely immune to the button counting brigade's post match autopsy of our efforts!

A good book to have at hand if you are reading this blog series is Mike McNally's;The Battle of Aughrim 1691. Mike describes the positions of many regiments and our version largely follows this with a couple of notable exceptions. The positioning of several Jacobite cavalry regiments such as Abercorn's and Lutterell's seem to be exactly opposite. There was a very simple reason; Dave and I both wanted to command units that we had painted so some units swapped places!

Good perspective on the scale of our re-fight.. unit for unit
We did managed to pretty accurately represent the actual number of battalions and squadrons at the battle if not their actual names. As Beneath the Lily Banners was he chosen rule set it is important to remind readers that with a model to man ratio of about 1:35 a six model squadron of Horse actually represents 210 men or between 2 and 3 real squadrons. This means our 28 Williamite squadrons were equivalent to between 56 and 84 real squadrons.

Positions around Aughrim village on the Jacobite left
Using many of the little amendments which I have developed since the release of BLB1 in 2008 we had specific rules to handle the different ratios of pike and shot in some of the Irish units, the use of commanded shot detachments and the grading of a couple of Protestant Irish Horse units to 'Blade' as opposed to the standard 'Bullet' classification.

Troops from the collections of Bob Talbot, Gerry Donohoe, Dave O'Brien, Paul McLauchlin and myself adorned the table. Within the ranks were regiments painted by Andy Thompson, Chris Meacham and Peter McCarroll. Overall a really nice line up.


  1. I love this series Barry. More,more,more photos please! (Irish Supplement still on course for 2014 publication?)

  2. Ps, next time you decide to game Aughrim or Boyne, call me, I'll fly over at a moments notice....unless I'm in Havana!

  3. Well Paul, that is endorsement indeed! There is more, a lot more. The series is already running to 13 parts! I have over 120 high quality pix of the battle all photo edited from a pool of 340 shots taken over about 20 hours of gaming it. Some will make the Ireland supplement which I am now in full flow writing. Others will of course make it onto the blog. Aughrim must be done again. We agreed between us it was one of the closest and finest wargames we'd ever fought. The 10 x 6 table was groaning a bit at the start - should have seen it at the end(well of course you will in this series!) The only change I would have made to set up was to extend each flank by 2 feet or possibly only the southern flank by 3 or 4 feet. Everything else worked very sweetly. Still to come: full battle report in several parts, casualty returns, heroes and villains of both sides and our personal perspectives on the game. phew!

  4. It has to rank as one of the best games I have taken part in and victory could have gone to either side right up to the last.

  5. Thanks Barry, 2014 is going to be a good year!


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