Sunday, August 14, 2016

Boyne Redux

View from the south west with King James in the right foreground

Iconic and tantalising in its alternative outcome possibilities the Battle of the Boyne is one of those wargaming opportunities which keeps coming back.

In they go! The Gard te Voet wade the river whilst Williamite guns explode!

I chose it as the game of the day for Claymore 2016 for a few of reasons. It looks good for a start, it has a certain whiff of controversy particularly in Scotland and so becomes a talking point but most important it gave me a chance to play test some significant modifications to Beneath the Lily Banners.

Looking upstream and west. Jacobite dragoons defend the bank

Bob and Dave had not yet seen the mods and so, being familiar with the rules in general I wanted to find out if my changes improved or diminished the overall gaming experience.

The Danish and Huguenot contingents assemble on the north bank


Beneath the Lily Banners has been a super successful project for Clarence and I. Both editions of the rules sold out and continue to sell in the pdf format. There has been demand for reprints but thus far we have not committed to a further hard copy.

A fine shot of Dave O'Brien's dragoons fighting for King James


I have accrued many ideas and modifications since the 2nd edition was published in 2011. Recent experience with Donnybrook and an as yet completed but unpublished Pike and Shot rule set for smaller battles with larger units pointed me in a direction which aligned many of the conventions and mechanisms across our published rules.

The Blue Guards form up to take Oldbridge from Clanrickarde's Regiment


This desire was further fuelled by seven back to back games with BLB at Historicon which really got Clarence and I focused on incremental improvement, reduction of ambiguity, streamlining of mechanisms and intuitive logic if that is not an oxymoron.

Antrim's Regiment is now supporting the defence of Oldbridge


The output summarized in crude terms is less looking at charts and more concentration on the table.
Although the exercise is not yet complete it is almost complete and as often happens with such projects, extended beyond the original scope.

5,000 Danish infantry wait to be ordered forward and into the river


The next step is for a couple of playtest groups who are very familiar with 2nd Edition to run with the mods and see what happens. Our play testing has gone very smoothly and ironed out several small wrinkles but nothing shocking has come to the surface. Please treat this post as an invitation to contact me via wordtwister@hotmail.co.uk to explore the possibility of playtesting the new mechanics.

Unsupported and with over 60% losses the 1st Bn of the GtV break under fire


Hope everyone enjoys our revisit to the Boyne. We didn't finish the game but we did get to the stage where the initial Jacobite resistance at Oldbridge was weakening and both Clanrickarde's and Antrim's regiments had been reduced to less than 30% effectives.

Huguenots and 2nd Bn GtV take up the struggle as the 1st Bn swims back in rout

14 comments:

  1. Amazing looking game!

    Now how about a nice big GNW game. For the next convention!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your units seem to be typically 3 bases - this makes me hope that the rules might be friendly towards smaller tables.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BLB does not need a large table Norm. A 6 x 4 has always been fine for a game with up to 12 units per side. Unit sizes are standard: 1 base for commanded shot, 2 bases for larger commanded shot or grenadiers, 3 bases for most infantry with the optional pike base and two bases per cavalry squadron.

      Delete
  3. How big was that Boyne table and how many units did the game have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6 x 6 feet so not too big considering 14 inches of the width was an oversized river! Jacobite units: 6 battalions, 2 units of dragoons and 2 light guns. We had 8 squadrons of Horse in reserve but didn't get round to that bit. Williamites: 17 battalions with 8 in reserve. 3 field guns. No Horse. We were doing the infantry crossing at Oldbridge only. The table was not congested.

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  4. Pike and Shot rules? Can they be seen? When are they likely to appear? Played VWQ for several years at the club here (Aberdeen) but dissatisfaction set in so we are looking for a good set to refight our mapless Irish rebellion (1641-50) campaign.

    Ken

    ReplyDelete
  5. Any chance of a preview?

    Ken
    Aberdeen Wargames Club

    ReplyDelete

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