Saturday 21 January 2023

Drumnadrochit 1746 First Sharp Practice for the Jacobites AAR

 So we finally have enough (More than enough of some as you will see) for a game with the 1745 collection.

Using the majority of both our collections Chris set up a pretty big game by Sharp Practice standards abd went with all units deployed on table to get things going quicker.
The Jacobites started with two clan regiments each of 3 x 10 figures with one leader and 2 x 24 regular formations, one of Royal Eccossais and one of Irish Piquetes. They also had a light gun.

113 figures, pretty impressive.
The Hanovarians started with 3 formations of 24 foot supported by 2 guns, a 16 man formation of black watch highlanders and 16 man formation of cavalry.

114 figures. Just outnumbering the Jacobites.
Chris and I commanded a Highland regiment and regular formation each whilst Steve and Chris Flowers had the Hanovarians.

First out of the blocks were Chris's highlanders charging straight at the massed infantry deployed across their front.
Chris made the guns commanded by any officer within command range so first card out for the Hanovarians saw 12 dice from the first gun, predictably this devasted the oncoming highlanders, the second British card saw more artillery fire and the first volley from the British and Chris's highlanders were reeling back in disarray before anything else got moving. 
This little vignette of a Hessian grenadier with Edinburgh urchins is a charming charity set painted by Chris.

The return fire from our lighter gun does a small amount of damage but nothing to write home about.
Undaunted my Highlanders continue to march forward. 
Chris's are not stopping this side of Inverness at this rate.
The Government reserve now begins to move into position (yes a quarter of our force gone and they haven't deployed their reserve yet) 
Meanwhile my Highlanders take two blasts of cannon fire and I pull them back to try a different approach.

The Royal Ecossaise are marching across the hill on the left masked by woods in a hope to get close enough to cause some damage.
Taken as a whole things are not looking too good for the Jacobites. 
Another hit to Chris's Highlanders as the Irish march past them and they are off again.
One group of Ecossaise break off to protect my flank while the rest line out to prepare to fire into the govornment forces.
My Highlanders have pulled back, the shock only effects forward movement, I hope to get them up the flank to support the Royal Ecossaise but I cant get the volume of shock down enough to get any reasonable movement.

Chris's Irish meanwhile have opened up on the Government line, at last the Jacobites are inflicting damage, however one formation against two supported by cannon is too one sided to last.
Realising the Royal Scots are exposed I realine them so they line the edge of a small wood facing the government highlanders
My first group of Scots has fired at the highlanders with little effect, the gun firing in return did rather better!
With the Highlanders very badly mauled its down to the regulars to shoulder the burden and the Irish prepare to trade volleys and buy us some time.
The light gun continues to add its less lethal support.
Chris's highlanders will clearly be playing no further part in the game.
Its unlikely that mine will with 3 inches of movement coming off every roll. They are doing their best though.
The Irish are now taking almost the full force of the British command and casualties and shock are mounting alarmingly.
My Royal Ecossais now open a volley onto the Black Watch and damage quickly mounts, at last we are in the game.
Unfortunately the tenacious Irish have taken too many hits and the formation breaks with the left hand group forced back.

Things are looking pretty bleak.
My Ecossaise have forced back the Black Watch and the Hanovarians lose their first Morale point, but nobody is coming to support the Scots regulars and Chris has wheeled his gun to rake their line.
As the gun and Black Watch fire together (their commander can command both) a huge amount of shock builds on the Royal Scots and the right hand unit is pushed back.

This depletes the last of our force morale, no doubt the stout Ecossaise surrendered whilst the rest of the Jacobite force fled the field.
As a first run out we learned a lot. The sides need evening out, too many guns which are devastating. The Highlanders need to be able to move quicker. Pre deployment speeds things up and gives a more traditional game but massively helps the defender, who in this case outnumbered the attacker.

A fabulous looking game even if a bit one sided. I am certain we can still make SP2 work for the 45, better luck next time


  1. Valuable lessons learnt! We can definitely make SP2 work for the ‘45. Cheers, Chris

    1. Absolutely, I actually think it will work really well when we find the balance and tweak things.

  2. Firstly Roger, I agree this is a beautiful looking table and game. It does seem quite a large engagement for SP but worth persevering with it though! The 45 I think might have to be treated a bit like colonial games, with the Jacobites being the natives, and outnumbering the British army considerably, to give them a chance? The result of the game seemed pretty realistic, a frontal charge across open ground didn't work at Culloden either!

    1. Absolutely, the rules are fine, maybe some tweaks, as you say this was very much a mini Culloden with a not dissimilar outcome.

  3. The Jacobites usually were outnumbered but lining up opposite a nice line of Hanoverian regulars is not likely to produce a result much better than Culloden. Were any of the governmment troops militia or second rate troops?

    1. Only the highland militia. It was very one sided. Allowing any command in range to activate artillery pushed the odds way out of the Jacobites’ reach. Cheers, Chris

    2. Key things to consider for next time I think are cover/terrain, how quickly the Highlanders move and the volume of artillery available. I think we already know what we need to look at for the next game. Happy Sharp Practice can work.

    3. We will have units of both Glasgow and Edinburgh Militia for the Government troops, will in future be easier to even things out.

    4. I’m comfortable learning from my mistakes ;-) we can definitely make SP work for the ‘45. Drumnadrochit by the way is a real place

    5. I agree Chris, is it a real encounter of just a nice place?

    6. Not a real battle. From the fertile mind of my mate John Coutts ;-)

  4. Looks great, I am also doing 1745 using Sharp Practice, but I confess, the painting has stalled a bit for the moment. Will watch to see how you go.

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