Sunday 14 January 2024

Elizabethan Ireland Game at Partizan

So the game at Partizan was a great success and drew on the experience of the trial games to demo a much neglected period of British history.

We used every unit from my collection which had been built with this game in mind.

Chris and Si were the ambushed English whilst Dave, Steve and Andy commanded the Irish.

Our game is set around the second Desmond rebellion which was 1579 -83 and a very bloody prolonged conflict. Our game sees an English column marching to the relief of an English plantation settlement. The Irish of course have been waiting for just such a column to ambush as it attempts to ford the river. This is not based on a specific action but is rather representative of numerous actions of the later Elizabethan period where the English had to fight their way through tough terrain and were often ambushed at choke points such as river crossing, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

Our table was 12 feet long by 6 feet wide with the nearer end occupied by the plantation settlement, these are Hudsen and Allen buildings and are lovely as are the turf and stone cottages on the opposite side of the river that represent a a native Irish settlement.

Each side has 3 lords each with their own command, The English strung out in column whilst the Irish have one command blocking the river and the other two hiding in the woods ready to pounce on the weary English.
I spent most of the day speaking to numerous interested people about the game and the period so missed a lot of the action, I will give you the highlights where I caught them.

Thank you for everyone who came to see us and all the kind comments and for anyone I didnt get a chance to speak to I am ever so sorry.

The mark perhaps of a successful game is that I got no chance at all to really check out the numerous other fantastic games including the Perrys Franco Prussian and Dave Imries medieval games both just next door to us.
Below is the army list for the English including the stats for army in Irregulars wars. 27 Companies of English.

The Irish forces are here 29 companies.

Really happy with how the resolve markers work, easy to see but dont spoil the effect of the table.

The English sensibly decided not to try and force the river crossing but to turn the vast majority of their force to try defeat the two commands on their side of the river. Two units of cavalry would ride at the Irish blocking force to try slow down its potential to cross the river and support their other commands.
The Irish won the majority of the initiative rolls as they had a plus 2 and that gave them the advantage of being able to charge in first but also choose which melees to complete first which is a massive advantage as will be seen later.
Here we see the Irish under Steve and Andy erupt from the forest to take on the English as they hastily form a battle line.
Early on it seems the Irish may have attacked too soon and the English have the advantage of local superiority and fire power.
The battle line begins to break up as the English cavalry try to charge the Irish and gain advantage.

The English shot provide an initial advantage as the Irish charge in, but once contacted these lightly armed troops are in trouble.
The Demi-Lancers are the best troops on table given the opportunity to charge, the Gallowglass though are still a tough nut to crack.
At the ford Daves Irish have advanced to the rivers edge whilst Si has pushed a unit of Border Horse and Demi-lancers over to slow him down.

Si's main force needs the time being bought as he has turned to face Andy's Irish on his flank and his right is now wide open if Dave can get over the river to take advantage.

Aggressive English Cavalry and good use of musketry initially keep the Irish at bay, but they continue to push forward and infiltrate the flanks.

Its not long before the Irish have closed with the English line and the battel begins to desolve into multiple confused melees.
Si's Cavalry hold the Irish Vanguard initially but it cant last and soon enough they are pushing over the ford and into the English flank.

The English rearguard is the first to collapse, the cavalry are overwhelmed and then the foot.

The Vanguard after a valiant stand begins to waver as it is attacked by the Irish Vanguard and mainguard. 

The English centre has held its own but now has to contend with the Irish made available from the rearguard as the English at the rear start to collapse.

There is still plenty of fight in the English and they could still swing things their way as the battle around the centre.

Irish cavalry pouncing on unloaded English shot can only end one way, as the day draws on I have to call a pause so that there are still units left on table for the visitors to see.
The English targeteers prove a stern challenge but once they are attacked from two sides they too begin to crumble.
The Spanish also prove a tough nut, finishing the game with their resolve intact.

The English have done well but there are so few troops left engaged on table I have to call a halt to the game.
The English have hung on and caused huge casualties to the Irish but there are so few formed English units remaining they cant possibly win. A hard fought Irish victory is declared.

Overall a highly successful game, the players all enjoyed the game and the rules were a hit. It looked fantastic and Steve's terrain really hit the spot. The visitors to our table seemed to appreciate both how it looked but also how different it was. 

Massive thanks to Dave, Si, Andy, Chris and Steve really appreciate the support. And big thanks to everyone who came over to have a chat and tell us how much they liked the game. 

For now, job done!

Quick adendum, Guy from Wargames Soldiers and Strategy magazine came to take some photos for a forthcoming article. Even with the same phone camera this is what you can achieve with the right lighting etc. Nice eh|?

Particularly like how the manor has been captured.

Maybe check the article out, a 5 page spread in Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy some lovely pictures authored by some random bloke!

Thanks for stopping by.