Sunday, 19 August 2018

Germantown 1777

Another excellent FoB battle, with Fitz returning to the fold to try out these excellent rules.

This is roughly 1 unit = 1 brigade, so we have less units than is perhaps warranted with other sets, but it still worked.

Washington tries to exploit a divided British force with separate columns of reinforcement under Greene, Stirling and Sullivan. Greene is a D12 commander in the rules.

 There's a little bit of tinkering with British organisation in order to make the rules work (particularly with light infantry) but not too much.
  • The fog that added to the confusion during the early hours of the battle, was represented via the necessity for all units in place at the start to be 'out of command'. 
  • This therefore meant that 'Leadership' cards became very important early on, which isn't normally the case.
  • British units are allowed to 'immediate melee', representing bayonet charge propensity, whilst Americans charge only on melee cards.

An excellent game, with the usual to and fro of action and command pressures.

Armstrong's militia - they'd fare as expected. Perhaps that's unfair, as they did withstand an attack from British Guards. Just the first one, mind you.

Sullivan's continentals, attacked on the right, again and again, without achieving success.

Chew House in the foreground, which wouldn't be so much fought over (as historically), rather fought 'around'. 

 Early action with British light infantry and the militia in the centre.

Greene's reinforcements arrive on the 3rd move card, though are stymied a little through successive British initiative wins.

 The British reinforce their centre.

 ...with only militia to stop them.

 The American right becomes clogged and charges go in.

 Greene deployes on the left, and advances, though American losses on the right are considerable.


 Militia are routed.

 The centre is hotly contested now.

 Can the Continentals get some morale chips back? Surely the British can't withstand this assault.

The British hold the American right.

 ...and reinforcements can be held in reserve.

 Hessians charge the Continentals.
 ...while Jaegers hold the flank against cavalry...then drive it off

 Guards vs Militia. It isn't going to end well.

 The centre becomes a mass melee, as British bayonet charges go in.

The fight on the American right, is bloody though indecisive - though that of course plays into the British hands, as they strive to dominate in the centre, without having to reinforce the flanks. More and more American forces are plunged into the crucible on the right, when they could have been of more use in the centre.

 They think it's all over! It is now.

A superb game. The British gained the initiative early and hung onto it, weakening the American forces and bleeding them white. Great rules, and work very well for AWI.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Le Duc on the Road XI - Kilkenny Castle

Le Duc the road.

Recent disgustingly warm weather entailed driving with the top down - so to speak, and long journeys in stupid temperatures (which we are not used to - give me snow any time).

This one actually happened on the same day as the Cahir Castle visit, but due to time dilation and the effect of cant-be-arsed-ism on my behalf, the post is late.

Kilkenny Castle was built in 1195 to control fording points and waterways in the area - another symbol of Norman control. Richard de Clare (the famous Strongbow) had built a motte and bailey on the same site. The property was transferred to the people of Kilkenny in 1967 for £50 (yes, fifty quid) and the castle and is now managed by the Irish Office of Public Works.

The Castle became the seat of the Butlers of Ormonde - the Ewings/Carringtons of their day (Dallas/Dynasty reference there for the 'Generation X's among you.The Butler family (who changed their name from a more Norman sounding FitzWalter in 1185, after gaining prowess in the wine trade) arrived in Ireland with the Norman incursion. The family had become wealthy and bought Kilkenny Castle in 1391 and established themselves as rulers of the area. The Butler dynasty then ruled the surrounding area for centuries.

James Butler - Duke of Ormonde, was particularly influential during the 1641 and 1688 wars. A Royalist, he would also have a vested interest in Jacobite affairs in later decades - his sisters being the mothers of the MacCarthy and Hamilton line (taking part at Newtownbutler, the Boyne, Aughrim, with old pretender influences from St. Germain later etc.). You can see how their story becomes the 17th century equivalent of Dallas.

 Some wonderful backdrops . The original Norman castle has been remodelled by subsequent generations. They even took a wall down. It spoilt the view. Well, makes sense.

19th century re-modelling

 Some excellent architecturals inside.

No mayonnaise for me on the burger please.

1st Duke

Charles II gets a look in.

Bare faced cheek!

Sarah Churchill gets a pic in the picture gallery. The Pamela Ewing of her day, wait. maybe Sue Ellen? No, that won't work. So if Marlborough is JR *sigh*; it's too complicated a parallel really.

Sarsfield's wife Honora Burgh (or Burke - the earlier Norman name Burgh and it's obvious French/Norman origins) up there. When Sarsfield is killed at Neerwinden, she married a young Duke of Berwick (James II's illegitimate son), who was heartbroken at her untimely death a few years later. But that, is another story.

I decided to play 'spot the notable' with La Duchesse in the art gallery, knowing that I would win - being a pompous ar*e, though little realising that she had most unfairly spotted these signs early and she won easily :(

 View from outside - mostly rebuilt walls and the area which I was standing on used to have a Norman rampart on it (but it spoiled the view). That is not normal Irish weather there by the way.

The wonderful grounds.

The entrance from the main street.

 With time to spare, I was then determined to find 'Sarsfield's Rock' - the site where Patrick Sarsfield had destroyed the Williamite artillery train in 1690. With some satnav magic (on the part of the Duchesse), we found it.

 The view from the 'mount'.

Sarsfield blew the powder and guns. What I didn't realise was the size of the crater that still remains.

The trees hide a large crater, which you could probably fit the church behind into.

 That's not a crater...

Now that's a crater...

I'm sure that things will quieten down a little, with normal temperatures and less travel...oh, there might even be some wargaming!