With the completion of the Green Regiment (and their friends), Monmouth’s army is all but complete. Even though I have again set up the battlefield for Benburb using the new terrain fractals, it was hard to resist seeing what this new army looked like all put together. Consequently, I borrowed Derrycreevy ridge to play the part of the Mendip Hills and took some group photos:
I sat and stared at the Black Duke’s army – table-top wargamers spend a lot of timing doing that – just staring at our handiwork – noticing every missed brushstroke – but also imagining them going into action! As I stared at the Great Man’s army I realized that had it not been for a few missed chances – some rather poor choices – and worse, indecisiveness at precisely the wrong time – he might have pulled it off!
If everything had fallen right and he caught James’ army by complete surprise – the plungeons found and the Bussex crossed – the Royal Army might have been defeated in detail. Then everything would have changed. The countryside would have been alive with rebellion and the bulk of the gentry and even some of the aristocracy might well have taken up arms to join the new Protestant king.
So I began adding a number of my collection of civilian pieces. First a rush of laborers, apprentices, serving boys and miners joined the march (shown on the left):
Hardly a firearm among them, but sturdy lads, with cudgels, pruning hooks, picks, axes and shovels – and as the militia fled before them (or came over to them) they would become increasingly better armed.
Of even greater importance, the landed gentry, deep of pocket and rich in manpower, brought out – everybody – still with many improvised weapons but over a third with their own firearms. Three such near regimental sized groups are shown in the foreground below:
Monmouth’s army has near doubled in size (with more coming by the hour). With the village of Rowberrow behind him, he now looks east toward London and his destiny:
Opposing him will be the remnant of the militia, the remainder of the Royal Army pulled from every nook and cranny, and the doughty (but likely unenthusiastic) London Trained Bands.
Such an alternate history scenario has probably been done before but it will be fun to do again – my way.