West of the River Barley

The header picture shows the Duke on Monmouth (purple coat with telescope) with his Red Regiment at the Drover’s Rest, just west of the River Barley. Likely he is trying to determine what enemy forces are arriving at Barleybridge on the eastern side of the river.

It is now the beginning of turn six and fighting is beginning to occur all along Monmouth’s Lines of advance. All of his infantry is now in the picture, the brigade of Dorset militia the last to arrive (on the road at the bottom of the picture) <pictures can be enlarged by clicking>:

BV2-1 at the Drovers

Monmounth’s best infantry are about to take on the Wessexshire militia defending the bridge. The Lyme IC is now behind the Drover’s and about to fire into the flank of the militia.

To the south a Brigade of militia Horse (Wessexshire and Devonshire) has caught the lead element of Lord Grey’s Brigade in the narrow defile near the Crown & Hook on the Yeovil – Cruelton Road. They are led by Major Gabriel Oak, a shepherd of long experience, prehaps he will prove capable of herding men in battle.

BV2-2 at the defile

The militia brigade is coming up from the East at the bottom of the picture. The slightly more experienced Devonshire horse leads the column. Lord Grey, at the moment is personally leading his less experienced second squadron.

In turn 6 a proper battle begins. The Lyme IC fire into the flanks of the Wessex White Regiment while Monmouth’s Red Regiment (who at first hesitated until the Duke belittled their manhood) fired a devastating double volley into their front. Taking heavy casualties, they broke, many scurrying across the bridge while others, divesting themselves of their arms, accouterments and boots, swam for it. The Wessex Blue Regiment, although shaken by their brothers’ rapid departure, stood manfully exchanging volleys with Monmouth’s Blue Regiment and giving as good as they got:

BV2-3 at the Drovers

The first engagement on the West Bank of the Barley. The Wessexshire militia exchanges fire with Monmouth’s brigade.

In the grand tactical phase, with the Drover’s now secure, Monmouth is able to receive a courier who has just arrived on a frothing horse. William of Orange, having apparently heard of Monmouth’s impressive victory has thrown caution to the wind (that’s Monmouth’s interpretation, what the prince’s ultimate motivations are remain foggy) and William is now going to materially support Monmouth with a Dutch fleet now laying along the south coast. In an instant, Monmouth changes his plans, He will now march south:

BV2-4 Monmouth gets a message

Monmouth receives a joyous dispatch!

Meanwhile in the steep defile to the south, Lord Grey charged the militia horse. Major Oak countercharged with the Devon horse and a swirling, vicious melee ensues. The narrow front leaves little room for maneuver or escape and charges and countercharges continue untill both sides are cut up and disorganized, neither willing to give ground. Major Oak received a sword cut across the brow, leaving him insensible. His mount, sensing a lack of control, wanders into the woods, carrying its dazed rider with it:

BV2-5 at the defile

Neither side budging, pistols, energy and lives are expended with abandon in the defile. The wounded seek shelter in the nearby Crown and Hook.

As turn seven begins, Lord Grey is able to disengage his depleted second squadron and sends in the first (Mountmouth’s Lifeguards). They fiercely charged the now disorganized and leaderless Devonshire horse driving them back through the Wessex horse, which immediately turn and run:

BV2-6 at the defile

The fresh Lifeguards slam into the demoralized militia, swords swinging and pistols flashing. It is all too much for the heretofore stalwart Devonshire lads.

Grey’s second squadron is pulled well back to rest as the Lifeguards go in hot pursuit of the remnants of Oak’s brigade:

BV2-7 at the defile

Major Oak, with a staggering headache, wanders back on the road and is immediately captured by Lord Grey’s jubilant troopers.

The grand tactical move now occurs with the cavalry approaching from Barleybridge shown to be the Wiltshire horse, now commanded by a local militia officer, the well known stonemason, Major Jude Fawley. Spying Monmouth himself he qoutes Cicero, “Ecce tibi qui rex populi Romani es se concupiverit”!*

BV2-8 at the Drovers

The Wiltshire horse begin to cross the Barley with a Latin quoting Stonemason at their head

In Cruelton as series of denouements now occur. A card representing the government main body is activated which in turn activated the rabble. The Rabble is revealed first and since it is a real unit it forces the main body to be revealed. It too is the real deal. The rabble must take a decision, and facing the Royal Dragoons, enthusiastically join the government side:

BV2-9 at Cruelton

The central square of Cruelton is filled with much drama and posturing.

With things now settled, the Cruelton citizens’ brigade for King James (and God love Him), which they now style themselves, clear the streets to allow Churchill’s cavalry brigade to move toward the Barley. What was thought to be an element of militia turns out to be a collection of tinkers and mountebanks come early to the market fair:

BV2-10 at Cruelton

In Cruelton, as many repair to the taverns to celebrate their survival, the grim forces of the government march past as on-lookers down to the last child shout, “God save the King” and “He’s our Jamie and He’s alright!”

The last government unit west of the Barley, the valiant Wessex Blue, after disordering Monmouth’s Blue Regiment, succumbs to the  enemy’s whither fire:

BV2-11 at the Drovers

Trying to come to their assistance the men of the Wiltshire horse (on the bridge) watch the last stand of the Wessex Blue.

Things have now radically change for Monmouth. With the news of Dutch support and with the western side of the Barley cleared of enemy troops for the moment, he orders the train toward Yeovil at best possible speed. A half an hour ago he knew he had to take one or both crossing of the Barley, now he must only hold them to prevent the enemy crossing. The cry is lifted, “On to Yeovil”!

* Roughly construed as “Behold he who pretends to be king of the people of Rome.”


4 thoughts on “West of the River Barley

  1. Impressed with the many improvements you’ve made to the settings! I remember when there was little but a green cloth for the field. Your story lines improve as well.


    • Thanks Bonnie, I trying to become somewhat more mainstream in my scenery. Unless I ultimately change to a hex based system, what you know see (the deep green) will serve for much of what I do, but am about to do a different system for the north and west of Scotland


  2. Great AAR once again and a nice touch to have William of Orange arriving. Interesting to see what his motives are…


  3. Steve, thanks. I agree about William, he was a step a head of most, probably three ahead of Monmouth. 😀

    The message implied two or more ships but nothing about the Prince being with them.
    But who knows…😉


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