On To Yeovil!

In the header picture, General Churchill and the Duke of Grafton survey Monmouth’s dispositions from the heights at Coney Hill Farm.

In turn 8, rather than making a hopeless attack against a brigade of pike and shot, Major Fawley decided to pull the Wiltshire horse back into Barleybridge and then galloped off to find more troops:

BV3-2 The view east

Monmouth’s forces begin their turn to the south through the Short Gap.

A half hour later, Churchill’s column is moving quickly west along the Yeovil Road. As they prepare to enter Linnetsmouth, they are greeted by a large band of citizens barring his way. Churchill ordered them to disperse, and his fierce mien  (and his Dragoons looking as if they wanted to be turned loose on anything at this point) caused the would-be rebels to do just that – disperse:

BV3-1 The Government Column

Churchill prepares to enter Linnetsmouth unopposed. In the far distance, through the Summer haze, Maj. Fawley can be seen crossing the stream near the Rose of Sharon.

As Fawley approaches the Rose of Sharon he is pleased to recognize his close friend and mentor, Colonel Richard Phillotson with the Wessex Green Regiment. After Jude hastily explains the situation at Barleybridge and the need for more men, Col. Phillotson immediately agrees and orders his men forward. Major Fawley just as quickly wheels around and heads back toward the River Barley.

BV3-3 The view east

Old friends meet at the Rose of Sharon.

At the beginning of turn 14, Monmouth’s army is well on its way toward Yeovil (the blue arrows marking their progress). Senior Troop Captain Honeycutt (who as a young man rode with Cromwell and the “Ironsides”), observing Monmouth’s maneuver, ordered the Wiltshire horse back over the bridge to maintain observational contact. He is met by Mounmouth’s own Red Regiment blocking the road. Nearly two miles to the south, Churchill is making his own crossing of the Barley. From the top of the bridge he can see a brigade of enemy horse (Grey’s) drawn up in a single line. Behind them, and blocking the entrance to the narrow defile through which the Yeovil Road passes, is a brigade of foot (Dorset Militia) also positioned in line of battle:

BV3-3 End of turn 14

A general view of the area west of the Barley as Monmouth disengages. In the upper left hand corner, Maj Fawley gallops back to join his command.

Captain Honeycutt decides to attack Monmouth’s rearguard (a forward fellow he!). His men are rather less sanguine and bulk at charging. The Red Regiment fires the last of their ready ammunition in furious volleys and the Wiltshire horse takes many casualties. They fire off their pistols in the general direction of the enemy to no good effect:

BV3-5 Last engagement

Captain Honeycutt attempts to attack the Red Regiment, now obscured by the smoke of their repeated volleys.

Hearing the gunfire ahead, Major Fawley redoubles his effort to rejoin his command:

BV3-6 Jude Fawley

Major Fawley pauses for a moment to peer through his glass at the debacle across the river.

By the end of turn 16, Monmouth’s train is about to exit the table toward Yeovil which will end the game. The final dispositions are shown below:

BV3-final

At Barleybridge, Fawley has managed to retire the Wiltshire horse east of the river (again). At Linnetsmouth, Churchill has also staid his hand, seeing no point in engaging Monmouth’s blocking force. The Battle of The Barley Valley (such as it was) is over.

I had a great deal of fun with this scenario and very pleased with how the grand tactical movement (my own simple rules) integrated with the tactical (the standard FK&P rules). Likely this is a tool I can use in the future (although the broken terrain likely plays a big part in making this work).

The use of cards (hardly a novel idea) could have caused this to play out in multiple ways and it would be fun to play this scenario over multiple times but I want to get back to the Celtic Fringe. At some future point I will pick up this alternate history again.

Some comments on how the story played out:

There was a 25% chance that Monmouth would turn toward Yeovil (50% for continuing to Cruelton, and 25% for a turn north to Bath). Monmouth often made quick decisions that took him off task (or he made no decision at all!). While this game is a tactical victory (by scenario rules) for Monmouth it is clearly a strategic victory for Churchill (Monmouth is no longer on a direct path to London). While four militia units where destroyed (zero victory points), they did (for the most part) acquit themselves well for King James.

Churchill can now shadow Monmouth and await substantial reinforcements (upwards of three regular infantry brigades and one large brigade of horse!)

William of Orange is likely playing the long game. Yes, there may indeed be Dutch ships (a few anyway) on the south coast but their specific orders regarding how much material aid to give to Monmouth are still unknown.

Of the several interesting events that could have happen, two in particular are of note:

First, it was possible that the Lord Lieutenant of Wessexshire had already concentrated his two infantry brigade in one place, a substantial problem for Monmouth (particularly if the concentration was close to Monmouth’s entry point). The Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire might also have shown up with a strong brigade of horse.

Second, a serious problem might also have thwarted Churchill. It was possible that the citizens of Wessexshire (under a charismatic leader) would have risen in mass to support Monmouth (with a probability that some of the militia would go over as well).

I will we be on vacation shortly and will now turn my attention to redoing Tippermuir using FK&P in its pure form.

Per Simon’s comment the release of the rules is imminent  (and well before the planned release at Salute!).

 

 

5 thoughts on “On To Yeovil!

  1. Very enjoyable Bill- the mechanics remind me of some of the Sudan and other campaign-style games at the old Wargames Holiday Centre.

    Over here the rulebooks have arrived and I am getting my ducks in a row, ready to start selling them- it will be earlier than Salute, perhaps Friday, Monday or Tuesday. Best, Simon

    Like

  2. Again I must comment on your attention to detail, both in staging the game and your knowledge of the history and the men who lived it. Your love of history is so apparent. Your joy in reliving and rewriting it is fun to share.

    Like

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