Confederation

Since taking the decision to use Impetus:Baroque wargaming rules I have started adding army lists to my army organization pages. Where possible I will use the lists provided by D&P Publishing but some of my applications are specialized so I have need to create a few of my own.

The Pre-Confederation Period (October, 1641 to October, 1642)

The Irish were poorly armed and organized in the first year of the rebellion and this is reflected in the following army list:

Army List Irish 1641-1642

The Irish were influence (and supported to varying degrees) by the Catholic military powers of Europe. Many Irish officers learned their trade in the service of Spain and this experience likely shaped their intial organization and doctrine. It is reasonable to conjecture that the Irish army in Munster, actively commanded by Garret Barry, a man of long Spanish service, used the larger tercio formations at Liscarroll.  Below is an alternate army list specifically for the Munster Army in the summer and autum of 1642:

Army List Munster 1642

Original notes on Irish Confederation forces are below:

My completed Confederation army has 264 infantry (44 combat pieces) and 42 command figures (21 command pieces) to assemble as many as seven regular foot regiments for the Confederation of Kilkenny government army to cover the period of the Eleven Years War (1641 – 1653). I also added 12 militia command pieces (16 figures total) to allow for various insurgent forces, particularly in the first year or so of the Irish War. The Confederation army was broken into three major divisions tasked with operations in three of the four provinces, Ulster, Leinster, and Munster. While they occasionally formed what we would now call task forces to operate together, rivalries existed (particularly among the high command) that often undid even the best of results.

My full Confederation army deployed for battle

The photo above shows a possible layout of the entire Confrderation army (foot) – seven line regiments supported by four militia/insurgent units (around 6200 men in 1:15). The units are labeled by the default name associated with the ensigns displayed (see Command Pieces for more details).

The figures are in a mix of civilian dress with no attempt at a uniform look. Browns, greys, and greens predominate with a smattering of other colours. Tartan (or striped) material is occasionally present and a few figures wear the white and saffron of an earlier period. I use a large number of figures with bonnets (rather than the more likely Monmouth style “watch” cap) so that most of these pieces can do double duty as Scots Royalists.

The chart below shows the pair of flags that appear on each regular regiment’s senior line command piece. I maintained the same color scheme for all the flags of the same regiment for easy recognition on the table top:

Confederation regular line regiments

The regimental names are those of native Irish families (Ulster predominating) and do not specifically reflect known Irish regiments of the period. Rather than the harp flag used for the faction, each senior command pieces carries the green flag with a white Irish cross in red circlet – a flag associated with the Killkenny Confederation. This seems well accepted in wargaming circles but may not be accurate for some or all Confederation units. The flags probably also had different designs on each side. since I need them for quick in-game recognition I don’t follow this convention.

Each regimental flag has a gold field and red saltire of St. Patrick in the canton and a Roman Catholic religious Icon and Latin motto. There is some descriptive evidence for such a style and I simple standardized it.

While The other two kingdoms had a militia system in place, Trained Bands in England and Wales and Fencibles in Scotland, Ireland had nothing equivalent , the government (either Royalist or Parilamentarian) not wanting the indigenous, mostly Catholic population trained in arms. With the advent of the 1641 rebellion a hugh popular insurgency arose and with it what I conjecture to be a proto-militia.

To portray the poorly armed mobs that engaged in fighting Protestant settlers and government garrison troop all over Ireland, I made militia command groups for four such bands. Each is named after a famous Irish Saint (whose icon appears on the flags of each unit):

Irish Catholic Militia-Insurgents

There is one “personality” command piece currently available to the Confederation forces:
Owen Roe O'Neill

The figure is used to represent Owen Row (Eoghan Ruadh) O’Niell. I have chosen to portray most of the Celtic leaders on foot rather than mounted (although I don’t have any authority suggesting the Owen Roe specifically did so). When on foot they may directly participate in close combat (see Command Pieces).

Update: 01-11-2016

Since the Irish Confederation Army was often pike heavy I have added eight more regular pike combat pieces:

Garret Barry and Irish Pikes

Theses are shown drawn up in two 400 man pike blocks (above).

The mounted command piece carries the conjectured flag of Garret Barry, an insurgent military leader in Munster.

back to Armies of Ireland