BALLAMOY (1641), Ireland
Ballamoy is a fictional battle fought in Ireland in late November of 1641. It pits a Protestant defense force against a larger raiding force of Catholic insurgents. Note that the terms Catholic and Protestant are used for convenience since religion was not a strict fault line and often other motivations were involved. Contemporaries often use the terms “British” and “Irish” to describe the same forces.
The purpose of the scenario is to try and capture the look and feel of the early stages of the Irish Rebellion of 1641. It is set in Ulster and using a composite of events.
Note: 3/14/2017 – I have resently been getting a good deal of help and encouragement on Irish matters from a poster at the Pendraken Forum (Sceen Name: Sunray), which is causing some rethinking about the Wars of the Irish Confederation (particularly in Ulster). I am greatful for the help and it is providing all sorts of new resources. Thanks again Sunray!
One thing that he noted was that the name, “Balleyeasca” doesn’t quite work in the Gaelic nor does it sound quite right to an Ulsterman’s ear. So Balleyesca now becomes Ballamoy. I’ll change it in texts, titles and tags but leave the OoB alone.
The orders of battle are shown below:
Ballamoy Scenario Notes
This scenario uses small-scale action rules:
The blue movement/range sticks are use. (twice the length of normal black sticks)
Figure ration is 1:3 (one figure equals three individuals)
Command pieces may control 2 extra combat pieces.
All other base set rules apply.
Every Field and/or Commanding Officer (FO/CO) as a Leadership Value of 1 (one white cube)
Road movement provides NO increase in distance but does eliminate ANY terrain effects.
Pieces may also follow the road without concern for facing changes or exceeding the 60 degree angle for oblique moves. This means that the stick may be used to cut corners as long as both ends are in the center of the road.
The Protestant player makes all the moves for the non-combatant pieces (even if unable to activate other units in her turn). He may move them in the most advantageous way to protect them but must continue to move them in a northerly direction until they exit the table.
At the beginning of the Protestant phase of the second turn the non-combatant pieces in Ballamoy may begin to move.
Carts and wagons can only move on the road. Each wheeled vehicle will move north one short stick in each Protestant turn (even if the Protestant forces fail to activate).
The other non-combatant pieces may move in any terrain not prohibited to foot combat pieces. They also do not required activation and will move one short stick in a northerly direction each Protestant turn.
The stream and its tributary are normally fordable BUT the bridge was built for a reason. Roads are rare so the road through Ballamoy is an important trade route. The stream is given to frequent and sustained flooding after storms. When this happens it cannot be forded for several hours to several days
At the beginning of the game a 1d6 roll decides if it has recently rained:
1 – (Heavy Rain) it has rained heavily resulting in the three plowed fields becoming impassable.
Road movement is greatly reduced:
Wheel Vehicles – one piece length reduction
All other pieces– two piece length reduction
The stream and its tributary are in flood and can ONLY be crossed at the bridge.
2 or 3 – (Light Rain) It has rained sufficiently to cause plowed fields to have a one stick reduction in movement
Road movement is somewhat reduced:
Wheel Vehicles – one half piece length reduction
All other pieces– one piece length reduction
The stream and its tributary MAY be in flood:
When any piece from either side arrives within one movement stick of ANY part of the stream or tributary (this will happen automatically when the relief force from Derry activates) a 1d6 is rolled:
1 or 2 – the stream and it’s tributary are in flood and therefore impassable. All other rolls have no effect.
If ANY rain occurs Caebannog Bog extends into the low area east of Church Hill.
The Irish left (Capt. Liam O’Neill) represents the local uprising. They are bent on plunder and revenge and will capture as many prizes (non-combatant pieces) as possible. There is no subtlety in their approach and they will follow the road (on or within one move of) to its exit in the north, taking as many prizes as possible along the way. They have been asked by the regional insurgency commander (Capt. O’Donnell) to hold their assault until he arrives with his forces. O’Neill, although head-strong, attempts to hold his men back until O’Donnell arrives – this may or may not be successful:
The Irish left (O’Neill) MUST attempt three actions each turn until the arrival of O’Donnell AND his force’s successful activation. If O’Neill’s force succeeds in gaining three actions all bets are off and they attack!
At Turn 4: Once activated the Irish right flank (Capt Rory O’Donnell, commanding the regional insurgency), notice the Protestant church on the hill and may want to seize it (for both plunder and ideological reasons). They are, however, ignorant of the terrain beyond the church and have no idea if the church itself is defended. A card is drawn from the Irish deck to determine their action:
Send one company to seize the church then proceed to Ballamoy.
Send two companies to seize the church then proceed to Ballamoy.
Send entire force to seize the church then proceed to Ballamoy.
A local guide is present and the church is ignored. X 2
A total of five cards – shuffled and one placed face down with the Irish right.
To seize the church the ENTIRE Catholic force sent must be in the Built-Up zone (Gray Area) of the church – with no enemy present – for one turn. The Irish then gain 15 prize points and proceeds to Ballamoy. Obviously the more sent, the more difficult to get all the pieces in the Built-up zone thus further delaying the Irish force.
The Catholic regional insurgent force (right flank) has the ultimate goal of seizing and defending Ballamoy. It is required as a forward base to eventually attack Derry. They will not precede more than one move north of the village. They will, however, seize any prizes they encounter.
Prizes are captured when a combat piece is in contact with a non-combatant piece. If an opposing combat piece is ALSO in contact then a close combat is fought in the normal manner (the non-combatant piece is removed until the issue is decided.) Captured non-combatant pieces are removed from play (and their prize points tallied.)
British (Anglo/Scots Protestant):
The forward combat forces may operate as they see fit to protect civilian non-combatants. They may decide to defend Ballamoy from capture but only if there are no non-combatant pieces between them and the enemy.
The Protestant relief force from the Derry garrison (Capt. Robert Driscoll) has been given specific orders by the governor of Derry. The governor may have several concerns (including the reliability of Driscoll). When the relief force prepares to activate at the beginning of turn 4, draw one card from the Anglo/Scots deck and execute the order:
Proceed with all dispatch to Ballamoy and prevent it from falling into the hands of the insurgents (attempt three actions each turn until in Ballamoy).
Proceed with caution to Ballamoy and assure the safe withdrawal of all non-combatants (number of action attempts each turn is your choice).
Proceed with all dispatch to the south end of the Ballamoy bridge and secure the crossing for Protestant non-combatants and militia (attempt three actions each turn until in position).
Proceed with caution to the north end of the Ballamoy bridge and prevent any insurgents from fording or crossing. (number of action attempts each turn is your choice).
Proceed at your discretion (you decide all aspects of using the relief force) x 2
A total of six cards – shuffled and one placed face down with the relief force.
The game ends when the last non-combatant piece has been captured or exited the table OR one force is destroyed.
Control of Ballamoy(no enemy within grey zone at game end) – 30 points
Farmer (3) – 2 points for capture
Gentry (2) – 5 points for capture
Clergy (1) – 4 points for capture
Physician (1) – 3 points for capture
Cattle (3) – 3 points for capture
Wagon (1) – 8 points for capture
Cart (3) – 5 points for capture
Protestants receive 5 points if the church is not taken.
The Protestant side gets NO points for any uncaptured prize pieces still in play (if the game ends due to casualties) but gets two times the prize value of each prize piece that exits on the northern edge of the board AND 2 points for each Anglo/Irish combat piece that does the same.