Benburb was the largest battle fought in Ireland during the course of the Rebellion and Irish Confederation (1641 – 1652). It was a decisive Irish victory over the combined forces of the Scots Covenanter army in Ulster and their Ango/Scots – Anglo/Irish allies. Thanks to factional division in the Irish Confederation, however, no real strategic gain was achieved.
Posts about the Battle of Benburb in Chronological Order
Order of Battle Key:
Additional explaination about the Order of Battle sheet(s) can be found here. They are constructed with Impetus:Baroque rules in mind.
The Order of Battle sheets are now presented in PDF format:
Note that the OoB are for the wargame and may vary slightly from the historic orders of battle.
Wargame Scenario for Benburb
Impetus/Baroque is used for the wargame, although the unit types are slightly altered from the various army lists available.
The commanders in the historic battle both had the same goal, the destruction of the enemy’s army as an effective field force. This makes for a “hammer and tongs” standup fight. For this reason there are no limits on the number of turns to achieve victory. The first side to achieve sufficient victory points (in part using the units VD points) wins the day and the opponent is considered routed.
Two small battles fought the same day (and played out in previous scenarios) have had an effect on the armies of both sides. These can be found in previous Benburb posts.
Each of the four “wings” allowed in Baroque are historically assigned and in general placed as per the actual battle. The deployment within each wing is, however, under the control of the players. The Protestant army must place the baggage train and gun batteries in the positions shown:
As these are fixed objectives they may not maneuver during the game.
There are seven victory point objectives (three for the Protestants and four for the Irish) shown as numbered disks in the various photos below (Protestant – dark green and numbered 1 – 3 and Irish – light green and numbered 4 -7).
Taking each objective provides a variable number of victory points (VP) and (possibly) some additional benefits. Objectives 1 through 6 are won when, at the end of a full turn, a friendly unit is touching the marker, no enemy unit is touching it AND a line from the friendly unit can be traced straight back (perindicular) to its own baseline without passing through an enemy unit.
General Monro wants to continue clearing the Benburb road to allow his baggage train to advance.
Objective One: The the ford at the Wet Hollow. If successful, roll a 1d6: 1,2,3 – receive 5 VP; 4,5 – receive 6 VP and the nearest Irish unit begins the next turn disorganized; 6 – receive 7 VP and the nearest two Irish units are disorganized and pushed back one move.
Objective Two: The road exit point to Benburb. If successful, roll 1d6: 1,2,3 – receive 10 VP; 4,5 – receive 11 VP and the nearest Irish unit begins the next turn disorganized; 6 – receive 12 VP and the nearest two Irish units are disorganized and pushed back one move.
General Monro for sometime has been concerned that the Irish would escape to their stronghold at Claremont to the North East. By turning their left he can close off their best escape route.
Objective Three: the flanking point at the Irish baseline. If successful, roll 1d6: 1,2,3 – receive 10 VP; 4,5 – receive 11 VP and the nearest Irish two units begin the next turn disorganized; 6 – receive 12 VP and the nearest three Irish units are disorganized and pushed back one move. (see photo below under Irish Objectives)
Because the Anglo/Irish army is tightly packed and are hemmed in by heavy woods, a steep slope and the River Blackwater on their right flank, General O’Neill relizes that if he can turn the Protestant left he can force the Scots into the Anglo/Irish, trapping both in a difficult to escape kill zone.
Objective Four: The Northwest side of the Wet Hollow. If successful, roll a 1d6: 1,2,3 – receive 5 VP; 4,5 – receive 6 VP and the nearest Prodestant unit begins the next turn disorganized; 6 – receive 7 VP and the nearest two Prodestant units are disorganized and pushed back one move.
Objective Five: The flanking point at the Protestant baseline. If successful, roll 1d6: 1,2,3 – receive 10 VP; 4,5 – receive 11 VP and the nearest two Protestant units begin the next turn disorganized; 6 – receive 12 VP and the nearest three Protestant units are disorganized and pushed back one move.
Without guns of their own to provide counter-battery fire the Irish have suffered fire from the Protestant guns for most of the afternoon. They are also commanded by On my way! Of their must implacable enemies – Lord Blaney.
Objective Six: The Protestant gun batteries. If successful, roll 1d6: 1,2,3 – receive 5 VP; 4,5 – receive 5 VP and the nearest two Irish units receive “+1” tokens for the next action or test they preform; 6 – receive 5 VP and the nearest five Irish units receive “+1” tokens for the next action or test the preform.
Objective Seven: The Protestant baggage train. To win it is not necessary for the Irish to trace an unencumbered line to their baseline. The mechanics of Baroque 7.9 (Sacking the Baggage) are used. If successful then receive 15 VP.
1) If a unit disorganization is awarded and the unit is already disorganized, it receives a permanent hit and remains disorganized.
2) If several units are equal distant in applying the effect of a captured objective, the owning player decides to which unit(s) the effect applies.
3) To throw in another wrinkle for solo gaming, randomize the initiative procedure. For each side roll a set of colored dice (red, blue, white, black) to determine which wing of each army will roll against each other (highest roll per side). If a tie on one side reroll tied dice only. In each subsequent initiative roll within the turn use only the dice of the wings not already activated.
Winning the Game
In a standard Baroque game the VD points are counted down (VD when a unit is exhausted, 2VD when a unit is routed). When the total becomes zero that side is eliminated and the game is over. In this scenario the points are awarded to the opposing player as victory points and arriving at zero does not end the game.
The first player, at the end of a full turn, to achieve 30 total VP ends the game and that player is the winner.
Terrain Types For Baroque
The River Blackwater is deep and non-fordable.
- The Killnagrue Bog is impassable.
- The stream that flows down from the Killnagrue Bog, through the Wet Hollow and into the Blackwater is fordable along the length of its course.
- The road is clear terrain, even through the difficult terrain on either side of the stream. The center of a unit must move along the road to gain the clear terrain advantage.
- Unless otherwise marked below, all other terrain is clear and slopes are considered gentle.
The following letters are used to indicate terrain types:
- B = Broken (shaded in dark green)
- D = Difficult (Shaded in red and bright green).
- F = Fordable
- I = Impassable (shaded in gray).
- S = Steep (concurrent with Woods and Difficult terrain).
- W = Wooded (concurrent with both Broken and Difficult terrain).