Word had spread through the highlands, Prince Charles had landed and raised the standard at Glenfinnan and called for all loyal Scots to rally. Not wanting to miss another opportunity, the local chieftains led by Earl James Erstwhile gathered the clans, but first they would settle an old score with the local garrison at Fort William.
Leader of the Jacobite forces, the Earl James Erstwhile (blue die)
Leader of the British-Hanoverian forces, Sir John Graham-Crankie (red die)
The first outing for the newly painted Jacobites turned out a nail biter. Jacobite forces comprised of mostly Highlanders (Wb) a few shot , skirmishers and one mounted unit. As battle plans whent, in true Scots fashion, the Jacobites had one objective and that was to get stuck in!
The British, armed for a fight, fielded 10 elements of line troops (Ms) and one each artillery and Dragoons (Cv). With a preponderance of fusiliers, the British were confident, if musketry did not bring the rebels to their knees, the bayonet would.
As defender, they would avoid the steep hill on their left flank and move to the open terrain to meet the rebels, artillery and Dragoons would cover the right flank.
One brigade deployed in column would take advantage of the road to extend the left flank further forward and form and oblique line. The intent was to funnel the rebels toward the main line, and awaiting artillery supported by Dragoons.
For the Scots no mucking’ about, just get stuck in.
For the most part, turns one and two for both sides followed their original plans, that is until Erstwhile split his force to advance toward the British moving along the road, while sending the remaining Jacobites toward Crankie’s main line.
By turn three, the British column deployed to a partial line to await the rebel onslaught. The main body conformed to the original plan and wheeled to the right leaving the artillery in position. The Dragoons wondering at the idleness of the rebel cavalry, moved out to investigate.
With a good die roll, the Jacobites double timed to strike against the half deployed line while the remainder of the Scots closed with the British main line; a smaller column moved on the artillery.
Further on the Jacobite left flank, the LH took literally their orders to defend the left flank and held their position. Nonetheless, first blood to the Scots, 1- 0.
The next few turns the Scots continually surprised the British by returning to fray after each recoil. Both sides were slowly inflicting casualties on each other, yet neither had a major advantage. The Dragoons decided the rebel LH would prove no further threat so turned to join the main battle.
Doing so, they helped even the score 3 – 3.
On the Jacobite right flank, Erstwhile joined the fray and with the help of nearby clans, increased the odds. In the hand to hand that followed, one British line recoiled leaving the remaining unit dearly exposed. Both die cast and it was a classic end to a hard fought battle.
The Rising lives on!