Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Horse & Musket: Dawn of an Era» Forums » Rules

Subject: Aughrim: Position of Williamite Artillery rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ethan McKinney
United States
El Segundo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Historically, the Williamite artillery, along with most of their forces, started on higher ground directly across the stream from the Jacobite front. The Jacobite lines were also on high ground, so the forces could easily see each other. I've only found brief descriptions of the battle, but nothing indicates that the Williamite artillery moved off of the hill, and they certainly seem to have had a commanding view of the Jacobite position, and I believe that they were in range.

In game terms, the position of the Williamite artillery in the Aughrim scenario is insane. The Swamp hexes block their line of sight, so they have to advance into the bog to be able to fire at the Jacobites. (They start out of artillery range, anyhow.) From the Swamps, they're almost totally ineffective, so they really need to move another hex forward, but they have insufficient infantry protection to sit at range 2 and bombard, especially since most of their targets will be on hills. They may just be shot to death, but the real risk is a Jacobite infantry counter-attack.

Should the Swamps hexes block LOS here, given that it was very low ground, compared to the surrounding hills, and that there don't seem to have been many tree of significant height in the bog?

Does the artillery (on both sides) need more range, to reflect their reach in the actual battle?

Why is the Jacobite line so far back from the bog? My limited reading, and study of the maps and aerial photographs, indicates that they Williamites were directly hampered by the bog. However, they'll be well out of the Swamp hexes before they're in range of fire from the Jacobite infantry on the hills in this scenario.

Looking forward to this scenario, but the artillery situation is weirding me out.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aranubis
Austria
Vienna
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
i also don't really understand the hills at Villaviciosa
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ethan McKinney
United States
El Segundo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Just finished Aughrim. British Infantry under McKay killed the Jacobite cavalry on the right flank. Dutch/Danish forces on the left killed a Jacobite infantry, a cavalry, and lucked into killing Sarsfeld with the cavalry, ending the game. The Williamite center advanced into the swamp and there was some artillery fire back and forth, but nothing of significance happened there.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Miller
United States
Carmel
IN
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Ethan, I'm Doug Miller, the developer for the Horse & Musket series. In regard to Aughrim, this is a scenario subject to some historical license. This is one of my favorite battles in the period covered by Volume I, and I believe I've played every game interpretation of it available today. The challenge with Aughrim is that the battle relied on some unique characteristics that a game system like Horse & Musket - designed to simulate any conflict during the period in an easy-to-play way - isn't designed to capture.

In terms of the terrain, you're correct that both sides started the battle on some higher ground on either side of the stream and boggy ground. The Williamite artillery seems to have started on the hill top, near the village of Urraghry with the Williamite infantry battalions posted at the edge of the boggy ground. While the ground is higher it isn't much higher, at least on the Williamite side. It's likely that the Williamite artillery did close the range at some point, or were posted closer than the hill top eventually, since a Jacobite counterattack captured a Williamite battery.

The Jacobite main force was posted atop Killcommodan Hill, and actually considerably back from the boggy ground. Detached musketeers were posted amid the hedges and fences overlooking the boggy ground, and it was these that the Williamite infantry engaged and were repeatedly repulsed by.

Horse & Musket doesn't have a mechanism for really depicting the detached musketeers easily at the scale this battle is represented, in Volume I. At this scale, with the this hex grid and the coarseness of the terrain tiles, combined with a unit scale that is really compressing a couple of dozen infantry battalions on each side into two or three brigade-sized units, the abstractions start to pile up! You're also correct that as designed, the swamps would block LOS to the Jacobite positions. Advancing them some is slow, but also places them in a position where they are exposed to a Jacobite counterattack, which historically happened.

Sean's intent here was to present an interpretation of the battle that is representational and easily playable, which fits with the nature and goals of this system. With a generalized system like Horse & Musket, there are going to be compromises with every scenario, since it's tough to have a single set of rules, even with the variety of options this series presents, that captures all of the variability of combat in this period. Aughrim is a great example of this: the Williamite victory was largely (maybe entirely!) due to the unexpected death of St. Ruth by decapitation from a cannon ball and the inexplicable retreat of the Jacobite dragoons posted in the ruins of Aughrim Castle. With no one knowing St. Ruth's plan for the battle and their left suddenly exposed to Mackay's attack, the Jacobites packed it in. It would be very unusual to have those specific events happen in a game of H&M.

Now if you, like me, are into the historical details of these battles, it's very possible to set up your own, and different interpretation of Aughrim. You'd probably want to use a smaller scale with more separate infantry units on both side, start closer, and use the stream terrain markers to represent the stream/river that separated the armies. You'll want some swamp hexes on at least the Williamite side, and maybe some forest tiles to represent the difficult ground on the Jacobite side. Don't forget to leave a path through all of that on the Jacobite left to represent the causeway that the Williamite cavalry charged across to attack Aughrim Castle. Use some Light Infantry to represent the detached skirmishers in front of the Jacobite position. Optional rules will be important as well. It'll be a more complicated game but the point is that it can be done with this system. Sean chose to go with something that was simpler and more quickly playable, but anyone who craves a more "crunchy" interpretation can put it together if they want! I think that's one of the great things about Horse & Musket, and what attracted me to it from the outset.

Finally, if Aughrim is of particular interest, I highly recommend the book "St. Ruth's Fatal Gamble" by Michael McNally. It's an excellent resource on the battle itself and the armies and tactics of the time.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ethan McKinney
United States
El Segundo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Thanks for the reply. My main concern was that the scenario had been written with Swamp hexes not blocking LOS, but the rules changed at some point. I've seen that happen with plenty of other games.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Miller
United States
Carmel
IN
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Me too. We're striving mightily to hold the rules as steady as possible!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve D
msg tools
mb
panzerde wrote:


Finally, if Aughrim is of particular interest, I highly recommend the book "St. Ruth's Fatal Gamble" by Michael McNally. It's an excellent resource on the battle itself and the armies and tactics of the time.


I've not read that yet, but it's an update of his earlier "The Battle of Aughrim 1691" which is certainly very good. I had this with me when I walked around the battlefield a couple of years ago.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Miller
United States
Carmel
IN
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
NightComesIn wrote:
panzerde wrote:


Finally, if Aughrim is of particular interest, I highly recommend the book "St. Ruth's Fatal Gamble" by Michael McNally. It's an excellent resource on the battle itself and the armies and tactics of the time.


I've not read that yet, but it's an update of his earlier "The Battle of Aughrim 1691" which is certainly very good. I had this with me when I walked around the battlefield a couple of years ago.


Yes! Both are very good. The newer book is somewhat fleshed out but either is an excellent reference.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ethan McKinney
United States
El Segundo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
panzerde wrote:
Hi Ethan, I'm Doug Miller, the developer for the Horse & Musket series. This is one of my favorite battles in the period covered by Volume I, and I believe I've played every game interpretation of it available today.


If you need playtesters for upcoming games/modules, hit us up soon before we burn out! laugh We've been playing a game a week (roughly) and just finished La Prarie. I lost pretty badly as the New Yorkers ...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.