Two of my secret wargaming friends returned last night to conclude the game from last week. They were in the midst of a tactical nightmare, each with its own problems.
Last week the Government forces had caused just under 400 casualties to the Jacobites 180. The Rebel regiments were failing to crash against the line of Government muskets and all was going well for the outnumbered Lord Falmouth, until one battalion on his left flank withdrew from the front line. They were tired and shaken, they had thrown everything at the Scots to no avail.
Other nearby units witnessed this withdraw and it sent shock-waves through the ranks.
Suddenly, Lord Falmouth faced a serious crises in moral, and still the Scots came on. They could smell blood.
Lord Falmouth found himself trapped by his own defensive arrangement, his front rank was tired, but the Scots were too close to allow an orderly withdrawal. He considered a general advance and attack with bayonets, but was not confident of his men's moral.
He could not maneuver half his force into the battle. They stood as spectators.
In effect, he had 1,800 men facing the entire Jacobite force. It was no wonder they were fatigued, they had been engaging an overwhelming force for two hours without break or respite.
Lord Falmouth had to rely on his second line, unfortunately they had witnessed, and had been bumped into, and through, by their colleagues withdrawing in disarray from the front line. It had caused some consternation in their own ranks.
Duke of Athole did not have things all his own way. The clans in the van guard were pinned, and trying to find cover against salvo after salvo of musket fire. Even the attendance of senior officers attempting to get the men to charge into the enemy failed. They were brave, but not stupid.
Time again Athole found his orders to charge ignored.
Soon, one Government unit after the other retired off the table, Falmouths force shrinking in size, his command disintegrating. Still he clung grimly on.
Finally, Falmouth maneuvered so his 300 dragoons could attack the Jacobite left flank, would it be enough. Lord Falmouth admitted to hanging his hopes on this.
This turn saw two cavalry charges, one into the flank of a formed infantry unit, the other into a reforming Jacobite regiment, supported by three light guns with canister. I will let the reader decide which of the charges was successful....
The Jacobite charge routed the Government battalion, capturing both a standard from the enemy and Brigadier Farmer. This rout caused a major collapse in moral, and even Falmouth knew the show was up. This was confirmed when he witnessed 53 dragoons fall in their charge, smashed by canister shot. The attacked faltered within 50 paces of the Scottish infantry.
At this, Lord Falmouth ordered a general withdrawal of his shattered force.
The Jacobites won the day, through sheer numbers, and dogged determination.
CARNAGE AND GLORY rules recorded the following casualty information when Falmouth admitted defeat:
The Government Army has suffered losses of:
[ 38%] 2064 men of all arms incl.
[ 3%] 211 prisoners of all arms
[ 41%] 2007 bayonets
[ 17%] 53 sabres
[ 2%] 4 artillerists
Honours: [ 105] 2 Battery Royal Artillery
Losses include 1 standard[s]: [ 101] 59th Regt of Foot
Losses include 1 General[s]: [ 102] Farmer - Captured
The Jacobite Army has suffered losses of:
[ 5%] 747 men of all arms incl.
[ 1%] 169 prisoners of all arms
[ 5%] 688 bayonets
[ 9%] 59 sabres
[ 0%] 0 artillerists
Honours: [ 209] Earl of Cromarties Regt