This month was the occasion for our annual Christmas game at the Devon Wargames Group where traditionally we stage just one game that all club members are invited to play. The game is very much intended as a celebration event where the taking part is more important than the result. In addition the members pull out the stops in providing nibbles and beverages to help lubricate the fun on the table.
Our game this year features the 28mm collection of WSS/Glorious Revolution figures owned by Chas and Vince and utilised a great set of rules, "Beneath the Lilly Banners" for a large multi-player game as this was planned to be. In addition our scenario carried on where a previous game staged in January 2012, The Battle of Lavington left off. Thus we have Prince William returning to the shores of England landing in the South West at Topsham nr Exeter gathering new forces to continue the struggle. King James has responded by bringing his army supported by Irish and French contingents to Devon to crush the rebellion before it can get started.
|King James II|
|Prince William of Orange|
|Prince William's forces|
|King James' host|
|Chas briefs the teams|
|Yeah, yeah, let's play!|
|The army marches on its stomach|
Forces allotted, it was time to deploy, with cards detailing the possible morale grades for the various brigades which needed to be diced for once set up, including the grade of the commander.
|View from the Protestant lines overlooking Lympstone and Lympstone Hill|
|Looking along Willam's line towards the garrisoned town of Topham (top right)|
|William's troops garrison Topsham|
With the terrain generally benefiting the infantry the forces matched each other across the table, with William's army strongly garrisoning Topsham and Exton, the latter with Dutch Guard, who I would end up tackling later in the game.
So with forces arrayed both armies advanced on in the centre and the Lympstone flank with James' army masking Topsham with a covering force of infantry. With the bulk of William's cavalry, I advanced on Lympstone sending the loyal brigade on to Lympstone Hill above the village to gain up hill advantage. The other, hopefully disloyal brigade, advanced on Lympstone village, just about to be entered by James' Irish infantry. I immediately attempted to send a courier to these troops commander to advise them of my intentions. However my messenger was intercepted and Prince William was advised of my treachery.
|William's horse advance on to Lympstone Hill|
|My treachery revealed, the whole brigade supports my change of side and direction|
|Lympstone is occupied by James' Army|
|French Huguenot Infantry in support of the Topsham Garrison|
|King Jame's Guard lead the attack on Exton|
|Christmas cake anyone?|
The loyalty check complete all four of my squadrons charged up the hill and smashed into William's loyal squadrons. Three of them decided discretion was the better part of valour and withdrew immediately. One however contested the attack and found the +2 advantage to my men was irresistible.
|The cavalry battle for Lympstone Hill as William's cavalry fights each other!|
|The Irish in Lympstone had been preparing to receive cavalry, look on in amazement.|
|William's Dutch Guard prepare to shore up his flank by grimly defending Exton|
|James' Guard meet William's Guard in Exton as the battle for the centre hots up|
|With volleys being exchanged, James brings up artillery to support the attack|
You could almost hear the sigh of resignation as the Franco-Bavarian brigade of King James' reserve deployed in front of Exton and advanced on the badly shot up and depleted Dutch. In three turns it was over and despite a last minute attempt to break out of Topsham, Prince William conceded defeat.
|William's Prussian allies were forced to hold their ground with a card directing their reluctance to fight|
|The remnants of William's cavalry are forced off Lympstone Hill as enemy infantry advance|
So another year comes to a close for the club. Next month, January 2014, we are planning some WWII Chain of Command action and some ACW Fire and Fury. In addition there will be some fun with James Bond and characters to report on as we get in some gaming in North Devon at Chas's between Christmas and New Year.
|With Lympstone Hill cleared of Williams troops James' army prepare to attack the centre around Exton|
|The centre ground, Exton from William's lines with Dutch Guard in occupation|
|The left flank from William's Line, very much in enemy control|
|Topsham becalmed as events elsewhere determine its fate|
|French infantry prepare to force the entry of Topsham|
|The Irish infantry attack William's extreme left flank|
|As the Irish attack, pressure grows on the Dutch in Exton|
|Top left, James deploys his reserve (led by yours truly), Bavarian allies move up to finish Dutch resistance in Exton|
|Suddenly William's centre has gone and James troops claim the high ground|
|The Franco-Bavarian reserve move on Exton|
|Too little too late the Topsham garrison attempt a break out|