|King William's infantry are ready to get their feet wet|
It's one of those battles that people have heard of, even those with no interest in history. Like Waterloo, The Charge of the Light Brigade and The Somme, the Battle of the Boyne has crept into the British collective subconscious and lives in dark corners of hazy misinterpretation. "Isn't that where King Billy killed the Pope?" is an explanation I have heard from a few worthies over the years!
|Oldbridge is reinforced by Bellew's and Boiselleau's Regiments|
Needless to say, no history lesson here! I offer only the photographic evidence gathered from three iterations of the Crossing at Oldbridge as played out in the Cairndale Hotel, Dumfries 21-23, March 2014.
|Lovely sunlit picture of Jacobite dragoons at the river|
In scoring terms it was Played:3, W1, D1, L1 when you look at it from either side of the river, the divide or the table. One Jacobite victory, one Williamite victory and one draw. Even a politician couldn't have come up with a better solution to keep the world happy!
|The Blew Guards about to enter the river Boyne|
I have fought or organized the Oldbridge game many times and it is not a forgone conclusion. The Williamite Army has a very tricky task on its hands to get across a tidal river under threat of attack and then fight its way out and uphill.
|Prinds Frederick's are out. Some of my half men in the river.|
The generally poor quality of the enemy infantry will make the task somewhat easier but the Jacobite cavalry are a force to be reckoned with are a real risk.
The Gard te Voet (Dutch Foot Guards) always lead off on the attack in my scenarios. We activated two other brigades at the kick off - The Huguenots and one Danish. In the first game the 1st battalion of the Blew Guards was wiped out to a man whilst getting out of the river. The second battalion suffered losses. In the second game both battalions of the Blew Guards died to a man around Oldbridge! In the third game Gerry managed to push the Guards through the western end of Oldbridge and rout both battalions of King James's Foot Guards. Deeply ironic that 'Jacobite Gerry' was the most successful Williamite commander of the day!
|Berwick leads the Jacobite cavalry to glory|
The Jacobite Army generally fought very well (albeit without the aid of the splendid French Brigade sitting on Donore Hill and ordered not to get involved!). The Dragoons on the right at Drybridge and the dashing Horse of Parker, Sutherland, Tyrconnell and the King galloped around hacking and slashing and generally making a mess of Danish troops. Prinds Frederick's Regiment was routed and I remember the Dutch Lifeguards and Eppingers Dragoons failing to get out of the river and pushed back to the north bank in one run of the game.
Oh and yes, King William DID fall in the Boyne! We played pontoon for his soul and Mike Harrison beat the House to rescue his Majesty who was carried to the shore winded but safe!
|Enniskillen and Derry battalions cross in second wave|
In Dumfries the battle of the Boyne caused no tears, no anger and no arguments. The honours were even. Everyone had great fun and were all friends at the end.... re writing history at a wargaming weekender is cathartic and great socialising! If only real life was as clean and simple.