(or: what if Charles Stuart had not turned back at Derby)
In "Fight for a Throne, (p231ff), Duffy gives fascinating details and map showing the troops, and alternatives available, to the Jacobite and Hanoverian forces should the “Highland” army move to take London. The most likely routes were an easterly route through Waltham Cross/Tottenham Cross, and a westerly one down Watling Street - the Roman road through Edgware & Kilburn. The Hanoverian forces were encamped at Finchley to be able to react to either avenue of attack, and King George himself was ready to lead his army.
Most of the Jacobite force are with Charles Stuart, who has taken the westerly route, and have reached Kilburn - only a few miles from a panicking City of London. The King has drawn up his forces there in a good defensive line, with flanks well-protected by dense forest. He must defeat this invading force, and then hurry across to support the militia defending the eastern route against a smaller lowland force.
The clock is ticking for both armies …. will the King be able to defeat the Jacobites in time to halt the eastern threat? Will Charles Stuart be able to defeat the King, and avoid being caught by the Cumberland’s pursuing, but lumbering, army?
The game was presented at Skelp in Forfar on 14 October 2018, as the game presented by the Falkirk and District Wargames Club. I used my figures (mostly Front Rank) and terrain, and, for rules, Piquet Field of Battle 2. Described here was the first of two occasions when it was gamed, with David Knight taking charge of the troops under Charles Edward, and John Ewing and myself each taking commands of King George II.
The view from the Hanoverian side, positioning right-centre troops to threaten the flank of the highlanders, who would be attacking the Hanoverian right and centre,
The Jacobites held back the highland charge, letting their left wing get fully engaged, and attacking that centre-right flanking Hanoverian unit, with the red coated French Regulars (Irish Piquets) charging through the light woods by the road to attempt to clear it away. with only limited success
The Jacobite left wing attack did not fare so well .. as shown by the absence of their troops in the proximity of the guns there ..However the Jacobites came charging in on their right
and a general firefight ensued in the centre, as the reserves of both sides are drawn in
In the centre, the Jacobites break through, routing some Government units
Then the Jacobites turn a Maneuver card, followed by a Melee cardwhich is of great use to a victorious Highland unit who can then melee with a Hanoverian unit in the flank,
.. with great success, now leaving the artillery exposed ..
But what of the Highlanders on the right wing? Their charge never got going .. not least because their commander was killed as he led the charge, and the units showed a distinct reluctance to melee with the Hanoverian cavalry
but it was all rather academic with that loss in the centre, and shortly afterwards the Hanoverians left the field, having failed a Major Morale test.
The second game had 2 players a side, and turned out to be a different, but equally convincing win for the Jacobites - the Highlanders on the right wing this time causing most of the damage. However, in his attempt to get the Highlanders in the centre moving, Charles Edward Stuart was mortally wounded, but the damage had been done to the Government forces. The players and spectators then engaged in an wide and interesting discussion about what now happens as Charles Stuart is dead ..would the Jacobites troops would go home? ... or just loot London first .. and then go home?
Postscript: David Knight sent me the following game photo under the heading "Threateningly Poised" :-)