Author Topic: Highlanders  (Read 12717 times)

Bindon Blood

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Highlanders
« on: May 18, 2012, 06:21:56 AM »
How are people representing Highlanders in Maurice?

I've seen Bob's scenario for Falkirk and there they have been classed as Regulars with the En Masse and la Baionette Advantages.

Are others classing them as Regulars or Irregulars?

I can understand the later British units being classed as Regulars, but Clan units? Should they be Irregular?

I stress I am not 'picking' on Bob, it's just his is the only website I've seen that refers to Highlanders!  :(

Cheers!

marke

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 06:54:02 AM »
You could have some of irregs, for the more skirmisher types, but in the Battle of Culloden the clans were definitely effected by attacking over the rough ground of the moor. So regs sound a better bet and representation.

Bindon Blood

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 12:13:18 AM »
ok, so it's the overall effect your looking at. I can understand that!

Cheers!

mikepfanenstiel

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 06:42:04 PM »
I have played several battles with them as well, I classed them as regulars. Irregulars are not really intended for Hand to Hand fighting in Maurice, especially fighting other regulars (British) in the the open, so that is not really an option

Mike P.

ackostokie

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 03:29:35 PM »
HI, I am planning to field a Jacobite army as well, what unit quality do you give them ? As they were not properly trained like the government soldiers. Would the majority be conscript or due to their fighting abilities are they considered higher even giving some  elite status.

Also they only seemed to have very little cavalry and with the 3infantry to 1 cavalry rule. if the army consists of 9 infantry units this means they have 3 cavalry units which seems alot for jacobites.

 Regards Phil

mikepfanenstiel

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 05:47:29 PM »
I field them mostly as trained with a few elite units for the foot. For the cavalry, mostly conscript, maybe a few trained, if the numbers of cavalry get to high for you, then field them as irregular. Mike P

marke

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 11:50:29 AM »
In the 45 campaign the Jacobite army did have some horse - just not much (and it was not much good). Some was even of French origin, or at least had a core of French troopers, if I remember correctly. So the minimum and having some as conscript and/or even irregs likely works as others have suggested.

If doing historical battle of Culloden though, you might want to change the 3 to 1 ratio for both armies, but both sides still had some cavalry on the field in that battle.

srmlaw

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 05:18:02 AM »
I have always found the classification of Scots troops in the 18thC a bit of a problem.  I think that the clan Highland units in the '15, the '19 and the '45 should be classified as irregular, since although they did have some muskets they were not drilled to use them and their standard tactic was an all-out charge.  Note that in the '45, BOTH sides had Highland clan units.

Lowland Scots were as far as I am aware only ever formed into regular foot units and trained as such.  For example, the First Foot (called in the 18thc "The Royal Regiment" and then retitled "The Royal Scots" in 1812, then reverting to "The Royal Regiment" in 1821) was at all times a regular unit and NEVER wore such Sir Walter Scott-inspired garb as kilts or carried bagpipes.  Recall that the Lowlanders detested the Highlanders as shiftless cattle thieves and troublemakers.

The problem comes with the Highland units formed after the '45 (it being the British policy with Highlanders, Sikhs, Pathans etc that if they were that good at fighting it would be a sound scheme to get them into your army to divert their martial instincts into your aims rather than theirs.)  The 42nd Foot (The Royal Highland Regiment or Black Watch) was formed as independent companies to police the Highlands in the 1730's and was first brought together and trained as regular infantry in 1741/2.  The regiment fought as a regular unit at Fontenoy, albeit one remarkable for its fury in the charge (a la Baionette?)  A typical modern author platitude is "Lacking a light infantry, the British turned to recruiting in the Highlands."  Several war-service-only units of Highlanders were formed and some went to West Germany in the SYW.  I have never found a reference to them being in any of the major battles, so I assume that they were off garrisoning posts and forming part of petite guerre raiding parties i.e in Maurice and M&R terms "irregulars."

In actuality, troops were much more flexible than the classifications in Maurice or M&R would ever allow.  Who in a wargame would permit Prussian hussars to dismount, beat in a town gate, and drive out the town's defenders?  But that is exactly what the Prussian Szekely Hussars did at Pegau and Gotha in 1757.  Prussian Freikorps were found both in the petite guerre and in major battles acting as regular infantry.  The list goes on ....

Stephen

Nick the Lemming

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 06:06:36 AM »
  Recall that the Lowlanders detested the Highlanders as shiftless cattle thieves and troublemakers.


The lowlanders also had a reputation as cattle thieves - certainly my own clan had such a reputation, when we weren't fighting the Maxwells or the English, we'd be stealing cattle from our neighbours (and the English), and they were far from alone. They were lowlanders.

mikepfanenstiel

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 08:13:51 AM »
Stephan,
I am not disagreeing with what you said, but I think you are thing more of drilled or undrilled training.
I Maurice terms, Regular or Irregular refers more to the syle of combat. Regulars would shoot and engage in Hand to Hand combat, Irregular troops would shoot as well, but they avoided hand to hand combat by evading or making use of terrain.  So if you feel it is best for your highlander to avoid hand to hand combat then class them as irregular, I believe they fought hand to hand combats, so I am going to class mine as regular. Maurice does not get into determining the quality of unit training.

Mike p

srmlaw

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 12:23:57 PM »
Nick,

As an Englishman who thinks that Alex Salmond is the sort of politician who can lie EVEN WHEN ASKING A QUESTION I am grateful for your confirmation that lowlanders and highlanders are both cattle thieves and troublemakers!

Based on my recollections of George Macdonald Fraser's book on the Border Reivers, I think, however, that it was the wild men of the Debatable Lands and the Borders who were the thieves, rather than the solid burghers of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.  Cannot imagine a couple of tobacco lords meeting on the Broomielaw and one saying to the other "Hamish, is that a Highland Longhorn in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?"

You'll have had your tea?  Stephen

srmlaw

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 12:51:15 PM »
Mike,

You are quite right that I am thinking of drilled/undrilled, but that is what I think the regular/irregular distinction in Maurice is designed to represent.  Maurice is based on a simulation of warfare in Europe, with a nod or deeper obeisance to the Ottomans.  Regular infantry is trained to move in tight formations, to deliver sustained musketry and to use the bayonet charge to evict the enemy BUT WITHOUT ANY REAL EXPECTATION THAT BAYONETS WILL EVER BE CROSSED.  Irregulars are there to move through difficult country, to snipe at the enemy, but not to try to take on the regulars in the open field.

Clan Highlanders outside the regular army are a bit different, and in many ways resemble Red Indians (Oops! Be PC - Native Americans.)

Both Highlanders and Native Americans use muskets in a limited way, but do not engage in sustained close range volleys.  They do snipe and they do make determined charges WITH EVERY EXPECTATION OF USING THEIR CLAYMORES/TOMAHAWKS.  But they are fragile, since if their initial charge does not defeat the enemy they tended to retreat to a safe distance before trying again.  Neither of them is in the business of slugging it out toe to toe.

Some people have already pointed out that the Maurice principal arm ratio rule does not work for the AWI.  Equally, perhaps the irregulars rules do not work for the Highlanders and the Native Americans.  The basic rules do, however, make their musketry less effective and their close combat abilities limited in the open BUT NOT IN ROUGH TERRAIN.  The abilty of irregulars to move easily over rough terrain seems to reflect the clan Highlanders and Native Americans and if they were classed as regulars they woud lose this distinctive part of their characteristics.

Some National Advantage cards help out - Great Captain, Skirmishers and Feudal.  However, perhaps for, say, the '45 and the French and Indian War En Masse and A la Baionette could be applied to irregulars as well as regulars.  Or perhaps scenario specific rules, such as clan Highlanders and Native Americans get double basic combat values in their first charge of the game, and/or they ignore DISRs when charging, would reflect the wild Highland charge and the "hit and run" of the Red Ind ... blast ... Native Americans.

One of the great strengths of Maurice is that you can tinker in this way with the rules if you want to (Sam is not going to stop you.)

Stephen

mikepfanenstiel

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 03:43:09 PM »
Stephan,
I don't disagree with what you wrote, but the question was how would you depict Highlanders in Maurice?

I have played them as irregulars 3-4 times and and regulars about a dozen. Irregulars in Maurice do damage by shooting, Irregulars in Maurice will do more damage than they recieve in Hand to hand maybe 1 in 30 times. So to me, when you say they should be classed as irregulars, you feel that they out shot the British or that they used swarm tactics like the zulu's or evade charges like Mongols after shooting. None of which describe a Jacaobite battle tactic to me.

How many times using Maurice  have you played them as irregulars and how many times as regulars?

And yes, most of us have read that Lowlanders fought differently than Highlanders and that a unit represents a few hundred men, so probably not a standard European size and trained unit, and that most of the British were newly raised, so I guess that I could maybe see an arguement that they outshot the British but it certainly did not feel right.

So what about the way a large irregular infantry army in Maurice plays, reminds you of Jacobites?

Mike P
 

srmlaw

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2012, 04:16:04 AM »
Mike,

This is developing into a really interesting discussion of the representation of troops lacking formal training.

I have to admit that I have never attempted to represent Highlanders in Maurice games.  However, I think that the term "Highlanders" needs a bit of expansion and subdivision.

The Jacobite army of the '45 was composed of several elements:

The clan Highlanders of the north west and western isles.  Totally untrained, armed with some muskets and pistols, but mainly armed with broadswords, the targe, pikes and such curiosities as the Lochaber axe.  Tactics - fire off the muskets and pistols, then drop them and charge with the hand-to-hand weapons.

Hastily raised and poorly armed "regulars" from Scotland generally, but also raised from other centres of Jacobite sympathy including Lancashire and Wales.  Tactics - conventional close order drill.  Also some horse of similar standard.

At Culloden, Irish regiments in the French service.  Good quality regulars.

The Government forces divide into two periods.  In 1745 in the main battles (i.e. not the peripheral operations away from the main Jacobite army) these were composed of local militia, newly raised volunteers, and the hastily assembled platoons and companies of the regular army that had been scattered in minor posts over Scotland and England.  These regular army units were normally understrength (having been reduced by drafts to fill up the army in Flanders) and were not well trained in battalion movements (because there were rarely more than a few men in each post to carry out any training.)  In 1746 the Government forces had been trained over the winter and reinforced with trooops taken from Flanders.

So if you were representing 1745 battles, you would (in my view) be pitting Highland irregulars (combat value 3) against regular conscripts (combat value 4), so the Highlanders have a good chance of defeating the Government troops, as indeed they did.  In 1746 the Highlanders are up against trained regulars (combat value 6) and are much more likely to lose (as they did.)

If you are looking at Highlanders in the regular army after 1746, then there would seem to be two classes:

Trained regulars who happened to be recruited from the Highlands (e.g. the Black Watch), but otherwise indistinguishable from all other regulars.

Trained irregulars to replicate the continental jagers, croats, Arquebusiers de Grassin, and so on, and also to counter the Canadian coureurs de bois and native americans.  In the SYW these would be joined by e.g. Roger's Rangers and Gage's light infantry in the French and Indian war.

The old (and truly awful) Wargames Research Group 1685-1845 rules used to distinguish between irregular skirmishing infantry (e.g. jagers, croats) and irregular charging infantry (e.g. clansmen, Indian hordes as at Plassey.)

My view is that Maurice irregulars represent the irregular skirmishing infantry.  I think that you might need to tinker with the rules to replicate irregular charging infantry.  I do not think that classifying irregular charging infantry as regulars is appropriate, since then they lose their all-terrain abilities and get shoehorned into regular formations and fighting methods.

Consider this: Elite regulars are moving in column through the woods when they are set upon by the Mohawks.  The regulars start off with a combat value of 8, reduced by 2 for being in bad terrain and by 6 for being in column.  If the Mohawks managed to fire in their volley phase they might have caused further reductions in combat value for DISRs (although this would not matter as the regular's basic combat value cannot be reduced below zero.)  The Mohawks get 1 die plus a basic combat value of 3, the regulars get 1 die.  If the regulars are doubled they break.  If otherwise, the Mohawks suffer 1 or 2 DISR and then Fall Back into the woods.  A fair representation of a French and Indian War ambush?

Stephen

doomben

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Re: Highlanders
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2012, 03:06:33 PM »
Quote
The old (and truly awful) Wargames Research Group 1685-1845 rules ...

Them is fighting words - that is my all time most beloved set of rules.  Sure they did not quite work, but at the time they were a breakthrough compared to what else was on offer...  They were like Star Wars - not a great movie in itself but just stunning for us 10 year old boys at the time.

Quote
So if you were representing 1745 battles, you would (in my view) be pitting Highland irregulars (combat value 3) against regular conscripts (combat value 4), so the Highlanders have a good chance of defeating the Government troops, as indeed they did.  In 1746 the Highlanders are up against trained regulars (combat value 6) and are much more likely to lose (as they did.)

I know nothing about the period - the question is how did the Highland and Government troops fight?  I have always assumed that the Government troops would want to win by shooting, the Highlanders win by close combat.  If the Highlanders can get through the shooting into combat, then the odds would be in their favour.  Is that accurate?  Did the Highlanders prefer to fight in as much terrain as possible or did the battles tend to occur in the open.

Irregulars will be both outshot and outfought in hand to hand combat.  I would have thought you want something where the Highlanders are badly outshoot, but competitive, or at an advantage, in combat.

Irregulars will want lots and lots of terrain on the board, and will avoid frontal contact, trying to encircle the enemy to get at flanks.  Was that how Highlanders they fought?

That suggests to me conscript regular Highlanders fighting with Masse and Bayonet versus conscript regular Government troops with Lethal Volleys.  The Highlanders will lose in a shooting contest and find it hard to get into contact without picking up lots of DISR, but will be pretty effective if they can get into contact.  Those may be technically wrong gradings, but seems to me more likely to give the right effect - the Highlanders have to make a big rush into contact as soon as they can and avoid a prolonged firefight.

Cam