Following the councils of war in recent days, the first moves of the campaign are underway. Sir John Cope, reinforced with a regiment of Dutch infantry, has nonetheless been instructed to quit Berwick-upon-Tweed with all his mobile forces. They are on their way to Newcastle, leaving only a skeleton garrison of Invalid soldiers on the gates.
This retreat means there are no troops able to threaten the Jacobite position in Edinburgh, which has emboldened Charles Edward to tighten the blockade of the castle. Although the Jacobites have only a few light cannon, they hope to strangle the garrison’s supplies to force a surrender.
The Prince begins the siege of Edinburgh by sending a formal summons for the castle to surrender. The currently garrison comprises 2S units of Invalids and 1S unit of foot from Lascelles’ Regiment. The British team will be given the chance to respond to the summons.
In this campaign game there are several different types of siege, with different modes of resolution. Let’s have a look at how they might play out:
EDINBURGH AND STIRLING CASTLES
As the most formidable fortresses in Scotland, these mighty castles require special rules which reflect the unlikelihood of any practicable breach being made in their outer walls.
Attacker must have at least 1R unit more than the garrison, plus 2 guns or mortars.
Stage 1: Summons to surrender. Castle surrenders of formal siege commences. Jacobites may invite the garrison to agree not to fire on the city. If they agree to that, there’s a -1 modifier on local recruits joining the Jacobite army, but Jacobite trenches will be completed 1 week sooner.
Stage 2: Wait 2 weeks (or 1 week if the garrison has agreed not to fire on the town) whilst attackers open trenches and raise batteries.
Stage 3: Second summons to surrender. Garrison can chose to surrender, hold, or sally. A victorious sally action returns the attackers to Stage 2 as they are forced to re-dig their works.
Stage 4: Battery and counter-battery fire, for 1 week.
Stage 5: Game-master rolls D6 daily to determine when garrison supplies and morale are exhausted. Day 1, surrender on a 6; Day 2, on a 5+; Day 3, on a 4+; Day 4, on a 3+; Day 5+, on a 2+. Rolling a 1 means the garrison continues to hold, regardless of how long it has been.
Stage 6: When castle falls, the attacker can either garrison or slight the defences.
NB. For every week the siege continues after Stage 4, attacker loses 1S unit or equivalent.
Attacker can withdraw at any time without penalty.
The British government has a string of modern forts in the Highlands: Fort George (Inverness), Fort Augustus, and Fort William. Fort and Small Castle sieges are fought on the tabletop, as they can be determined without use of artillery and protracted entrenching. The attacker must however have a force larger than the garrison.
The walls of an artillery fort cannot be breached by cannon, although in the case of Fort Augustus the bastions can be wrecked by mortar fire on their integral magazines (this prevents their use by the defenders). Rather, the focus must be on going over the walls with ladders or blowing the main gate.
During shooting, attackers firing at a unit on a rampart suffer a +1 to hit, and the defenders enjoy a re-roll on casualty saves.
Attacking with ladders requires a unit to reach the base of the walls, then use 1 standard move to place the ladders and climb them. In the ensuing hand-to-hand action, attackers have a +1 to hit penalty, charge bonuses do not count, and units can only be supported from the rear. It requires 1 standard move to get off a rampart, or move to the next rampart section. Defenders on bastions divide their shooting and attacks in 2 directions.
A fort gate can be blown by artillery fire. It takes 2 unsaved hits on the gate to breach it.
Alternatively, a gate can be blown by petard. An unengaged attacking unit must reach the gate with at least 6″ movement to spare. They then roll D6 for the outcome:
1-2: petard fails to blow and must be re-set for the next turn
2-3: petard blows the gate spectacularly, and any unit within 12″ sustains 1 casualty.
4-6: petard blows the gate and the attackers charge through to engage the nearest unit
If a defending unit reaches the fort’s flag and holds there for 1 turn, the fort is deemed to have fallen.
Defending artillery are fixed and cannot move, and cannot shoot at close range targets due to their elevation.
The Jacobites begin the campaign possessing Blair Castle, and there are several other small castles and towers which can be occupied during the campaign.
The castle’s structure is treated as a set of modules, eg. 1 tower and 1 range counts as two buildings that can be occupied. Occupied buildings divide their firing over the number of open faces.
Each building/module has a value: 18 for a house or range, 24 for a tower or keep. These buildings can be destroyed by artillery fire. Guns fire with a +1 to their normal hit value, as the targets are so large. After an artillery hit, the defender rolls to save the casualty if the building is occupied, with a +1 modifier to reflect the garrison’s protection. Then the attacker rolls a D6 to determine the amount of damage points taken from the building’s value. When a building’s damage reaches its value limit, it is destroyed. Any unit still inside is also destroyed.
Garrisoned units can make an initiative move to evacuate a building when it comes within 2 points of its damage limit. Otherwise they must be successfully ordered out (it takes 1 full move to leave or enter a building).
There are a number of cities in England with substantial circuit walls which are deemed defensible. These include Carlisle, Newcastle, York, Chester, Worcester and Canterbury. If they are garrisoned, these must be taken by formal siege. The day before the siege begins, the defenders can decide to evacuate, hold, or fight in the open.
A siege requires at least 2 guns or mortars, and 1R unit large than the garrison.
Stage 1: First summons to surrender
Stage 2: Attacker can launch immediate assault, or open siege works. In the first instance, rules for ladder and gate attacks are as per Fort sieges, and walls and towers are treated as building modules with 24 points.
Stage 3: Wait 1 week whilst the attackers open trenches and raise batteries.
Stage 4: Batteries completed. Second summons to surrender. Garrison can decide to surrender, hold, or sally (triggering sally action, which if successful returns attackers to stage 3, or if failed moves to stage 7).
Stage 5: Bombardment begins. Gamemaster rolls D6 to determine effect. On Day 1, breach opens on a 6; Day 2, breach opens on a 5+, etc. A roll of 1 always means no breach. From Day 2, if there are more than 3 artillery pieces present, there is a -1 modifier on the roll for every additional piece to make a breach more likely.
Stage 6: Breach opened. Third (final) summons to surrender.
Stage 7: Attacker chooses whether to assault the breach or continue the siege. In an assault, all garrison foot units begin the battle shaken unless elite.
Stage 8: If the siege continues, Gamemaster rolls D6 daily for how long morale and supplies hold out: Day 1, surrender on 6; Day 2, on 5+, etc. Roll of 1 always continues to next day.
During Stage 8, the attackers lose 1S unit or equivalent for every week of the siege.
When the city falls, the garrison is deemed destroyed unless it has accepted a summons to surrender.
At 1st summons (at commencement): garrison marches out with drums and colours, with safe passage for 2 weeks or until reaching nearest friendly army/garrison.
At 2nd summons (before bombardment): garrison marches out with drums and colours, with safe passage for 1 week, agreeing to leave the region (eg, if surrendered in northern England, must march to southern England before being they can be ordered to redeploy).
At 3rd summons (after breach): garrison marches out with safe passsage, must leave region and cannot fight in the field for 2 months. Half of the units reduced by desertion.