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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Wednesday 19 August 2015

Sheriffmuir 1715

I do like an anniversary for wargaming inspiration. This year is the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715.

On 6 September 1715 the Earl of Mar declared for the Jacobite cause. He collected an army of about 12,000 and captured Perth. The government army of around 4000 was led by the Duke of Argyll and included lowland Scots and English troops, mostly based in Stirling.

After a period of skirmishing, on 10 November Mar lead his full army south. Argyll responded by moving his army to Sheriffmuir, near Dunblane and the two armies met on 13 November.

Argyll was seriously outnumbered by the now albeit smaller Jacobite army. Argyll's right wing attacked, and managed to drive the Highlanders back, but his left wing was overwhelmed. By evening, both armies were seriously reduced, and although Mar had a great advantage in numbers, he refused to risk the entirety of his army, allowing Argyll to withdraw.

Both sides claimed victory, but it was a strategic victory for Argyll as he had halted the Jacobite advance. Mar’s supporters drifted away and his army dispersed. On 23 December, James Stuart, the Old Pretender, landed at Peterhead, but was unable to rouse the disheartened army. The revolt in England also ended in defeat at Preston.

For more on the battle there is a new book by Stuart Reid that I reviewed in February. It includes all we know about the units that fought in the battle, although that is far from complete.

My wargame project is a skirmish one, largely based on the various actions that took place in Fife in the period running up to the battle.

The first unit is painted and based. These are government troops mostly from the Front Rank range. I will be using the Donnybrook rules.



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