Tuesday, 11 December 2018

'Rebels and Patriots' for 1798?

The latest and last set of Rampant rules - Rebels and Patriots - is due out in January 2019 and will fill the gap in the Rampant range between The Pikeman’s Lament and The Men Who Would Be Kings. The rules have been written by Michael Leck and Daniel Mersey.

Osprey wanted the rules to be focused on North America for commercial reasons, but they should be perfectly applicable beyond. One possibility amongst many hundreds is the Irish Rebellion of 1798 in which I have had a long-standing interest, especially since watching the TV mini-series The Year of the French which was shown in the 80s. I go back a long way!

At one point I started collecting 15mm figures for this conflict with the intention of using the Maurice rules, but it would have meant doing another mass army and the rules weren't really suited to pitching a predominantly pike army against musketmen.

So I was quite excited by the prospect of a Rampant set for the horse-and-musket period which would once again allow me to satisfy an historical interest with a relatively small game. I had assumed/hoped that R&P would have some type of 'charging infantry' that would accomodate Irish pikemen but from what I can tell the 'Natives' type in R&P is essentially a shooting type.

At first this put me off and I was wondering about creating a custom unit type or maybe using The Pikeman's Lament instead. However, it is possible to increase Aggression and make Natives Poor Shooters. This would represent a small number of firearms mixed in with the pike in addition to the firearms otherwise fielded by skirmishers, so I think I should be OK after all.

Trent Miniatures (currently available from North Star) do a good range of 28mm figures specifically for this conflict, so I've already begun to use my £5-a-month Wargames Illustrated credit to (slowly) accumulate forces.
Croppy Boys: Trent Miniatures 28mm Irish insurgent pikemen.


  1. What a coincidence that you should mention 'Year of the French'. I've just finished the book by Guy Beiner as part of a research project..and yes, gaming the '98 is in my head now.

    1. I understand the Beiner book is about 1798 as seen through folklore and thus quite specialised. I did once see an original copy of Maxwell’s 'History of the Irish Rebellion in 1798' in a charity shop and now regret not buying it. It seemed to have a lot of detail.

  2. Maxwell is pretty rare - would be worth quite a bit now. Richard Hayes' work also gets a mention. Beiner's book is a fascinating read. I'm trying the same approach with the entire Irish/Scots Jacobite period - i.e., there is more to the period folklore than meets the eye - and it's still apparently 'in vogue'. Just watch an episode of Outlander, and Culloden is now in danger of being ruined by tourists! INtresting too that 'the Favourite' is in cinemas. I'm wondering if they'll touch upon the proposed return of the Stuarts if James III converted etc.

    1. On reflection, the Maxwell book was not exactly a first edition but it was letterpress, not a modern facsimile.

      I've also had a long intetest in the Scots Jacobite Risings as well as the Monmouth Rebellion.

      I've never really encountered or thought about the folklore aspect before apart from associated Scottish and Irish folk music with which I do have some familiarity.

      These campaigns would all be great projects for PL/R&P as appropriate.

  3. Now that is interesting.
    Could you point me in the direction of any references regarding Irish folk music which reflects the Jacobite axis?
    I have been looking at Jacobite poetry of the period, with regard to which parts have been subsequently 'cherry picked' to suit in vogue politics in later centuries. Conducting the same analysis with folk music might be useful.

    1. Unfortunately not. There are lots of Scots Jacobite songs and Irish Rebel songs about the '98, but I can't think of any Irish Jacobite material. The only song that comes to mind is the anti-Irish 'Lillibullero'. However, Google seems to suggest there may be some in Gaelic.