"Raise the Clans: The Wargamer's Guide to Jacobite Britain" by Martin Hackett is a superbly researched and produced guide to the conflicts that took place across these islands between November 1688 and April 1746. During the six decades following James VII/II's ejection from the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland in favour of William and Mary, supporters of James and his descendents, know as Jacobites, repeatedly rose in attempts to overthrow the ruling (from 1714) House of Hanover and restore James' branch of the Stuart dynasty. And they very nearly succeeded on several occasions: failing only through lack of leadership (and perhaps betrayal) in 1715; and through a lack of will and misinformation when the prize was very nearly within their grasp in 1745/6. Meanwhile it is arguable that the Stuarts would also have triumphed had French or Spanish invasion fleets not been prevented by adverse weather from landing troops in England in 1708, 1719 and 1744 (just as the Spanish had been a century or so earlier with the Armada).
In this excellent book Martin Hackett gives a fairly detailed history of the conflicts that took place during these decades, with particular reference to the actual battles. There is also a lot here about the armies that fought on either side, their equipment, their training and their uniforms. The result is a book that will be of interest to anyone wanting to know more about the battles of the Jacobite era, and not just those wanting to recreate them on a tabletop. The last quarter of the book is more specifically for wargamers, providing a tried and tested set of rules called "Raising the Clans" which allows miniature battles to be fought in a realistic and balanced manner.
"The Wargamer's Guide to Jacobite Britain" is a book that will have an enduring appeal and provide a valuable resource for wargamers for years to come. It is unfortunate that the editors permitted the author to include in his history of "The Jacobite Cause" two thirds of a page of his views about the Scottish independence referendum, due to take place in September 2014, ten weeks after the book's publication. These are wholly unrelated to the subject matter of the book and look very odd and ill-fitting (Scotland was only ever seen as a stepping stone to regaining the real prize, the English throne, by the Jacobites). The outcome is to give this very small section of a book of otherwise enduring value a very limited shelf life.