Warr Without An Enemie: Battle of Powick Bridge, 23rd September 1642

 

The battle of Powick Bridge is often seen as the first battle of the civil war. While this is not strictly true it was the first clash between parts of the two main opposing armies. A detachment of cavalry from the Parliamentarian army under Fiennes were attempting to catch a Royalist force escorting an important cargo of treasure which had fled to Worcester. The Parliamentarian forces was trying to move to block any possible retreat westward by this force by approaching Wocester via Powick. By crossing the River Teme using the bridge at Powick Fiennes could trap his quarry. Unfortunately unknown to the Parliamentarians a large detachment of Royalist cavalry were at this time camped just north of the Powick Bridge. The Royalists were under the command of Prince Rupert and equally unaware that the Parliamentarians were in the area. They were dismounted and resting at the time the battle started. The battle started as the leading Parliamentarian unit crosssed the bridge and to the surprise of all bumped into the Royalist camped on the other side.

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Battlefield:

 

Each square is 6 to 8 base widths by 6 to 8 base widths. So it should usually be about 4 foot by 4 foot (120cm by 120 cm).

 

Terrain:

The river is the river Teme and it can only be crossed by the bridge.

The numerous hedges are a minor obstacles.

The woods are standard Woods.

 

Deployment and Special Rules:

Royalists:

Digby's Detachment: These units start the game in the roughly triangular field centred in square B3. Lord Digby can start the game attached to one of the units. All units must be more than 6" from the bridge.

Main Body: These units start the game in squares A2 and A3. Two units are in the field centred in square A3. The other 2 units are in the top part of the large field centred in B2. They must be in the top part of this field in squares A2 and A3. Prince Rupert can start the game attached to one of the units.

At the start of the game the Royalist have just become aware of the Parliamentarians. All units start the game dismounted, dispersed and resting. Each unit starts with 1 DP because of the surprise and rolls a D6 to see if they have more - see Surprise Roll below. The units must all perform a Formation Change to form up and they also have to mount up. After this they can operate as normal but they are on hold orders

 

Parliament:

Advance Guard:

The two cavalry units start the game mounted and in column. They have 1 DP because of the surprise but have to roll for more - see Surprise Roll below. One of the units has just crossed the bridge and must have at least 1 base on the north end of the bridge. The other unit is behind the first unit and must have at least 1 base south of the river. Colonel Sands can start the game attached to one of the units.

Brown's Dragoons start the game mounted and facing in any desired direction. They have 1 DP because of the surprise but do not roll for more. They roll a D6 to determine which square they start in. 1 to 4 means they start in D1, D2, D3 or D4. 5 means they start in C4. 6 means they start anywhere the Parliamentarian player wishes south of the River Teme.

Main Body:

The main body start the game off table. At the end of the 1st turn the Parliamentarian player rolls a D6 to see if they arrive in turn 2. On the first turn the player needs to roll a 6 for this grop to arrive. On the second turn the player needs a 5 or 6, on the third a 4, 5 or 6, etc. A roll of a 1 is always a failure.

The Main Body all arrive on the southern end of the road where it enters the table, in squares D2 and D3. They are mounted and in column with no DP's. They start with orders to Advance Fire Combat order to the southern end of the bridge.

 

Surprise Roll:

Some units on both sides must roll for additional DP's because of the surprise. Roll a D6 per unit. Add 1 if the unit is mounted, Elite or has a commander attached.

If the final result is 1 the unit recieves 2 extra DP's. If the final result is 2 to 4 the unit recieves 1extra DP. If the final result is 5 or more the unit does not receive extra DP's.

 

Parliamentarian Army OOB:

Advance Guard: Colonel Sands: Good (D6+2)

Cavalry:
Wingate's Troop: 3 Raw Pistoleer (C2*) bases
Sands' Troop: 4 Raw Pistoleer (C2*) bases

Dragoons: Brown's: 3 Raw Dragoon bases

 

Main Body: Colonel Fiennes: Average (D6+1): Army Commander

Cavalry:
Burghill's Troop: 4 Raw Pistoleer (C2*) bases
N. Fiennes' Troop: 4 Raw Pistoleer (C2*) bases
J. Fiennes' Troop: 4 Raw Pistoleer (C2*) bases
Berry's Troop: 3 Raw Pistoleer (C2*) bases
Douglas' Troop: 3 Raw Pistoleer (C2*) bases
Austen's Troop: 3 Raw Pistoleer (C2*) bases

 

Royalist Army OOB:

Digby's Detachment: Lord Digby: Poor (D6)

Cavalry:
Digby's Troop: 3 Raw Galloper (C4) bases
Prince of Wales' Troop: 4 Raw/Elite Galloper (C4) bases

 

Main Body: Prince Rupert: Excellent (D6+3): Army Commander

Cavalry:
Rupert's Troop: 5 Raw/Elite Galloper (C4) bases
Maurice's Troop: 4 Raw/Elite Galloper (C4) bases
Crane's Troop: 3 Raw/Elite Swedish (C3) bases
Wilmot's Horse: 3 Raw Galloper (C4) bases


The core details of this scenario were drawn from the excellent series of scenario books published by Paritzan Press. This scenario is based on the information on this battle in "English Civil Wars Gaming Scenarios" by Steven Maggs (2003). The authors thoroughly recommend this series of booklets.

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