Warr Without An Enemie: Battle of Southam, 24th August 1642

 

In the very early days of the war both sides moved to secure territory and important positions. Lord Brooke was the parliamentarian commander in the Warwickshire area. On August 22nd the King raised his standard at Nottingham and declared war. The Earl of Northampton was the royalist commander of the same area and so he now moved to confront Lord Brooke's gathering forces. Two days after the official start of the war the two forces meet near the small town of Southam, Warwickshire. This battle is a small engagement between two small mixed forces in fairly open terrain. It therefore is quite a nice fight to get to know the rules.

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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 6 foot by 4 foot (180cm by 120 cm). If the players wish the game can be played just on the central part of the map on what would be a 4 foot square (120cm square) table. To do this you use only the B - E columns on the map.

 

Terrain:

Square A2 is the village of Itchington. It counts as +2 cover. To enter/leave a building counts as crossing a minor obstacle but can only be done on foot.

River Itchen (B1-B4) is impassable except by the bridge.

Hedges/Walls: There are a number of hedges and walls on the battlefield. All count as standard minor obstacles.

The woods in F1 -F2 are open and count as Boggy (i.e. received a DP for each 1 or 2 rolled.

 

Deployment:

The Parliamentarians deploy first in squares D1 - D4 and inside the hedged area, they are facing towards the river. Units must have at least of the bases in the unit on the hill.

Historically the cavalry were split onto each wing and the infantry were in the centre. The infantry were in two lines with Colonel John Hampden's Foot and the artillery in the first line. The players can use the historical deployment or agree to deploy as they wish.

The Royalists deploy second in squares B1 - B4, they are facing towards the hill. They must be on the same side of the river as the hill and inside the hedged area there. They can not be within 12" of any enemy base.

Historically the cavalry were split onto each wing and the infantry and artillery were in the centre. The cavalry were in two lines. Once again the players can deployed historically or as they wish.

 

Parliamentarian Army OOB:

Army Commander: Lord Brooke: Average (D6+1)

Infantry:

Colonel John Hampden's Foot: 5 Trained I4 bases
Lord Brooke's Foot: 3 Raw/Elite I4 bases
Colonel Denzil Holles' Foot: 4 Raw I4 bases

Artillery: 3 Raw UL

Cavalry:

Right Wing Cavalry (3 troops): 3 Raw/Elite Pistoleer(C2*) bases
Left Wing Cavalry (3 troops): 3 Raw Pistoleer (C2*) bases

 

Royalist Army OOB:

Army Commander:Earl of Northampton: Good (D6+2)

Infantry:

Earl of Northampton's Foot: 3 Trained I5 bases
Sir William Saville's Dragoons (Dismounted): 3 Raw I1 bases

Artillery: 1 Raw UL

Cavalry:

Wilmot's and Carnarvon's Horse: 3 Raw/Elite Galloper (C4) bases
Legge's and Clarke's Horse: 3 Raw Galloper (C4) bases
Compton's and Northampton's Horse: 3 Trained/Elite Galloper (C4) bases
Saville's and Middleton's Horse: 3 Raw Galloper (C4) bases

 

Victory:

The battle is a straight forward fight and both sides want to defeat the other. But a draw favours the Royalists and so they can count a morale victory if they are still on the field at the end of the game.

 

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: Volume 3" by Robert Giglio (2005). The authors thoroughly recommend this series of booklets.

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