Warr Without An Enemie: Battle of Gainsborough, 28th July 1643

By July 1643 Newcastle's Northern Royalist army had largely secured the North for the King and was attempting to advance south into largely Parliamentarian controlled East Anglia. To block this move the Parliamentarians moved to block an advance on the Royalist stronghold of Newark by capturing Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. The Parliamentarians siezed Gainsborough on July 20th. In response Newcastle dispatched a strong mounted command under Cavendish to recapture this strategic position. This in turn prompted a similar mounted Parliamentarian group under Medrum to be dispatched to intercept Cavendish's troops. The two groups met near Gainsborough in a battle which saw an upcoming Colonel in the Parliamentarian army feature heavily - one Oliver Cromwell.

The Battlefield

Each square is 6 to 8 base widths by 6 to 8 base widths. So it should usually be about 4 foot by 6 foot (120cm by 180 cm).


The river is the River Trent, it can not be crossed.

The numerous hedges are a minor obstacles.

The woods, hedges and village are standard Woods, linear obstacles and village.

The marsh (D1 and D2) and the slope of the hill to the 2nd level are particularly bad going. Both count as Woods for the terrain effects with movement dice and in addition all movement is halved. The hill was sandy and covered with rabbit warrens.

The 2nd level of the hill is good going and no special rules apply.


Parliamentarian Army OOB:

Army Commander Sir John Meldrum: Average (D6+1)

Deputy Commander Oliver Cromwell: Good (D6+2): Strict Disciplinarian, Inspirational

Right Wing: Cromwell's command

Cromwell's Horse: 4 Veteran Dutch School (C2) bases

Eastern Association Dragoons: 3 Raw Dragoon bases

Centre: Meldrum's command

Nottingham Dragoons: 3 Raw Dragoon bases

Northampton Horse: 3 Raw Dutch School (C2) bases

Lincoln Horse: 6 Trained Dutch School(C2) bases

Reserve: Meldrum's command

Meldrum's Horse: 3 Trained Dutch School(C2) bases

Left Wing: Cromwell's command

Whalley's Squadron, Cromwell's Horse: 4 Veteran Dutch School (C2) bases

Cromwell can use his CP's on units in Meldrum's command but everything costs an extra CP.

The Left Wing starts in square D4 facing the hill. The Right Wing and Cromwell start in square C5 facing the hill. The Centre, Reserve and Meldrum start between the two wings with the Reserve behind.

Royalist Army OOB

Army Commander Sir Charles Cavendish: Average (D6+1)

Deputy Commander Sir Robert Dallison: Poor (D6)

Right Wing:

Beeton's Horse: 6 Trained Swedisj School (C3) bases

Centre: Dallison

Dallison's Horse: 7 Trained Swedish School (C3) bases

Dragoons: 3 Trained Dragoon bases

Left Wing:

Heron's Horse: 6 Trained Swedish School (C3) bases

Reserve: Cavendish

Duke of York's Horse: 8 Veteran/Elite Swedish School (C3) bases

Any or all of the Horse units can be split into 2 squadrons of 3 or 4 bases if the player wishes.

Cavendish is in direct control of the Reserve and either the right or left wing. Dallison commands the centre and the other wing.

The army deploys on the the 2nd level of the hill facing the village in the squares A1, A2, B1 and B2. As with the Parliamentarians the various sections deploy as their name suggests.

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: 4" by Robert Giglio (2010). The authors thoroughly recommend this series of booklets.