English Civil War Battle 8

This game was played in the second half of May 2024, using Principles of War rules. Tom was the host and I thank him for the following account.

This week's game is an early ECW game.

In this game both sides deploy their forces with a refused left flank. The Parliamentary forces deploy their infantry in a solid block on the road of their line of supply with orders to move up the road moving between the cultivated land and the village to the side of Royalist line of supply. One command of cavalry is deployed to their right with orders to move round the Royalist left to attack in co-ordination with the infantry. To their left, they deploy their artillery and remaining cavalry command to hold the left flank, with the Dragoons deployed to the flank to slow down the Royalist flank attack.

The Royalists also deploy their infantry on their line of supply in checkerboard formation with the poorly armed Cornish foot in reserve. These had orders to guard the left flank while their two cavalry commands, deployed to their right, attack the Parliamentary left flank, one cavalry command to attack directly, holding the Parliament cavalry fixed, while the second command makes a wide sweep into the Parliamentary rear. The game then became a a race to see which side would manage the envelopment first.

Two commands of Royalist horse sweep forward against a single Parliamentary command, but the Parliamentary horse use their artillery and the terrain to break up and delay the Royalist attack. The right hand Royalist command routs the parliamentary Dragoons and Trotters but become seriously disordered in the process.

The centre Royalist command charges the Parliamentary Pistoleers in the centre but are held and shaken by fire from the Pistoleers and the Parliamentary artillery. However, when the Pistoleers charge their shaken opponent's Trotters, they roll a ‘1’ on their morale and rally in time to counter charge the Pistoleers who, after a round of melee, roll a ‘20’ on their morale and rout. The Parliamentary Trotters get carried away and rashly pursue their opponents who are forced to retire, only to be routed when hit by harassing fire from the Royalist artillery. The remainder of the Royalist horse them use the opportunity to charge, finally routing the remains of the Parliamentary cavalry.

In the centre, the Parliamentary infantry column moves along the road, its flank protected by a unit of Pistoleers who are moving into the village. The Royalist foot takes the opportunity to charge before the Parliamentary infantry deploy to take advantage of their firepower superiority. This begins a lengthy push of pike with both sides reinforcing the melee as units are forced to rout or retire. 

The Parliamentary cavalry then move in to attack the Royalist infantry with the Pistoleers firing and allowing the Trotters to attack the shaken Royalist foot. Eventually, despite a series of positive morale tests, the combined pressure from the Parliamentary infantry and cavalry results in all of the Royalist foot ending up shaken and unable to contest the terrain.

At the end of the game, the Royalists control the two table quarters on their right, Parliament controls the Royalist left quarter but the Royalists are disputing the Parliamentary right quarter. In the end the Royalists, have 75% of their forces remaining and 40 points of objectives. The Parliamentarians have 58% of their forces remaining and have 20 objective points giving the Royalists a 114 to 78 point victory.