English Civil War Battle 9

This game took place at Tom's house at the end of May 2024. My thanks to him for the words and pictures

In this week's game, two early ECW armies meet and the Royalists win the initiative.

This time the Royalists use a more conventional deployment with the C-in-C taking control of the elite royalist horse on the left so he can use his superior command ability to hold his horse in check so they don’t go out of control. They had engage orders to move round the Parliamentary right and then to move towards the enemy line of supply. The Royalists deploy their infantry and artillery on their line of supply with the four units on the left to move over the hill and four units in column to move between the cultivated areas. The command has orders to move towards the opposition line of supply. To their right was the second Royalist Horse under their poor commander with orders to attack the Parliamentary centre.

After their recent defeats the Parliamentary commander decides to use a new tactic, attaching his artillery and two units of foot to the commander of horse on the left, the infantry and guns to protect the flank while the Horse moves forward to engage the enemy. In the centre, the other commander of Horse was deployed with orders to engage forward. On the right, the Parliamentary C-in-C with his remaining six infantry units and forlorn hope deployed in line, with three units of horse protecting their right through the cultivated area hoping this would negate the advantages of the Royalist Horse.

In the game, the Royalist C-in-C and his Horse move forward to charge range of the Parliamentary right and then he uses his initiative to hold his elite horse in check awaiting an opening. In the centre, the Royalist infantry advance is delayed by a series of low initiative rolls, finally getting four infantry units over the central hill, deploying their light guns to the rear of the cultivation and slowly trying to move their remaining foot through the bottleneck between the two cultivated areas. To their right, the remaining horse command moves over the hill and prepares to charge the Parliamentary centre with four units of horse while the Dragoons occupy the cultivated land and one unit of horse protects their flank on the other side of the cultivation. On the other side of the table, the Parliamentary forces trundle slowly forward, keeping a solid, self-supporting formation. The artillery on the left begin taking shots at the lone Royalist horse unit protecting the flank and shaking them.

As the game moves on the Royalist foot move over the crest of the central hill and come under heavy fire from the Parliamentary infantry, suffering heavy casualties before being forced to retire shaken behind the crest. The Royalist artillery manages to get a shot of at the Parliamentary cavalry in the centre, shaking them before they are masked by the Parliamentary forlorn hope who move into the cultivated area and bring the guns under fire.

The Royalist cavalry on the right uses the opportunity to charge the shaken Parliamentary horse who have mixed fortunes, the Trotters rolling a ‘20’ on their morale and routing prior to contact, shaking their supporting unit as they flee. However, the Pistoleers roll a ‘1’ and automatically rally, then halt their opponents with their pistol fire before counter charging their shaken opponents and forcing them to retire shaken. The Parliamentary supporting cavalry unit rallies and then charges the Royalist horse that had just broken their comrades but both sides fail their morale test, ending up facing each other shaken.

The Royalist Dragoons are forced out of the cultivated area by a unit of Trotters and when a unit of Royalist horse attempts to charge the flank of a supporting Parliamentary foot unit, the foot pass their morale test and turn to face. The horse retiree, having been hit by artillery fire on the way in. Although finally getting one unit of horse through the opposition’s centre, the command was so widely dispersed and disordered they were unable to rally and make use of the breakthrough.

The Royalist gunners are forced to retire shaken under fire from the forlorn hope and supporting infantry. One unit of Royalist foot unit finally makes its way through the gap and charges the Parliamentary foot but they were halted by fire and then broken. They flee after one round of melee when they were counter charged.

On the Parliamentary right the Royalist C-in-C finally leads his horse into contact and, after a prolonged melee with more and more units joining the fray, they finally manage to push the opposition horse back but do not break them.

At the end of the game both sides still hold their half of the table, getting equal objective points, but the Parliamentarians win the battle by a narrow margin having taken lower casualties.