It has been a long time, over 2 tears since we have played an English Civil War game. I don’t now why either.
Over the last month I have been writing a new set of rules for the period, that follows the same format as our other rule sets. This was to be the first test play of them.
I have to admit I think they played well and the two players Laurie and Stephen enjoyed the game and picked up the core ideal of the rules in a few turns. I won’t talk about the rules now but will upload them soon for you to have a look at.
The game was a pretty balanced affair.
Setup was traditional, 2 cavalry wings and infantry in the centre.
Both sides opened up with artillery fire and first blood to the Parliamentarians as they inflicted a casualty on a Royalist foot unit in their centre who never having been under artillery fire before, failed their morale and became shaken. With the confidence of this the Parliamentarian centre started off across the centre ground to meet the opposing Royalist foot.
The left hand Royalist cavalry traded harsh glares at the Parliamentarians opposite, neither wishing to advance into the crops and possibly be caught at a disadvantage. Over on the right flank Sir Byron was more than happy to take his Royalist cavalry across the open terrain and have a go at the Parliamentarian upstarts opposite. Over the next couple of turns they closed in on each other.
Both players soon started to realise that to get a plan to work you need to build that plan around your commanders’ abilities and ensure you have them in the right places at the right time. I think the Royalists(Laurie) sussed this out a few turns below the Parliamentarians( Stephen). What bought it home to them was that by having your commanders in the correct locations Laurie managed to activate his right cavalry wing three times in a turn( Initially activated by Rupert, then by Lord Wilmot and finally Sir Byron). This enabled the Royalists to engage the Parliamentarian cavalry with their and fight two rounds of melee (Not all going their way). this turned out to be an epic stage of the battle as both sides traded blows and won and lost ground.
meanwhile in the centre….
A Parliamentarian unit had broken and unfortunately decided that they had done their fair share and routed, heading for their table edge.
The Royalists had also lost a unit to artillery fire.
It was at this point that Stephen realised that his commanders where probably not quite up to the standards of the Royalist commanders and due to the poorer command ranges he was not getting as many activations as he would have liked.
Laurie was feeling confident on his right wing and decide to bridge the gap in his centre with his left flank cavalry. He started to bring them over the ford and towards the centre. This caused a huge traffic jam at the ford as units started to block other units and this in turn resulted in many activations being wasted. Having seen this happen the Parliamentarians decide to advance with their right wing cavalry towards the now sparsely occupied Royalist left. This was however hampered by the terrain and lack of command!
The right wing Royalist cavalry got to grips with each other. The melees carried on for a few turns until finally Laurie managed to reinforce a melee with a second unit causing the utter defeat of the last Parliamentarian cavalry unit of their left. The centre was open as the only thing now stopping the cavalry swinging around to hit the centre was the routing Parliamentarian unit. Stephen tried desperately to rally them, hoping to plug the gap. Unfortunately the Royalist left wing were now in the centre field and engaging the foot who attempted to fire on the charging cavalry but did not have time for accurate fire and caused no damage to the incoming cavalry. The result was final.
Everybody said they enjoyed it and the rules for the most part seemed to play right.
In the meantime before the rules are uploaded here are some pictures of the game. All are from my collection and are mostly Redought with a few Front Rank and Foundry.
The Royalist opening positions
Parliamentarian left Wing. View of the impending large cavalry engagement from the Parliamentarians view point.
The clash of cavalry
The on going cavalry clash with Royalist reserves waiting to join the melee.
Parliamentarian initial positions
Parliamentarian centre advancing
Royalist left wing cavalry
Parliamentarian right wing
Royalist left wing start to head for the centre
Royalist cavalry nearly in the centre about to deploy to face parliamentarian infantry opposite
The cavalry stand off on Royalist right wing
Royalist right wing cav
Royalist right wing cav at start of game with Byron out in front
Royalist cav cross the ford
Parliamentarian right wing cav start to advance unfortunately too late to save the day.
Royalist cav now in the centre engage the parliamentarian foot.
Final nail in the Parliamentarian coffin. The Royalist cavalry in the centre break the Parliamentarian foot.