Saturday, 3 December 2016

Croydon Bridge ~ A Fictitious ECW Battle

A few chaps and I got together for an almighty English Civil War bash today at Nunawading Wargames' Assoc at Croydon. We set up three tables (12' x 6' all up) and pretty much put all the troops we had on top of it. We initially set up a 8" x 6" battlefield but found it wasn't big enough.

And there was a bridge and we were in Cyordon. Hence the name.

And a what a mighty bash it was. On the Royalist side we had The bold Tom Brake, the daring John Waligora and Me being very gallant (as a Cavalier should). On the Parliament side were a bunch of traitorous ne'er do-wells who I shall name and shame: The nefarious Welshman, Neil Hughes, The bearded Covenanter, Jon Bunce and Sir Leith Golding (yet another Roundhead). Traitors all, say I!








Jon, Neil, John & Tom (Leith and I are at this end of the table)
What do you call a group of wargamers - Ii think an Argument of Wargamers sounds about right.


Anyway, the game saw the Parliamentarians and their Scottish allies led by Essex attacking the Royalists led by the King, himself  with Prince Rupert on the right flank facing off against Old Warty Face - Cromwell!

There was another Royalist player who was supposed to play, Robin Peat. We decided that if he turned up he would enter on the road at the bottom of the photo. I kept looking down the road but his reinforcements never turned up. How's that for a realistic reinforcement mechanism?

We didn't use any of the special rules for the commanders, instead we opted for Command Rating 8 for brigade commanders and 9 for the Army Commander.

The Battle

We Brave Cavaliers won the initiative and moved first. Well not on my flank we didn't because both of my brigades failed their first command rolls so they just sat there picking their toenails. I think Tom advanced a bit in the center but I have no idea at all what happened on the other end of the table. In fact I don't have much idea what happened on our right flank for the whole game.

On with the battle: The Roundheads moved and did little better than we.


My new King Charles figure. On the table for the first time.




And so it played out, we slowly crept towards each other. Although I did manage to make a fast advance to the road and set up a strong defensive line. I then waited until the enemy came into range of my guns and gave them a few turns of roundshot.



First blood of the game went to me when I shot up a regiment of Leith's horse. But he did manage to secure the wood (on the left in the photo below) with a small company of dragoons.



Jon's Covenanters. They started off well but had trouble getting off the hill to cause any real threat although they did invest one of the buildings.


Did I say invest? I meant to say infest. They got into the wainscoting and started chewing holes in it.




My dragoons finally get into wood and get themselves shot. but did I worry?

No, because I got to use one of my new Wound Markers (the guy holding the flag with a pip on it - 
see previous posts).


Meanwhile, Tom was contesting the town against Jon. There was a lot of shooting going on all over the table but I have no real idea of what was happening outside of my own area. It seemed to me that at the other end of the table Rupert and Cromwell were staring each other down.


On the far left I managed to stall Leith's brigade with some lucky shooting which resulted in causing Disordered results. But my dragoons were not so lucky. Leith's second, larger, company of dragoons entered the woods and my cunning plan to charge the small group was thwarted when my own men were charged and sent packing.


After slowing down Sir Leith Golding's advance with canon fire it was time to take the fight to him. I made a general advance with my center brigade (4 regiments). This brought us into musket range and I managed to get the jump on him. My musketry caused several casualties and, more importantly, disorders. Leith's shooting was less effective. He did cause a couple of casualties but no disorders so my advance was nice and steady.




Hang on. Here they go. The big cavalry regiments are starting to get into each others' faces.
This could end up being a very bloody affair.




 

 


WHAT!

Leith charged through his front formations with his second line and stopped right in front of my guys (he ran out of movement to charge home). Some of his troops became disordered but he still managed to get off a couple of short-range volleys. One of which disordered my central pike block.
The Bastard!

I wasn't expecting that.



But I was now able to charge home using initiative moves and because of the proximity of my formations my charges had plenty of support. I smashed the musketeers on his extreme flank and maneuvered into position to charge into his rear formations.

Another close-up of one of my flag wielding "wound token" standard bearers (the musketeers have 3 wounds = 3 pip flag). They certainly do look better than a bunch of dice littering the field.

There was a lot of fighting going on on our right and I believe that our horse faltered and one of the brigades was broken. Neil was certainly happy so I guess that was probably the case


But Essex isn't looking too happy.

Jon's Scot's were somewhat depleted in the center. They were still stuck on the hill due to a series of very crappy command rolls. 

The last push of pike. It was getting late so one final move to see if we could break the Roundhead line ended in stalemate.


The game was called a draw by all concerned. Our right was looking poorly. In the center Jon's Scots were looking worn out and Leith's foot were under pressure. On our left flank I was holding off the enemy but it was time to start pulling back over the bridge. Alas, our reinforcements never did arrive.

Aftermath:

What a great game. We decided to get our act together for next year and try for a large historical game. Marston Moor was touted several times however that may be a little ambitious. But who knows?

One thing is certain, we're all eager to play more Pike & Shotte ECW so that we can get a better handle on the rules. We know them pretty well but with more experience we can add more flavour with special rules and such things.


P.S. Some photos I stole from Neil. These give a nice picture of the size of the game and more of the action taking place on Cromwell/Rupert flank.













I need a better camera.