A Parliamentary army is holed up in a strong defensive position in a small town. They have stone walls, buildings and a swift, yet shallow river. They are out numbered by about two to one with the hope of reinforcements arriving on one of the flanks.
As with our last game one of our players was missing. This time it was Leith. As previously we started the game with the proviso that when Leith arrived he would march his troops onto the table in the nick of time to save the day.
So this time it was Tom and I with our brave Kings Men led by Prince Rupert who had this one chance to crush the Roundheads led by Essex (Neil). Chee-Yan Hiew (Chee) joined in to help Neil out on the Parliament right. King Charles was also in attendance in a non-command role and basically bringing the Devil's own luck to my command rolls.
We were pretty much packed into our deployment zone. Some idiot had placed several fields in our deployment zone making things very difficult (okay it was me). Both Tom & I deployed in the aggressive Swedish style with our musketeers forward.
A King's eye view of the battlefield.
The Roundhead Defence.
Let the Battle Commence
I managed a modest advance on the right flank but in my center I was hampered by the wheat fields. My horse, which started off the table failed to arrive. I guess they were still under the weather from the previous night's carousing. Tom failed to get off his start line on the left but, by using Rupert's command, he go his center to advance.
Turn two: I failed all of my command rolls. My horse still failed to arrive. Tom managed to advance but one regiment of horse rolled a Blunder and left the table (no doubt to plunder some baggage). His cannon managed some accurate shooting and did some nasty work on one of Chee's musketeer units.
I got moving again on my flank and my horse arrived ready to dash forward and rout the enemy (well that was my plan).
First blood of the day: The unfortunate musketeers below (center) and the accurate
gunners that dealt them a harsh lesson.
Cannon fire was being exchanged on both sides. My dragoons on foot managed to plough through the wheat field and get off some shots at the Roundheads' near the bridge in the center. My commanded shotte on the right made a mad dash to a hillock only to find Cromwell and his Ironside's waiting on the other side of the river. All would have been fine but the rest of the battallia stayed put and so they found themselves isolated way out in front of the rest of the army.
In the center Vaughn's regiment was still bogged down in the wheat fields partly due to poor command rolls. But I did get one regiment around and into musketry range thanks to a command role via Rupert. Tom was making a slow but steady advance with his guns continuing their deadly fire into Chee's ranks.
As I expected, Cromwell called to his cuirassiers, "Follow Me." But they didn't.
The King's influence on my command roles continued and the battallia on the right flank again, refused to move. As did my horse, those doughty chaps on whom I placed much faith. Drunk again, think I.
Again Cromwell called to his men and this time they followed!
Commanded Shotte: 3 dice, plus an extra dice for First Fire, hitting on 3's for close range... I rolled one hit and the Ironside's shrugged it off like an annoying blowfly. Amazingly, the commanded shotte stood their ground in the first round of combat and even managed to inflict some casualties. I even managed to get a full regiment in support for the second round.
Unfortunately the commanded shotte didn't survive the second round of combat.
Time to form a hedgehog, men!
Tom's steady advance continued on the left. He was further away from King Charles so my guess is that the influence of his Devil's Luck on Tom's command roles was less than the infernal influence on mine.
More Parliament horse crossed the river and I was forced to form two regiments into hedgehogs. The royalist musketry and cannon was beginning to tell and a few of Neil's unit's fled the field as our slow advance continued.
See these units? This is the result of a poorly worded order. "Advance", said I, and I rolled very low so they had to advance as far as possible, only to get bogged down in the river.
I attempted to charge the cuirassiers and only managed to trot slowly forward which failed to contact. Neil, in his turn managed to charge home. I counter charged and the cavalry battle was on!
William Waller, attempted to rally one of his musketeer units and failed miserably. He blundered and they had to charge the closest enemy unit. They jumped the wall and into the river but they were already in bad shape and they lost and routed.
Horse v's Horse
The cavalry battle that started with the cuirassiers charging ended up going on for a few turns. I lost the first round and the Ironside's followed up with a Sweeping Advance and sent my horse packing. They then managed to pull back.
I did get another regiment of horse up to deal with them using a Follow Me order, and they managed to push the Ironsides back in disorder. Unfortunately my horse couldn't follow up because they were forced to retire.
But Cromwell, that wily warty faced scoundrel, called another Follow Me and smashed my second regiment after following up with another Sweeping Advance. They didn't rout but they were shaken which was enough to break the battallia.
Tom's foot were now in a strong position and able to pour an overwhelming amount of musketry across the river.
The Parliament left was looking thin and despite the success of their horse the battallia was now broken.
We called the game at this point. Parliament would have been able to make a controlled withdrawal even though their left was broken. The river and a need for my troops to reorganize would help them and I had no horse capable to chasing them down. Their center and right were still in good order but flagging.
What happened to Sir Leith and his reinforcements?
We don't know. Just like our game two weeks previously, the reinforcements didn't arrive.
Using photoshop & one of the pics above I decided to design a cover for
a fictional 1970's set of rules that might have been had they ever be written: