Sunday, 7 October 2018

ECW Campaign Game 4 Report

Game 4 of the English Civil War (ECW) campaign, the Battle for Bryburn, was looking like a guaranteed Parliamentarian victory. Campaigns do throw up these lopsided games and for the most part I quite enjoy playing them. I take the side of the defender once I have planned the attacking moves for the larger force.

There were no surprise results in this game, Parliamentarian forces won, but I have classified it as a marginal victory. Not that the type of victory matters in the first year (1642) of this campaign, but it will in subsequent years when the marching armies start to come into play. This first set of campaign games where regions fall under Royalist or Parliament control are aimed to help me ironing out the rules in a series of small scale battles.

So why is the Battle for Bryburn a marginal victory? An army is considered to have been defeated when more than 50 percent of its units are routed (lost units). Therefore, in this game situation of 14 units vs. 9 units, the larger force barring any blunders will gain a victory. A marginal victory is when a defeated army has lost as many, or less, units compared to the opposing force. In the case of this game, when the Royalist forces conceded defeat after having their 5 unit rout (lost) the Parliamentarian force had also lost 5 units.

The Battle or Bryburn

Here are photos of the game being played...

As Parliamentarian cavalry and dragoons attempt to cross the river (which is fordable). Royalist cavalry put in a charge. Any unit fording the river automatically takes one hit. This is to encourage units to use bridges and avoid getting their powder wet (along with being wet and miserable).
Dragoons harass Parliament infantry as the cross the Bryburn bridge.  
The cavalry attack has become stalled as Royalist cavalry give good account of themselves. Parliament's cavalry are also hemmed in by the field hedges, and some units are forces to ford the river.
Numbers eventually tell, and some Parliament cavalry swing around the flank. 
It takes time for the infantry to cross at the bridge to reinforce the attack.
Royalist infantry reserve move to protect their right flank.
Dragoons from the right flank which had retired early in the fight are able to move around to help support the other flank. The attacking Parliamentarian forces had taken considerable losses, but ammunition was running out for the defenders.
With no ammunition Royalist defenders make a last gasp charge which fails.
With the completion of this battle Parliament gains control of the South Coast region. (Note - In my previous post on the setup for this game, I had incorrectly called it the South East region, along with getting the game number wrong. Both are now corrected - thanks to observant readers.)


  1. I've just read the whole of this campaign so far in a single reading. A stirring narrative it is, and all. Great stuff!

    1. Thank you. In the next stage of the campaign, after initial control of the regions is determined, I hope some chance cards will add to the narrative.