Saturday, 3 November 2018

ECW Campaign Game 8 - Part 2

As dawn appeared on Day 2 of the Battle of Ottery St. Mary, Royalist and Parliamentary forces faced each other again across the battlefield. Both sides had spent the night trying to reform their lost units. Parliament had been able to reform their cavalry units and Royalists their dragoons and commanded shot. From a rules perspective this had meant both sides were allowed to restore one of the following groups of units to their original game strength:

  • Cavalry
  • Infantry
  • Dragoons/Commanded Shot
  • Artillery/Elite

Order of Battle:

Royalist forces (11 units)
2 x Cavalry (down 2 units from the previous day)
4 x Infantry
2 x Dragoons
1 x Commanded Shot
1 x Artillery
1 x Elite Pike

Parliamentarian forces (8 units)
3 x Cavalry
3 x Infantry (down 1 unit from the previous day)
1 x Dragoons
1 x Artillery

The army resolve remained as at the end of the previous day. Royalist army resolve was 4 and Parliament 3. The resolve is added to with each unit lost and when it exceeds the number of remaining units the army retires.

Under the cover of darkness Parliamentarian dragoons had crossed the river and taken up position on the Royalist left flank.

Opening positions day 2
And on to battle. Again!

Royalist forces positioned ready for the start of day 2. Their line is shortened with the remaining cavalry held in reserve. The Parish of St. Mary is used to protect their left flank.
Royalist centre and right flank units advance towards the river (which is fordable)
Parliamentarian dragoons harass on the Royalist right flank
Parliamentarian cavalry (Trotters) engage the Royalist centre with pistols which lead to the elimination of a unit and opening up the Royalist centre.
Dragoons supported by infantry attack the defended ford
Royalist cavalry charge forward to plug a gap in the centre
Parliamentarian cavalry reserve help holdback the Royalist cavalry, but elsewhere Parliamentarian units rout and army resolve exceeds the remaining unit numbers.
A Royalist victory as their dragoons supported by infantry were able to rout the Parliamentarian left flank. The choice to restore their dragoon strength overnight worked in their favour. However, the smaller Parliamentarian force had given them a run for their money, and their cavalry had for the first time in the campaign had bested their counterparts.

Movements on day 2
When I first set up this game I was expecting and easy Royalist victory. The introduction of a game clock and game start time has certainly been beneficial to the game's interest. In this case it created a short sharp engagement, followed by a battle with reduced units and adjusted tabletop deployment.


  1. Not having too many units on the table (something you hit on ages ago)and tighter game times seem to be two gaming themes that have been helping your games.

    1. When planning the campaigns I find I put in more thought on the numbers of units which may turn up on the tabletop. While not playing on a grid for the ECW games, using a grid in other periods has highlighted to me the need to be mindful on unit numbers, as grids spread out the forces (as they have to accommodate terrain and unit). Then movement can quickly become restricted.

  2. Excellent stuff, Peter! The Royalists are on a roll.

    1. Yes, their recruitment was strong in the South West region and it paid off in this battle.

  3. So they got there in the end but managed to give you 2 games instead of one. Bonus! So I presume the Royalists claim the region which will put them ahead campaign-wise as they head into their turn?

    1. Yes, the Royalists will claim the region and get to choose the next region to contest. So far both sides have avoided contesting the Midlands, but after this victory the Royalists buoyed with success may make a move.

    2. Looks to me like a good time to rouse Cornwall for the King.

  4. A victory for the King, but perhaps less decisive than he may have hoped for?

    1. After such successful recruiting for the Royalist cause they did seem to just fall over the line to victory.