Sunday, 11 November 2018

ECW Campaign - Game 9 Battle Report

The battle of Birdlip Lane (1642) has a smaller Parliamentarian force take up a defensive position between Birdlip and some nearly woods. It was known that Royalists forces were in the vicinity and at mid-morning (around 10am) the Parliamentarian commanded from his vantage position on the hill could see Royalist forces deploy.

Parliamentarian commanders view point 
Opening positions at 10am (Note the Royalist infantry numbers should say 5 x Infantry)

Parliament forces while being slightly outnumbered held a strong position and was confident enough to move forward their cavalry and dragoons to counter the Royalists pushing forward their cavalry and positioning the dragoons on the hill. The resulting cavalry action was prolonged as cavalry reserves were fed in by both sides. The outcome had Parliamentarian cavalry holding their ground and seeing off Royalist cavalry quite comprehensively. Soon afterwards Parliament dragoons moved forward to occupy the hill.

In the centre and other flank, Royalists pushed forward their commanded shot and a portion of their centre. The Royalist commander could not push forward his full centre because of his cavalry retreating and leaving him to shore up his left flank with his centre reserve. Even without the full Royalist infantry centre attacking them, the Parliamentarian centre was soon under pressure as both centres became locked in a push of pike struggle. The arrival of a regrouped Parliamentarian cavalry unit was enough to tip the scales in Parliament's favour and the Royalist centre retreated.

By late afternoon it was a Parliamentarian victory!

Initial positions
Cavalry and dragoons engage. 
Royalist commanded shot move forward.
Parliamentarian cavalry rout Royalist cavalry and their dragoons secure the hill.
Royalist units attack the Parliamentarian centre
Part of the Royalist centre push forward and engage in musketry and eventually push of pike. 
Royalist centre reserve shore up the flank against roaming Parliamentarian cavalry and dragoons.
An under pressure Parliamentarian centre sees support coming from a regrouped cavalry unit.
The returned cavalry tip the scales in favour of Parliament and the Royalist army resolve fails and they are forced to retire.
Not an easy victory for Parliament, even after losing their cavalry the Royalist force was a potent infantry force. One which did come close to winning in the centre. During the game both commanders struggled at various times to order their units as they became dispersed and in some cases scattered.

Battle movements
This victory secures control of the West Midlands for Parliament and will support the cause on the East Midlands region.


  1. A tight engagement, with the cavalry deciding the day. There is a lot of nice nuanced action coming from these games, allowing for an enjoyable and believable narrative.

    My knowledge of the period is fairly thin and I have a bit of an interest in the effectiveness of artillery at the moment, as I am looking at wars of Roses stuff, so I would like to do some delving into ACW artillery simply from the development of that as an arm. I have a couple of rulesets, which may give a good starting point.

    1. It was a most enjoyable game to play. My ECW reading about artillery (mainly Osprey books) shows it was not a battle decider, more of an annoyance which could provoke an opponent into attacking.

  2. Good looking game, Peter! I figured the Royalists might take this engagement but I was wrong. Did the Royalists lose a regiment of foot between the previous post and this one? The earlier OB showed Royalists with an advantage of two foot units while this post shows a Royalist advantage of only one unit of foot.

    1. I wrote 4 instead of 5 Royalist Infantry on the map. There were 5 in the game plus the elite pike. I made a small note on the photo comments when drafting the post, but should have made it bigger/bold before hitting publish. Good pick up!

    2. My fault. I should do a better job reading the captions.

  3. A nice engagement, with the Royalist cavalry again failing to "live up to their reputation"!

    1. Yes, in the last two games they have made a poor showing.