Today I hosted an English Civil War game with Jon of Palouse Wargaming Journal. Jon commanded the Royalist forces against my Parliamentary army.
|Early stage of the battle
The briefing and background provided to Jon prior to the game…
A most grievous matter has come to light, requiring your immediate attention. The accursed
Roundheads, those spawn of Lucifer himself, are upon the march, their eyes set upon the fair
market town of Wittingby. They threaten to engulf it in their unholy rebellion, and we cannot stand
Therefore, I command you, gather your men with all haste. Let every loyal heart and stout arm be
at your side. Muster your pikemen, those bulwarks of our cause, and summon your musketeers,
whose thunderous volleys shall make the very heavens tremble. March, Sir Jon, march with the
wind at your back and righteous fury in your hearts!
Wittingby stands on the precipice, its fate hanging by a thread. Let it not fall! Drive back the
Roundheads, send them scurrying like rats before your unwavering advance! Defend the town,
defend the crown, defend the very soul of England! Go forth, Sir Jon, and bathe yourself in the
glory of victory!
A 6' x 4' tabletop was used for the game. Royalist troops muster in the red zone, while Parliamentarian soldiers gather in their blue zone. The outskirts of Willingby, depicted by the built-up area, are off-limits to both sides. Additionally, neither army can traverse the impassible marshland by the hill nor the wooded areas.
Determining the Order of Battle
The order of battle is determined separately by each player prior to the game using the following lists:
First, roll a D6 for Foot and Horse units:
- On a score of 1-2 select 4 Foot units and 2 Horse units
- On a score of 3-4 select 3 Foot units and 3 Horse units
- On a score of 5-6 select 2 Foot units and 4 Horse units
Second, roll a D6 for Dragoon and Artillery units:
- On a score of 1-2 select 3 Dragoon units
- On a score of 3-4 select 2 Dragoon units and 1 Artillery unit
- On a score of 5-6 select 1 Dragoon unit and 2 Artillery units
Once the order of battle is known, players sketch out their deployment in their deployment areas with the following constraints:
- Dragoon and Artillery can be place 18 inches from the tabletop edge.
- Foot and Horse units can be placed 12 inches from the tabletop edge.
- Reserve units, if any, are placed within 6 inched from the tabletop edge.
The deployments are revealed at the start of the game.
Order of Battle
- 3 x Foot units
- 3 x Horse units
- 2 x Artillery
- 1 x Dragoon units
- 3 x Foot units
- 3 x Horse units
- 1 x Artillery
- 2 x Dragoon units
A roar of cannon fire started the battle for Willingby. The Royalist guns, finding their mark, inflicted heavy casualties on a Royalist infantry, forcing them to retreat in disorder. Meanwhile, on the hill, Dragoons from both sides clashed, neither side gaining the upper hand before the Dragoons of both armies retired.
|Artillery exchange shots in the opening stages of the battle.
On the Parliamentary left flank, their cavalry launched a headlong charge against the Royalist guns, eager to silence their deadly fire. However, their move was met with a swift countercharge by the nearby Royalist cavalry, resulting in a fierce clash that left both sides reeling. Meanwhile, in the centre of the battlefield, the main bodies of both armies began their inexorable advance, steadily closing the gap between them.
|The cavalry clash.
|The army centres begin to close
The Royalist cavalry, thrilled by their victory, pursued their routed Parliamentarian counterparts off the battlefield. With the flank beside Willingby now wide open, the Royalist commanders swiftly shifted their reserve cavalry across the battlefield to exploit this critical advantage. Meanwhile, in the centre both sides had exhausted their ammunition and resorted to a brutal push of pike, their lines locked in a desperate struggle for control. On the other flank, the Parliamentarian cavalry saw an opportunity and launched a desperate charge, attempting to break through the Royalist line and turn the tide of battle.
|Parliamentarian cavalry are routed with Royalists pursuing.
|Having exhausted their ammunition the lines begin to close for a push of pike.
Despite the valiant efforts of their cavalry on the right flank, the Parliamentarians failed to breach the Royalist line. Their hopes were dashed by the timely arrival of the Royalist reserve cavalry, who charged the upon the Parliamentarian centre, causing their ranks to waver and crumble. Recognising the inevitable, the remaining Parliamentarian units, their spirit broken, withdrew from the field in haste, leaving the battlefield to the triumphant Royalists.
|The Royalist cavalry reserve arrive to attack the Parliamentarian centre.
|The Parliamentarian line is under pressure.
|The Royalists are victorious.
A most enjoyable game and well played by Jon whose cavalry reserve delivered the final blow to sweep the Parliamentarian lines away.