Sunday, 6 November 2016

Build it, and they shall come!

Once upon a time, a group of gamers would regularly gather to play games set in the ECW.  There were big battles, little battles, battles in weird shapes and campaigns.  And then, for a long time, there was nothing.  I arranged a few dates, set up tables and so on, but after several occasions where the only figures on the table were my own I gave up...

Occasionally I'd be asked when I'd do another, but work would get in the way, and nobody could pick a date when anyone was free. Rick offered to pick up the baton and run with it for a bit, and managed to get some folk to agree to a gaming day in about 32 years time.

Feeling that perhaps this was a little long to wait I decided to lay down a challenge- I would turn up with my forces on a set date, (this saturday) and play against anyone who turned up.  So on saturday morning I boxed up my army, and scenery and set off down to the old sports hall at Broughton. I set up the table in that huge lonely building and put out some scenery. And waited. The deadline Id set was 9am, but I was still on my own at quarter past. After a while wondering around the empty rooms I found myself looking down on the near deserted car park...and there was Ian, sat in his car reading Pike and Shotte!  By ten oclock, there were 6 of us!  Ok so its hardly woodstock, but I was very pleased with such a turnout!

We split into two teams- Myself, Ian Shaw and Dennis, against, Ian H, Michael and Chris. No fancy special rules or deployments were used. It was just a line up and whack 'em affair!

I'm not sure of how the game unfolded along the rest of our line, but I took the Parliamentarian Right wing, facing off against Ian H. I had a good array of potential defensive positions to choose from and a clear run for my Horse on the very right, however I was in the mood to be aggressive- my troops hadn't had a fight for a long time and I was keen to let them get stuck in! My Brigade of Foot (4 regts plus fireloques and guns, commanded by Essex, held the grounds around a small village and a hall, but merely sued this as a launch pad for the assault of another village up the road lightly held by Ian's Royalists. Two regiments of Foot assaulted the village directly, the other two covered the open ground to the right and engaged a similarly sized force of Ian's. My brigade of Horse( 3 regts commanded by Fairfax) Galloped up the flank enthusiastically but came up against large amounts of pike, which resulted in a bit of a stand off, with some sporadic skirmishing. This saw us lose a regt of Horse each, and my dragoons eventually arrived to push Ian's out of the woods which helped a little but the Horse didn't make much headway.  In the village the opposing units wore each other down a lot trying to outflank each other and by the end both lots were spent, and staring each other down across the surrounding hedges! It was in the middle where the most decisive fighting took place, with two regts of foot breaking into Ian's centre and driving back and destroying several units.  When we declared time up, we determined that despite my losses both my brigades were just about intact, but one of Ian's was broken. Similar results came in from the Centre and Left wing where IanS and Dennis both managed to do more damage to their opponents then they took, and a narrow Parliamentarian Victory was declared!

Initial dispositions-Royalists to the Right, Parliamentarians to the left.

View from the Parliamentarian left wing commanded by Dennis,

Michael at least, is pleased to be there!

The right wing, my regiments of foote deployed.

Parliamentarians take up positions covering the approaches to the hall.

Fairfax's Horse out on the flank.

The Royalist left wing.

Cromwell, the overall General, waves my regiments forward.

Dennis's Foot faces Chris's Horse at the other end of the field.

The first melees on the the Right Wing.

Royalist infantry counter attacks!

Parliamentarian troops overrun the first line of Royalists!

Fairfax's horse presses the attack , trying to find the weak point in the Royalist line.

At the opposite end of the field Royalist horse are driven back in disarray!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it!

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