English Civil War in Oxford 2017
Later Royalist vs 1644 Covenant/Parliament Alliance
Game 2 and a worthy opponent indeed - Keith McKeith of the Clan McKeith, fresh out of his Scottish lair and positively reeking of haggis and whisky. Or perhaps that was me after the Sainsburys Hog Roast sausage rolls I had as an early lunch ?
The lists for the Later Royalist and 1644 Covenant/Parliament Alliance from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Oxford can be seen here in the FoG:R Wiki.
The Scots/Parliamentarian alliance army is vast, padded out with many poor quality regiments of Scottish Foote but also in possession of some good quality Ironside-type Horsemen and steadfast English infantry too. Quality and Quantity - a good combination.
The Scotto-Parliamentarian alliance faced the flamboyant Royalists across a textbook almost bald table with only a wood on my right to obscure the pell-mell advance against the deeply conservative allies facing me. Yet again almost all of the Cavaliers were massed on one unsubtle flank, with 2 units also on a flank march, followed in the centre by the Royalist regiments of foote and then a lone Cavalier on the opposite flank to slow the enemy. The Scots/Parliamentarians had mirrored this deployment, but were hanging back due to their general hapless poorness.
Rule Changes: Average troops break on more than 50%, so the same as Superiors to all intents and purposes.
With the strains of fundamentalist non-papist rock music blaring out from the Scots generals walkman (hey, its Renaissance - an ipod would be far too modern) the enemy artillery opened up with deadly effect, skittling bases off one of the better-painted Totentanz miniatures infantry units in my line and causing them to achieve a cohesion state best described as "shattered", with the emphasis on the "shatt"...
Spying a rate opportunity to have their faces featured in a close-up photo the Totentanz infantry turned and fled after just 3 rounds of shooting.... A hole in the Royalist line early doors.
The two lines of Horse were eager to get at one another and they both advanced smartly across the verdant green battlefield, wondering how best to expand into single line as they closed. The flank march was yet to arrive, but when it did there would surely be a mighty reckoning for the forces of Militant Presbyterianism!
The two lines of horsemen clashed, the Jocks and Puritans throwing caution to the winds and leading the line with Generals whilst the 'oh dear there are only 3 of us on table right now' Royalist commanders hung back... leaving them well placed to try and rally the many cohesion markers they picked up almost immediately.
On the opposite edge of the world Cavalry were also clashing, as a weakened Parliamentarian unit led by a General took on a commander-free but otherwise intact Royalist Cavalier brigade in a photo which came out rather out of focus, which was luckily hidden by the expedient of turning it into an arty black and white shot....
Rule Changes: Dragoons move as MF when enemy are close. This encourages them to skulk in fields and hedgerows, not act as a surrogate LH skirmish screen.
As the era of full colour lithography dawned over C16 England, presumably boosted by the opportunity to potentially see the execution of a reigning monarch in full glorious technicolor in much the same was as the coronation of Elizabeth II was to boost sales of colour TVs some centuries later, both sides started the slow and painful process of chipping pieces off each other.
Two massive wings of cavalry swirled indecisively and the supporting Royalist foote moved up smartly too, spotting an opportunity for a 2-on-1 shooting assault on an isolated unit of Jock-tastic Pike and Shotte - and in short order the firelocks and muskets of the Kings Men were having a telling impact of the poor borderers...
Using the age-old military expedient of throwing thousands of bodies at a problem, the Royalists had now achieved a breakthrough in the Horse battle on the Royalist left! Charging forward the jubilant Cavaliers swept away not only the front line of the Parliamentarian Horse, by then immediately overran the already-battered Pike and Shotte unit who had been tasked with supporting their flank! Royalist Horse were now in the Parliamentarians rear echelons!
The Royalists, Minifigs figures who had not seen light of day in such numbers in many a year, were ecstatic at the opportunity for an excess of Cavalier-type behaviour of a type favoured by TV characters played by the late lamented Rick Mayall, and pursued into and over everything in their path with great glee!
With their flanks now cleared by the pursing Horse, the rest of the Royalist left wing (eh?) moved up confidently to put the isolated Scots infantry out of their misery and back in their box. Unimaginative Essex Miniatures figures with bendy pikes were to prove no match for a 2-1 combination of hefty and brutish Lancashire Games figures and somewhat hobbit-ish but still well animated Matchlock Miniatures infantry now sold by Caliver Books.
The Horse fight was starting to tip inexorably in favour of the King, as attrition chewed away at the Parliamentarians even as some of the Royalists morale started to falter - possibly driven by despair as the flank march had yet to arrive...
ECW in Modern London
Scotland was not yet famed for its engineering prowess, and as the Royalist infantry advanced confidently in the wake of the fleeing pike and shotte regiment they closed upon a pair of gunnes so small that they were unsure if they were simply crudely fashioned muskets which been dropped by the routers in their headlong panicked retreat.
Royalist officers tried in vain to call off the pursuit of the waves of Cavaliers, but they were so keen on the thought of plunder that these cries for sanity were all ignored. The forward momentum was maintained, at a time when sideways momentum toward the no-exposed right flank of the Scots army would have been much more constructive.
Seeing the risk of being rolled up should the Royalist nobility ever come to their military sense, the Scots left wing stepped smartly forward, seeking to bring the Royalist foote to battle before their own flanks collapsed.
The swiffling and swirling mounted melee was all but done as the last Parliamentarian Regiment of Horse fought gamely to try and secure a small win before it would be undone by returning Cavaliers, having given up their pursuit when all routers had been run down.
The Jocks and Presbyterians were no match for the minions and farmers on the side of the hereditary peerage - another Scots unit in this vast army saw its morale crumble as it turned and fled under assault from a classic "two units on one" fire and move combination. The wings of the Scottish army were fast becoming but mere nubs.
"Cold" is Gods Way of Telling Us to Burn More Catholics!
Concentration of firepower had worked well, but the opportunity for a swift flank charge could work even better.
With both sides teetering under volleys of musketry, the Parliamentarians were first to crack! And with that the game was over, another victory (well, technically the first of the weekend) for the forces of the King!
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition, or read on for the post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
Post Match Summary from the Later Royalist Commander
I see this as a great victory in freeing us from the red tape that a Scottish-led government would bring, with their tricky foreign ways and their close ties to France. But, fortunately the bravery and general floppy-hairedness of the Cavalier attack launched so bravely with neither myself nor any of my Generals at any time being committed to combat was again decisive here and the strategic brilliance that led me to put almost all of my Horse on the only flank with a vast open space on it has come good, at last
Taking sides with the Scots was always going to end badly for the Parliamentarians here, and so it proved - the attempt to eke goodness out of masses of poor troops was not in the end a viable strategy, but credit to them for trying it. I think it is much like those people who want to swim in the Thames, if they want to take their lives into their own hands, then they should be able to do so with all the freedom and exhilaration of our woad-painted ancestors, no matter what ill comes of it.
This victory propels me to the top of the heap, and unless someone stabs me in the back I am sure I will stay there. I always believe writing is an indispensable part of one's political armoury, and by writing this battle history I will be sure to make a fact of my presence on the winning side.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
This was a lucky victory again you Fustilarian Fop-doodle! How close you must have come to defeat in all of the images you left off, where your men were undone by the idiocy of not bringing with them any cannon, and so leaving the opposition to roll dice and remove bases from you at will for many turns with you and your men unable to reply in kind!
Despite what seemes in your own hand-penned report a crushing victory on both wings, you did struggle to wade through the excessively large Scot-Parliamentarian force in the admittedly short time allowed for this game - but the cowardly initial hanging back of the McKeith clan did make that rather tricky.
I fear that with 2 games of no flank march arriving that we are set for a fruitless weekend of playing the game with just three generals throughout, and you will fall for the logical fallacy of expecting them to turn up soonish as they havce rolled so many non-results before...
Only one more game to go now and then you will have your just desserts - onto the next game
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition