The Great Rebellion - 1642–1651 in Oxford 2014
Scots Royalist vs Scots Covenanters
The Southern League - a series ay increasingly popular 1-day events featuring tight theming, 3 games in a day, and pre-set terrain. Made a welcome change frae salt and pepper shakers in the shape ay a married Arab couple eh?
The lists for the Scots Royalist and Scots Covenanters frae this game, as well as all the other lists frae the games at Oxford can be seen here in the FoG:R Wiki.
Having missed the Eastern takeaway round ay the Southern League, and the BHGS Challenge as well this was my first solo outing ay the year before Roll Call in June - a rather hurried army choice in a very restricted period was the result.
The event was themed tae only allow the following lists: Early Caroline English, Scots Covenanter, Scots Royalist, Confederate Irish, Early ECW Royalist, ECW Parliamentarian, Later ECW Royalist, New Model Army, and I had picked the Scots Royalists, partly as it had more options and toys than the rest, but mostly because I had a list already written, and had used a similar army (although at fewer points) in the last club FoGR competition, and most importantly, I had some recently painted Peter Pig figures tae use in competition for the very first time!
And immediately the event started, looking down the battle line you could see that the Royalist Scots infantry had faces like torn scones as they realised that their first opponent was nae only a dastardy puritanical Covenanter army, it was also commanded by the Hoofmeister himself, Mr Alasdair McHarley ay the Clan McHoofmeisterismness. Yoiks!
The terrain was really jolly good for the Royalists, with plenty ay impassable and difficult areas closing down the table and denying the massed horsemen ay the Covenanters a decent chance at a flank. The Royalists further aided this fact by deploying fairly deep and tight, anchoring their right flank on a village at their own baseline which was inhabited by some Highlanders. Pike and Shot covered the rest ay the open spaces ay the table
What's Going on Here Then?
The Covenanters have got too many units tae fit on table, but with the cold of the grim north whilstling below their kilts and shrinking the size of their tatties they lack the courage tae send some off on a flank march where they might be useful. The Royalists have filled every gap with pike and shotte infantry, and have refused the right flank - which is where the Coveanters have deployed most of their horse, in some vain idea that the Royalists might deploy in front of a town with an exposed flank and over-extended line.
Dinna haiver man! As the game started, a second wee unit ay Highlanders disproved the theory that "there can be only One" by moving up tae the woodland in the middle ay the table, creating a nice impregnable pivot for the rest ay the army. Royalist Pike and Shot moved carefully forwards on the right tae block the gap between terrain as the enemy horse galloped forwards in a way which belied their belief that only Jesus Christ could be spiritual head ay a Christian church in Scotland
The Scots Royalists, reviewed onYouTube
Och Aye the Noo! In the centre a very solid looking line ay naethin'Strathbogie and wee Irish Pike and shot inched forwards, deciding that the enemy waur coming towards then anyway so there was little tae be gained by starting in a checkerboard formation tae gain perhaps one additional move - instead maintaining a solid line was far more important in a game which whilst it was important tae win, was much more important nae tae lose against a foe who believed that the book ay common prayer should nae have bin introduced tae Scotland at all. The wee Covenanter horse sneered at the advancing pedestrians frae a safe distance
The one gap on the right had bin well and truly shut by Royalist Pike and Shot, and even probing Covenanter dragoons waur getting less than no joy frae the careful shooting ay the canny highlanders frae the windows and doorways ay the houses in the village - DISR markers started tae sprout on the Covenanter units as the advanced
Scots Royalist Drum Signals, onYouTube
Hoots Mon! The Covenanters waur nae enjoying advancing into a hail ay fire, and soon decided tae withdraw some already battered units (having lost bases) and try and stuff a lot ay Pistol armed horse down the extreme flank, potentially looking tae make a bold but well telegraphed move into the village tae slowly outflank the highlanders hiding there.
What's Going on Here Then?
The Covenanters are frankly milling about rather aimlessly, as the combination ay the close terrain and the careful coherent advance ay the Royalist Pike and Shot has left them few if any obvious targets. The Royalists are methodically going about their business, executing a careful advance which leaves little opportunity for the Covenanters tae exploit any wee gaps in their line. Back in the real world I am also realising that I should have aggregated the two armies into several bigger blocks in order to allow readers to make any sense whatsoever of this diagram. Och well...
With the Covenanter horse in the middle also drifting away tae seek juicer targets, the Royalists took the opportunity tae pick up the pace ay their advance, pushing some units (including the Superior Strathbogie) forwards ahead ay the line tae put more pressure on the Covenanters. If the Puritanical Scots returned, there was still time tae reform the Royalist line
Having bin almost overrun by advancing infantry (who many thought had already walked 500 miles), one unit ay Covenanter horse found itself isolated and unable tae escape - so it charged home instead, picking on the sole Royalist Pistol-armed Horse unit which had bin presented as a tempting target tae draw in the Covenanters.
What's Going on Here Then?
The Covenanters have found that table is running out as the solid line of Royalists advance. Average units are nowhere near as good at executing "turn and move" extractions from the front line as Superior ones, which the Covenanter general is now discovering - and some of his horse are inevitably trapped and have tae stand and fight. There are no flanks appearing anywhere as the Royalists maintain discipline in their advance.
On the left the Royalist advance has started tae reach areas ay the table in which the terrain is petering out, and this is seeing some gaps appear in their lines as they look tae move up second line units tae extend their frontage- but the gaps look tae be short-lived as the density ay Royalist foote is still high. The Covenanters redeploy units over tae the right ay the table which leaves this area somewhat threadbare ...Och well..
On the right, the Covenanters have gotten almost nowhaur in trying tae force open the flank and the increasingly confident Royalists are starting tae push cautiously forwards. Their continual drip-feed ay shooting is weakening the Covenanters, as the 4-strong Average horse units cannae' take many more casualties without breaking and fleeing homeward tae the glens and the isles..
The cavalry melee has bin going well for the Royalists - standing firm at impact, then DISR'ing the Covenanters and killing a base in melee... but then, with victory seemingly in their grasp another round ay combat sees 4 dice @ evens + 1 dice @ 3's beaten 2:0 by 2 dice @ 5's... and the Royalist general is pulled frae his Horse and despatched by the Covenanters!
Well knock me over with a deep fried Mars bar! The impact is immediate - the rear supporting unit drops a level ay cohesion as panic ripples through the Royalist ranks, shaking everyone frae here tae Fort William !
The Civil War Explained, onYouTube
The inevitable soon followed, and the Covenanters waur now ripping through the rear echelons ay the Royalist forces, who waur taking every possible opportunity tae drop cohesion levels as the routing Royalist cavalry sowed panic and despair in their wake as they fled South back tae England..
The Poor (literally and figuratively) wee infantry that waur supposed tae be supporting the Royalist front line simply broke and fled, having failed all three ay the cohesion tests they had bin required tae take in quick succession. There was now almost nothing between the Covenanters, and the Royalist baggage apart frae a sense ay overweening moral certainty that they would find ungodly fripperies and all manner ay unspeakable "luxuries" there ay course.
What's Going on Here Then?
The Covenanters have punched a hole in the Royalist line, but with a 3-base Average DISR horse unit, their ability tae do much more than threaten the baggage is actually quite limited, and across the field of conflict the rest of their army is starting tae suffer some meaningful attrition. The Royalists are starting tae thin out, but with much of the Covenanter horse committed tae what looks tae be a fruitless flank attack by the village they actually have too few units tae explot the gaps that are starting tae appear.
Och Aye the Noo! On the right the Highlanders had just passed their first ever Complex Move Test, and had used it tae reposition themselves tae respond tae the infiltrating Covenanter dragoons who waur rifling through the draws ay the ladies ay the village even as battle raged on around them...the Covenanter attack on this flank was starting tae threaten tae gain some momentum, but tae be fair it still very much rested on the ability ay Average pistol-shooting horse tae outshoot a 6-pack ay supported Infantry with a General. So nae all that much momentum was tae be had...
And Average Horse waur nothing if nae extremely vulnerable - one unit was simply shot away in a couple ay rounds ay firing and removed frae the table, rocking the Covenanters back on their heels somewhat, and providing succour tae the Royalists, who waur starting tae wonder if this flank too could swing frae a holding effort into somewhere that real AP losses could be inflicted on the Covenanters..
The inexorable advance ay the Royalist foote was starting tae expose some gaps, but the Covenanters had suffered a steady drip drip drip ay lost units tae harassing infantry fire, and as the table opened up they found themselves with almost nothing tae exploit the opportunity with. The Royalists waur now starting tae manoeuvre more effectively, and as the Covenanter horse sought tae slip past them, more often than nae they waur able tae wheel and pin the Puritans with a very proper use ay the rules..
Scottish Linguistics, with Robin Williams
The Royalists waur even able tae give chase tae the wee Covenanter cavalry making a bee-line for the baggage, shooting them being rather easier when the target is already down tae three bases. The Cavalry isna steady nae more, and drops tae FRAGGED, finding their advance towards the baggage checked!
Checked turned soon into check-mated, as the second and last base was shot away by the advancing (or, technically, retreating) Irish formation, leaving a Covenanter general somewhat marooned in open space with no units tae command
The Covenanters waur by now thin on the ground, and whilst they disnae wanna overstretch themselves, there is merit in seeking tae draw the Covenanters into risky battles and with this in mind the Royalists started tae advance in a vaguely incautious fashion - here the Royalist CinC leads some Highlanders out into the open tae engage Covenanter horse
What's Going on Here Then?
The Covenanters have run out of steam, achieving naught on the right, and scattered tae the 4 winds elsewhere as their fruitless atacks against a coherent and disciplined force have achieved nothing. The Royalists are almost in mopping up mode, and only the huge size of the Covenanter army and the relatively short game time will save them from total defeat.
The Covenanters are a shattered force, slipping towards defeat and unable tae stain up tae concentrated shootin' across the whole frontage ay the battle line when the time is finally called.
The Result is an impressive 14-6 victory for the King!
Click here for the report ay the next game in this competition, or read on for the post match summaries frae the Generals involved, as well as another episode ay legendary expert analysis frae Hannibal
Post Match Summary frae the Scots Royalist Commander
It was a cautioos, weel timed advance an' despite th' mony temptations Ah managed tae keep th' varioos arms ay mah force aw in a body coherent battle plan, pushin' forwards wi' stoatin caur an' nae loss ay concentration. th' rewards cam frae 'at dedication tae application.
In th' next gam ah hiner mah brae heelain wee jimmies can be lit aff th' leash an' lat at wi' th' ferocity which they ur famed fur. it will be a lot mair fin tae hae some hills tae charge doon tay!
(In 2003, "Wee Jimmy Krankie" was voted "The Most Scottish Person In The World" by the readers ay The Glasgow Herald)
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Up yer erse wi' it is what I say, tae a game which you really should have wrapped up and put tae bed long before time was called. For once you are guilty of exercising far too much caution, and this time this may prove tae be your undoing.
The first thing is always tae make sure you do not lose, and against a dominant player such as this you were indeed right tae work that out - but you knew this game was coming from when the draw was made the night before, so why did it take you half of the game tae work out how the terrain rules worked for medium foote aganst mounted? Knowing this you perhaps could have pushed forwards more and taken more chances..
You are as they say in these parts, a glaikit hoore as well for not spotting very quickly that the enemy army was an overconfident farrago of a sensible force, and once it was deployed it was immediately clear that the owner had no idea what tae do with it, especially on a table as cluttered as this one.
Your opponent knew he could not win the game from the off, and knew he was going tae lose it fairly soon after that. Your problem, you great dickheed, as that you did not realise that this was a game you could win until the sands of time were almost run dry. maybe you will have realised by the end of the next game ?
Click here for the report ay the next game in this competition
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