English Civil War in Oxford 2015
Parliamentarian vs Scots Royalists
Game 2, and yet another table with one flank closed off - this time a river down my left prevented any though of flank marching there, as did the big blob of impassable that was protecting the other flank of my opponent - Ben. There would be no flank march here today….
The lists for the Parliamentarian and Scots Royalists from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Oxford can be seen here in the FoG:R Wiki.
Ben's typical tactic is to line up a solid wall of base-to-base shooting infantry, ideally with regimental guns, do a bit of additional sniping with dragoons and sit and wait for the enemy to attack, and with this terrain setup he would be able to do so with both flanks entirely protected. My no-on-table flank marching units added to my superiority in horse, but there was nowhere for them to go so the Superior armoured Determined horse looked set for a bit of "trying to get lucky" frontal charging - not the most inspirational of strategies, but one that sometimes did have the advantage of actually working!
Seeking to at least have a vague thought about putting pressure on one flank, the Parliamentarians aimed the artillery and tentatively advanced some horse over on the right, but the sound of an English civil war era door shutting was echoing across the battlefield even before my men had really gotten out of their starting positions as the enemy moved up infantry into the broken ground.
Both batteries of artillery were concentrating their fire - but to almost no effect as the Royalists shrugged off the incoming cannonballs. The Parliamentarian Horse had already given up any thought of going through the uneven ground, and were racing back and forth in front of the enemy lines, using their manoeuvrability to try and at least unsettle the Scots and hamper their efforts to form a solid line of infantry and wait for my assault
On the left the Parliamentarians had set up possibly the most obvious trap ever seen on a battlefield - the only thing that prevented it being described as "well telegraphed" was the mere inconvenience that the telegraph would not be invented for another 200 or so years…
The Scots clearly smelled something fishy and refused to take the bait (see what I did there?), and instead just did what Ben's armies always do - formed a solid line and waited for the attack. The Parliamentarians had time to tee up their horse and foote units, hoping for a DISR result on the Royalists somewhere along the line for the Ironsides to take advantage of… but it seemed to be slow in arriving ..
What's going on here then?
The enemy are inching forwards in a solid line, and so far my artillery hasn't achieved enough to generate an opportunity on the right. On the left I've got bored and with no fun in the flank-march department to be had, I'm getting ready to trust the dice
The Royalists had their own trap well teed up on their left, and the Parliamentarians also steadfastly refused to walk into it….this side of the table saw the Parliamentarians greatly outnumbered by the Royalist foote, with the Parliamentarian Average horse practically useless…. They milled about, but really had nothing clever to do unless the artillery succeeded in knocking a big hole in an enemy unit of two - which they continued to fail to do.
The Ironsides finally got bored and launched a charge on the Scots at the end of the enemy line
The old "lose a base initially" thing didn't go too well for either side, but the Scots had more to lose - and the pike base they lost was the only one where my more heavily armoured troopers were at a small advantage. This looked like a break-off waiting to happen..
FoGR hint - The Ironsides are Heavily Armoured, so get a +POA against the enemy pike bases to bring them up to "evens" in melee. Their armour doesn't count against Shotte bases, so they are a POA down against these 4 bases. If the Pike and shotte lose cohesion, the Ironsides will also get their Pistol +POA factor across the line
Elsewhere the two lines inched towards each other, and my men crossed everything they owned hoping to at least DISR one enemy unit before they charged home..
The Ironsides broke off much as expected, but now down to 2 bases they were barely useful. The edge of the Scottish line was however suffering badly form lost bases - but the main block of enemy troops steadfastly refused to concede any casualties to the Parliamentarian fire, whilst dishing out some serious base-removal themselves. Winning on the left looked possible, but doing so before erosion accounted for the Parliamentarian centre might be more challenging…
What's going on here then?
Both sides are somewhat thinned out before the big clash - probably the edge lies with the more pedestrian Royalists, but everyone is now committed to a decisive combat
Suddenly, everyone was committed in an almost-medieval flurry of banners and heavy metal. This might be it!
Dice (Dices? Die?) littered the table - the two central Royalist units had both lost big - but 3 of my 5 units had also been defeated. A lot would depend on the cohesion test results, the death rolls and the next round of melee…
And all three of them were won comprehensively by the Royalists! 2 of my units lost bases, 2 lost cohesion… and the Royalists only lost one base. The resulting round of melee was a shocking disaster for the Parliamentarians too, with every single unit losing, 4 out of the 5 losing big! Ouch!!!
Large parts of the Parliamentarian army simply ceased to exist, and the rest found themselves carrying markers that signified very bad things indeed - the breakthrough on the left against the unit that was down to 4 bases had failed to materialise, and the Scots swords were now giving them even more inspiration against the DISR Pistols and Pike and Shotte remaining on the Parliamentarian side
Finally, they cracked.. taking with them the adjacent unit as well - the Parliamentarians Superior foote unit was now free and pursuing routing enemy towards the Royalist baggage!
With their centre gone the Royalists started to crumble - with the initial Ironside unit now eliminated the reserve infantry had been able to wade into the Scots on the flank and that too was now looking much better for the forces of puritan democracy and not so good for kilt-wearing pseudo Catholics!
What's going on here then?
Both armies have achieved something of a breakthrough on the left side of the table - but with depleted infantry units and the odd smattering of second line troops it is going to be tough for anyone to take advantage of the opportunities that are placed before them
Somewhat surreally, very little was still happening on the right, but both sides would be much better at parade ground drills by the end of the afternoon ..
The Royalist right flank was now in full rout, and the reserve line of horse were clattered by the Parliamentarians - every Scotsman in sight was being chased back to Glasgow by Parliamentarian forces!
The only black spot was the centre of the table, were the second Ironsides unit struggled to stay alive as its colleagues pursued the right flank of the Scots
Back on the left, the artillery finally got the 2nd base of the day, and all of a sudden it looked like something might be worth trying - the middle of the Royalist line was now somewhat brittle, and with their own somewhat brittle Average Horse unit to apply against it the Parliamentarians teed up a charge whilst 2 units of foot distracted the opposing infantry. Would this strike a dagger through the heart of the Scots left?
As the horse teed themselves up, the wings of the blitzkrieg got dragged into combat
The fighting was fierce, as the Scots fed in more wild highlanders - who may well actually have been Irish, as it appeared that their basing scheme included form some reason a very generous scattering of potatoes on a plain green field.
Oh, on the left that unit finally broke and fled…. No surprise there.
The Result is an 8-12 loss as my smaller army loses a little
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 Parliamentarian Commander
What a silly table - how often do you find a board with a river? This time I have found two, when my whole plan depends on their absence. At least it meant that there was a decent chance for a straight honest fight although less opportunity to demonstrate my brilliance too
My men sort of let me down here I feel, as we came out second best in a series of pretty even combats along a long line - if we had been more averagely fortunate in one turn we could surely have managed a draw that would have been a more than fair reward for the enemy and still dissappointing for me.
I must admit too to being surprised by the actions of the enemy. At least some of the troops did not just stand in a line and shoot, and there were no 2-string units of dragoons, and no regimental guns either.
Perhaps the shock of this innovation kept me off balance, and denied me the win I surely deserved for my positivity in the face of such unpleasant terrain?
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Ye and your men are nowt but sordid prostitutes who have defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves by your immoral principles and wicked practices!
Could you not decide here to point your mighty gunnes at a point in the enemy army where you also had some of your troops - the Ironsides - who could perhaps take advantage of the carnage that the gunnes might create? Instead you wasted them on a narrow flank which had no opportunities even if they had smashed whole units to pieces!
The folly of adding to this by just attacking piecemeal - yeah, I mean that first Ironsides charge - means that ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.
Your tactics here demand that you are sent out alone into the cold, and cold, as we all know is God's way of telling us to burn more Catholics - lets see if you can take on a more godless horde in the next game
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition