Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The Battle of Midsomer Wellow

I set up and played another game in my Midsomer ECW campaign last night. The background, setup and basic campaign rules can be found HERE. The previous battles are here:

Midsomer Barrow - In which the two sides met for the first time, and Causton declared for the winner.
Ford Florey - In which both sides battled for control of some strategic river crossings.
Morton Fendlow - In which a Parliamentarian raiding force was ambushed by Royalists.

This game was the first in a new phase of the campaign, which now sees the Royalists preparing to advance and take Causton for the King. Rather than use my modified Neil Thomas rules, I decided to use it as an excuse to test out my Portable Wargame variant. Few changes were required to the campaign system described above; I had to change the way horse were classified to take into account Trotters and Gallopers, and I had to drop the pike/shot ratios for foot because the Portable Wargame is not granular enough to allow for that kind of distinction. I rolled the following forces:

3 x Poor Pike & Shot
1 x Average Dragoons
1 x Average Trotters
1 x Elite Trotters

1 x Elite Pike & Shot
2 x Average Pike & Shot
1 x Poor Pike & Shot
1 x Poor Dragoons
1 x Poor Trotters

The scenario, from One Hour Wargames, was Flank Attack (1).

Because of the precise nature of the One Hour Wargames scenario objectives, I didn't use the Exhaustion Point rule for this scenario. In addition I randomly added some areas of woods and enclosures to the otherwise open battlefield.

Now fully supplied, Lord Standing was ready to lead his Royalists in an attack on the town of Causton. Expecting a siege, Sir Thomas Barnaby began to pull back all of his troops in the county towards the town. The main part of his force was marching along the road from Midsomer Wellow when it encountered what appeared to be a small force of Royalists ahead of them. It soon became obvious that it was, in fact, part of the main Royalist force, who descended rapidly on the Parliamentarians. Sir Thomas quickly prepared his troops to smash through the Royalists and and reach the safety of Causton.

Here's the setup - Sir Thomas's troops were marching along a road, whilst ahead of them were two units of Royalist foot. The remaining Royalist units were heading towards the right flank of the Parliamentarian column. Parliament had to exit three units off the road in order to win.

The Royalist flanking force consisted mostly of dragoons and horse.

Sir Thomas went for an aggressive assault on the Royalist blocking force, swinging his horse onto their flank whilst assaulting them from the front with his personal regiment.

He covered the flank and rear of his force with the dragoons and some militia, who quickly found themselves under attack by the Royalist horse.

Amazingly the dragoons held off the attacks, and with the help of the militia soon put pressure on the Royalists.

The Royalists supported their foot on the road with dragoons in the nearby enclosures, but it wasn't enough and one unit broke. Sir Thomas kept up the pressure on the other unit of foot, aiming to force it away from the road to clear his escape route.

It was at this point that he fell, seriously wounded, whilst leading his horse in an attack on the Royalist flank.

Despite this, the Parliamentarians maintained their discipline as they moved along the road, holding off the Royalist attacks as they went.

With the Royalists seemingly unable to apply any serious pressure, Sir Thomas's army escaped.

This was a pretty quick game, and was over in five or six turns. Parliament were able to mount an effective attack on the Royalist blocking force, and clear the exit point, well before the Royalist flanking force could exert any serious pressure on them. Royalist shooting was abysmal; on one turn they failed to inflict a single hit on any of Parliament's units.

The Portable Wargame provided a perfectly adequate alternative to the Neil Thomas rules, and I'll probably try the next game, in which the Royalists have one more chance to move on Causton, using them.

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