Saturday, 16 June 2018

The Battle of Whalley

With one thing and another it's been a while since I set up a miniatures game at home, so I thought I'd make an effort this weekend. I felt the urge to have a go at a Portable Wargame, so I got out my paper ECW armies again, and played through a scenario based on this scenario for the 1643 Battle of Whalley.

I used an 8x8 grid, with forces as follows:


1 x Commander (Colonel Shuttleworth)
1 x Elite Pike & Shot (Shuttleworth's Foot)
1 x Average Pike & Shot (Brereton's Foot)
1 x Average Dragoons
2 x Poor Gallopers


1 x Commander (Earl of Derby)
1 x Average Pike & Shot (Molyneux's Foot)
1 x Elite Pike & Shot (Tyldesley's Foot)
1 x Raw Pike & Shot (Fylde's Clubmen) - This unit cannot fire and starts with a Strength of 3
1 x Average Trotters (Derby's Horse)
1 x Average Gallopers (Houghton's Horse)

This is an encounter and the scenario starts with both sides partially inactive and the Royalists especially at a disadvantage, surprised by the sudden appearance of Parliamentarian foot from behind  a stone wall to their front. I started with this setup; Royalist foot and dragoons facing Parliametarian foot behind a wall, whilst the bulk of the Royalists were back towards their baseline.

I gave the two Parliamentarian units behind the wall a free shot, and then started the first turn. However on the first turn, only the four units nearest the wall could activate. On Turn 2 all Parliamentarian units could activate as normal. Royalist units had to dice, and were available on a 1-3. On Turn 3 all units on both sides move and activate normally.

The initial Parliamentarian surprise didn't seem to impress the Royalists much; the Royalists simply fell back so that they could regroup with the rest of their force.

The Parliamentarian horse moved forward.

They crossed the stream, and were engaged by their Royalist counterparts.

Meanwhile the Royalist foot formed up on their side of the stream, ready to take the fight to the Parliamentarians ensconced behind the wall.

The advanced, with the dragoons and clubmen swinging around the flank.

Meanwhile more Royalist foot had driven Parliament's dragoons back away from the farm covering their army's left flank.

The Royalist dragoons finished them off.

The cavalry action was also going the Royalists' way; one unit of Parliamentarian horse routed ...

... and then the other.

This now left the Parliamentarian foot holding off the Royalists. They held out for a while, but there was little they could do.

A Royalist push saw one of the units break, ending the battle.

The Royalists had a few units that had taken hits, but didn't lose any.

Once again I ran the Exhaustion Point based on units lost, not just hits inflicted, and whilst I counted a Commander as 6SP for calculating Exhaustion, loss of a Commander didn't count towards the break-point.

If I ran the battle again I think I would simply start both of the units in front of the wall with a strength point lost, and then proceed with Turn 1 from there. Also Parliament's right flank was probably too open, making it very easy for the Royalists to turn it, so a slight shift in the map might work. However the rules gave a perfectly fine game, and that's what's important. It felt good to be pushing lead around on a Saturday afternoon, even if the lead is paper.

1 comment:

  1. Nice batrep. I've seen a lot of game using flat paper models and they look so good I'm considering giving this a go myself.


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