Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Action at Morton Fendlow

I finally found the time, opportunity and inclination to play another game in my ongoing ECW mini-campaign set in the fictional county of Midsomer. Regular readers of the blog will know that this involves Parliamentarians under Sir Thomas Barnaby vying for control of the country with the Royalists under Lord Standing. The background, setup and basic campaign rules can be found HERE. The first two 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.

Prince Rupert's supply trains had now reached Lord Standing, despite his failure to secure the two crossings over the Waterman. Sir Thomas Barnaby dispatched forces to try and seize some of  the supplies. One such raiding force, under Sir Henry Nelson, found its return to the town of Causton blocked by a small group of Royalists:

The scenario generated was Escape. Once again I randomly determined the forces, and both sides came out about even.

The Royalists got:

1 x Pike & Shot (Pike-Heavy, Elite)
1 x Pike & Shot (Raw)
1 x Pike & Shot (Shot-Heavy, Raw)
1 x Artillery (Raw)
1 x Horse (Dashing, Elite)
1 x Horse (Dashing, Elite)

Sir Henry Nelson's Parliamentarian troops consisted of:

1 x Pike & Shot (Shot-Heavy)
1 x Pike & Shot (Shot-Heavy)
1 x Pike & Shot
1 x Pike & Shot
1 x Horse (Disciplined, Raw)
1 x Dragoons (Raw)

The Parliamentarian troops had to advance down the road and exit at least half of their units off the other side of the board. The Royalists had to stop them, with their forces appearing from three of the board edges over the course of the game.

Parliament's dragoons and horse led the move down the road, whilst a unit of unpromising Royalist infantry blocked the way. The fact that they seemed confident, despite the disparity in numbers, alerted Sir Henry to the possibility that they had reinforcements on the way.

And they quickly appeared; more infantry, with a gun in support, appeared on a hill to the left of the Parliamentarians.

Sir Henry quickly deployed as many troops as possible to open up the road, but the defending Royalists stood firm, rallied by their commander.

Unable to dislodge them with musketry, Sir Henry ordered his horse into the attack, hoping to keep them tied down whilst his other troops slipped past.

The pressure was on; Royalist cavalry appeared on the other Parliamentary flank.

Parliament foot engaged the Royalists on the hill; one of their units broke under fire, however.

Sir Henry's troops moved closer to the end of the road and their escape.

But the Royalists were closing in. Their horse charged one of the rearguard pike and shot units.

The dragoons escaped.

Strangely (a quirk of the scenario) almost immediately afterwards the final reinforcing Royalist unit appeared along the same stretch of road.

The Royalist cavalry had the parliamentarian rearguard under extreme pressure by this stage.

In fact Parliament was under pressure everywhere; their horse was still locked in a fight with the original Royalist foot unit, whilst their foot was now blocked in their escape by the fresh unit of Royalist reinforcements; veteran Cornish foot at that.

The Royalist cavalry prevailed, and their pursuit took out the Parliamentarian horse as well.

Both remaining Parliamentarian units had to escape for Sir Henry to salvage any honour. They launched a furious assault on the Cornishmen as the other Royalists closed in from their rear.

The Cornishmen held, and Sir Henry's infantry now found themselves attacked from all directions.

They put up an epic defence, breaking the Cornish foot ...

... before turning on their pursuers and almost breaking them as well.

But the Royalist horse launched a final charge which saw them routed. Sir Henry was defeated.

In campaign terms this ends the skirmish phase. With the Royalist win, and their position secured, the campaign moves into the next stage; their advance on the town of Causton itself.

This was a fairly even fight, all things considered, but the Royalists were able to use their initial unit of foot to hold up their opponents just long enough for the reinforcements to do their work. This was due to their leader performing a series of excellent rallying rolls, staving off their rout more than once. It does show how using different rules for the scenarios in One Hour Wargames can affect the balance. This particular scenario is pretty much predicated on the fact that the rules in the book have attritional loss with no recovery. It's really down to how quickly you can remove the initial defending unit. If the unit can recover hits, then obviously it will take longer, and the reinforcements will be able to pin the fleeing force more easily. I've had some reservations about leader rallying hits under these rules before, and experimented with different approaches. I need to give it some more consideration.

This game completes yet another category in my Six by Six Challenge. Any continuation of this campaign can now be done at my leisure. I now have just one game left to play. However that's a game of HOTT and it means I have to produce a new army by the end of the year as well.

6x6 - Game 2.6

1 comment:

  1. Good game, Kap! Love the use of paper figures too; perhaps it would give me the impetus to actually play a game, given my pathetic turn around, ho hum.


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