Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Battle Of Hookham

Oh, all right, it's not really Hookham - it's just Hook's Farm with a different name. I decided it would be fun to have a go at the classic HG Wells scenario using my ECW forces. I set up two equal armies consisting of six units of pike & shot, three of horse, one of dragoons and one artillery.

I decided on Hookham rather than Hook's Farm because the eponymous farm became a village for the purposes of this battle.

Firefly Church remained a church, counting as an enclosure. Firefly is a odd name for a church (unless you take you classic TV sci-fi very seriously indeed), so perhaps we'll call this feature Hook Hall.

Anyway, controlling Hook Hall and Hookham were the objectives of this particular battle. Purists will note that the cottage and hovel weren't present. I decided that the granularity of the game didn't allow for them.

Parliament pushed forward, occupying Hook Hall. In the centre the Royalists occupied a small field which gave shooting cover to foot and forced horse moving through it to stop.

Parliament also managed to push quickly forward and grab the village, but came under immediate attack from Royalist foot and horse.

On the other flank a brisk cavalry action took place. I love the phrase 'brisk cavalry action'. Parliament had massed all of their horse on this flank, and it proved a good move. Although the action was constricted by the board edge and a wood, they were able to pull damaged units out of the fight and replace them with fresh, leaving the Royalists under constant pressure.

The Royalist horse was soon driven off, and they were forced to swing some of their second line of foot away from the advance on Hook Hall in order to cover their flank.

However on the other flank they managed to capture the village with an heroic push of pike.

The woods on that flank were occupied by Royalist dragoons, who kept up a steady fire on their Parliamentarian opposite numbers. This action was to last all game with no conclusion.

The Royalists had enemy cavalry in their rear, and responded with their surviving unit of horse, supported by the guns.

In the centre, Parliament's foot had broken against the Royalists along the hill and in the field, although they kept up a fierce counterattack on Hookham.

Meanwhile Hook Hall was now under attack.

Parliament's foot was looking distinctly shaky, with many units on their last hit. But the Royalists were close to their exhaustion point as well, and if their attack didn't succeed quickly they would have to break off.

One last push and they took the hall.

The Royalist guns held off an attack by enemy horse.

The Royalists consolidated their position in the grounds of the Hall.

Another Parliamentarian unit broke, leaving the army exhausted. With both objectives in Royalist hands, and unable to engage in offensive action, they withdrew.

The Portable ECW rules worked pretty well here. I made all units average, because I'm beginning to have reservations about how the Portable Wargame as written covers unit quality, but I'll play with that in another game, and probably witter about it in another post. Let this post stand as testament to a smooth-running, closely fought and entertaining game.

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