Monday, 1 September 2014

English Civil War - The First Battle Of Frodsham

With my days work finished by 11am (the price; a 5am wakeup call) I took a drive to Frodsham where Aidan had organised a big English Civil War bash to give our armies an outing, amazingly their first since their Gauntlet appearance over a year ago.  I came late, with the other 8 participants having arrived, set up, and already reached turn 3.  Things were already going badly for the Parliamentarians, with several regiments having already quit the field, and my own collection was split, with the bulk being spread amongst the weakened Parliamentarian left and centre while I retained a horse and small foote brigade as I joined the Royalists.

The Participants:

My fellow Royalists were as follows - Andy; fighting a sluggish battle around the church and amongst the village buildings on the Royalist left.  Secondly Chris, whose large horse brigade had already rampaged through the rebel centre, those Parliamentarians who wished to survive had retreated into hedgehog formations.  Finally Luke; whose foote regiments were now putting the screw upon the remains of the Parliamentarian centre and holding the star fort on the Royalist right.  My own limited forces supported Luke.

The Parliamentarians had an Ian (Hedley) on their left facing me and Luke, an Ian (Shaw) next too him loosely holding the centre but still shell-shocked from Chris’ onslaught, and to their right Michael (still bemoaning his lack of Swedes – banned by the umpire due to their justified reputation!) who was controlling the Parliamentarian right along with David who both faced Andy across the village.  Aidan’s name is absent as he was acting as an umpire for the day, and had designed the scenario at the last moment – the key objectives for each side being to capture the others redoubts.

The Battle In Short:

Or perhaps in Very Short because my wide position on the right meant I missed much of the action on the left, and Aidan has done a report too.  The Parliamentarians poor luck with dice continued to dog them throughout; Ian H’s infantry, and in particular his storming parties, being very reluctant to advance.  It felt very much like 1643 with the Royalists able to do little wrong and the rebels struggling.  Chris’s horse were joined by Lukes and then mine in further devastating the rebels centre and mounting a brief (and unsuccessful) assault on the rebels main redoubt, while Luke and Chris also sent forward infantry.  Andy, David and Michael found themselves in a stalemate before a tremendous amount of damage was caused in the last couple of turns.

Pike blocks engaged across the battlefield as Michael and David’s troops finally stormed forwards, Lukes men pushed into the two Ian’s foote regiments, and my sole foote regiment clashed by the star fort.  Ian Shaw’s command practically ceased to exist, and foote units vanished across the field.  The powder supplies (a special rule in use) having run out this was the only way to cause damage!  With time up it was left to the umpire to declare a win, and although the Royalists hadn’t managed to claim the rebels redoubts the enemy had never come close to the King’s ones, and had suffered numerous casualties in the process.  Victory to the Royalists.

Aidans Report:

The Eye Candy:

I spent more time walking the table looking at the lovely models than paying attention and taking pictures that showed the progress of the game.  The size of the battlefield swallowed the huge armies in use – I actually had to ask Aidan and Michael if they had brought their entire collections because there were still spaces.  Ian Hedleys vignettes provided most of my highlights because I hadn’t seen them before, and they were well worth spending some time studying – adding class and character and period feel to the board.

The battlefield at 12:30pm when I arrived.  The star fort on the Royalists right is in the foreground, and the Royalist left in the village right at the top of the picture.

The star fort defended by Lukes troops.

Lukes Royalist foote going forwards to clash (successfully) with the two Ian's foote around the windmill.

Some of Ian Hedleys lovely Parliamentarians.

Note the rampaging Royalist horse.

Vignette time - the war on the Royalist left seem to have been held up while both sides watched this.

Pig on wheels.

Royalist alcoholic supplies. 
One of Ian H's storming parties.

The rebel left which had been battering away at the star fort with no appreciable effect.

Rebel commanders.

The Royalist horse attack in the centre.

Foote closes to short range in the centre.

My horse help break Ian (Shaw) infantry centre.

Sheep stop play as the Royalist attack is held up by the woolly bunch.

Push of pike on the Royalist left.

The village and church.

Cannon and toilets.

Rebel encampment.

The Royalists have the heights and the advantage.

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