An English Civil War campaign has broken out quietly, courtesy of Mr Aidan Holman, and names By The Sword Divided: Part 2. I fought my first two battles using Pike & Shotte rules and a mere 270pts of troops. I wrote this report for the campaign blog but decided to post it here too.
A scuffle broke out last week when a certain Lord Tiberius Flasheart (Derek to his friends and hairdresser) suggested that the Marquis of Newcastle just wasn’t showing the right ‘stuff’ to be part of the grand Royalist armies. Other comments in this high quality verbal exchange surrounded the concept of big girls blouses and prickled coves, and are perhaps best left undiscovered. It wasn’t long before Flasheart, being the impetuous and daft as a march hare chap that he is, had decided to lead his remarkably small army Up North to explain more clearly what he meant by ‘stuff’ in person. The Marquis, being somewhat more intelligent than Flasheart, waylaid the arrogant (but beautifully groomed) dandy near a village he named as Little Pontefract. Newcastle, having given suggestion that there would be some physical activity, waited until the first shots had been fired before evading Flashearts men and leaving the stunningly manicured man from Wrecsam looking very pleased with himself at the capture of Little Pontefract. When it finally dawned upon him that he had been tricked, and this was in fact not the village of Pontefract with the lovely castle but a much smaller village with fewer taverns and absolutely no castle whatsoever he was somewhat less pleased.
|Flashearts troops (on the left) pin the Marquis of Newcastles troops back into the village of Little Pontefract.|
|Flashearts dragoons in an atmospheric shot.|
Leaving a few men to keep an eye on the tavern Lord Flasheart set off back to North Wales, a journey that would take him many days to cross the great six foot divide between the two battlefields on offer. Upon his arrival he discovered that most rare and dangerous of things threatening his stores at Bersham – a pro-Parliamentarian Swede! Diderich Beckman had suffered his own trials and tribulations on the way; fighting a brief encounter with some of the rabble commanded by Sir Samuel Stapleton-Smyth; a gardening wiz. A quick clash of cavalry and all was declared a draw, leaving Beckman free and on time for his meeting with Flasheart.
The small but perfectly formed battle between the forces of Beckman and Flasheart was all very civilised to start with as both sides lined up across a nice open plain. Flasheart, being a subtle chap, sent his horse thundering across the divide only to see both units defeated and forced to retreat, in the case of Henry Buxton’s horse this was right off the table! Not deterred Flasheart sent his infantry forward – Stradlings regiment of foote in a lovely colouring of blue to face the yellow-coated enemy. With the dragoons protecting their right flank Stradlings musketeers closed to close range and engaged in an unequal musketry duel with the yellow coats commanded shot, musketeers and falconet artillery piece.
|Flashearts men face Beckman's (in the yellow) across the field.|
|The Royalist horse countercharge.|
|The coutercharge plunges into Beckman's pike.|
|Stradlings foote (blue coats).|
|The last hurrah but the Royalist horse can't do it again.|
And yet more fighting....
In a busy few hours of fighting it was not the end of action for the Marquis of Newcastle, who proceeded to fight an engagement against Sir Samuel Stapleton-Smyths Parliamentarian forces, complete with Ye Uncutables in the lead. Neither side could claim with conviction to have done more than trampled the flower gardens, to Sir Samuels dismay, and a draw was declared. This was in fact an identical result to Stapleton-Smyths efforts at defeating Beckman earlier on, where the infantry clashed inconclusively, and not even a desperate charge by formed up dragoons could sway the result.
|Stapleton-Smyths dragoons desperate charge into Beckman's musketeers.|
|Stapleton-Smyth vs Beckman.|
|The Marquis of Newcastle (troops to the left) vs Stapleton-Smyth.|
|Stapleton-Smyths foote on the edge of the village trampling the plants.|
|A late and inconclusive punchup at the back of the village.|
The Technical Results:
Lord Tiberius Flasheart – Richard
The Marquis of Newcastle – Ian
Diderich Beckam – Paul
Sir Samuel Pembleton-Smyth - Aidan
My defeat of Ian bagged me the village of Little Pontefract, minus the castle sadly thanks to some cunning on behalf of my enemy! I then went on to lose to Paul who gained a Spy Network for his troubles. Aidan managed two draws and joined Ian in gaining no territory, but a level of smugness.