Sunday, 16 March 2014

ECW Scenario post Gloucester 1643

Essex had successfully raised the siege of Gloucester and now faced the hazardous march back towards London.  In the river valleys the close terrain nullified the Royalist cavalry advantage, but on the open uplands the Parliamentary army was more vulnerable. This scenario has the Parliamentary force making its way across some open terrain and being caught on the march by a Royalist advance force.  The Parliamentary objective is to get the army and its provision wagons into the safety of the next valley, the Royalist want to delay the enemy march long enough for the main force to arrive.

The Royalist force consists of 6 units of cavalry (2 elite, 2 trained and 2 raw), 2 units of dragoons (1 raw) and two units of commanded shot.  Three units of infantry will arrive as reinforcements, but there is no artillery.  The Parliamentary force has 5 units of infantry, 3 of cavalry and 1 of dragoons.  They also have 1 heavy gun and 1 light gun .

The Parliamentary army, with dragoons and cavalry in the van
A die roll decided that I should command the Royalists and I deployed my first two units of cavalry on the flank of Steve's column of march.  Steve decided to send his dragoons forward to occupy the enclosures covering the road into the next valley whilst his cavalry turned to face my approach.  He also deployed his first unit of infantry off the road towards my line of advance to cover the supply wagons.

Ignoring any fancy deployment. in true 'Rupert' style I charged forward with my first line of cavalry.  The first round of melee was inconclusive, but I had the advantage of further cavalry units to hand, whilst Steve did not.  I committed two more units to the melee and these reinforcements swung matters in my favour.  The outnumbered Parliamentary horse were pushed back and then routed and true to type my raw cavalry lost their command when not charging off after them.  I did manage to rally two units and one charged the first Parliamentary infantry unit whilst the other attempted to capture and draw off the wagons.

The first cavalry melee
The charge against the infantry was a disaster.  Although the angle of the charge meant that the Parliamentary infantry were unable to fire a volley, my elite cavalry were outscored in the melee and had to fall back.  This brought them in range of the field gun which duly served them a round of hail shot.  Failing the resultant morale test the cavalry then suffered further casualties from the Parliamentary musketeers.   The battered remains of the unit fell back and took no further part in the battle.

There was more success with the attack on the wagons.  Although suffering casualties from the fire of a second unit of Parliamentary infantry, my cavalry did manage to capture one wagon and bring it to my lines.

The Parliamentary army begins to deploy
As more of my troops arrived, I sent one unit of dragoons to the left to take on the Parliamentary dragoons, whilst a second unit moved to the right to find a good position from which to fire on the Parliamentary infantry as they deployed.  The two units of commanded shot were moved forward to fire on the infantry unit which had defeated my cavalry.  A lucky dice roll meant that my reinforcements began to arrive early and two unit of infantry went forward to support the commanded shot and also increase the pressure on Steve's flank.  The third unit marched to the left to support the dragoons and try to block the road into the next valley.

Steve had reformed his cavalry and they attacked again.  Once again they were defeated, but my cavalry pursued the remnants and strayed into the arc of the Parliamentary artillery.  The gunners made no errors and inflicted heavy casualties on my cavalry, which had to fall back to reform.

More Parliamentary units were now deploying on the open terrain and my dragoons had opened a nagging fire on them.  The Parliamentary cavalry rearguard now appeared and began to move through the enclosures to attack the dragoons.

The Parliamentary rearguard
This caused me some problems because, even though I had started with a distinct advantage in cavalry, I now found that I only had one unit left in good order and this was some way from the threat posed by the advance on my right.  However, Rupert took command of this unit and led it off in support of the dragoons.

At this point we called a halt and decided to continue the battle next week.  It was interesting to try out a scenario which involved so much deployment before action commenced.  The Royalists have slowed the Parliamentary advance, but their cavalry have suffered heavy casualties.  Will the infantry be able to push on; or will the Parliamentary counter-attack clear the road?  


  1. A very simple and engaging painting style you have on these minis ~ I may study them more closely for the cavalry painting. Were they varnished with a 'tint'?

    What manufacture of minis are these troops?

    They look like Dixon horses?

  2. Hello MurdocK
    The figures all belong to Steve and come from a variety of sources. I will ask him about the varnishing when I see him next week and report back


  3. Hello Murdock
    I checked with Steve and unfortunately the figures were purchased ready-painted from ebay, so we can't help you with your enquiry regarding their varnish finish.