For our last game of 2014 Steve set up a scenario from the English Civil War, Ripple Field. He used Steve Maggs' book of ECW scenarios and set up a table with a low ridge flanked by two hedged lanes. Waller's Parliamentary forces were trying to prevent Prince Maurice from moving further west. Both sides were predominantly cavalry, with Waller having the slight edge in artillery. (Historically, the Parliamentary artillery was ineffective and was swept away by the Royalist advance).
The dice decided that I would command the Parliamentarians and I decided to place my dragoons on my right to try and prevent an outflanking manoeuvre, the cavalry reserve was placed behind my left. From the beginning I rolled some very lucky dice for my artillery. The Royalist cavalry in the centre was particularly severely damaged and very few reached the guns. Those that did saw my gunners running for the safety of Middleton's musketeers and were then driven back by a discharge of hail shot from a second gun.
After lunch we reset the troops and fought the action again, with me taking the part of Maurice. Again the artillery was quite effective and again the melees were close run affairs. This time Maurice won by a narrow margin, but with heavy casualties.
The 1644 rules which we used are quite simplistic and results often rest on the commanders ability (or not), to roll a '6'. The artillery can be effective against small units and perhaps we should have reduced the number of guns. But, two close-run games in a day, with plenty of fun involved, why change things?
Many thanks to everyone for their continued interest in the blog over the year. Happy New Year and I wish you all a successful 2015.
19th May, Northamptonshire
7 hours ago