Lord Melchett had gathered 5 regiments of foot, organised into two battalia. The first, under Sir Harry Vane comprised (left to right), the regiments of Broughton, Assheton and Taylor supported by two light guns. In the second line, under the command of Lord Strange, were the regiments of Gerard and Butler, the latter being newly-raised. On the right were the cavalry under Sir Fleetwood Hesketh with three regiments, the County Horse, Tyldesley's and Rupert's. On the left flank were a unit of commanded shot under the veteran of the German Wars, Major Sharpe. Melchett's plan was a general advance, pin the enemy line with his infantry and once the cavalry had driven their opposite numbers from the field, attack the enemy infantry in the flank.
|An overhead view from behind the Parliamentary position|
|The Royalist line prepares to advance|
|The dreaded 'snake eyes'|
Sir Victor had seen with some concern, the cavalry action on his left and ordered Thurston to relinquish Gell's regiment so that he (Meldrew), could move it to cover the flank of Muncaster's line. Thurston took the opportunity to lead his other regiment, the Kelham Trained Bands towards the other flank to cover the gap between the Yellow regiment and the farm.
|Meldrew repositions Gell's regiment|
The Kelham Trained Bands arrived just in time to oppose the advance of Broughton's men. The musketeers fired at their opposite numbers whilst the pikes steadied themselves for the inevitable charge. They were not to be disappointed. Broughton's green coated ranks swept forward towards the raw recruits. Outnumbered, the Parliamentarians stood their ground and against the odds defeated their opponents in a hard fought melee.
|The Kelham Trained Bands see off Broughton's regiment|
|The end for Major Sharpe|
It was in the centre where the decision would be reached. The two infantry battalia met in push of pike. The Royalist musketeers were outnumbered and were more easily shaken (meaning they could not act as supports to their pikes). Although the pikes soldiered on, one by one the musketeer units were destroyed and as Sir Harry attempted to rally one of his units he too became a victim, the second Royalist commander to fall that day.
|Push of Pike|
|Butler's come under fire|
We were pleased with the way that the rules dealt with the infantry melee. Having the regiments as three separate sub-units allows for supports and also a more realistic representation of the contemporary deployments of armies in this period. One thing to not is that small units of musketeers are very vulnerable; it is best to have what for us are large units of at least 36 figures (two units of 12 musketeers with a unit of 12 pikes) so that all the units count as being of 'standard' size.
Taking note of Will's comments on previous posts we did not use the caracole rule for the Parliamentary horse, instead we made the Royalists 'Gallopers' which meant that they HAD to counter-charge, make a sweeping advance if possible. This gave a better balance. We also changed the sequence of play to