Sunday, 16 October 2016

Battle of Montgomery September 1644: an ECW scenario for Pike and Shotte

Our most recent game was this ECW battle. Background to the battle can be found here and a version for the "Warr without an enemie" rules developed by the Wyre Forest Gamers has been posted.  Steve set up the scenario on his table and the troops used were


Commander - Sir John Meldrum
3 units of foot;  Brereton, Booth and Mainwaring
3 units of horse; Fairfax, Lancashire Horse (Shuttleworth) and Myddleton

The Parliamentary army was deployed with it's back to the river Camlad, which is fordable, but with difficulty.  There is a bridge on their right and beyond that an area of boggy ground.  Meldrum has deployed with the regiments of Fairfax and Shuttleworth (Fairfax being the brigade commander), on his left, the infantry, commanded by Lothian in the centre and Brereton on his right.


Commander - Sir John Byron

4 units of foot: Broughton, Erneley, Woodhouse, Ellis
1 unit of dismounted dragoons

3 units of horse: Trevor, Vaughan, Tyldsley

General view of the battlefield
Byron has brought the majority of his besieging army out of the works to oppose the relieving force. All the cavalry is deployed on the Royalist right under the command of Colonel Trevor.  The foot, commanded by Major General Sir Michael Erneley has the regiments of Broughton, Erneley and Woodhouse in the front line with Ellis in reserve.  The dragoons are on the left flank close to an enclosure.  All the foot regiments are on a ridge overlooking the Parliamentary position.

To balance the scenario, two of the Parliamentarian foot regiments are rated as veteran and all have a 2:1 ratio of muskets to pikes, whilst the Royalists are mostly trained and have a proportion of 3:2 musket to pike.  All Royalist cavalry are rated as trained and are gallopers.  The Parliamentarian cavalry units are smaller, but better quality and are horse.

The Royalist army on the ridge
I took the part of Lord Byron and resolved resolved to make a general advance with may centre and drive the Parliamentary foot back into the river.  Trevor was also to attack, disperse the enemy cavalry and then turn to assist the infantry attack. To counter the thereat from Myddleton's horse Ellis and the dragoons are to move towards the left to protect the flank of the main line as it advances.

The first couple of moves went according to plan, with a co-ordinated general advance, the problems started when Trevor's leading regiment charged home against Fairfax's regiment.  Despite the impetus advantage and support, Vaughan,s were soundly beaten and when they fell back they disorderd Tyldsley's who were in support.  This was the first of three unsuccessful charges against Fairfax's regiment, which took casualties, but always seemed to do just enough to hold their ground.  When Fairfax's were eventually forced to fall back by Trevor's own regiment, their 'sweeping advance' attacking the Lancashire Horse was rebuffed, leaving all the cavalry shaken and requiring time to recover.

Fairfax stands firm

On the Royalist left, Byron personally led forward Ellis's regiment and the dragoons.  The two became separated and Myddleton seized the opportunity to charge the dragoons, sensing an easy victory.  He was to be disappointed.  A volley from the dragoons was sufficient to stop the horse and then Ellis arrived in the nick of time to fire a volley into the enemy's flank, routing them.  The main Royalist infantry line was now safe from a flank attack, but it had other problems.

Erneley's rout
The musketry fire from the Parliamentary foot was taking a heavy toll on the advancing Royalists, Erneley's own regiment in particular was wavering as it was swept by volleys.  Erneley galloped over to rally them, but was himself felled by a musket ball.  His second-in-command managed to rally the regiment, but the advance had stalled.  Another volley routed Erneley's regiment and they fled from the field.  Woodhouse's now suffered the attentions of both Booth's and Mainwaring's.  Losses mounted and when the regiment began to edge backwards, Lloyd, (Erneley's replacement,) moved to rally them, only to be shot like his predecessor.  This proved too much for Woodhouse's who routed, leaving a gaping hole in the Royalist line.

The Lancashire Horse triumph
Just when it seemed that it couldn't get any worse, a unit of Parliamentary cavalry (Brereton's), which had been foraging appeared on the Royalist right flank.  Trevor's units struggled to meet this new threat, but first Tyldsley's and then  Vaughan's were routed and Parliamentary victory was assured.

Although the report may make the game sound one-sided, Steve (as Parliamentary commander), assured me that there were points at which he felt that the Royalists may win.  This was proved when we played the scenario again. Although Trevor once again failed to drive off Fairfax, Lothian's infantry proved unable to stop Erneley's advance and were driven back into the Camlad in disorder and routed.  Myddleton's horse again being unable to aid their infantry as they were driven off by the fire of Ellis and the dragoons.  In a third game, the Royalist foot managed to drive off one Parliamentary regiment, but two of their own were routed by musketry fire, leaving the two wings of the Royalist army separated.  The return of the foraging cavalry again swung the balance in favour of the Parliamentarians and the Royalists had to retreat.

The second and third games were played two weeks later and I hosted them, so I adjusted unit sizes to accommodate the smaller table.  Here are some photos from the games (under different lighting conditions).

Fairfax's brigade await the assault

Meldrum with Myddleton's Horse
Mainwaring's repel Vaughan's Horse

Brereton's Foot, with their backs to the Camlad
Ellis's stand firm against Myddleton's Horse


  1. Enjoyable, thanks. I am always interested in seeing bigger figures on smaller tables, what size was the smaller table in this instance ? I would be planning on using units similar to yours (3 bases).

  2. Hello Norm, my table is 6x4. Ellis' regiment is 24 strong (rated as small) and is 1:1 pike to musket. Standard units are 32 figures strong and large units 40 figures.

  3. Sounds as if the Riyalist Dragoons acquitted themselves well! Might they be named "Prince Maurice's" I wonder? Thanks for sharing a wonderful report, David.
    All the best

    1. Thanks Phil
      If you have details of a guidon perhaps the unnamed unit could find a 'home'