Friday, 17 March 2017

In Kelhamshire again part 2

In an earlier post I began a report on our most recent ECW game.  Returning to the action with the continuing ebb and flow on the Royalist right wing.  Although the Parliamentary cavalry were gaining the upper hand, the Royalists were helped by support from an infantry unit.  Fire from this unit inflicted sufficient casualties to cause a couple of units to halt and rally and this gave enough time for the Royalists to do the same.  To remove this irritant, the Parliamentary candidate moved forward some of his own infantry, threatening to outflank the Royalists.  Unfortunately for this plan the infantry was sluggish, all except one unit which moved forward with speed and became isolated. It then found itself the centre of attention, as two Royalist infantry units, plus some light artillery all fired on it.  Against such odds the end was predictable, after a short time the losses became unsustainable and the Parliamentary infantry unit broke ranks and routed.  The best attempts of their brigade commander to get them to stand went unheeded and the infantry fled the field.  Their flight doing nothing to inspire their comrades to advance in their place.

The contest across the river develops

In the centre, both banks of the river were now lined with infantry firing volleys at close range.  With their greater ratio of muskets to pikes, the advantage lay with parliament, especially as they had dragged forward some artillery to increase the volume of fire.  After a short time the weight of  fire proved too much for a newly raised Royalist unit which first edged backwards and then, following another volley routed.  Ignoring all appeals to halt the raw recruits headed for the road home. Another Royalist infantry unit also routed from the fire, but they were rallied by the Royalist commander and eventually returned to the fray.  Fortunately for the Royalists other units were on hand to fill the gaps and the Parliamentary infantry were slow to exploit their advantage.

The Royalist left re-organising
On the Royalist left the cavalry fight was a matter of isolated attacks as units reformed and then charged forward.  Neither side could gain a significant advantage.  The Royalist cause was helped by a unit of dragoons ensconced in a barn who were able to provide a harassing fire on the left of the Parliamentary line.  Of more potent help was the light artillery which was brought forward.  This managed to halt an attempted charge  directed at the weakest Royalist unit which was desperately trying to reform.  Eventually, the Royalists managed to sort themselves out and a more co-ordinated attack was launched.  This was met by a vigorous countercharge by their opponents and a tough struggle ensued.  Eventually, the Royalists prevailed and the victors swept forward, driving their disorganised foes from the field.

The Parliamentary infantry slowly deploying on their left
The Royalist success on their left was mirrored by Parliamentary success on the other flank.  Led by a unit of 'lobsters' the Parliamentary cavalry swept forward.  The Royalists responded in kind, but on this occasion their natural elan was not enough to prevail.  All the Royalist cavalry, plus their supporting infantry were driven back.  The infantry were rallied by the Royalist commander once they had crossed the river, but the Royalist cavalry quit the field.

Royalist infantry flee
In the centre the fire fight continued.  Both sides were reluctant to chance an attack across the river because of the risk of becoming disordered (50% for pike armed troops).  Parliament had manged to get one unit across and this had manged to beat off an attack by the Royalists which threatened to drive it into the river, but further progress was proving difficult.

As gaming time drew to an end a winning draw was adjudicated for Parliament.  They had managed to get troops across the river and also had inflicted heavier casualties on the Royalists.

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