Sunday, 5 March 2017

In Kelhamshire once more

This week Steve and I began another Pike and Shotte game trying out our amendments to the 'sweeping advance' section of the rules.  This scenario was on a larger scale than last time and also included infantry and artillery.  Both forces had 8 infantry regiments, 8 cavalry regiments, 1 dragoon regiment and a couple of pieces of artillery.  The objective was to seize control of the bridge over the river Kelham.  The river could be crossed anywhere by infantry and cavalry (at a risk of becoming disordered), but the artillery could only cross at the bridge.  The hills were 'gentle' and offered no hindrance to movement.

Two views of the table set up for the latest action in Kelhamshire.  As you can see the ground is fairly open on both flanks, giving the cavalry plenty of opportunity to manoeuvre.

A roll of the dice allocated command of the Royalists to me and I decided to advance with my cavalry to hold back the enemy cavalry and prevent them interfering with the deployment of my infantry.  These were to advance on either side of the bridge and support the advance of units over that bridge, thus securing the crossing.

At first things seemed to be going my way.  The left flank cavalry moved forward with elan and occupied the hill easily.  In the ensuing melee the front line of units were successful and drove back their opponents.  My small cavalry unit suffered sufficient casualties to prevent it following up, but the other one  careered on and won a second melee.  It seemed like I was on the verge of driving the Parliamentary right wing from the field, but it was at this point that the command dice began to fail me and Steve was given enough time to rally his units whilst mine dithered.

The first clash on the Royalist left
In the centre all the infantry struggled to deploy, hampered by hedges and the river.  Once again the Royalists made quick progress at first, but then slowed and allowed the Parliamentary units time to advance and prevent a successful advance across the bridge.  Twice one of my units began to cross the bridge, but on each occasion they had to fall back, because to go any further forward would have resulted in them being attacked in flank before they could deploy.

The Parliamentary infantry advance
The Royalists attempt to cross the bridge

On my right, both forces of cavalry advanced fairly slowly, but once combat began the Parliamentary cavalry gained the upper hand.  Although both sides had shaken units, Parliament had one unit which was in good order, whilst I had none.  My hope was that the unit of foot which I had manged to get across the river would provide sufficient support to bolster the flank long enough to enable me to rally my men.

The Parliamentary cavalry prepare to drive home their advantage
After 3 hours play the majority of infantry were still deploying, although some volleys had been exchanged.  The cavalry flanks were on the brink of  decisive melees and everything was still to play for when we resume later this week.

The view from behind the Parliamentary centre

The Royalist infantry deploying

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