Thursday, 22 June 2017


Sunday morning saw the Gentlemen Pensioners assemble for our traditional post Phalanx game.  This year Steve had organised an ECW scenario based on Cheriton using the Pike and Shotte rules.  There were 4 players per side; (John, Will, Jan and Peter for the Parliamentarians and Ian, Chris, Nick and Dave for the King).   Steve presented both teams with their troops a map and background information and asked them to draw up their plans whilst he and I laid out the table.

A view from the Parliamentarian right flank, Cheriton wood in the foreground and North End in the far distance

A close up of North End
The forces involved were fairly even, Parliament had 408 foot and 124 cavalry, whilst the Royalists had 396 foot and 148 cavalry. When the troops had been deployed there was some surprise that c75% of the Royalist infantry were lined up behind Cheriton wood, with orders to advance through the disordering terrain.  All the Royalist cavalry had been deployed on their right facing North End.  Parliament had meanwhile interspersed their infantry and cavalry along the southern ridge.  Later the Royalist commander explained that their plan was to advance on the flanks, disperse the forces facing them and then turn inwards to 'roll -up' the Parliamentarians on the ridge.

Massed ranks of the Royalist cavalry

Parliamentary infantry on the southern ridge

The Royalist infantry prepare to advance
The battle opened with a rather dilatory advance by the Royalist cavalry.  This allowed the Parliamentarians to move up to North End and the hedges nearby unopposed.  The restricting terrain made progress difficult for the cavalry and several units resorted to exchanging pistol shots across the lanes.

Eventually the Royalist cavalry managed to get into position to attack and charged their opponents.

In the ensuing melee the Royalists were defeated, the Parliamentary cavalry made a sweeping advance and won a second melee.  A subsequent advance deep into the Royalist rear forced several units of horse to move across to cover the infantry in the centre.

Meanwhile on the opposite flank the Royalist infantry continued their slow progress through the wood, eventually reaching the line of musketeers sent forward to resist any further advance.

In the centre Royalist troops had deployed on the central ridge and artillery had been brought forward.  Some Parliamentary troops had been sent from the ridge to disrupt this movement and they managed to drive back the right flank of the Royalist line, but made no further progress..

Weight of numbers began to tell in the wood as slowly the Parliamentarian musketeers were forced back.

Around North End the Royalists managed to isolate the Parliamentary cavalry which had broken through and drive them from the field.  They then staged their own attack and after fierce fighting drove all the Parliamentarians from the settlement.  Unfortunately, they had no infantry to hold the buildings.

Parliamentary dragoons driven out of North End
So, after 5 hours gaming the Royalist plan was coming to fruition, but the bulk of the Parliamantary army was still uncommitted.  Steve accorded a 'winning draw' to the Royalists, but with the outcome uncertain.

Many thanks to all the participants for making the game so enjoyable and particularly to Steve for organising everything.  For another commentary on the battle and more photos check  wills blog .


  1. An interesting scenario and a goodly number of rather nice troops, it must have looked quite a spectacle.

  2. Some great photos of the game!