Friday, 16 December 2022

Wistanstow: an ECW scenario for PIke and Shotte

 Steve and I played this scenario some eight years ago, the report is here.   Since then our ECW collections have grown and our own version of the Pike and Shotte rules have evolved to incorporate various changes.  With this in mind Steve thought that revisiting the scenario would be a good 'end of season' encounter.  (The game was actually played before Christmas, but it has taken me this long to get around to posting it on the blog).

The Parliamentary forces  under Lt-Col. William Reinking are deployed to hold the village of Wistanstow, just to the north of Craven Arms in Shropshire.  They are being attacked by a larger Royalist force under the command of Sir Michael Woodhouse.  Reinking's objective is to hold the village long enough to enable the parliamentary baggage train to get away and then withdraw in good order northwards towards Shrewsbury with as much of his force as he can.  Woodhouse wants to break through as quickly as possible, capture the baggage and destroy the enemy army.

The Parliamentary position at Wistanstow can be seen in the photo above.  Beyond the road is Mackworth's  regiment of foot, then a field gun covers the road to the south.  Next is Hungerford's regiment and a light gun, with Lloyd's regiment to their right.  The garrison horse cover the right flank with Lloyd's Horse held in reserve at Wistanstow.

Woodhouse deployed Scudamore's horse on his right, with Scudamore's Foot, a light gun and a forlorn hope of musketeers. 

On the road from the south was William Sandy's Horse ready to make a charge straight up the road.  Beyond was the bulk of the infantry, four regiments, deployed in two lines and supported by a light gun.  On the left were Lunsford's Horse and Sandy's Dragoons and held in reserve were the Ludlow Horse.  Woodhouse was also expecting his own artillery train to arrive (this was dictated by die roll).

The close terrain in the centre almost ensured a protracted struggle between the rival infantry forces.  Above can be seen the contest between Hungerford and Crott by the road.  Scudamore had more open terrain to his front and he skillfully managed the coordinated advance of the forlorn hope and Scudamore's foot.  Their fire, ably supported by the light gun sufficed to force Mackworth to retreat to the churchyard and take advantage of it's stone wall

On the Royalist left, Monmouth's regiment was not faring so well.  Their attempt to dislodge Lloyd's foot was repulsed with heavy loss.

The Garrison Horse on the Parliamentary left attempted to prevent Lunsford's Horse and the dragoons from gaining access to the lane which led behind Lloyd and Hungerford.  In the confines of the lane the fight was a long one, but in the end, it was Lunsford who prevailed.

Along the road in the centre Sandy's and Lloyd's horse had been watching each other.  Reinking had moved the artillery to the right to support Hungerford.  That threat removed, Sandy's charged with Lloyd responding.  Lloyd prevailed, but was reluctant to move further forward; a reluctance seemingly justified when the Royalist artillery was observed to arrive and deploy covering the road.

Reinking saw that the horse on the Royalist right was attempting to work around his left and sent his final reserve, the second troop of Lloyd's horse in that direction.  However, his main concern was the increasing pressure on his infantry.  Mackworth was having difficulty holding his position in the churchyard.  The combined fire of his attackers was inflicting increasing losses, even behind the stone wall.  A final, telling volley proved too much and Mackworth's men broke and fled the field.

Reinking's attention was elsewhere, attempting to rally Hungerford's foot .  The regiment had broken when attacked by Crott's foot and had fallen back as far as the northern edge of Wistanstow.  Reinking's appeals to the men to rally had fallen on deaf ears and they had streamed from the field.  Crott's foot had switched their attentions to Lloyd's regiment, but had been driven back when the field gun fired into their flank at close range.

The reprieve for Lloyd's men was brief, as Gerard's foot moved forward and drove them back in rout.

With his infantry driven from the field and his right wing cavalry in disarray, Reinking ordered Lloyd's cavalry to hold off the Royalist cavalry as long as they could so that he could perhaps get his artillery away and give his infantry a chance to reform.

Although an uneven contest in terms of numbers, the terrain does give the Parliamentary commander a chance of achieving his goal of delaying the Royalist advance.  Many thanks to Steve for setting up the game and to Bob for commanding the Royalists.

Sunday, 4 December 2022

RECON 2022, Pudsey

 The familiar sign that another wargaming year is coming to a close is our trip to the RECON show at Pudsey which is organised by the Wakefield & District Wargames Club.  As I mentioned in my previous post we were attending in support of the Lance & Longbow Society and putting on a participation game based on the battle of Stoke Field, 1487.

Other games were of course attending and here are a few photos to give a feel for the range of what was available.

James Mitchell had his 'Sudan Death' 2mm scale game.

The desert table mat works well with this scale of figure

At normal viewing distance you don't appreciate the work that has gone into these small figures

Next door by contrast were the Hustle Club with their Dragon Rampant game 'The Ghosts of Mousillon'

Upstairs, near the Bring & Buy stall were the Yarkshire Gamers with their Italian Wars game 'The Siege of Forli'

Many more photos of this splendid game can be found on Ken Reilly's Yarkshire Gamer podcast here  You will also find an interesting piece on wargames shows in general.

Also upstairs was a game by the Glory Boys, 'Zombie Glory'.  I was particularly taken by the buildings which gave the flavour of a typical town in one of the numerous Zombie films churned out by Hollywood.

We were set up in the main hall and ran our game twice and managed to recruit a couple of members of the public to join in.  Both sides managed one win,  the result in each case could have gone either way with both sides one unit loss from defeat.

Scales prepares to charge the Irish Bonnachts

Lincoln with the rebel left wing moving up to support Schwarz and his German mercenaries  

Having weakened Scales' cavalry the Gallowglass move in to finish them off
Thanks to Andy, Bob, Steve and Will for helping with the game; the gallant members of the public, Jim and John,  plus  David and Lynne.  Not forgetting Chris Jackson and the other members of the Wakefield club for organising the show.