Saturday, 11 April 2015

Battle of Newark 1644 Game Report / AAR

A 28mm ECW Action

Parliamentary Cannon in the Spittal firing on the advancing Royalists
Welcome back Roundheads and Cavaliers, most readers will be aware that this is a second write up of two, here I will cover our attempt at the scenario I detailed HERE. If you have randomly landed here whilst looking for a holiday cottage in the Newark area, I'd navigate away you will be very confused.

We played the game over a Thursday evening and a Sunday day, which with our usual relaxed approach wasn't bad, especially when you factor in the traditional Sunday Fish and Chips. The Royalist figs are all mine and are a mix of Perry, Renegade and Bicorne. The other lot belong to a lad who was a regular attender at our meets, hes got other stuff going on at the moment so hasn't been for a while, hopefully that will change soon. They rebels are a mix of Warlord Plastics and Perrys.

The battle broke down into two distinct phases, before and after the re enforcements arrived.

Phase 1
 As usual with ECW two small black holes opened up, one on each side of the table, opposite the Spittal, Loughboroughs Horse clashed with Rossiters whilst on the Newark flank Rupert clashed with Thornhaughs, The Royalist Foot advanced on the Spittal with the Shrewsbury Brigade on the right.

Royalist Foot advance against the Spittal trying to keep their distance from the Fort
Ruperts Horse in the distance clash with Thornhaughs Cavalry
The Cavalry on the other flank ride out to meet each other.
Cavalry in action
Ruperts Cavalry didn't fair as well as expected, by far the best Cavalry on the table they led with their weakest unit, lacking numbers it bogged down into an indecisive battle drawing in all the units on that flank. Ruperts Lifeguard were wiped out and Thornhaughs Roundhead Cavalry severely mauled, both sides withdrew after three rounds of combat to rally and recover on their base lines, the Royalists the worst for wear.

On the other flank things went better for the followers of the King, their Cavalry was quite poor but had bigger numbers and after a prolonged action the Royalists were victorious. One unit of Royalist Cavalry galloped off the table to loot the baggage but 3 viable units remained on that flank.

The infantry in the centre were slugging it out old stylee, the higher quality Royalist Units being matched by the lower quality Parliamentary Units who had the advantage of firing stationary from behind some decent cover. One Royalist gun entered the zone of undecidability marching up and down looking for a shot but didn't find one until near the end of the game.

The Garrison Sally Forth (Eventually)
The re enforcement rolls both went the same way on turn 7, both sides rolled under 7 and both got their re-enforcements at the same time. The Royalists committed their Cavalry to the Newark Flank and followed it up with the remnants of Ruperts Cavalry, the Infantry went straight down the centre to put more pressure on the Spittal. The Parliament Commander sent his new cavalry out to meet the new Royalist Cavalry, the infantry was thrown into the Spittal with one of the brigades down to below 50% strength following the hard fighting there.
Phase 2
Once again the battle on the Newark flank led to a massive cavalry clash, the Royalist Commander however had drifted to close to the gun in the Fort and was taking casualties on its approach, which would eventually lead to the Raw unit failing to charge into the big developing melee.

Cavalry Action on the Newark Flank
The Garrison took its time getting moving and waited another 3 turns after the re enforcements came on before getting into gear, it took a couple of cannon shots but didn't really get involved. The big cavalry bash again petered out into a draw, even with Rupert committed to the fight on the third round of melee there was no clear winner, the cavalry once again returning to its own lines to reform.

Melee dice no prizes for guessing which were mine !
The Royalist Cavalry faired a bit better on the other flank, with the Spittal crowded one of the Raw Foote units drifted into charge range of a Royalist Cavalry Unit, it charged and the Foot unit rolled poorly and ended up standing disorganised with its flank exposed. As you can see above my melee reaction dice were "interesting" to say the least, I had unsurprisingly won the melee but then ended up 7 down on the reaction dice ! Thankfully the God of none random factors was on my side and with a Galloper flank charge on a disorganised Raw unit with no casualties on me won the day. The unit routed and my cavalry in true Royalist fashion charged off table after them.

As sunset fell on the battlefield a draw was declared, the Royalists had the advantage on the Spittal flank, they still had a bit of work to do to get in the Spittal but with no Cavalry on that side the Infantry weren't coming out in a hurry. A stalemate on the Newark flank, when the Garrison got its finger out it should have got into the guns and put pressure on that side. The Cavalry had shown itself to be equal twice and were no doubt getting a little tired of charging around all day. The Parliament would have been able to safely withdraw undercover of darkness over the bridge of boats.

Royalist support arrives
Earl Rivers Foote with heavy casualties from the days fighting (11 from 20)
Owens Regt of Foote
A really enjoyable game, it must have been 3 or 4 years since I played ECW and had forgotten how much I really enjoyed it, my personal Royalist views gives it that little something extra. The enthusiasm is up and as mentioned in the last post I am looking at Cropredy Bridge for our next ECW game. I have rustled up a good orbat and some ideas for a scenario so watch this space. Ongoing at the moment is a play test of of "new" home brew Ancient Rules based on the ECW rules used in this game. I will mostly likely blog about these rules as they develop. Next "big" game will be our Gallipoli centennial game close to the anniversary of the landings and then it will be our annual Naval Campaign set this time in the Med.

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