Thursday 7 November 2019

Battle of Edgehill 1642 - The Action

This is the second post on our recent refight of the Battle of Edgehill, the first, last week covered the set up for the game, orbats, rules etc with a video run through of the table set up, if you missed it, click the link below,

I will let the pictures tell most of the story, apologies for the number of pics but I think it explains things better than paragraph after paragraph of prose.

The Battle plan of both sides was pretty much the same as the actual battle, the Royalist would launch both wings of Cavalry forward at their opposing Parliamentary wings (after engaging the Dragoons on the Roundhead flanks with similar troops), send the infantry forward and try and break into the rebel lines in the hope that Rupert and the boys would be back before tea to round things off nicely for the King.

Above we see Prince Rupert leading forward his Cavalry with his own and Prince Maurices units in the fore, orders Advance to HC (Hand to Hand Combat). No point messing about with Royalist Cavalry, get it forward and get it into contact.

The Royalist left started the same, Wilmots Cavalry, less in numbers and in quality started the escalation of walk, to trot, to canter, to gallop as they advanced on the Cavalry to their fore.

This photo looking down the table with the Royalists on the right, shows the early part of the Battle perfectly, you can see Wilmot to the fore, one move away from contact,  The Parliamentary Guns opening up as the Kings front line advances, and in the distance Ruperts headlong rush into that flank.

Wilmots and Fieldings front lines meet North of Brixfield Farm.

Whilst on the other flank Ruperts Cavalry charge home after their opponents chose to stand and fire, but under the pressure of the Gallopers charge they fired their pistols before the Cavaliers were in range. Also seen is Maurice and his Regt their opponents have trotted into contact.

Wilmots Horse have the upper hand, one Parliamentary unit routs after losing 50 % of its strength whilst the other is narrowly beaten and is pushed back.

Rupert and Maurice on the other hand break both units they fight and immediately pursue their beaten adversaries.

The front lines are much closer now and musketry ripples up and down the lines. In the centre a poor morale check on one of Fieldings Regiments of Foot, under fire from Roundhead Artillery causes that brigade to pause it's advance.

Most of the Royalists have a larger proportion of Pike to Shot than the Parliament so rather than try and beat the odds in a firefight the tactic is to close to Hand to Hand combat.

On the Royalist left the Cavalry battle has bogged down, the followers of the King have the advantage but some poor dice means it's no push over. Rupert and the boys however are off the table (hence no photo). Maurice found that the unit it broke stopped directly in front of the second line leaving the Parliament in a disorganised mass of two units which the young Prince just roads straight through.

Rupert had a slightly harder fight as their opponents in the second line stood to meet them, but stood vs Elite Gallopers is always going to be a loss. So 4 Regiments of Royalist Horse leave the table in pursuit, leaving only Lord Byron and his unit on the field.

The Battle along the front line is fierce with no clear advantage to either side, both armies have Raw units and the morale of these units can be brittle, above one of Meldrums Foot units routs from contact, similar scenes are happening on both sides up and down the line.

The King surveys the action protected by his Gentleman Pensioners.

In the centre Parliamentary firepower is keeping the Royalist troops at bay who are desperately trying to reorganize the lines to get moving forward again.

But Belasyses Foot Regiments are making better headway on the Royalist right looking to make contact the next turn.

A good view along the lines at the mid point of the Battle.

The infantry contest between Meldrum for Parliament and Wentworth for the King continues to ebb and flow.

A momentary set back in the centre for the Roundheads as a Raw unit in the front line gives way, but there are no dramas as Ballards Foot step up to take their place.

Things are going the Kings way on their right, after a cross of Pike the Royalists Infantry are victorious and rout their foe, but the sight of the retreating troops was too much for the last Royalist Cavalry unit on that flank who charged headlong into a Pursuit with a unit they hadn't even been in contact with., typical !

But the blunders weren't restricted to one side, a Raw unit belonging to Essex decided it would be a good idea to chase after a unit of Royalist Foot to it's fore as it routed, it ended in tears when they crashed into another Royalist unit, this second one was Trained and had an abundance of Pike. The Essex men routed back the way they came, lesson learned.

After plenty of drawn or narrowly won melees Wilmots Cavalry throw a double 1 for morale and they rout, leaving only 1 Royalist Cavalry unit left on the table.

Leading to one of the more amusing moment when the Parliamentary Cavalry literally trotted of in pursuit of the vanquished foe (who are travelling 6" a turn faster) safe to say that they gave up the chase pretty sharpish.

The empty right flank looked tempting to Stapleton and his Cuirass who started to move out from their position in the reserve.

Guess who just got back today ? Rupert and the boys are back in town !

Finally the Royalist centre got it's act together, the Kings Lifeguard of Foot had formed up, rallying the remnants of Fieldings units behind it and the rest of Bryon and Gerrards Foot alongside them, the drums sounded and the flags waved as the second line advanced towards Essex and his troops.

Pressure was also mounting on the Parliament left, another unit broke in melee, Maurice had returned with his Cavalry and the Firelocks and Dragoons from that flank were now in range of the Thistle Farm.

As night closed in the Royalist second line charged as one at Essex and Ballard.

One of the smaller Royalist units were repelled by the fire on the way in but all the other units hit home, Gerrards Foot above was about to win it's third melee of the day.

The Lifeguard also won it's melee and the whole of the Parliament left was being pushed back, at that point the Parliament called it a day.

The other flank was pretty much in stalemate, two units had fought each other twice to a stand still draw during the game. What tipped it's Parliaments way on that flank was the last unit of Royalist Cavalry deciding to chase after a shattered Roundhead unit (the one that pursued Wilmot). Fine idea but it left the whole of that flank under threat from Stapletons Cuirass who were now free to roam around unopposed. This forced the Royalist Foot behind Byron to form a defensive line 90 degrees to the main attack to protect against the threat of the Armoured Cavalry.

The Lord Generals Foot above hold the remnants of the Parliament lines. So the Kings Men have the day but fall short of a decisive victory much like the real battle. We had pretty much recreated history. The Parliamentary Cavalry of Fielding performed better than on the day but Rupert was unstoppable. The fighting was fierce and ended up, as on the day with the Royalist right pushing the Parliament back whilst falling back themselves on their left.

Many people asked about the fate of Sir Edmund Verney, Royalist Standard Bearer, those supporters of the King (like myself) will be glad to know that this Noble Gentleman survived the Battle, having charged with the Kings Lifeguard. He still retains both hands and is appearing in twice weekly piano recitals at Radway Church.

So thats the ECW collection away for a couple of years  ! Next up Italian Wars.


  1. Great to read through the re-fight. Relieved that the Royal army had a good day, and Verney can keep up his piano recitals :-D

  2. What a super-lookign game, Ken! Most impressive.

  3. Superb! Great game report.

  4. Great looking game and nice that it pretty much followed history!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain, it's a good way of telling if your rules are "realistic"

  5. Such an impressive display of fine troops! I hope it is not two years before we see these fine lads on the table again. I do look forward to seeing your Italian Wars collection out soon, though.

    1. Too many figures ! Ok maybe not, definitely not enough time.

  6. Lovely looking game and a fair outcome. It will drag on a few more years but Parliament will be ascendant :)

    1. True but it will only take a few years and the banning of Christmas Pudding before the people are begging for the King to return 😁

  7. I live at Brixfield Farm so find this very interesting! Thanks!