It’s been a long time coming, but after my introduction to Baroque for English Civil War battles earlier this year, I was recently able to play a second game. Rohan had not played before so Paul provided the figures and guided us through the rules. It was a 700 point game with no particular scenario or historical reference and I choose the Parliament force, leaving Rohan the Royalists.
The Parliamentarian army comprised of two units of Trotters (cavalry who fire pistols at point blank range before closing to melee at the trot); three units of Reiters (inferior cavalry who prefer to avoid contact); six regiments of foot Pike & Musket (three standard, one veteran, two poor) and one unit of Musketeers lead by three Reliable Leaders. The Royalist army had four units of Gallopers (top quality shock cavalry); one of Trotters; five of Pike & Musket and one of Musketeers lead by one Expert Leader (attached to the Gallopers) and two Reliable Leaders.
I deployed all my best troops on the right flank (veterans, musketeers and trotters), put all my poor quality cavalry as a reserve on the left flank screened by my standard foot units and took a gamble by putting my poor foot units in the centre. Rohan massed most of his best cavalry on his right flank with with foot across most of the width of the table with his musketeers deploying under cover of a short length of wall. Photos are all taken from the Parliamentarian perspective.
In the first turn my first leader rolled a double-six for initiative and spontaneously went from Reliable to Expert – and that pretty much set the tone for how lucky I was going to be with my dice rolls all game, which was a good job really as I don’t think my deployment was particularly smart.
Rohan immediately pushed forward his strong cavalry force against my left flank but were left disordered by pike and musketry. The centres were pretty static and Rohan advanced more cautiously against my right flank after seeing the resistance his other cavalry faced. One of the key characteristics of warfare in this period is that the first volley of musketry is significantly more effective than subsequent volleys so since I had more foot units and less cavalry, I was keen to stand and hold my fire until it could be most effective and therefore needed to hold my nerve and wait for Rohan to close with me, rather than be tempted to take long range potshots at his units.
Rohan continued to press forward against my left flank and my foot units fell back in an orderly fashion, displacing my inferior cavalry in the process. My foot units fired on the advancing Royalist cavalry, destroying one unit and disordering two others while taking minimal damage themselves. Meanwhile Rohan’s foot units began to advance in the centre in a double line and I held my fire. On my right flank Rohan’s elite cavalry wiped out my musketeers but not without taking heavy fire and then ran into my own cavalry right behind them.
As the turns progressed, my left flank my foot regiments destroyed another unit of Royalist cavalry and pushed back the remaining two in a state of disorder and damage without taking any further damage themselves. In the centre our foot units were evenly matched but I came off a little better in the musketry duel, inflicting minor damage and disorder on one unit. On my right flank, my cavalry pursued and destroyed the retreating Royalist heavy cavalry who are much less effective when on the back foot.
In the end phase of the battle, my Reiters who had initially fallen back behind my foot regiments were able to rally, advance and finished off the badly damaged Royalist heavy cavalry with their pistols before wheeling to envelop the wavering Royalist centre. The game was a lot of fun and in the end it was a fairly convincing Parliamentarian victory. Rohan and I are both new to the period so made mistakes in our deployments and manoeuvres but I think the timing of charges and firing your first volley is something that would come more naturally after a few more games.
I’m really keen to re-base the painted 10mm ECW figures I bought ages ago and paint up the others I’ve bought since but I’ve got a lot of competing priorities for projects at the moment so my 10mm Anglo-Zulu war will probably get done first. More on them at a later date…
This game was played at home on 21st October 2018.