For this weeks game John suggested we stage The Battle of Soggy Bottom which is free scenario written by Andrew Brentnail and sees a Parliamentarian force of the Eastern South Western? Association against local royalists backed up by some elements of the Royalist army.
The Parliamentarins are holding a small town which the Royalists are determined to capture.
The Royalists have better quality cavalry, well those led by Prince Rupert are and some decent infantry. They also have a smattering of poor quality and trained foot regiments.
The Parliamentarians have more poorly trained cavalry, trotters in the main backed up by two regiments of Cromwell's ironsides led by Cromwell. We always use the English Civil War supplement of Pike and Shotte which means the Parliamentarians have an extra dice when firing and Royalists have an extra dice when fighting. The Royalist cavalry naturally fights better but is basically a one off weapon which will leave the field if they are sucessful.
It made for a really good game and a lot of tactical problems for both sides. I opted for the Parliamentarians for a change. To add a bit of extra spice I dealt John and I three ECW chance cards from packs I was kindly sent several years ago. They were an excellent set of cards, professionally produced but Im ashamed to say who from. I can only blame my stupidity.
My three cards were all useful in that they all caused issues to enemy units charging my troops.
A lot of the Parliamentarian cavalry was poorly trained trotters, that is they couldnt dash about the table and were more intent on shooting their pistol before trotting into a melee. On my left wing I did have Hasellriggs cuirassiers, a tough unit to crack but still slow to move.True to form I failed four consecutive orders for the brigade although I did manage to form them into a strong defensive position..
Cromwell in command of the right flank had two veteran units and two average units of cavalry, one would have thought sufficient to see off the Royalist cavalry who although more aggressive were of various quality. Of course true to form Cromwell threw a blunder which saw him and my best regiment retire two moves from the action. Luckily the Royalists were having issues with their commands as well, and when I was able to deploy my one regiment of dragoons they were able to continually disorder the cavalry long enough for Cromwell to sort himself out.
Unfortunately for John, King Charles managed to blunder twice in the battle which caused all sorts of issues to the Royalist plans.
Rupert meanwhile showed a lot of indecision and trying to co ordinate a joint arm attack lost the initiative and threw in his cavalry in penny packets.
The Kings mounted Life Guard, possibly my favourite unit didnt do much during the battle and when they finally were ready to do something they offered little. [Painted by Dave Jarvis, a man of great talent]
Essex's foot regiment although under intense pressure through most of the game was able to hang on and cause Rupert all sorts of problems.
As the game progressed I felt increasingly confident, so much so I ordered a badly trained unit out of the town to add firepower to the defence. They performed well, and continued to disorder the Kings Lifeguard.
Cromwell, free of the blunder issue which was transferred to the King [ thats the pile of ordure next to the Kings figure] was finally able to charge home on a disordered poorly trained royalist regiment. The king was officially killed in the melee, which drops his command level by one, so added to the 'pile of ordure' his command was a poor six.
John finally conceded as his commands began to rack up shaken status. It was great to have my ECW armies back in use. Sometimes you forget just how fun Pike and Shotte are, yes they have some non historical events but they provide a feel for the period, especially when you want a decent sized battle. It was great to see my 'old school' Hinchliffe and Minifigs figures on show.