Thursday 1 March 2012

Battle report - 26 Feb 2012 - Edgehill refought

Last Sunday was one of our regular club all-day games - downstairs, the guys were playing Warhammer Fantasy (which is one of the scant few times you'll ever see me mention it on this blog!), while upstairs, we had six folks for a large (12'x'6') Warhammer ECW battle.

Carl had produced individual
unit cards for both sides - here's
the complete Royalist order of
Umpired and arranged by Carl, this was in fact a refight of the Battle of Edgehill, though he made a point of not letting on. Between us, we had upwards of fifteen regiments of horse, a dozen or more foot and about a dozen guns, all painted 25/28mm figs (with the exception of a certain unit of Lobsters over which we'll just draw a veil, OK, Grahame?). The Royalist side was your humble scribe (in overall command), Al and Carl, taking on Grahame, Gary and Dewi.

It took us a while to figure
out that one of the club's
Citadel Gaming cloths is
not the same as the others!
 Scenery duly set up, we deployed - Rupert and three regiments of horse on one flank, the other three on the other, and five regiments of foot along with the Royalist artillery. As Grahame was in charge of the forces of Parliament, it came as no surprise that he elected to wait for us to come to them.

The Royalist culverins open fire
First blood to the King, as Al opened up with the culverins we'd sited on the ridge to the northeast of Radway village, and despite Carl's observations about guns in WECW being rubbish, nailed the range first time and proceeded to cut a swathe through two units of Cavalier foot. The return fire from Grahame's guns was less accurate, but remarkably irritating in that it cleared the front ranks of foot and twice managed to carry off members of the Gentleman Pensioners protecting the person of His Majesty. Most ill-mannered.

Rupert's wing advances
Meanwhile, both flanks of horse advanced across the hedges, coming under fire from assorted Parliamentarian groups of commanded shot. The Lifeguards elected instead to take the road: somewhere in the middle of this, I rather foolishly missed a charge I wasn't sure I could make, and left them in the path of a first full salvo from two units of shot at close range. The rebels most certainly could hit the broadside of a barn at that distance, and let me tell you that upwards of 35 shot with about a 66% chance to hit and an even chance to wound is very... very... messy.

Some of Gary's rather nice painted
Warlord firelocks
Meanwhile, in the centre, one of Al's units of foot was getting the undivided attention of a large gun battery, and on the other wing Carl managed to chase off the shot lining the hedges and get stuck into a classic cavalry melee (lending tone, as they say, to what would otherwise have been a vulgar brawl).

The horse on the rebel right prepare
to receive charge - more of Gary's
lovely painting.
On the right, the Parliamentary cavalry charged. Rupert, being Rupert, countercharged, won, outnumbered them, and chased them off, before turning to face the next lot. Basic maths suggested they should win this one too, being pretty much the best cavalry on the table by a long way.

Basic maths has a lot to answer for. Despite charging, and having a considerable number of attacks, I managed to do next to no damage on the Cavaliers, and collected enough in return that, horror of horrors, they lost the fight, and...
The rebels left centre, on the road -
some of Grahame's collection.


It is of course the case that at that point Rupert and his remaining horse elected to hare off up the Kineton road in pursuit of the Parliament baggage. The scurrilous rumour going round the rebels' camp that his regiment actually, y'know, fled the field, is just that. Rumour. Yup. That's the ticket.

Moving swiftly on....

Royalist and Parliament infantry go
at it hand to hand.
On the left, Carl's cavalry were starting to be in a position to sweep round the Parliament flank, and in the middle it came down to close range musket fire (bloody but inconclusive) followed by in with the pikes.

To be honest, 'bloody but inconclusive' quite sums up this phase of the battle too - much pushing and shoving, some casualties, but as night fell (read: as we hit the deadline to clear up) it was probably too close to call. Both sides would probably claim they had the best of it.

In conclusion? My thanks to Carl and the rest of the players for a great day. It did go to prove that if you approach WECW with the right mindset (i.e. not trying to minimax the living daylights out of it, but go with historically believable orders of battle - I think there were a total of two Veteran and one Elite unit of horse, and everything else, foot and horse, on both sides was Steady or Raw) it can produce a fun game that doesn't jar.

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