Before I kick off with the usual orders, history and battle report its worth mentioning for this game I swapped my usual vivid green battle coloured boards for a rather muted and touch sensitive teddy bear fleecy blanket from Dunelm. In fact there are two on the table. These cost £20 each and I can highly recommend them...
Dunelm Moss Green Throw
First up these cloths are a great colour( i will be experimenting with some spray paints in near future) and secondly you can place hills under them. They also provide a nice cushion for the figures to fall into if dropped.
They do NOT however aid dice throwing and trays become an absolute must
Back to the battle....
Cheriton is a small village near Petersfield in Hampshire which is incidentally very close to where my brother lives...and in March 1644 the two forces oif the English Civil War came together for a rather large engagement. Significantly the parliamentarian forces were much greater in number but perhaps the quality of command and the number of elite units lay with the Royalist cause.
Our Army lists and battlefield deployments all came from the rather excellent Pike & Shotte supplement to Kill a King - if you haven't got a copy yet do so as this really is a supplement worth having.
Basically the Parliamentarians get lots of troops but only four leaders (3 battalia commanders and one general) All had the standard 8+ command roll bar Haselrigg on the Parliamentarian left flank - he gets a seven rating (bad). By contrast the Royalist cause gets about 25% less troops and twice as many commanders. In effect they will end up dictating the choice of commands and where the battle is going to be fought...or so we thought.
Mark & Alastair would command the Kings forces whilst I would lead the cause of Parliament
The battle is fought in a valley with a wood at one end and the small village at the other. This valley is traversed by a hedge lined lane. Given we like to play our games in a single sitting the terrain, deployment etc was all set up in advance. Breakdown and clearing up will happen some time later this week
With the forces arrayed the battle kicked off...
Royalists to the left and Parliament on the right
The Kings forces decided that we would go for an all out assault across the table - they would try to seize the town and the woods and confront the numerically stronger Rebel forces in the centre - it was a brave plan
Parliament had other ideas - they would try to sieze the lane fist and refuse their flanks not wisjhing to get embroiled in action on the flanks
With the stage set the Parliamentary forces advanced on the lane - their right flankk under the useless Haselrigg refused to move
Parliament quickly captured the defensive ground in the centre and began to pour fire into the Royalist infantry
Parliamentarian cavalry under Haselrigg finally moved to protect the lane outside the village
By now the Royalists were forcing their way through the lightly defended Cheriton Woods
Sensing that the Cavaliers might come pouring out of the woods the Rebel Right Wing Horse steeled themselves
The centre was proving too tough - several Royalist units were taking a battering and under heavy fire withdrew from the range of the muskets
Seeing that the Kings forces were having more success on their left wing (village) they moved up their cavalry in a flanking attack on the left end of the parliamentarian line - the infantry held on against the Cavalier charge
Across the centre the Royalist forces could do nothing - the weight of guns and artillery proving too strong
In Cheriton Woods things were grinding to a halt with little progress
Over on the right a cavalry melee ensured with both battalias coming close to break
It was at this point the Royalists conceded the a game - they had lost two battalias (both Horse) and their infantry had suffered a pounding. Although the village now lay in Royalist hands the Parliamentarian forces had won the day.
A combination of larger forces in a defensive position coupled with some lucky dice rolls had secured their victory
A great game - more soon from the Shed