Monday, 7 May 2018

The Battle of Torrington

Morning All

Apologies for the delay in posts but things have been rather hectic. The good news is that this is the first of four posts that I have written this morning so more content will appear over the next few days.

Last Monday, Mark Alastair and myself fought the Battle of Torrington from the ECW. We used the set up from the ECW Pike & Shotte supplement 'To defy a KIng'. We did consider using the new ECW rules For King & Parliament but because time was short we elected to play with the standard Pike & Shotte.

From a background perspective Torrington was one of the last major engagements of the ECW. Parliaments forces were chasing the Royalists around Devon and eventually caught them at Torrington. Alerted by there pursuers the Royalists had set up a defensive perimeter around the town so this was almost a mini siege.

Somehow Rebel Dragoons triggered off the the battle forcing their way across the barriers and into the town. This was quickly followed up by the rest of the Parliamentarian army. By all accounts the street fighting was very bloody and no quarter given.

Parliament won the battle but almost lost their general in the process. An errant gunshot set off the Royalist powder store hidden in the church. The resulting explosion cascaded the area with stone masonry and lead from the roof. The Parliaments commander almost had his head taken off by a roof tile !

So onto our battle. The table is set up as per the book  with the Royalists patently waiting behind their barricades. Their cavalry albeit poor are just outside the town in the meadows by the river. 

The Royalists are outnumbered 2 to 1 with an even worse situation in Artillery - the defenders have two pieces the Rebels seven

Our battle starts with the Governments' Dragoons entering from the top right of the picture above. They quickly man the hedged enclosures but discover that the distance between the hedges and the defenders is just out of long range for their muskets.

At this point the Ironsides (Cavalry) of the Rebels arrives on table. Rather fortuitously opposite the enemy horse (he diced for entrance points for each attacking unit)

The Cavalry was soon joined by more infantry in the centre of the attack and more forces in the enclosures. The attack could start

The Roundhead cavalry charged only to fall short of their target.

The cavaliers, outnumbered and poorly lead,  quickly retreated into the lane and dispersed into the town. There was going to be no valiant charges today

Meanwhilst the Roundhead infantry was forcing a fight along the whole length of the Rebel defence and getting nowhere./ The defenders held their ground and poured shotte into the attacking forces. The attack quickly turned into a rapid retreat.

Infantry attack
Charge !!!

More forces arrive

Driven back in despair

The two Parliamentarian players (myself & Alastair) hastily convened for a new strategy.

Bring up the Guns

Finally our batteries were in place and began to pound the enemy defences. It was going to take sometime

The Royalists take fire from Artillery

Sighting the Guns

After a good forty minutes of game time the royalists had lost a few units but no where near enough to fold and retreat. It just wasn't going to be Parliaments day

We played the rules straight from the scenario book and with hindsight the defenders were too tough. Their stubborn trait allowing rerolls for saves just proved too strong. There was never any doubt that the defenders could hold out and as such the game could never lay out like the real battle.

Great fun all the same

More from the ECW soon


  1. Fab game! Looks marvellous Eric!

  2. It was a challenging game....definitely brought home the reality of attempting an assault without softening up the enemy with artillery first!

  3. fill the cannons with limbs of the plaque dead ...