Saturday, 21 July 2018

Battle of Adwalton

Last Tuesday night Mark and I got together to play another scenario from the excellent Pike & Shotte supplement  - to Defy a King. If you are into this period I can wholeheartedly recommend this book – it has a number of excellent scenarios, rules on sieges and many more army lists to cover the period.

This time we elected to fight a rather one sided affair called the Battle of Adwalton Moor…

The Forces arranged for Battle

In terms of background the real battle was fought on the 30th June 1643

Things kicked off when c10,000 Royalist troops marched on the Parliamentarian stronghold of Bradford. In defence of the town, Lord Fairfax advanced with 3,500 men and the two armies met on Adwalton Moor. The two to one advantage was to prove decisive.

William Cavendish Earl of Newcastle commanded the Royalist Army of the North.  His deputy was General James King (later Lord Eythin).  General George Goring the lieutenant-general of the Horse was absent from the battle having been captured by Sir Thomas Fairfax at the Battle of Wakefield on 24th May 1643.

Ferdinando Lord Fairfax commanded the Parliamentary Army with his son Sir Thomas Fairfax and Sergeant-Major-General John Gifford as his subordinate commanders.

According to British  The Royalist army comprised some 6,000 Foot and 3,000 Horse and Dragoons. The Royalist army brought to the battle a powerful train of artillery including two demi-cannon nick-named ‘Gog and Magog’.

The Parliamentary army comprised some 4,000 Foot and 1,500 Horse and Dragoons.  In addition the Parliamentary army was accompanied by a large crowd of local countrymen, termed ‘clubmen’ and armed largely with agricultural implements.

The Royalist Foot was short on firearms with a large proportion of pikemen.

The Parliamentary Foot comprised mainly musketeers.

The overwhelming number of Royalist pikemen eventually forced the Parliamentarians back and when their lines broke, the Royalist cavalry completed the victory.

The victory ensured Royalist control over most of northern England for the rest of that year.

As far as the terrain was concerned we took the map from the book – the distinguishing feature were the rows of hedgelines that the Parliamentarians defended.

Again in terms of forces these were taken straight from the book with the same dispostions

The Royalist Army mustered with 10 Regiments of Horse
Six units of Pike
Six units of Musketeers
And two medium pieces of artillery

Facing them were

3 units of horse
6 units of musketeers
3 small field guns
And two units of clubmen

The Parliamentarian Forces watch the enemy approach

Clearly the stronger the side the Royalist march forward - their cavalry wings spurring forward

The Right Wing edges forward

Whilst the Left tries to sweep round

The Left Cavalry wing swiftly engages with the rebels on their rear right flank

Its timer for the plodders to do their work...

Desultory fire from the Rebel ranks has no impact on the advancing pikes

The Royalist right wing cavalry ride up to the hedgeline and exchange fire

The Governments forces are now taking a beating across the line

Breakthrough - the first pike block forces a line break - the cavalry swift to sieze the iniative

The local clubmen are no match for trained troops

The Royalist cavalry finally win in the rear

The Parliamentarian left wing crumbles - infantry guns and horse all charged down

A Kings Pike forces their way up the road

The Parliamentarians are now in full rout

A complete victory for the King

A great little game - there was always going to be one winner but fun all the less...

More soon


  1. Very nice game, the supplement is a nice thing to own. How do you handle your mixed Pike / Shotte units, do you keep them together or allow them to act as though each is three units?

    1. We keep them as separate seems to work;-)

  2. Great looking game and a challenging scenario.

  3. As ever, a fine spectacle. I really must get a copy of the supplement.