Saturday, September 26, 2009

Skirmish at Glenton

Today's post is an account of a cavalry skirmish which occurred the day before the Battle of Burnt Commons reported in an earlier post told mostly as captions to the pictures (you can see the strategic sketch map posted there showing the site of the skirmish in relation to the larger battle).

I broke out the old "GeoHex" hills I have for this one so they are showing the signs of wear from many years of gaming. I'm also planning to play a historical battle (Cheriton Wood) next and the GeoHex works well for capturing the feel of actual topography (even though the flocked hills are a little odd looking on the latex painted surface of the "Green Mile"). So the high ground for this skirmish is also modeled after a map of the topography of the Cheriton battlefield minus the wood and lanes so the table can be used with some re-arranging for the upcoming Cheriton refight.

The situation at start. The Royalists rearguard (in red) are trying to protect a camp of baggage that straggled on the march

Overview from Glenton towards the approaching Parliamentary horse...the Royalist initially oppose with only one troop astride the road.

Cavalier horse and dragoons alerted and head out to support the rearguard...and the wayward baggage camp in the background.

The lone troop of Sir Horatio Cary's Horse trot down the road to meet the oncoming Roundheads.

Two troops of Rupert's Horse gallop to support Cary's troop.

Rupert's first troop forms to the right of Cary just as the Parliamentary horse advance in the distance.

Charge and countercharge and a general melee ensues.

...a hot contest

As the melee rages, a third troop of Waller's Parliamentary horse advance against the Royalist flank...

Cary's troop falls back to regroup...

Waller's troop arrives on the flank of the melee to deliver a volley and then charges in...

But the Royalists throw in the second troop of Rupert's and for a time, a confused swirling melee...

As night falls, scattered horsemen from both sides reform... while at the site of the melee, Rupert's second troop throw back Waller's horse onto Haselrigg's cuirassiers arriving too late to tip the balance...

Thus the Royalists are able to shepherd the straggling baggage train to safety and for a time delay the Parliamentary pursuit...a win for the King!

Monday, September 21, 2009

H.G. Wells' Birthday

'Ere's to a brilliant idea! ....

"I say, might we apply some rules and have ourselves a splendid little game?"

Happy Birthday Mr. Wells!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lord Brook's Regiment of Foote

The last ECW game played here at the Lead Gardens was specifically designed to be both a break from the summer colonial project and an inspiration to get some more 40mm ECW lead painted up. So here is the result of the painting impetus...(despite a busy return to work). This new unit represents Lord Brook's Parliamentary regiment clad in purple. I thought this regiment would make a good subject to model since I had never painted a purple uniform and my Parliamentary army needed another foot regiment. These guys were a hard fighting unit and suffered heavily at Edgehill so I figured they would be a good unit to include in the collection.

I also thought to try Phil Olley's (and Barry Hinton's) method for making flags from actual cloth instead of my usual printed paper followed by paint approach. I was a bit unsure where to get men's handkerchief material but a quick trip to the local Wal Mart resulted in a pack of 6 for 3 dollars. More than enough for an army of flags!

The cloth flag method is outlined in Charles Grant's "The Wargame Companion" and is also found on Barry Hinton's "League of Augsberg" website. I followed the instructions to the letter and I think the flag turned out pretty good...even if it did take a bit more time to produce the result is well worth the effort. (The cloth gives a nice texture to the flag...a lot of "depth" and "scale effect".)

So my "Purple Roundhead" regiment, though arriving too late to participate in the Battle of Burnt Commons, they will most certainly be present to"entertain" the Royalist curs with muskets and pike in the next fight!

This unit brings me to the end of my unpainted 40mm lead.... so time to get selling some more stuff on ebay to build up funds for another order! (Figures are a mix of Sash and Saber and Romanov....the S&S are moumted on pennies to make up for the slight difference in size compared to the Romanov figures.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Battle of Burnt Commons

After a summer of indecisive raiding and skirmishing, a Royalist Army under the Marquise of Newcastle meet the Parliamentarian northern forces in battle near the village of Burnt. The Parliamentarians commanded by The Earl of Essex, are in pursuit of the Royalists under the Marquise of Newcastle. The afternoon of September 8th 1642, the vanguard of the pursuing Parliamentarians contact the Royalist rearguard and a sharp skirmish of horse ensues (this skirmish will be the subject of another table battle report). The Parliamentarians halt for the night and Newcastle presses his army on the next day, making a crossing at the upper bridge and halts outside the village of Swinton intending to reverse direction the next morning and fall on the rear of the Roundheads as they cross at the lower bridge. Thus on September 10th Newcastle moves his army south.

Meanwhile Essex, getting warning of the Royalist move from a sympathetic local, instead of continuing his line of pursuit instead decides to move up the left bank of the river and gain the high ground above the Royalist camp. Newcastle however moves quickly at first light and deploys on the high ground near the village of Burnt. Both side are roughly equal in strength with the Kings forces enjoying an advantage in horse. The order of battle:

The Earl of Essex- CinC
Sir William Waller - commanding the Horse

Col. John Haselrigg's Horse (cuirassiers)- 1 squadron
Lord Essex's Regiment of Horse- 1 squadron
Sir William Waller's Regiment of Horse- 1 squadron

Col. John Hutchinson's Regiment of Foot (grey coats)
Col. Ralph Weldon's Regiment of Foot (red coats)
Tower Hamlets Regiment of the London Trained Bands (red coats)
Yester's Scottish Foot (grey coats)
1 Regiment of unidentified local foot

Col. John Okey's Dragoons
1 gun

Marquise of Newcastle- CinC
Lord George Goring- commanding the Horse

Prince Rupert's Regiment of Horse- 2 squadrons (the Prince is absent in this battle)
Sir Horatio Cary's Regiment of Horse- 1 squadron
Newcastle's Northern Association Horse- 2 squadrons

Sir Allen Apsley's Regiment (red coats)
Prince Rupert's Foot (blue coats)
Newcastle's Foot (white coats)
Sir Marmaduke Rawdon's Regiment of Foot ( yellow coats)

Sir Edward Dunscomb's Greys- dragoons
1 gun

*note the first few pics are blurry but they get better as you go...

The battlefield...
the village of Burnt is just off the lower left. The Royalists are deployed on the left, the Roundheads on the right

Royalist starting positions

Parliamentarian starting positions

overview of Burnt Commons

Royalist horse

enjoying superior numbers in horse, Lord Goring throws the first blow...

a false sighting of horse on the Parliamentarian flank causes a moment of indecision....Waller orders Haselrigg to move to the left...the order is misinterpreted and the Lobsters fall back just at the moment the Royalist charge begins (you can just see the tails of the retreating Lobsters at the lower right of the pic.)
meanwhile Yester's Scottish foot already formed up to defend against cavalry, loose a volley...

Haselrigg quickly reacts and gets his horse about faced to counter Goring's charge. Here they fire pistols before coming into contact....

a fierce melee develops and eventually the heavily armed lobsters turn back the Royalsit charge....

Cannon posted near a farm on the Parliamentary right flank, screened by Col. Okeys dragoons

the foot move forward and a musketry battle ensues...

the Tower Hamlets regiment suffer heavily from well aimed volleys from Newcastle's whitecoats...
Yester's Scots move up to reinforce the hardpressed Parliamentarian line...

The Royalist battleline shrouded in thick clouds of musketry smoke..

the advance of Parliamentary foot becomes disorganized and each regiment is forced to fight its own battle....

Essex's horse make a spirited charge on the whitecoats...

...and pushback the foot despite heavy losses...

Meanwhile the Royalists recover from their initial failure and their horse returns to catch Yester's Scots disorganized and unable to form a defensive pikeblock...

as night begins to fall...the Parliamentarians are still holding on grimly...after six grueling scale hours (24 turns...3 hours actual playing time) the battle ends in a draw but the Royalists hold the field and are able to make their escape north unmolested...

next up:
the prior day's cavalry skirmish!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Break From the "Salt Mines"

Faculty offices at the Wieliczk salt mines...

Now I know being a university professor is not by any stretch the toughest job out there, but this past couple of weeks getting the semester started has really hammered down my gaming and blogging time! But now that things are moving along on that front I was able to do two important things....the first was getting my unpainted projects out of our "alleged" home office and into a dedicated closet with new shelves and a semblance of organization. This was a bit of a birthday gift for my wife who was beginning to think I was a mentally certified "hoarder" (she's been watching the cable TV show of the same name and she keeps looking over at me during the show and muttering, "I think I know this guy...". So I thought that the better part of marital valor was to beat a tactical retreat out of the office room. Now it actually is an office and I moved our computer there to prove it so she's happy.

I also set up an ECW game for a change of pace from Colonials to help me get inspired to finish my last unit of unpainted 40mm foot. (well...not ultimately the last...but until I have funds to order some more I'm holding it to 5 foot units for each side.)

a straightforward ECW hypothetical set piece to get the campaign blood up again!