Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life; currently concentrating on a re-fight of the entire English Civil War, but with numerous discursions into battles from many different periods. The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

ECW Campaign: September 1642

The English Civil War: September 1642

The Fairfaxes were approached by a group of "devout and god-fearing men" from Cumbria, claiming that they had sufficient strength to allow the forces of God to overthrow the "devilish forces of papery" that controlled Carlisle for the King.  The townsfolk of Nottingham sent a delegation to Essex, asking for troops to serve as a garrison there and protect it from the fate that had befallen Derby the previous month.

Meldrun moved to Grantham with orders to begin recruiting a new army for service in the East Midlands.  Fernando Fairfax moved up to Carlisle, but the promises of support melted away as the city's governor had arrested and hanged the plotters.  This led to his son bringing up the rest of the army and seizing the city by storm.  John Hampden left the main army to go to St.Albans and Ballard to London to start recruiting yet another new army.  Bedford moved to Sherborne and began to besiege it.  Essex, responding to Royalist moves, moved to Stow-on-the-Wold to prevent the relief of Oxford.  Portsmouth fell to Waller, surrendered by Goring.

Prince Rupert with 5000 Horse conducted a successful lightning attack on Gloucester, storming the city and capturing its token garrison, despite its strong defences.  Hopton moved into Devon to recruit reinforcements for his army.  Derby returned to Preston now the route to Shrewsbury was open through Liverpool.  Following on from Prince Rupert's success the King moved to and took Worcester.

The North:

The King:
Newcastle at Newcastle with 2000
Derby at Preston with 1000
1000 at York

Fairfax at Carlisle with 5000
1000 at Hull
1000 at Manchester

The Midlands:


The King:
Prince Rupert at Gloucester with 6000
King Charles at Worcester with 9000
Prince Maurice at Shrewsbury with 1000
Byron at Oxford with 1000
1000 at Nottingham

Essex at Stow-on-the-Wold with 13,000
Foppingham at Oxford with 3000
2000 at Bristol

The South:

The King:
Hopton with 6000 at Dartmoor

Ballard with 2000 in London
Bedford with 3000 at Sherborne
Waller with 2000 at Portsmouth

Despite the successful taking of Portsmouth and Carlisle, the month felt like a victory for the King: the storming of Gloucester and the occupation of Worcester were in some ways equivalent, but with the latter two in much more useful places than the former.  The moving over the Severn allows the King to simultaneously threaten:
1: Bristol
2: The relief of Oxford
3: A lightning strike on London
Additionally, some unfortunate outbreaks of desertion and disease in siege lines have left the Parliamentary forces in the South and Southwest vulnerable to counter-attack.  Parliament may need to be aggressive in the North to try and pull reinforcements away from the King.  Essex must decide whether carrying on at Oxford is worth the risk to Bristol.  Bedford will have no choice but to retreat on Bristol or Portsmouth, should Hopton attack.  However, this attack would pull Hopton away from his best recruiting area: Cornwall.  It may be better for Hopton merely to threaten until his army is at full strength - knowing that his Cornishmen will become progressively less useful as the war progresses. 

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