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.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

ECW Campaign: February 1643

The English Civil War: February 1643

Lord Eythin joined the Marquis of Newcastle at Hexham.  The Earl of Stamford relieved Col. Ruthin at Reading.

Newark & Berwick both re-pledged their loyalty to the cause of King Charles.

Hopton took Devizes, then marched on Winchester.  Bedford remained at Dorchester, continuing the training of his troops.  Byron moved back to Basing, having united all the troops he could muster in the South.

The Marquis of Newcastle marched on Richmond and brought the Fairfaxes to battle at Barningham.  The Royalists won and the Parliamentarians retreated on Bolton Castle.

The Earl of Essex made a final effort to march to Oxford and relieve the siege of that city.  King Charles left a covering force and then blocked the road.  At the subsequent bloody battle, King Charles drove off the Parliamentary army, which retreated with loss upon Wycombe.   Charles then ordered an assault on Oxford, to capture the city before Essex could intervene again - this was achieved, although with loss.

Groby moved to Melton Mowbray to begin recruiting, whilst Cavendish moved to Lincoln for the same reason.  Worcester fell to Foppingham.

William Waller and his small army sailed from Plymouth and landed at Pembroke. 


The North:

Newcastle at Richmond with c.6000
Derby at Blackburn with c.3000
Forth at York with c.1000

Brereton with c.2000 at Preston
The Fairfaxes with c.5000 at Bolton Castle
c.1000 at Carlisle
c.1000 at Hull

The Midlands:

Cavendish at Lincoln with c.2000
Vasey at Shrewsbury with c.2000
c.1000 at Newark
c.1000 at Chester

Foppington with c.3000 at Worcester
Wark with c.4000 in The Fens
c.1000 at Nottingham
Waller with c.4000 at Pembroke

The South:

King Charles at Oxford with c.9000
Hopton at Winchester with c.7000
Byron at Basing with c.4000
Goring on Dartmoor with c.2000

Essex at Wycombe with c.11000
Willoughby at Colchester with c.1000
Hampden in London with c.3000
Stamford in Reading with c.4000
Bedford in Dorchester with c.7000
Massey in Bristol with c.2000

Game Notes: A much better month for King Charles, as he re-takes his de facto capital, Oxford, and also has a substantial victory in the North.  He has also managed to gather substantial forces in the heart of Southern England and is now poised to strike.  But where to strike?  For London or for Bristol?  The only real advance for the Parliamentary cause was the taking of Worcester, which compensates partially for losing Oxford back into the King's hands.
One thing to note is that recruitment and desertion are just as important as battles in this game, which explains why the Royalist armies seem less strong than they might have done and the Parliamentary armies a little stronger - this is because the Parliamentary armies did better in recruitment and retention (i.e. avoiding desertion) than the Royalist armies.  This is three-quarters down to luck, but also partly down to skill - allowing some armies to whither so that stronger armies can be built up elsewhere is a key part of the game.  For example, does the King take desertion losses in his Welsh regiments which can then be rebuilt in Shreswbury or in Wales, or keep the Welsh units and allow more desertion in his English units, which can hopefully be recruited in situ.  Keeping field armies up to strength is much more difficult than keeping garrisons up to strength .

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