Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). 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.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Battle of Rowton Heath pt.1 - A Neil Thomas' Wargaming: An Introduction Refight

Having had a not entirely successful re-fight of the first action of the Battle of Rowton Heath, I set up again and gave the same scenario a go with Neil Thomas' Pike and Shot rules from his Wargaming: An Introduction.

The idea is the same, the Parliamentarians are trying to advance down the road to relieve the siege of Chester.

Orders of Battle:


3 units of 4 bases of Reiters (Medium Armour, Veteran)
3 units of 4 bases of Reiters (Medium Armour, Average)

The King:

3 units of 4 bases of Chevaliers (Medium Armour, Veteran)
2 units of 4 bases of Chevaliers (Light Armour, Average)
1 unit of 4 bases of Shot (Light Armour, Average) - divided into two sub-units each of two bases.

The Battle:

The view from behind Poyntz.  Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the terrain is marginally different: this was to allow direct attacks up the road with the larger foot print of Horse units in these rules in comparison to a single Polemos base.

The Parliamentary Horse advance, taking quite severe casualties from the Royalist Shot.

The view along the lines, Parliamentarians to the left, Royalists to the right.

The battle develops!  Poyntz continues his direct attack with his leading horsemen, clashing with Langdale's troopers, leaving the other units to take out the annoying Royalist musketmen.

A closer-view: Note that Parliamentary pistoleers have caused a little damage to the Royalist shot also.

The leading unit of Royalist Horse destroys the leading Parliamentary Horse (centre)

In return the Parliamentary Horse have destroyed the Royalist Foot on one side of the road.  Note the flanking Parliamentary Horse about to attack the remaining Royalist Foot (top-centre).

Because of the "impetuosity" rule, the victorious Royalist Horse has had to advance and has taken some effective fire from the Parliamentarians.

It is then destroyed in short order (centre)!  The road to Chester is open again.  On the Royalist left, the remaining Royalist Foot has been eliminated, but the Royalist Horse has attacked to restore the situation

A wider view

The last unit of Royalist Horse is thrown in to try and stop the Parliamentary advance through the centre; the cavalry engagement is now general across the line.

Can the single unit of Royalist Horse on the left defeat two units of Parliamentary Horse... nearly down, one complete unit left to go!

The Parliamentary Horse pull through and destroy the Royalists! The left flank is open...note that both sides are just hanging on in the centre,,,(right)

The Royalists are (just) successful, although only a tiny rump of the original unit remains...

The Royalists have triumphed on the right flank, so with Parliament down to one unit, the King has triumphed!
Game Notes:
In contrast to the Polemos ECW game, this game worked really well as a game.  However, the Polemos set pretty much got the history spot-on!  So you pays your money...The major difference here is that tvicious terrain penalties, added to the command limitations, make Polemos attacks in enclosures very hard work, whereas here they are a relatively minor nuisance.  The attritional mechanic in the Neil Thomas rules can be seen at work visually here: the battlefield is nearly empty of units at the end.  The effectiveness of the Royalist cavalry can be seen too: they will win nearly every 1 vs 1 melee, whereas the Parliamentary Horse is stronger in Polemos.
However, I don't want to simply re-hash old comments from previous blogposts, so I will simply say that the Neil Thomas' rules made this into an interesting, quite balanced scenario whereas I would only recommend doing this one as a Polemos game as a really tough solo challenge for the Parliamentary player.

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