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.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Battle of Rowton Heath pt.2 - A Polemos ECW Refight

This action follows on from the action detailed in the re-fight of the first part of the Battle of Rowton Heath.  In essence, this is a re-run of the idea of the first battle but on a different part of the Heath with some reinforcements for the Parliamentarians.  The Royalist attempt to reinforce Langdale had been defeated, with ultimately disastrous consequences for the Royalists.  It would actually be worth fighting that action as a large skirmish, since it was ultimately the pivotal point of the battle and the campaign!  However, for this action the time is rolled forward to 4pm and Poyntz' second attack on Langdale.

I played these actions as two entirely separate games incidentally - the results of the first weren't "carried forward" to the second (because the optimal strategy of the Poyntz in the first battle is not to bother trying to do anything but rout the small elements of Royalist shot).

Check out here for a modern aerial shot of the battle area.

Orders of Battle:


C-in-C: Poyntz (Good)

Horse of the Northern Association:
12 bases of Veteran Horse (Dutch tactics), 12 bases of Trained Horse (D) n.b. use any reasonable brigade structure

 Army of the Cheshire Committee:
4 bases of Veteran Horse (Dutch tactics)
2 bases of Veteran Foot (Shot-heavy)

The King:

C-in-C: Langdale (Average)

Gerrard's Brigade: 5 bases Trained Horse (Swedish tactics)
Vaughan's Brigade: 6 bases Veteran Horse (S)
Monckton's Brigade: 6 bases Veteran Horse (S)
Blakiston's Brigade: 5 bases Trained Horse (S)

The Set-Up:

Please forgive the sub-standard photos in this post.  The lighting was particularly horrible and I have only been able to retrieve the images a little.

Poyntz' (bottom) approaches.  Unusually, his Horse occupy the centre flanked by two battalia of Foot.

Langdale's troopers defend the hedge lines

Looking along the lines...
The Battle:

Poyntz advances methodically (top); Langdale redeploys some of his reserve Horse to face them (bottom-left)

The wider view of Poyntz' (top) advancing into the enclosures

Parliamentary Foot is approached by Royalist Horse, Parliamentary Horse moves up to support.

Poyntz has advanced to pin the Royalist Horse on the left and his infantry are advancing around the flank; he now breaks some troops left to try and outflank the position with Horse too

The battalia of Parliamentary Foot watches the Royalist Horse approaching...

Poyntz rushes his Horse into position just in time...

A closer view

Yet again, the Royalist Horse fail to charge and become shaken...the Parliamentary Horse move up to counter-attack, the Parliamentary Foot moves up to deliver its musketry fire...

From the other side...the Royalist Horse watch apprehensively...

And very smartly the Royalist Horse are routed by a mixture of musket, pistol and sword.

The Parliamentary Foot and Horse push on...

On the Parliamentary left, the Horse has established a block to allow the Foot to find an exposed flank - the Royalist Horse are trapped, not willing to turn, retreat or charge

On the right, the veteran Parliamentary Foot and Horse prove unstoppable, and more Royalist Horse flee to the rear

The musketry of the Cheshire men starts to wear down the Northern Horse...

The Royalist left flank in a state of collapse! This allows the remainder of the Parliamentary Foot to find another exposed Royalist flank (bottom-right)

And this tactical advantage is soon exploited, as more Royalist Horse are pinned, outflanked and trapped

Steadily the Parliamentarians gain the upped hand...

The Royalists need some success somewhere, so risk a charge; at least this time one troop manages to charge home

Little good it does them though - the Parliamentarians hold then rout their opponents

Parliamentary musketry begins to collapse another brigade of Royalist Horse

Which is mirrored on the other side.  Outmanouvred and outfought, the Royalist army collapses - victory to Poyntz.
 Game Notes: Another game which went according to form.  The Parliamentary infantry advantage allied to the inferior Royalist deployment (here the Royalists were inside the enclosures as opposed to defending their outer edge) gave Poyntz the advantage, which he exploited with brutal efficiency.  Yet again, the systemic advantage that Horse using Dutch tactics showed itself here and the Royalist Horse had a thin time.  As I have mentioned previously I think, fighting in difficult terrain actually increases the decisiveness of combat in Polemos sometimes, because everyone is fighting with a level of Shaken as a base level, making it that much more likely that a base will be broken rather than shaken and/or pushed back.  It increased the chances of breaking an opponent by musket fire, for example, which is otherwise very very hard to do.
An interesting challenge this game - I'd like to know how Langdale might do better, given the situation; and yet again, Polemos produced a result very close to that in history.

And that is it for Polemos ECW battles for a while!  I have completed ten games this year as part of the Boardgamegeek 10x10 challenge so I need to switch fire for a while; plenty of Polemos SPQR still to do...although I might play a few more ECW battles with the Neil Thomas Wargaming: An Introduction rules.

Rules were the Polemos ECW set, figures by Baccus 6mm

No comments:

Post a Comment