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.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

ECW Campaign: November 1643

The English Civil War: November 1643

The commanders of the garrisons of both Hull and Lyme wrote despatches to Parliament assuring that body of the continued unwavering loyalty of the garrisons and populations of those two ports, describing their steadfastness in God's cause.

The Earl of Manchester attempted to reach London through Essex in order to reinforce the capital; Prince Rupert moved to intercept him at Chelmsford however and Manchester was forced to retreat back to Bury St. Edmonds, abandoning the Essex town into the hands of the Royalists.  King Charles then planned to march to Chelmsford himself and then incorporate Prince Rupert's forces into his own and attack London.  However, Manchester moved to intercept the King near Cambridge and managed to defeat him, somewhat against the odds, at the Battle of Swaffham.  The King was able to gather his forces and join with Prince Rupert, but his troops were now not in a fit state for any further marches or battles until after a period of recovery.  Hampden rode from Basing to Cambridge to join Manchester's army.

Waller remained quiet in Ross-on-Wye, training his troops.  Cavendish withdrew from in front of Waller, moving to Nottingham from where he could march north to support York or south to support the King.  Prince Maurice remained in Shrewsbury, recruiting and training.

Newcastle concentrated on training his men.  Brereton did likewise.

Bedford moved to Truro, obviously intending to use the port to ship some or all of his forces to other theatres of operation.

The North:

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The Royalists:
Newcastle is at Newcastle with 4000 Foot & 1500 Horse
Ethyin is at York with 1000 Foot
Preston is garrisoned by 1000 Foot

The Parliamentarians:
Brereton is at Appleby with 3000 Foot & 3000 Horse

Fairfax is at Hull with 2000 Foot & 1500 Horse

The Midlands:

The Royalists:
Chester is garrisoned by 4000 Foot
Prince Maurice is at Shrewsbury with 4000 Foot & 2250 Horse
Cavendish is at Nottingham with 3000 Foot & 2250 Horse

The Parliamentarians:
The Fens are garrisoned by 2000 Foot
Manchester is at Cambridge with 8000 Foot & 2250 Horse
Waller is at Ross-on-Wye with 3000 Foot & 1500 Horse

The North:

The Royalists:
King Charles is at Chelmsford with 10000 Foot & 6000 Horse
Oxford is garrisoned by 1000 Foot
Gloucester is garrisoned by 1000 Foot
Hopton is at Sherborne with 1000 Foot & 750 Horse

The Parliamentarians:
Essex is at London with 11000 Foot & 3750 Horse
Hopton is at Truro with 6000 Foot & 2250 Horse
Reading is garrisoned by 1000 Foot
Massey is at Bristol with 1000 Foot
Basing is garrisoned by 1000 Foot

Game Notes:
Manchester's victory at Swaffham (and it might be argued, it was really Cromwell's victory) really did save London from being besieged by the King.  Although the King was able to join with Prince Rupert, there was no time left to carry out the attack on London and the losses in that battle have changed the equation so that the King no longer has the numbers to guarantee that Essex would have to withdraw:  Essex could leave a small garrison to prevent a coup de main and still put a very respectable force into the field against King Charles.  This must change the King's strategic calculations, knowing that he has very little time left before the Covenanting Scots come to Parliament's aid, fundamentally changing the strategic dynamic of the conflict.  On the other hand, is this still the King's last best chance for a decisive victory?

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