On Nov 26, my friend Steve Miller invited me up to play our favorite ECW rules set – Victory Without Quarter. The scenario was from Robert Giglio’s English Civil War Campaign Scenarios booklet (definitely worth getting!)
Scenario – July 13, 1643, Devizes, England. Sir William Waller’s Western Association combined arms force of 2200 foote, nearly 2000 horse and artillery are formed up on Roundway Down. The 1900 strong Royalist horse, lead by Lord Wilmot (due to Hopton’s injuries in temporary command), Prince Maurice, and 2 light artillery pieces are assembled on a nearby rise. With the threat of an additional 3000+ Royalist infantry joining the battle, Waller decided to attack before they became outnumbered.
Forces arrayed as pictured above.
Waller’s left wing forces begin their closing on the Royalist right.
The Parliamentarian trotters on the Royalist left were closing to caracole ranges, so Lord Digby’s gallopers charged in before getting shot to death. Waller’s trotters elected to stand and fire, to no effect, so the gallopers charged home.
This started a horse scrum that was to last multiple turns as Lord Digby gallopers fought like lions, boucing and being bounced multiple times back and forth, both sides becoming shaken in the process, but still fighting on.
Both sides began to point troopers into the direction of the scrum on the Royalist left, with the Parliamentarian left begin more cautiously approached by both sides.
Turn 4 is the first turn possible Royalist reinforcements of some 3000+ foote regiments arriving (6 regiments). But the Royalist failed the enter roll.
Meantime, the horse scrum on Parliament’s left was being slowly pushed back by Lord Digby’s determined veterans, with Morgan’s and Sandy’s combined regiment closing to charge range.
Meanwhile on Parliament’s left, Col. Hungerford’s trotters charged against Sir John Digby’s (son of Lord Digby over on the other flank). Sir John’s regiment counter charged – with both sides clashing hard, but with the Royalist pushing back Hungerford’s regiment.
At this point, it was a swirl of horse action, with the gonnes on both sides only shooting delaying shots (causing morale checks that both sides passed). But the first units beginning to break had started.
The Royalist caused multiple morale checks with Waller’s horse regiment breaking, sending the entire Parliamentarian wing running. The Royalist (me) feeling bold, attempted to rally the valiant Lord Digby regiment – but failed! They had had enough. Their routing shook both Lord Byron’s regiment and the combine Morgan&Sandy regiment’s of horse.
On Parliaments left, however, things were looking up. Though Hungerford’s regiment routed, Col Gould regiment came up and caught Sir John Digby’s horse blown and flat footed – routing them. This caused Wilmot’s regiment (above far right top) to become shaken.
But Gould’s regiment fell short on the pursuit, leaving them in a vulnerable position to Prince Maurice’s elite Lifeguard Gallopers.
With the melting of Parliament’s right, the Royalist cav buckled down, made their morale checks to steady and started taking aim at the Parliamentarian center. First to get mowed down were a section of light gonnes by Col. Long’s regiment
Next came Parliamentarian Col. Popham’s regiment of foote, who seeing Col. Long’s horse rolling over the light gonnes, attempted to form pike stand from a declared charge by Col. Long, but failed. They were, of course, quickly routed.
On Parliament’s left, it was no better.
Col. Gould’s trotters were massacred by Prince Maurice’s Lifeguard, and they promptly routed, shaking Heselrige’s cuirassiers who were finally getting into the battle – but too late.
The final blow came with Essex’s regiment of foote attempting to form pike stand against the fresh charging Lord Byron’s regiment of horse. Morale checks were not with the Parliamentarian dice, as they failed and were routed, caught and dispersed.
At this point Parliament had 2 units of foot, 2 gonnes, and a single shaken unit of cuirassiers left on the table. 3 Brigadier generals had also routed off, attempting to rally their troops. We decided to call the game at this point.
As a “just to see”, the Royalist made their reinforcement roll for turn 8, that would have brought in another 6 regiments of foote for the Royalist right into the fully collapsed Parliamentarian lines.
We both had a great time, and have “tinkered” with these rules to our liking. Specifically we allow units to use the “maneuver” order to make a 1/2 move and then change formation. This really helps getting troops into combat. Please note we were playing on an 8 foot x 6 foot board and in combat by turn 2!
For your enjoyment, I have included a carousel of all the pictures Steve and I took during the battle below. Until next time, YIS, Alan.