On Sept 17, the enterprising and indomitable Steve Miller had me up to The Ratt Palace for another go at Victory Without Quarter (VWQ) English Civil War (ECW) rules. This time we fought the Assault on Coventry in 1642. While I do not have Steve’s full list for this scenario, it was a big affair for us involving some 13 regiments plus artillery per side.
Steve played the Parliamentarians, while I got to command the Royalists.
This will be a longish report as we tried to write down what was happening each turn.
Scenario: Local Parliament forces are currently holding Coventry, but a large Royalist force is approaching the town. Royalist objectives are to enter the town and exit units off the northern portion of the board through the town for a Decisive Victory. Parliament’s job, keep them out of Coventry.
Prior to start, we decided to use the “Maddening Subordinates” optional rule. Parliament was saddled with a buffoon foote and cautious horse brigadiers, while I was gifted with a brilliant foote commander and a reckless horse commander.
The following photos depict the battlefield at start, with Coventry at the top.
The Royalist artillery give a long range shot to the walls (to no effect), signaling the beginning of hostilities. This followed with most of the Royalist cav surging forward (due to Reckless Commander, all their orders are charge!).
Royalist Dragoons advance on the town’s south eastern walls.
Royalist Foote Commander Digby (being brilliant gets to issue 2 orders), orders the entire brigade to move forward twice. The Parliamentarian clubmen start rushing for the southwestern wall where Digby’s units are approaching.
The Parliamentarian Trained Bande in Coventry, seeing all the approaching Royalist, become shaken (Event) and refuse to more any further forward.
Royalist reinforcement Horse Brigadier (Lord Wilmot), and Royalist dragoon Brigadier (Sir Spencer Compton) enters the field to view the situation prior to bringing on their forces.
‘All Thumbs Thompson’ was assigned to one of my royalist artillery batteries. And apparently he can’t read the “No smoking” sign over the powder keg, blowing up one of the Royalist field guns.
Compton’s Dragoons arrive this turn, as well as a unit of Wilmot’s raw gallopers.
The Parliamentarians seem to be stunned at all the Royalist and unable to move. Meanwhile the Royalist horse in the center continue to advance toward Coventry, but blocking the line of sight of their last remaining artillery.
Royalist horse continue to move forward, along with Digby’s dragoons on the Royalist left.
But some hope arrives for Parliament, as CinC John Barker arrives to assess the situation and finds it precarious.
Fire from the Royalist Dragoons cause the Birmingham Trained Bande to attempt to rally, but shaken already, they instead rout completely off the board.
Wilmot’s Dragoons (center in above picture, fire on the other clubmen, causing 2 casualties.
Digby’s brigade continues to advance to the south western wall.
Turn 10 – Destiny’s Hand
This turn really proved to be the turning point of the game overall.
Back in turn 6, we rolled the Battlefield event. Steve “won” the die roll and it came up a 6 (I gotta be ME!). So we were awaiting to see which unit had to roll the dice to see the result. Barker’s Trotter’s (Parliament), located in Coventry, declared for the King and his unit shouted HUZZAH, joining en-mass the royalist cause!
It was just as the huge Parliamentarian relief force arrived on the Royalist right.
The Royalist Dragoons also fired at some clubmen approaching the gatehouse and actually destroyed them (only 2 stands, caused 2 casualties).
The Royalist Prince of Wales Horse regiment enters from the royalist far rear left, moving toward the Parliamentarian reinforcement force, that kept growing in size.
Horse on both sides begin to approach one another on the eastern side of the battlefield as more reinforcements arrive for both sides.
Parliamentary artillery open up on the dragoons at the wall and the the gallopers approaching the ruined town gate house, but the resolve of both units pass the morale test.
Finally Stuart & Digby’s royalist gallopers overrun the artillery guarding the entrance to Coventry! This breakthrough is just the signal Barker’s traitorous horse needed to overrun the other artillery battery in town.
However Wilmot’s dragoon’s at the wall has their morale shaken as they are hit by another cannonade into their flank.
A royalist horse unit (Col Bertie’s) began to move up the hill toward the Lord Brooke’s Parliamentarian horse. After taking a casualty from Parliamentarian shotte, Bertie’s gallopers were then charged by Lord Brooke’s regiment they were menacing. Not being settled, Bertie’s unit chose to evade (I messed this up, as gallopers MUST counter charge) and end up shaken. They also end up chasing off the dragoons at the wall.
Turn 14 – The Long Turn (went almost all the way through the entire order deck)
Finally the reinforcements on both sides begin to clash.
Wilmot gallopers charged and Warwickshire trotters counter-charged, with Parliament getting the upper hand and pushing back the Royalists, though at a cost of causalities to both sides. The Prince of Wales regiment, seeing the flank of their foes, charge forward slashing deep into the Parliamentarians. As the Parliamentarians retreat shaken, the Royalist attempted to hold their charge, but became shaken themselves at their commander’s sudden lack of courage to continue.
On the Royalist far right, Dibgy’s Trained Bande, seeing the success of Royalist horse in the town, improves their morale to +1 for the rest of the battle (event). The entire brigade continues to close on the wall.
The Royalist horse in the town begin moving off toward the north to attempt to fulfill the decisive victory conditions.
DEAR READERS – Please know that by this time both Steve and I were a bit exhausted (we’re not young anymore), so not everything got recorded or pictured.
Royalist Bertie’s gallopers rally near the small hill in the center of the battlefield, thankful for the cover from the King’s Lifeguard, who chase off the Parliamentarian’s threatening them.
Diby’s brigade nears the wall close enough for Digby’s trained bande to assault the wall, pushing back the clubmen and advancing into the town. Seeing the initial assault succeed, the Warwickshire Trained Bande stays in march column and heads for the gatehouse.
However the Coventry clubmen find the resolve and courage, and push the Royalist back over the wall with a huge combat push. The “brave” Digby Trained Bande is shaken by this event, and pushes back the Warwickshire Trained Bande and Digby’s Dragoons.
Meanwhile on the royalist left, the raw Parliamentarian Warwickshire trotters rally, but the Prince of Wales unit routs (failed morale check while shaken) and begins to flee the field.Wilmot’s other horse begin to get things together again as they rally for another charge.
Turn 16 – The Clubmen Advance!
Parliamentarian CinC Barker orders Lord Brooke’s regiment to charge again at the dragoon but they fail the morale check (this was another bust we made – since the dragoons were in open order, no morale check was needed).
Meanwhile Wilmot’s horse rally and prepare for another charge. They charged but were shot to a halt by the Parliamentarians. Seeing the royalist halted in front of them, they fired again, routing them off the field.
On the Royalist right, what looked to be an easy win was proving disastrous. The clubmen routed Digby’s Trained Bande, routing it through the Warwickshire bande, shaking them (battlefield decision between the 2 players).
The shaken royalist Warwickshire Trained Bande continue to lose ground to the exuberant Coventry clubmen and rout, shaking the dragoons behind them. However they were able to rally again later in the turn.
The unfortunately “brave” Digby Trained Bande was not able to rally and dispersed into the countryside.
On the Royalist far left, Stuart & Digby gallopers charged the Warwickshire trotters. The trotters tried to halt the gallopers with their pistols, but it was not to be. The gallopers charged home, routing the trotters. As the trotters fled the field, the royalist charged right off the board after them. That did not save the royalist Prince of Wales horse, who failed again to rally and dispersed back into the countryside as well.
With the Royalist fulfilling the decisive victory conditions, we called it a game.
END OF GAME AND DISCUSSIONS
It took us from noon to about 6pm (including beer/bathroom breaks) to play this out. It was really great fun, but a couple of on table rules came up that I want to share.
- Routers breaking through steady troops will cause those troops to be shaken. Routers breaking through shaken troops cause them to rout as well.
- Trotters firing “at the halt” have range distances of s=0-2, M=2+-4, L=4+-6, with +1 for short range and -1 for long range to the to hit die roll.
This was devised from the trotters 1d6 stand and fire die roll in the rules.
Gallery – below some other pictures I took from the battle.