Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Battle of Edgehill - 1642: Part 1

As well as doing the Napoleonic Decadal battles I'm also trying to do a year-a-year through the English Civil War. I'd hoped to get Edgehill in before Christmas, but in the end had to pack it away halfway through to make room for the turkey! Rules were my ECW version of SLS, with 100m hexes, and 1 element= 1 regiment, 1 turn = 20 mins.

The above image is looking NNE across the battlefield, Parliament on the left, Royalists on the right, with Edgehill itself just off the board on the right (not got that much Hexon!).

Royalists lines in front of Radway

The opening moves saw dragoons on each flank fighting for the scrub on the left (all directions from the Royalist lines), and the enclosures on the right. Parliament won on the left, the Royalists on the right.

Battle underway for the scrub on the Royalist left flank

The cavalry then moved up on both flanks in the traditional manner. The Royalists got the upper hand in both encounters, but true to form chased the Parliamentary cavalry off the field and it was unlikely they'd get back before nightfall (I operate a double random system for returns to keep you guessing to the last moment).

Prince Rupert (left) in action on the Royalist right flank. Enclosures behind.

Then the main Royalist line started to move forward. Given the late start (2.30pm) there were only 8 turns of battle planned, so they knew they needed to get a move on. The Radway ditch on their left caused more of a problem than I think it did historically, the 70% to cross may have been too low. The urgency also meant that the Royalist line came forward piecemeal.

Left Flank: Royalist cavalry pushing deep past the scrub

Centre: Royalist infantry about to make contact

Right: About to cross the Radway Brook
The first wave of Royalist attacks made contact and did OK, but the lead units were not well supported, whereas Essex could bring his whole line off the rise to batter recovering Royalist units after the first melee. To the left of the Radway Brook one Parliamentary regiment retreated a Royalist unit back across the Brook, and being of poor quality gave chase itself. On the Radway Brook the lead Royalist regiment made it across, disordered, but was of excellent quality (quality is assigned randomly when first needed) managed to beat off an attack from inferior Roundhead unit. It was joined by a second regiment, but both were still disordered when hit by further Roundhead units. With the second Royalist regiment routed it took two other Royalists regiments with it in morale-dominos, but the Royalist reserve cavalry saved some face by wiping out the Roundhead units which had strayed across.

Parliamentary regiments victorious on the Radway Brook
A vulnerable Royalist unit on the left flank
A Yellow Parliamentarian regiment ready to descend the rise

By the end of Turn 6 things were looking pretty grim for the Royalists. Their main attack had foundered and two of their 5 brigades were either eliminated or under withdrawal orders. The time has probably come for a general Parliamentary advance to push them from the field.

End of Turn 6 situation - not many Royalists!

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