Sunday, 11 December 2011

The ECW Siege of Oxford "What if" they had fought?

Ignoring the defensive potential of the hamlet the Parliamentarians now deploy in a traditional line-of-battle to face their Royalist foes. The ranks of the more numerous Parliamentarian infantry serve to fill the plain with foot!  

To get a feel for the difficulties faced by the Parliamentarian cavalry a quick "battle bathtub" was set up (see below). The Parliamentarian horse was the inferior "shot firing type", supplemented by a stand of Dragoons against the "impact" knights of the Royalist Army. However there was so much extra Parliamentarian infantry the Parliamentarian cavalry got some extra support that way. This "foote" support was promptly dismissed out of hand by the over-confident Royalists who piled in. Pity as the stand of dead knights stood testament to their "shot" potential and Royalist stupidity, in particular when combined with the Parliamentarian shooting cavalry. The Parliamentarian cavalry went down fighting loosing 4-1 (three cavalry stands and a dragoon, to the one "unlucky" stand of Royalist knights") in a very one-sided melee, giving 4-5 turns before they would be in a position to come back into the rear of the Parliamentarian infantry. This said there was a touch-and-go moment for the Royalist general.
Note: This is a very, very, very none ECW thing as they would be off looting the baggage rather than worrying about their lowly foot comrades. There must be something in small print of DBR other than a round spending PiP's in reorganisation, fragmented or not the Royalist cavalry rallies far, far to quickly?    

On the other flank the cavalry matched up 4 Parliament to 5 Royalist, but this was soon turned to  4-4 as a Royalists stand of knights were shot out of their saddles as they strayed too close to a Parliamentarian Regiment of Foote that aggressively angled themselves at them (see below). Here the cavalry battle never got going before we called time. 

This left the Parliamentarian Centre advancing but not contacting (note the tables being turned here) the defensively set Royalist infantry. The canny (and correct Royalist) tactic was naturally to hang back until the Royalist cavalry had broken their Parliamentarian counterparts. The bloody hand-to-hand melee contact was not made during the time we had, but the Parliamentarians were stripped of their supporting light guns by good Royalist dice, though this would not have stopped them eventually going in (see below).

It should be noted that the temptation to support the Parliamentarian Cavalry wings with full regiments of shot should be avoided as it depletes the mass of infantry in the middle. In fact a single element of Pike and four units Shot makes an effective infantry unit/block which the Royalist horse would find hard to break. The full force of Parliamentarian infantry minus the ten elements supporting the Parliamentarian cavalry wings should eventually swamp the Royalist foot however the DBR rule set seems devoid of accurately simulating the Royalist "off to the races" when the Royalist cavalry 'inevitably' defeat the 1643 Parliamentarian cavalry. Again are the learned and devote rules lawyers of the Royalist camp missing an important DBR ECW amendment here? A Google search beckons ;)

If not I suggest a better set of ECW specific rules!


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Google search result:


"The other popular set is DBR. Unfortunately I care for history too much to go down that road. One look at a DBM/DBR game is enough to make me fail my morale test. Not only does it emphasise a system over both playability and historical accuracy, it’s also so poorly written that gamers seem to spend half their time poring over the rules."

Yep I am afraid that is my feeling too, why punish yourself when you want to have fun?

"More period specific sets include Warfare in the Age of Discovery, Forlorn Hope and 1644, all of which have their strengths and weaknesses. Of these, Forlorn Hope is probably the most accurate, and 1644 the most playable. Of the freebie stuff out there gifted Clarence Harrington’s Victory without Quarter seem well worth a try. ("

This seems to sum it up nicely!

The Angry Lurker said...

Very good batrep and description of cavalry tactics other than looting!

Ray Rousell said...

A very good batrep, love the quote about the Royalist cavalry hanging true!!