Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Battle of Bedford Beetfield: 1644 ECW Hypothetical [1]

Defending London from Rupert: 

Parliament is in crisis. Two Royalist armies are approaching London, either of which could defeat the "retrained" Parliamentarians. As a result the ground chosen to defend the approaches of London at Bedford was a curious mix of psychology and defensiveness (or should that read deafeatist mind-set). The Parliamentarians deployed in a corner triangle (see below):

The points of the triangle were a hamlet BUA (top right), a baggage camp behind a wood (bottom right) and a "Beetroot Field" (far left). A "flying column" of upgraded Parliamentarian cavalry forms the left wing of the army, infantry dominated elsewhere (see above).

The Royalists deployed a "wall of shot" with excellent cavalry on both wings, hiding a Macedonian Phalanx of Pike away from the attentions of the enemy (Parliamentarian) artillery. It would be interesting to see which way the artillery dual went (see above) as both sides deployed two large cannon. Parliament's center anxiously waited the opening rounds from the 'big guns' (see below).

The Parliamentarian right wing commander (me) wondered how to get his some of his mass of "shot" involved without opening the door to the Royalist mobile left wing (see below): 

A close-up of the base of the Parliamentarian right hand triangle and the curious "flying column" something lCromwell must have been thinking about over the winter (and who said he didn't drink, I think too much eggnog is at work here). Dragoons, Shot, "vastly improved"Parliamentarian cavalry" and then Light Guns in the wrong place at the rear of the line (see below):  

The "Beet Field", the namesake of the battle, full of Parliamentarian "shot" and soon to be the scene of one of the bloodiest  slug-fests in our ECW campaign (see below):

To which the Royalist Right Wing (and he probably was to be fair) said "I'll 'ave 'em all" and promptly charged at the Parliamentarian Left (as they were politically leaning that way) in a aristocratic 'death or glory fashion' (see below):

Meanwhile the Royalist (far, far) Left could barely see the enemy and would spend most of the game marching to meet up with them, but were a useful "shot" and "cavalry" pack (see below):

A view from the Royalist Baggage Camp of the Royalist Artillery and "reduced" Pike Block, being kept in reserve as a sort of Triari formation, partly due to their vulnerability to artillery, partly due to the "no where to put them in this bad terrain" (see below):

The Royalist Baggage, where Rupert keeps his bloomers, would Cromwell get his hands on them? The Royals seem to be keen on oxen? (See below):

Deployment "configured": Next let the action commence ...

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