Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Pike & Shotte: Cropardy Bridge 1644

Steve & Tony's Parliamentary Army v. Jim's Royalists

We dived off the deep end into the new Pike & Shotte rules playing the Cropardy Bridge scenario from the book.  It used almost all of my ECW 15mm collection.  The scenario has the Royalists strung out on the road (LHS of pics marching towards the camera) with the parliamentarians coming on in 2 columns across two bridge/fords.

In the first pic the battle is already joined in the distance where the Parliamentary cavalry galloped forward with surprising speed, but the Royalist horse just had time to deploy out of road column and charge first.   In the foreground the Parliamentary advance guard has deployed with the columns moving up behind.  The Royalists have deployed into battle formation but not moved off the road.

The cavalry fight on the Royalist left had 4 Cavalier units v. 5 Roundheads.  The Cavaliers were better troops, but lacked control.  The Roundhead's caracole proved more effective than expected & the extra unit made the difference.  The cavalier division broke.

On the other flank the other cavalier division charged the Parliament's advance guard as their infantry followed up behind.

The parliamentary deployment of horse with foot behind paid off and the Cavaliers failed to break through & were broken.

The Parliamentary right was still a long way away, so the Royalists continued attacking on their right, hoping to pull off a win before they could arrive.   However, their attempt to outflank the Parliamentary foot by attacking through the farmyard petered out and the  musketeer division on their right was too slow to come up.  The main Royalist infantry division was holding their own, but when the Lifeguard cavalry's desperate attempt at a breakthough on their right failed it was all over for the King's men.

Despite the size of the battle and the need for frequent consultation of the rule book, the battle ripped along quickly.  It was all over in 2 hours.   We all enjoyed it very much.  The Pike & Shotte system is as you would expect  a mix of Black Powder & Hail Caesar, but it does succeed in bringing out a very credible English Civil War feel.  The similar systems make it easy to pick up P&S after learning HC, but it is a bit tricky remembering the subtle differences.  On balance though I like the principle of a common system tweaked for the different periods.

Our 15mm figures are based on 40mm x 30mm stands: Infantry in 2 ranks, cavalry in 1.
Standard units:  Musketeers & dragoons 3 stands in 1 rank.  Pike & cavalry 4 stands in 2 ranks.
We used these with the distances & ranges straight from the book on a 10'x8' table.

No comments: