Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dunbar 1650: Hail Cromwell !

The scenario was based on Dunbar 1650 where Cromwell was all but cut off from England by Leslie's army on Doon Hill close to the North Sea.  In the real thing Cromwell made a night march to outflank the Scots and roll them up from their right.   In this scenario both sides were allowed night marches but each division's march was subject to a roll so they might move all, 3/4. 1/2 1/4 or none of the proposed distance.  The rules are Hail Cromwell = Hail Caesar house ruled to extend it to ECW.
Mike & David commanded the Scots.  Jim, Steve & Mark commanded the English.
The English troops started deployed this side of Spott Burn.  A cavalry and a shotte division have marched up the road in the night.  A piek & shotte division and a small cavalry division are covering the baggage train.

The Scots have moved forward overnight, but not so far as to get themselves over-exposed as in the real thing.
The English horse on the far flank have advanced to the foot of the hill to pin down the Scots there and hold the road open.  The shotte have deployed in front of the road.  The rear guard is making an advance to pin the Scot's left.
On the far flank the Scots cavalry attacked to try and close the road, but after initial success, they were stopped by the English horse.  In the centre the highlanders smashed a hole through the English musketeers.  Fortunately for the English the Scots pikes were making heavy work of moving on the hill and had been left behind.
The English rear guard has advanced onto the hill as the baggage train moves slowly along the road. 
The English rearguard's advance has shuddered to a halt as highlanders charge down the hill at them.  In the centre, the highlanders are withdrawing to the hill - saved from Cromwell's cavalry counterattack by lousy command dice (and he's a 9!).  Mark's horse is mopping up the Scots horse on the hill on the far flank,  but the pikes behind them make any further English progress there unlikely.
Steve's rearguard was pushed back but eventually saw the Scots off.   His foot I now starting its withdrawal while his horse is facing off the Scots lancers.  Cromwell's horse is holding the road open.
Steve's horse has pushed the lancer's back.  Both the Scot's flanking forces have now broken so even though they still have their two large centre divisions with small only losses, the Scots fail the army break test we use:  For armies with 4 divisions, they break if they lose 3 or if they lose 2 before the enemy lose any.  3 of 4 English divisions are on the verge of breaking, but it's the Scots who fail first.

The Scots must fear they are being outflanked and retire onto the hill letting the English get away.  15 of the 20 English units will get away (exactly 75%) and they have saved the baggage, so under the scenario rules they have salvaged a draw by the skin of their teeth.  But it was a moral victory for the Scots who did so much better than in the real thing.

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