Edgehill – another way

Following the Lansdown game previously reported, Graham set up Edgehill – appropriately crammed-in on the smaller of his tables.  The battle was fought using ‘Victory without Squares’ and the figures were Graham’s 15mm (Peter Pig) collection.

Graham's Parliamentarians

The system has the merit of allowing a battle like Edgehill to be refought comfortably in an evening without too many gamey complications.

Movement alternates (led by initiative) and units shoot and fight when they activate.  The unit by unit resolution works quite well, and often rattles along … the shooting and combat is unpredictably wild and often descends into chaos.  Chaos is probably quite authentic for the English Civil War battlefield, but this is one of those games where the outcome doesn’t always make much sense, and the (one D10 roll) combat mechanism gives no narrative support to the result (other than ‘I rolled badly: s**t happens’…).

Early Civil War Parliamentary cavalry are next to useless, and tactics cannot remedy this (nor the use of reserves, should you have them): lucky die rolling is your best ally.

Edgehill: trying to hold the Kineton road

I took Parliament’s cause – but having played the game before, was a little unsure what to do.  Essex fought this battle with sufficient of his poor cavalry to fight Rupert (lined up against our left) – not enough to win without a lot of luck, but enough to fight.  On the right, he scarcely deployed enough to put up a fight.

Historically, as ever, for Parliament, we needed to try to inflict a decisive defeat on the king.  On the wargames table it was hard to determine where it was possible to move.  We lost the cavalry on our right (all of it) on turn one.  We held the centre, battering their line unproductively with our guns.  To our left, one of the guns was able to bring down some fire on Rupert’s horse, the only point where the guns had any success.

Parliament's empty right wing

(there is a detachment of dragoons still contesting the far off hedgerows)

With a bit of traction resulting from the artillery fire and sufficient numbers to give our pistols a chance, we pushed up against Rupert.  We drove off the squadrons on the Kineton road, and routed his main division.

Chasing off the Royalist horse

In amongst all the firing, Rupert himself was shot from his horse.

Rupert shot.

Nevertheless, none of this was sufficient to get a decisive advantage, and a few die rolls later we where everywhere in rout.

In the centre, the King’s infantry advanced, brigaded into what looked like tercii, trying to combine shot with push of pike.  In amongst the resulting hurly-burly, they rolled very well on the red regiment which gave way, opening up the line.  As they pursued, the victorious unit was charged in the flank by a Regiment from the reserve line, which rolled badly and bounced off unsteady.  That was the best chance to stabilise the broken position.

The line collapses

At this point, other than a couple of isolated units, Parliament’s army was everywhere in disarray or retreat, and with the failed intervention of the reserve, the battle was lost.

I’m not sure how well that reflects the actualities of the battle of Edgehill, but I’m always pleased to take part in these games (it is fascinating to get another perspective on the events, and see them play out inside an evening, however it goes) …

Graham has posted another view of this battle (from a believer, and from a Royalist) .. You might care to take a look (Wargaming4Grownups) ..

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One Comment on “Edgehill – another way”

  1. Jeff Hudelson Says:

    Does this mean that the war is over?

    — Jeff

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