Adwalton Moor 1643

Adwalton 01

West Yorkshire, June 1643 …  The Earl of Newcastle (of the celebrated white coats) moves to attack Fairfax’s Parliamentarian headquarters at Bradford.  The town being insecure, Fairfax opts to intercept on the line of march at Adwalton.

Adwalton 02

Trebian set this one up, using his own rules, and based on the narrative and dispositions given in Richard Brooks’s Battlefields of Britain and Ireland.   Treb has posted a report on the game on Wargaming for Grownups, which I commend to you, so here I will post some more pictures and some comments on the rules and resolutions …

Here is RB’s map tilted slightly to match the table orientation ….

Adwalton 02a

And here is Trebian’s battlefield based on the above (units arriving by road, not all deployed yet)

Adwalton 03

I  must confess this is not a battle I know well enough to debate any of the above.

As Treb started the game with the armies on the march, we were able to deploy these forces more or less as suited our plan.

I played Newcastle, and my plan was simple enough … I was going to push on up the road to Bradford unless Fairfax could stop me. Tactically, I’m used to the idea, from other battles, of horse having to fight for enclosures and over hedges etc – so was confident in using their higher mobility to seize ground.

That said, I sort of thought I might need to use a reasonable force to dominate the Moor … but it turned out mostly to be full of coal pits … and anyway, Parliament wasn’t coming to us, so we had to press, press, press.

Adwalton 04(looking South-East: Parliamentarian foot establish blocking positions lining the road)

Royalist attacks blitzed Parliament’s blocking forces from either side of the route while more foot pushed up the road and the cavalry who were not obliged to fight for the Moor clattered into the lane, discharged their pistols then charged through the hedge – and into the unsteady green coats beyond.

Adwalton 06

This was all speculative, of course, and mostly intended to keep the tempo of battle running as I had visualised it.   If I got repulsed, I would simply have to make do … probably by throwing more troops into the fray.   In fact, most of these attacks were sustainable, and weight of action pretty much bullied the Parliamentarians off the position.

Adwalton 07(the position carried)

Adwalton 08(viewed from the South East again, the enclosures are cleared and the last unit of horse veer right to clear the remaining opposition)

Final positions …

Adwalton 09

Adwalton 10

Adwalton 11

Adwalton 12

Victory Without Squares worked better for this game than previous battles – probably because the nature of the battlefield brought out the advantages of the card driven movement possibilities, and because the ‘quick resolution’ firing and combat gave us a result in comfortable time.

Had both sides opted to manoeuvre as  would be normal for a more open battle it might have taken longer.

The bigger army won on the evening as on the day, but the battle brought out, once again, the importance of cavalry.   Near enough half Newcastle’s forces (Brooks reckons) you can’t just hold them back for a cavalry battle – you need to use their speed and numbers to dominate the battlefield.  Exactly how that works is interesting … VWS’s combination of a longer move with more failures when turning a card for crossing obstacles etc. is an engaging solution (they will always get there quicker but you can never be sure what use they will be) ….

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