Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Autumnal ECW action - Much Piddling in the Woods

That stern Puritan General Temperance-and-Prudence-Shall-Be-Thine-Watchwords Knott raided deep into Royalist held territory. He brought fire and sword to the Malignant believers in the Divine Right of Kings, smiting them hip and thigh, even. Now, with Autumn drawing on, Knott's on his way back to friendlier climes and winter quarters in the bucolic village of Much Piddling in the Woods - but the Royalists are snapping at his heels...

...Or they would be, if Sir George Moutebank can persuade them to get their act together.

The scene of the coming battle. Autumn's spreading her golden gown.
A goodly beginning for Parliament. Knott leads Montagu's regiment of foot on the final straight to the village.
Sir Allen Apsley's regiment of foot make an appearance on the south road. Now the race is on.
Sir John Norwich's Regiment of Horse gallop by to screen the troops on the road.

Their counterparts, Sir Chas. Gerard's Regiment of Horse gallop up.
Eager to confront the upstarts, Sir Charles forms his regiment into line.
General Knott peers at the oncoming Malignants through his spyglass. Knowing he's almost certainly outnumbered, he wonders - Will I have time enough to reach the village and safety?
Sir John's and Sir Charles' regiments square off against each other. Much Piddling in the Woods lies in the distance beyond the river.
Sir John's regiment begins a caracole maneuver against their rivals. Hits are scarce, but the overall effect is unnerving to the Cavaliers.
In the distance General Knott leads Montagu's regiment beyond the crucial bend in the road between the two woods. Whatever happens now, his infantry should be safe. The artillery follows on at a more leisurely pace.
The caracole continues to baffle the Royalist horse. Sir George Mountebank joins his cavalry and tries to get them to charge, but to no avail. Impatient at the delay, Sir Allen Apsley's regiment moves past the cavalry's flank.

The stalwart pikemen of the Earl of Essex's Lifeguard formed the garrison of the village. They welcome their comrades as Montagu's regiment passes over the bridge. General Knott peers through his spyglass back down the road. His cavalry are doing good work, but may need guidance. 
Finally, Sir George persuades the Cavaliers to charge...
General Knott joined his Trotters just in time to encourage a gallant counter-charge.

A bloody encounter ensued, to the detriment of the pusillanimous Royalists. (The red token denoting a Hit is about to be replaced with the deadly white token denoting a Casualty). 
Montagu's regiment lines the churchyard walls. The tardy artillery make their way over the bridge. Much Piddling in the Woods is safe for the army to winter in.
Eschewing the caracole, Sir John's regiment gives their opponents a good pistoling. Although the Royalist artillery and Bolle's regiment of foot fume at being screened by their own horse, Sir Allen Apsley's regiment is about to alter the equation.
The right flank sleeve of Sir Allen's regiment gives fire against the Parliamentary horse, causing some damage.

General Knott decides discretion is the better part of valour and leads his horse away down the road to the village. A triumph for Parliamentary arms!
* * * *
All figures are 10mm Pendraken Miniatures. Fought to Victory Without Quarter rules, the game was noteworthy for the amazing number of poor dice rolls on the part of the Royalist cavalry. Even the presence of their C-in-C wasn't enough to persuade them to charge for several moves (There's not much that can be done when the dice score fails consecutively to rise above 4!). When the Malignants finally managed to stagger into a charge against their rivals, the Ironside 'trotters' previously held in such contempt handed the Royalists their flowing-lock'ed heads to them on a platter.

The cards were drawn at random, and the sequence favoured Parliament quite enough in the first few turns to make their reaching the village with most of their force intact a certainty.

It was a quick, fun game, and gave me the chance to put my new Autumn-foliage trees on the table. I hope to be able to add to the ECW forces in the next few weeks. Watch this space...


Michael Awdry said...

Great report A.J. and lovely to see the autumnal woods and the the river sections on the table - mighty fine they look too.

A J said...

Thanks, Michael. I'm pleased with the way they turned out.


home page uniques