A fictional early ECW scenario this week, set in the county of Kelhamshire. The two rival parties, (led by Sir Victor Meldrew for Parliament and Lord Melchett for the Royalists) are keen to seize the county's military stores for their own use. Sir Victor has raised the Trained Bands and had been joined by like minded gentlemen with their units and has taken up a defensive position at the village of North Twiston, blocking the Royalist advance. The Parliamentary force comprises two Trained Bands (the Green and Yellow regiments), Carpenter's Foot, Miller's Firelocks, Livesey's and Hartley's Horse and Hodder's dragoons. The dragoons are on foot as their mounts have been passed to the cavalry units. Sir Victor also has a cannon, although his Master of Ordnance has a low opinion of it; "that mouldy,worm-eaten carriage will never last".
Meldrew deploys his gun and firelocks in the centre, with Carpenter's in reserve. The Green regiment holds the forge to the right of the gun and the Yellow regiment the walled enclosure beyond the church. Livesey's Horse are on the right with the dragoons holding a field on the flank and Hartley's horse are on the left.
Lord Melchett is fairly confident. He has the foot reiments of Gerard, Taylor, Broughton and Assheton, plus the horse regiments of Tyldsley, Molyneux and Shepherd. He posts Tyldsley and Molyneux on his right with Broughton, Taylor and Gerard in the centre and Assheton in reserve. Shepherd is on the left. He has one light gun, which is an old piece dating from the reign of Elizabeth.
The Royalists decide on a general advance, intent on exerting pressure all along the Parliamentary front. As this scenario was set in the early months of the war all the units had to roll for their quality standing when fired upon for the first time. The options being Trained (4-6), or Raw (1-3). Things went badly for Melchett as the first three rolls came up '1' so Gerard, Broughton and Tyldsley were all raw.
On the Royalist right, Tyldsley moved forward and then charged Hartley's regiment. Although he had the advantage of numbers, the Parliamentary horse were trained and this counted, because although the Royalists pushed them back, Hartley's retained their order, whilst their opponents became disorganised. As the melee progressed the Royalists gained the ascendancy and then drove off their opponents, but in the process became so disorganised that they had to fall back to try and recover.
To the left of Tyldsley's, Broughton's were nearing the walled enclosure. They had taken some casualties, but fired a volley and continued the advance. The Yellow regiment stood to await the charge but their volley was ineffective and the impetus of Broughton's carried them over the wall. The melee continued with little being gained by either side. However, the Yellow regiment's pikes now intervened. The Royalist horse, Molyneux's, were involved in melee with Hartley's reserve and so the pikes could advance onto the flank of Broughton's and then join the melee. Assailed to front and flank Broughton's did their best, but were pushed back and routed.
Taylor's and Assheton were attacking the Parliamentary centre and were involved in a prolonged melee with Carpenter's and the firelocks. The Parliamentary gun had inflicted heavy casualties on Gerard's as they advanced and as Shepherd's horse were unable to overcome Livesey's, the Green regiment's pikes were free to intervene. Gerard's men withstood the initial onslaught but as the pressure mounted, began to give ground. Their order collapsed and soon they were streaming to the rear. The gun, as the Master of Ordnance had predicted, had by now collapsed, but with both wings broken, the cavalry either disordered or involved in melee and his centre in danger of being surrounded, Lord Melchett decided the day was lost and pulled back.
After lunch we refought the action, changing sides. The result was a victory for Lord Melchett. The decisive action took place at the enclosure with Broughton's again being routed, but this time the Yellow regiment pursued and were then cut down by Molyneux's Horse. Gerard's had by this time captured the forge and the gun.
The unknown troop quality made for an interesting game. The buildings posed some problems and perhaps future actions may use more open terrain.
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