Saturday 30 March 2013

Refighting Cheriton 1644 in 28mm - an ECW AAR

It’s a long weekend being Easter and that can only mean one thing – the C&G lads getting a pile of lead out and going at it across a wargames table.

As yesterday was the anniversary of the Battle of Cheriton (29th March 1644) we decided to do a refight using the closest approximation of troops we could muster from our respective armies using Warhammer ECW. A pleasant evening spent trawling through C.F. Wesencraft’s With Pike and Musket and Don Featherstone’s Battle Notes for Wargamers allowed me to put together the following lists.

1 x General
1 x Colonel General
1 x Veteran Infantry (40)
2 x Steady Infantry (40)
1 x Raw Clubmen (16)
1 x Veteran Gallopers (10)
1 x Steady Gallopers (10)
1 x Steady Dragoons (12)
1 x Saker
2 x Falconets

1 x General
1 x Colonel General
3 x Steady Infantry (40)
1 x Steady Firelocks (12)
2 x Steady Trotters (10)
1 x Steady Scots Lancers (10)
1 x Veteran Cuirassiers (10)
1 x Saker

View from the Royalist side

Royalist foot and supporting artillery

Cowardly Royalist rabble hiding in the hedges - they did nothing else!

The battlefield is a gently sloping valley, lined with hedges on both sides and a with light wood at the closed end. Both forces spent the night in encamped on their respective ridges and were lined up in battle array and ready for the off as the sun rose.

Parliamentarian foot advance with horse behind

Scots foot in the centre and lots more Parliament horse

Both sides marched towards the centre of the valley, trying to make room to deploy and allow them to bring their muskets and artillery to bear. The Royalists had spread their infantry across their front, interspersed with artillery and with cavalry in support. The Parliamentarians loaded their centre with horse and held their weaker foot back, looking for an opening to advance in support of any cavalry gains.

Parliament horse advance towards the waiting Royalist foot

Wait for it... Wait for it... FIRE!

Dragoons in Cheriton Wood

View up the valley from the Parliament left

Desultory fire from Royalist artillery killed the odd cavalryman but did little to discomfort the enemy; however it did force the Parliamentarian commanders into a decision to advance their horse to prevent further loss. It was a decision that was to prove very costly for the minute they came within range of the Royalist muskets a string of devastating volleys ripped through their ranks.

At this point the Parliamentarian foot was not sufficiently advanced to support the horse, meaning that the Royalists were able to advance slowly on the flanks while continuing to hold the centre.

Coming to grips right along the valley floor

Royalist foot with veteran horse in support

Gradually the Parliamentarians brought their foot and single gun into play in the centre, eventually forcing some retreats from the Royalist foot and killing some pikes. It was to prove too little too late however, especially when the lone Parliamentarian saker exploded killing all its crew.

On the Royalist left dismounted dragoons were driven back into the wood by pike and eventually retired without loss. On the Royalist right the foot turned towards the centre to allow a unit of veteran horse room to manoeuvre.

Bird's eye view of the field

Stalwart Parliamentarian cuirassiers

Immediately the Parliamentarian cuirassiers charged and a furious melee developed, leading to the eventual complete destruction of the Royalist horse but not before the cuirassiers had suffered significant losses. The supporting Royalist foot didn’t like the look of things are began to break but were saved by darkness and the end of the battle.

Royalist foot maneouvre to allow their horse room

The rapidly thinning Parliament centre

In the end victory went convincingly to the Royalists who lost a unit of horse and suffered minor casualties to each of their foot regiments. The Parliamentarians lost the majority of their four horse with only the cuirassiers recognisable as a unit. They also lost their saker and had their Scots foot badly mauled, losing about half their number.

Not much left for the Royalists to fight...

A great game for the Royalists whose lethal musket volleys decimated the enemy horse. Parliament’s cuirassiers distinguished themselves in melee but were unable to save the day on their own.


1 comment :

  1. Haselrig's Lobsters - one of my favourite ECW regiments.

    And Haselrig managed to offend everyone in a position of influence on either side, which takes some doing!


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