For King & Parliament Campaign October 1643

Looking back at over a year of conflict, the war is going well for the Parliamentarians. After the Solemn League and Covenant treaty in September Scotsmen appear to bolster the ranks. With Oxfordshire captured some generals think that Gloucestershire is up next. Meanwhile the Royalists focus their attention on the midlands.

Although the rules are in the campaign name, I decided to try some other rule sets I have at hand. For King & parliament is a good set I enjoy playing but I’m curious how it holds up in comparison to other rules.

I decided to try Pike & Shotte from Warlord games. As this set depicts a Pike & Shot unit as two to three separate units I didn’t have enough units to play the game physically and switched to Battle Chronicler.

Royalist Northern Army

General Tasker CR 8

Left Wing…196
General York CR 8
4 Cavalry (Galloper, Pistols)

General Lehenard CR 8
4 regiments of 1 Pike block and 1 Musketeer wing each
General Higate CR 8
3 regiments of 1 large Pick block and 1 Musketeer wing each
1 Commanded Shotte

Right Wing…196
General Glenham CR 8
4 Cavalry (Galloper, Pistols)

951 points

Parliamentarian Northern Army

General Peacok CR 8

Left Wing…190
General Oswyn CR 8
2 Horse
2 Dragoons

The Center…520
General Fienley CR 8
3 Regiments of 1 Pike block and 2 Musketeer wings each
General Maltoun CR 8
2 Regiments of 1 Pike block and 2 Musketeer wings each

Right Wing…197
General Bacon CR 8
3 Horse
1 Dragoons

947 points

Battle of Boddington

Royalists are on the offense and begin the battle. Parliament knew the terrain (Lay of the land event) but opted not to remove a terrain piece.

After set-up. Parliamentarian Dragoons (top) behind the forest.

At the end of turn 2 for both sides. Royalists blundered on the entire left half and their comanded shotte is already under fire. On the right their cavalry wing seems to be in a good position to strike. Some Parliamentarian foot is not moving.

After Royalist turn four. The blundered regiments were quickly realigned and the battle began in earnest. On the left flank Parliamentarian managed to beat back two of three Royalist cavalry units (red movement arrows are charge moves) but the third routed its foe, flank charged the next enemy and routed it as well.

On the other side Royalist cavalry is beaten back by musket and pistol fire.

After Royalist turn 5 the left is being mopped up. A cavalry engagement on the right has proven indecisive.

As the Royalists move into position in the center more and more hits accumulate. Even a well protected Dragoon unit in the forest has routed.

Parliamentarian turn 6. With some Dragoons skirmishing on the Royalist right the enemy forces are drawn out of position and exhausted. On the other side Royalist cavalry is beaten back and broken. Reserves are moved but from the Parliamentarian rear to give the buckling line some rest.

End of battle after 8 turns. With good rallying rolls and timely use of reserves the Parliamentarian forces have a stable front line and are pushing the Royalists back. But with the threat of enemy cavalry behind the lines they cannot press on. Although the Royalists have to concede control of the field in the end they inflicted more casualties. The battle ends in a draw.

Campaign Moves

With a draw and bad weather the campaign didn’t go further for either side.

Thougths on Pike & Shotte

It was a fun and fast moving battle, as I know most of the rules from Black Powder already. The major problem I have with the rules is that pike and shot regiments are not single units but several. The classic ECW formation in Pike & Shotte consists of three units: One Pike block and two musketeer wings. This makes command a bit more fiddly than in Black Powder or Hail Caesar and the armies looked relatively small for 950 points.

The underlying rules of the Hail Caesar/Pike & Shotte/Black Powder work best for Napoleonics I think, where sweeping maneuvers feel more ‘in period’ than in earlier periods. A Pike and Shot block or an ancient battle line rushing forward three moves is way harder to explain than a french brigade advancing rapidly in assault column.

For King & Parliament Campaign August 1643

With the besieged Royalists running low on supplies, general Nash was sent to the fortress to regain control of the surrounding area. The besieging Parliamentarians left their heavy equipment behind and engaged the enemy force near Endstone to uphold the siege. Both parties used mercenaries from Europe to bolster their lines, as most of the battle line troops were needed elsewhere. The Parliamentarians could make use of some veteran Cuirassiers travelling north from London, though.

Royalist Army

General Nash – gallant
Field artillery – seasoned

Brigade of Horse…10
General Enfield
“Swedish”-style harquebusiers – raw, untried
“Swedish”-style harquebusiers – raw, untried, well mounted

Brigade of Horse…18
Colonel Hadley- gallant
“Swedish”-style harquebusiers – seasoned
“Swedish”-style harquebusiers – seasoned, well mounted

Brigade of Foot…27
Pure pike battalia – seasoned, large
Pike heavy battalia – seasoned, large
Forlorn hope – seasoned
Dragoons – raw

Brigade of Foot…38
Colonel Braxton – gallant
Pure pike battalia – seasoned (mercenaries)
Pike and shot battalia – veteran
Pike and shot battalia – raw
Pike and shot battalia – raw
Forlorn hope – raw

103 points / 16 victory medals

Parliamentarian Army

General Oakes

Brigade of Horse…14
Colonel Hallewell
“Dutch”-style cuirassiers – veteran, small
“Dutch”-style cuirassiers – veteran, small

Brigade of Horse…25
Colonel Everly
“Dutch”-style harquebusiers – raw
“Dutch”-style harquebusiers – raw, untried
“Swedish”-style harquebusiers – raw
“Swedish”-style harquebusiers – seasoned, attached shot

Brigade of Foot…59
Colonel Lester – gallant
Pike heavy battalia – raw, large
Pike heavy battalia – seasoned, large (mercenaries)
Pike and shot battalia – veteran, gentleman
Pike and shot battalia – raw, untried
Pike and shot battalia – raw, untried
Pike and shot battalia – raw
Forlorn hope – raw
Forlorn hope – seasoned

103 points / 16 victory medals

The Battle of Endstone

After set-up. Royalists (bottom) with artilley in the center and only few cavalry units holding the flank. Difficult terrain for horse should be helping them to defend the flanks.

The view from the Royalist artillery.

Parliamentarian left flank with two units of Forlorn hopes ready to enter the forest.

General Oakes position at the start of battle.

In the midst of battle. As the fight rages between the hills in the center, Royalist horse broke through the left flank into the Parliamentarian rear. Moments before the gallant Colonel Lester is killed by a pistol shot.

On the right flank it is the Parliamentarian horse to break through (upper right corner). A full battalia of pike closes the gap quickly but the enemy is roaming behind the lines and there is nothing to do about it.

End of battle. After though fighting the Royalists suddenly break.

Partly thanks to Parliamentarian horse which broke through but was brought around to chase the King’s men instead of looting camp.

A solid victory for the Parliamentarians. Their losses in soldiers and commanders was nothing to scoff at but the superior positioning of the Parliamentarian horse, their prisoners and plunder makes up for that in a strategic way of thinking.

Campaign Moves

The Royalist cornerstone of Oxfordshire was under siege for almost a year. Several attempts to storm the fortifications failed but at Endstone the Parliamentarians managed to assert their dominance over the area and with supplies running low the beleaguered Royalists surrendered.

The Parliamentarian effort in Oxfordshire bound most of their military resources. Cornwall fell with little conflict and several neutral areas were convinced by the ongoing success of the Parliamentarian cause.

The Royalists used the massed attention of their enemy on Oxfordshire to bring South Yorkshire and Leichestershire under their control. All in all it was the Parliamentarians who achieved a net gain of three areas.

The campaign rules can be found here.