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

Command…40
General Tasker CR 8

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

Center…519
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

Command…40
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.

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