Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Self-discipline

There's been a rare outbreak of self-discipline in the Schloß Nundanket. I made finally made an indent into the list of a dozen oustanding tasks that I drew up 4 months ago.

Here's the list and what I've managed to do. It's quite motivating to see some progress.
  1. Finish ECW 'clubmen'. Just 'texturing the bases and a bit of touching up of paint. Complete
  2. Texture ECW casualty marker bases. Complete
  3. Finish ECW musketeers. Probably at least a regiment's worth. Maybe have as firelocks? Complete
  4. Finish ECW command figures. A few to paint and texture bases. Complete
  5. Finish ECW odds and sods, e.g. limbers. Limbers and horse teams done.
  6. Paint bridges.
  7. Finish AWI. Quite a few Brits done but no Yanks. Brits need cleaning up too.
  8. WWII Finns and Russians (10mm) - lots of infantry and AFVs.
  9. Touch up and base 6mm siege train, pontoons and transport.
  10. Paint and base 6mm cattle/bullocks - Baccus, bought with my Naps. Too big for my SYW (H&R and Irregular).
  11. Base Leven hedges so they don't keep falling over.
  12. Finish 6mm gabions. I made significant inroads into these in the run up to Kunersdorf.
So over a quarter of the tasks done. However, 7 and 8 are much larger jobs. I dived in without checking the list and forgot the clubmen because they'd ended up in the wrong box. I'll probably do them next and decide what to do with the Puritan preacher I made out of one of them. I had a half-baked notion to use him as some form of additional morale/steadiness chip if I developed a suitable rule modification. I'd have to make a similar figure that looked a bit more Churchy for the Royalists - a bishop maybe?

I'll probably crack on with the bridges after the clubmen. Then probably the hedges. I'll not make any firm plans to tackle the rest of the list but I'll see how I feel when 1, 6 and 11 are done.

This burst of enthusiasm was brought about by having a day's leave. I had booked time off for day surgery which got cancelled owing to the mobilsation of all hospitals (NHS and private) to help deal with the current situation. I decided to have a bit of R&R rather than cancel the day off. I was up early enough to shoot off a couple of work e-mails and watch an old WII based comedy before setting off for a walk around Richmond Park, then the 300 Spartans in the afternoon. It worked too. I was feeling a little jaded and now I feel more geed up.

Update: clubmen now finished. The parson is now leading his flock from the command stand.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Collections

A recent post by Bob Cordery about his hat collection got me reminiscing about the collection of hats I had as a small boy. Not unusually for a boy in those days (1960s) I played at ‘War’, Cowboys and Indians, knights and Robin Hood, and this led naturally to wanting to dress up in the appropriate costumes. ‘War’ by the way, generally meant the Second World War, although we weren’t aware of any anachronisms in our kit and accoutrements - FN Rifles? Sure bring it. Winchester Repeaters? Ace.

Digression: in primary school at break times, if we wanted to play war/cowies & indies we would start with a call to arms. The initial cadre would stand side by side, arms over each other’s shoulders, then proceed to march across the playground chanting “who wants to play at War? No girls allowed!” Volunteers would join the line in turn and the line would continue marching and chanting. I have to this day no idea how we would decide when the recruitment stage had finished and we could proceed to the game. Looking back it appears as if it was just something we intuitively agreed upon. Taking sides was the next phase, and this was largely decided by self-selection, and this naturally led to many on the ‘goodies’ side and a pitiful number of 'baddies'. The odds were evened up by allowing the undermanned baddies extra lives. Occasionally a more assertive boy would insist on some poor sap having to go on the baddies side. As an occasional exception to the “no girls allowed” rule, girls could be allowed to play as the Indians. After all, they had long hair, had no idea about military discipline and could not make good gun noises so were better suited to imaginery bows and arrows. Later variants on the games would include Romans v Greeks, Saxons v Vikings and Normans v Saxons, all after watching BBC TV for schools history programmes in class. I remember being virtually the sole Greek volunteer. I wonder if our pre-game recruitment method was just something we did at our school or was it more widespread?

Outfits in my case came courtesy of my mum’s dad, a deep sea trawlerman who was always generous, especially after a good trip. And there were plenty of good trips in those days. The crews of trawlers were classed as ‘casual’ workers (a ludicrously inappropriate description for a job of such long hours and danger) were paid a relatively small fixed amount but had a share in the catch which frequently turned them into ‘3-day millionaires’. Three days because they were often only home for that amount of time before returning to sea.

Half crowns (12.5 pence in modern money) were common currency after Granda's trips, and this funded a growing collection of Timpo cowboys and Indians, and later Airfix toy soldiers. Christmas and birthdays meant a succession of outfits, bikes and scooters. There was a range of outfits using the brand Billy Best and at different times grandad bought me cowboy, soldier (modern) and spaceman outfits. Other, home made, outfits included Robin (my big brother was Batman naturally) and Robin Hood and his Merry Men (complete with home made bows and arrows). So far so good. All fairly normal (we'll gloss over the costumes my sisters made for Batman and Robin).

Now I’m very hazy on the timing here. I’m not sure what came in what order, but at around the same time I took to wearing hats of whatever type took my fancy on other occasions. I don’t mean things like balaclavas or sun hats that had a practical application, but my play hats. I have an old picture of me with two of my sisters on the prom at Scarborough, holding a tiny monkey with me in a US navy style hat. Re-reading that back now it sounds more camp than it was. I was not sporting a Jean-Paul Gaultier stripey top.  My mother’s youngest brother was then a rating in the Royal Navy and he gave me his hat from HM Bloody Big S. He would drop off other hats that he acquired on his travels from time to time - my favoured titfer  being a bush hat acquired from somewhere out in the Far East. The HM Bloody Big S hat never left the house as it was too splendid for mere play and more importantly, too big to stay on my bonce.

Photograph by Isaac Newton of a Bloody Big Ship from Wikipedia.

The same uncle used to come back with an array of exotic loose change after his trips, so foreign coins became another collection. This really was a ‘collection’ as opposed to something I had rather a lot of. It served no practical purpose. It was just for looking at and organising. I certainly wasn’t going to play shops with it - girls games, yeugh! I think my favourites were some small Danish coins with holes in the middle and a Kenyan shilling. The Danish coins could well have turned up in Grimsby rather than on some naval posting, as the town was a port of call and eventually home to a lot of fishermen and other merchants sailors from Denmark in the 20th century. Quite appropriate given the place's origins.

So hats, toy soldiers and foreign coins. Added to that was what became a vast (over 100) collection of badges. I have no idea how this started. The sort of badges I had were a random assemblage of company marketing tat (Eskimo Frozen Foods anyone?) and hippy type slogans. One of my main sources being my eldest sister (by then mid-to-late teens). These badges were typically tin or some cheap metal, round, about an inch in diameter and with a safety-pin type, erm, pin on the back. Rather like this: https://www.ebay.ie/itm/Vtg-Badge-Eskimo-Frozen-Foods-Fish-Advert-Advertising-1960s-Promotion/223793975200?hash=item341b290fa0:g:DfoAAOSw7iZd88cF It seems on reflection that my sister was always encouraging me to adopt hobbies of one sort of the other (see other posts about her influence on me with regard to football, wargaming and real ale).

OK, badges were still fairly ordinary as a collection. Indeed, noting the e-Bay Ireland link above some people are still collecting them. But bottle tops?*  The sort that you have  to lever off with a bottle opener, not screw caps. This collection grew and grew, although there were many duplicates. Quality or uniqueness was not of overriding importance to me. I remember as a small boy my siblings trying to tell me that I already had a Pepsi bottle top but I simply would not part with the surplus examples. So the collection was a hoard really. An evolutionary psychologist would have had a field day.

* I thought I was weird but a quick look on the aforementioned auction site suggests it's alive and kicking as 'a thing'. And who am I to call others weird? I play with toy soldiers.

Ultimately the collection of collections reduced over time to just one. The toy soldiers. That grew and grew. Before shrinking in number when I transferred from plastic to metal, and then growing again in number when I switched to a smaller size of toy.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Panic buying paper products

I need to stock up given the lockdown we’re now enduring. I haven’t even finished the first of the last two such purchases. I’m sorry, but I saw it and it was cheap. Even with postage it was under £8 compared to £20 cover price.

Had a quick gander and it looks promising. Which is more than can be said for my photography.
Now I'm in week three of working from home, thanks to having an employer with a proactive attitude. It hasn't really made much difference to my work because at least 95% of it was done remotely. I don't sit with anyone in my department as they're all thousands of miles away, and my interlocutors, if that's the right word, inside and outside the company are scattered across the globe. So sometimes I'm a little taken aback when people ask how I'm coping with the change. The big change is not chatting to people in the office (a minus point of the changes) and not driving an hour each way (a positive change). I have to remind myself that other people's routine has been affected to a greater degree.

I haven't made the best use of the extra time saved by not commuting, although I will claim I've lost some time having to make more shopping trips in order to get all the supplies needed. I'm glad t say things have settled down a bit this week. The wargaming corner of the blogosphere seems to be full of chaps of both sexes getting things done. Must do better. Also since last week and the closure of the lido, I've had to adjust my exercise regime. A small price to pay but the pool is a lot kinder on the knees than the pavement.

But I'm not moaning. I really I have it good. I'm very thankful for my lot. The present circumstances has made me even more aware of my good fortune. I have my health (more or less), my income is secure, a lovely family around me, space and the tech for the kids to do their schoolwork online without getting in each other's way, a sizeable garden for a breather, and friends who send funny/interesting/annoying messages at all hours.

I'm nearly finished Hey for Old Robin. A very good read. I've learned lots of new stuff and it makes me want to find out more and get the lead onto the table. I say 'learned', but most of it probably won't stick. The book does a lot to counter the 'traditional' view of the 3rd Earl of Essex, though I feel at times it does go a little too far the other way. But these guys know a lot more than me on the subject, so who am I to judge. I'm not even a dilettante - I aspire to be a dilettante. The second book I bought, Wanton Troopers: Buckinghamshire in the Civil Wars, seems a bit dry at first. Lots of tables about who owned what, so it might not make its way to the reading list before the Minden book.
I dare say the Minden work will nudge me towards the order book for Heroics and Ros. However, there is one other siren call, already working on my wilpower. 'ave you 'eard about zis fellow le Comte de Foy, who 'as been seducing all ze wargamerz wiz 'is pictures of ze 'earlièr war? Very tempting you naughty man. I've even found myself eyeing the Irregular Miniatures 20mm WSS catalogue. But I must resist, and tackle the list I drew up four months ago.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Retail Therapy

Fresh from the frustration of attempting to buy rice and/or pasta, I returned home to find two books I'd ordered had arrived.

Splendid stuff!
Thanks to a post by David Crook of A Wargaming Odyssey fame, I discovered that Naval & Military Press were offering some very good discounts. So an order was placed for the above two books the grand sum of £14.83 including postage. I've been tempted to get the Essex book before, so to get it for a fraction of the cover price was a real bonus.

My family might starve, but at least I'll have something to distract me.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Timing Error at Nantwich

Well I replayed Nantwich with the revised dispositions mentioned in the last post*. Having set the game clock to run for 10 turns (each notionally 15 minutes) I managed to complete the allotted number of turns in about 1 hour 45 minutes. I've learned a valuable lesson. I should have kept a more careful eye on the number of turns in the past. The turns churn around quickly in my house rules - tonight they averaged 10 minutes per turn. The problem was that the two sides had hardly got to grips when notional darkness fell.

Part of the reason was that I held back the Royalist infantry until the horse came on to avoid being beaten piecemeal. Maybe I should have brought all of Warren's, Earley's and R.Byron's men on all together instead of staggering it to emphasise the 'encounter' nature of the battle.

There had been some very effective gunnery. So effective that I inserted a new rule (cease fire on rolling a 1 until 'replenished' by rolling a 6). I ought to really reflect on this before another game. Musketry was also pretty lethal on first fire. The cavaliers had slightly the better of it losing 3 bases to the Roundheads 5, which included one leader, so 1 VP to 0 in Byron's favour.

Chaos reigned amongst Fairfax's ranks, which is what I like to see. Nearly half the horse continued to hack through the enclosures aided by the pioneers, and merrily made their way towards Nantwich, completely oblivious to entreaties to turn about. What was that Colonel's name now? John Borison? There'd also been some delays in getting the supply train to move after it came under fire from Acton and the drivers legged it. To be fair to them they had been set a poor example by Brereton's and Assheton's regiments who cowered behind the wagons after the first few rounds of shot plunged into their ranks. As of close of play, the Parliamentary guns had lost their way in the fading January light and looked to be heading between Acton and Dorfold Hall, having gotten over-enthusiastic in advancing towards the action. Black Tom went haring after them but no one yet knows whether he managed to find them and make them stop. "Who is it you say you are? How do we know you're not one of the King's men?"

So three options present themselves:
  1. Chalk it off to experience
  2. Continue the game until some sort of conclusion is reached/another X turns
  3. Start it all over again but have say 8 turns per hour, so around 20 in total.
At the moment option 2 is in favour.

* I'd forgotten to list the Parliamentarian dragoons. Whoops! Morgan's men did make it onto the table and being first to a hedgerow, saw off two units of Royalist horse with very effective salvos.

Update:
Well I ran with option 2 (despite Jonathan's advice) and played an extra 10 turns this evening. The battle was touch and go for a while. For many moves the Royalists led 2 VPs to 1. Both their VPs were Parliamentarian leaders who copped it from being in the thick of it, including Black Tom himself. This led to a hiatus in command and a loss of command points permanently. Fortunately for the Roundheads their forces where pretty much where they needed to be and their musketry was very effective. Fairfax did manage to rescue the guns and got them to fire from a fortuitously advantageous position until the Royalists were able to redirect their artillery and routed the Roundhead gunners. Fairfax was with a foot unit by them, encouraging them on, when he was taken out by a salvo of Royalist musketry.

Soon after Lord Byron went the same way, and the Royalists also suffered loss of command. Both sides struggled to co-ordinate their forces but Parliament had the edge and a raft of Royalist units suffered heavy losses and the Roundheads surged into a victory 8VP to 2 by the time darkness fell.

One thing I have noticed is that push of pike is rare in my games. Once the muskets start to pop it's difficult to get units moving and until one side has a clear advantage, melee is a risky business. Or maybe it's just me and I'm risk averse.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Nantwich Reprised

Now I've received and read the Barratt book (The Battle of Nantwich 1644, John Barratt, Stuart Press 1994) I've decided to revisit Nantwich as a wargame. I'm going to make some revision to the forces and dispotisions. In summary there are fewer Royalist horse, and more Royalist foot than I thought before. The Parliamentarians remain at about the same numbers as before. However, given that I don't have a straight figure:men ratio it doesn't necessarily make a lot of difference to the number of bases used.

Now when I did my game I had very little information. Barratt is about the most detailed I have seen on the battle. But purely by fluke I got the route of Fairfax's army about right. I thought initially I might try to blag it and claim it was down to an analysis of the situation and the use of Inherent Military Probability. Barratt said that Fairfax's army set off across country, probably from the junction of the modern A51 and the A534 about 1.5 miles from Nantwich at Burford.  As it seems that the Royalist line may have extended from just east/northeast of Acton to a fair distance west of the village, I decided to move my layout further west. This means losing the River Weaver and the suburb of Nantwich from the table.

Also it seems the enclosures may have been more extensive than I allowed for. These were just north of Acton and, "not above a mile from Nantwich" according to Lord Byron. Finally, I've gone for split timing of when the Royalist forces arrive rather than deploying the whole army at once.

I ended up with slightly fewer bases of infantry on both sides because I decided on a battalion for each of the leaders listed. The number of horse bases is up on the parliamentarian side and slightly lower on the Royalist side because I'm using one base per troop and I now have the numbers of troops from Barratt. In a bit more detail, the following is based on what I came up with for the tabletop deployment.

Royalist dispositions
(1) 15:00
NE of Acton - Gibson
W of Nantwich on Acton road - Huncke (100 musketeers - maybe a weak base)

(2) 15:30-16:30 (turns 3 to 7)
 Warren (F), Earnley (F) & R.Byron (H&F) to left of Gibson heading west in that order. Come on in 2 or 3 batches in successive turns

Let's say theres's a total 4 battalia and 15 bases of horse in 4 units split between two bodies (brigades).

Parliamentarian Dispositions
Order of march:
  1. Pioneers - maybe add some models if I have some suitable figures in my odds and sods.
  2. Forlorn Hope (Hodgeson - musketeers - maybe a weak base)
  3. Lambert's Horse
  4. Brereton's & Assheton's foot
  5. Guns & Baggage (baggage is an addition to the previous game)
  6. Holland (F)
  7. Booth (F)
  8. Wm Fairfax (H)
  9. Thos Fairfax (H)
  10. LATE EDIT I FORGOT THE DRAGOONS!
Garrison in Nantwich: 1000 (M) so say 4 bases - sortie between 4:30 and 5:30
Let's say 4 battalia excluding the Garrison and Forlorn Hope, 28 bases of horse (7 units - but 5 colonels listed so many 5 large units of 5/6 bases each)


Daylight hours/number of turns/Sortie
The battle was on 25th January 1644 in the old Julian calendar. 25th January 1644 in the Julian Calendar which was 10 days behind the Gregorian Calendar. By the Gregorian Calendar at the time the battle was fought on 4th February 1644. According to this site https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/uk/chester?month=2&year=2020 on 4th February sunset in Chester is 17:00 in 2020. There might be some changes to the time of sunset on that day over the intervening 376 years. Also I wonder, if I should be adding on 3 or 4 more days to get the equivalent date to 25.01.1644 OS since you add a day for each extra century.  I wonder. But not enough to try to work it out. Never mind it only adds a few minutes anyway. Darkness should fall before 17:30.

So how many turns should I allow? My rules don't have a specified turn:minutes ratio either. I'll go with 4 turns per hour for no better reason than this would give a game of 10 turns in the available light and that's enough to come to a reasonable conclusion. The battle 'kicks of' at around 15:00 - and has ever since this has been the traditional kick-off time for that great continuation of the Civil War by other means, football on a Saturday. It's also the time that pubs used to close in the afternoon for most of the 20th century.

I will again dice for garrison sortie from turn 6 (4:30) starting with arriving on a 5 or 6 on a D6 and increasing by one pip each turn. They will appear about halfway down the eastern end of the table.

Terrain
As mentioned above I will allow for more/bigger enclosures and covering the area the Parliamentarians had to march through. I also need to add a rule to model cutting through hedges - see my own experience at Cheriton.

Victory Points
  • 1 per unit/leader that the opponent loses.
  • Royalist destroy Parliamentary baggage - 1 point
  • Royalist capture Parliamentary baggage - 2 points
  • Parliamentarians reach Nantwich/garrison link-up - 1 point

Rules
I'll probably use my own again as I'm familiar and changing the scenario slightly, and time is limited. But at some point soon, I intend to play test Steve-the-Wargamer's own set which look interesting.

Due to the present situation, I'm working from home every day, so that means I'm 'home from work' earlier. So that means I have more time in the weekday evenings.



Josef Josef

I have mentioned before my penchant for obscure music in Nordic languages. This originally started as a lazy way of learning Finnish. We all know how singing makes things more memorable and one of the earliest things I learned in Finnish, after essential phrases like "you have beautiful blue eyes", was the song Incey Wincey Spider, or Hämä Hämähäki as that arachnid is known in the land of the Kalevala.

A while ago the algorithm on YouTube threw up a band named Komiat ('the Handsome Ones'). Young guys playing old school dance music (as in dancing with partners, not disco). I liked them and came across this track which I'd never heard before in any language. Some of you chaps will no doubt know the song well as Joseph Joseph as sung by the Andrews Sisters during the War and dismiss me as an ignorant young whippersnapper.  I very much like this band and this version. It's an absolutely banging choon and the singer has a very good voice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6FmgT3V06E

Here's the lyric if you want to sing along - go on, I know you want to.

Singalonga Max (Foy)

It was only today whilst idling on my sofa that I discovered the older versions through comments below the videos. First this wartime version in Finnish by the Harmony Sisters and then the Andrews Sisters version. It was then but a short hop (again led by the comments*) to the even older Yiddish version. Apparently it was originally written in 1923 in Yiddish (Music, Nelly Casman; Lyric, Samuel Steinberg) and later translated into English by Saul Chaplin.

The Finnish lyric isn't a straight translation of the English. For all I know it might have been directly translated from the Yiddish, but I don't know what the Yiddish version says. Instead of the song being a woman lamenting her lover not popping the question, the Finnish refers to a man who clearly has a woman in every town. Maybe that was just a bit too much for Anglo-American ears in the 30s and 40s, so we end up with a man who just cannot commit rather than a real tom cat.

Finnish Version
English Translation of the Finnish
English Version
Oi Josef, Josef, muistatko kun kuljit maan halki etelästä pohjoiseen?

Sä kaikki neidot syliisi suljit kuiskaten: "Näämme kohta uudelleen."
Oh, Josef, Josef, do you remember when you travelled through the land from south to north?
You held every woman in your arms and whispered: "We will [meet] soon again."
Oh Joseph Joseph, won’t you make your mind up, it’s time I knew just how I stand with you.

My heart’s no clock that I can wind up, each time we make up after being through.

Presumably the Finns main Axis ally would never permit a version in their country, given the songs origins, but it would not surprise me to find a version in German from earlier. There was a black market in Jazz music records in wartime Germany so this song could well have been circulating**. I did manage to find a Danish version from 1938, so maybe there's more out there. If by any chance you do come across the song in other languages, I'd love to hear about them.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the song. Stay well!


* it's cheering to note in these dark times that the 'bottom of the internet' is not completely full of bile spewed out by angry nationalists and wazzocks.
** BBC Radio 4 had a programme a while back featuring a German guy who had made it his work to research the underground black music scene in Nazi Germany.


Sunday, 1 March 2020

Weaver Winner

After my last two sojurns into the 18th century at Soor and Kunserdorf I felt the urge to take down my pike and don my morion. 'But what battle?' I asked myself. Then up pops everyone's favourite count with a reprise of Nantwich. That struck me as an interesting encounter - encounter being the right word, as M.Foy points out it was more of an encounter battle than stand up fight. It entails a Parliamentary army marching to relieve Nantwich which had placed undersiege over the winter of 1643-44. Lord Byron gathered his besieging army and sought to attack Sir Thomas Fairfax's army of relief before it reached Nantwich.

I knew nothing of this except what I'd read some time ago in Charlie Wesencraft's 'With Pike and Musket', so I set to reading up what was on the internet rather than ordering books and waiting until they came. I subsequently ordered Barratt's booklet from Caliver along with another booklet on the Siege of Lyme.

I collated the numbers in the table at the bottom from various on line sources, then  re-read both accounts of the wargame of the battle of Nantwich on Prometheus in Aspic. I went with 6 Roundhead battalia and five Royalist battalia of foot, assuming each was around 500 strong - this seems to fit the consensus on the numbers of men. For cavalry I decided on 6 and 4 respectively, in favour of the Roundheads. In addition each side had 2 bases of sakers, the Royalists had a musketeer unit, the Parlies a regiment of dragoons and 800 raw garrison troops in the Nantwich suburb of Welsh Row. To balance things a little I used M.Foy's troop ratings which made all but one of the Royalist foot, and one of the Royalist horse units veteran.

I measured out the distances between various landmarks on a modern map of the area of the battlefield, and added a rectangle to the dimensions of my table. After shifting the rectangle a few times I landed on what I thought was the optimal position. The tricky part of this is my table is not very deep so I have to be selective about what to include on the table top.

The action was played out this afternoon and evening over about 2 1/2 hours in total, and is told through the captions below.
Black Tom cheers his lads on whilst Sir William Brereton prematurely enumerates poultry, confident that they will soon link up with the Nantwich garrison.
The opposing armies in the distance. Roundheads marching towards Nantwich in the foreground. The Royalists aiming to catch the rebels en route. Abandoned Royalist siege lines can be seen left of Nantwich.


The Royalist host, foot in checkerboard formation, advance to attack the Parliamentarians, hoping to catch them still in march column.

Black Tom's army on the march to Nantwich. The Roundheads would have to test to change direction to face the Royalists, unit by unit. This made it extremely difficult to co-ordinate a response, with some units continuing their march whilst others turned off the road.


Royalist view of the marching Roundhead column.



First clash of horse on the Royalist right. This fight was to swing to and fro over several turns. Unfortunately for the Royalists they lose Lord Molyneux in the melee (and a victory point to the rebels).

Three Roundhead foot battalia and the artillery have deployed by Henhull farm, but one continues its march and obstructs the guns, just when tempting tagets appear. It's looking dicey for the Parliamentarians with some units deployed and others marching on towards Nantwich.


Royalist guns open fire on the Roundhead column. Their aim is accurate, and the powder burns well. They cause losses on the rebel column and force them to hold their advance. In the background the Royalist horse swing around the enclosure to take the Roundhead flank.



View from Henhull farm of the approaching Royalist tertio. One of the rebels' battalia hasn't got the memo and marches across the front of the deployed sakers.



Roundhead harquebusiers make a beeline for the flank of the Royalist foot (currently pre-occupied with the Rebel foot). Fortunately for the Royalists, the enemy horse fail to charge home and flow round them. The horse go on to charge the Royalist guns, successfully spiking one pair gaining a victory point in the process.

The bloody firefight in the centre.


Fairfax's foot (background) begins to gain the upper hand, once the Royalist horse on the Roundhead left is fully occupied. Two Royalist battalia are knocked hors de combat (two more victory points for the Roundheads).

Over on the Royalist left the horse and foot of both sides finally shape up against each other. On this flank the Royalists eventually gain the upper hand decimating the opposing foot and routing both horse units (this brings it back to 2 VPs to 4).


Roundhead horse chase off the gunners and spike a pair of guns.


From behind the Roundhead foot you can see the massive gaps appearing in the Royalist line.


After 6 turns the Nantwich garrison can dice to join the fray. It takes a couple more turns before they do, arriving too late to make a difference.

Overview of the collapsing Royalist position in the centre. Their right wing cavalry have been cleared from the field. On top the left the Cavaliers have seen off their opponents and the left wing foot has gained the upper hand, but is it going to be too late? Bottom left, the Funky Hulk's men have left the confines of Acton to save the remaining pair of guns (and a VP)

But it's all over. The second cavalry regiment on the royalist right is cleared from the field, giving the Roundheads their 6th VP.  The game is won 6 VP to 4 - two foot and horse units apiece plus the loss of the Royalist guns and Molyneux.

Royalist losses: 13 horse and 10 foot bases.

Parliamentarian losses, not much lower at a total of 22 bases.

So, with apologies to JBM, another battle chez Nundanket goes the way of the righteous (and with history). I have a few more tweaks to make to my rules, or rather the written version as I made changes in game. They keep evolving each time I play, but still recognisably the same.





Parliamentarians
Royalists

Link
Sources
Foot
Horse
Dragoons
Guns
Foot
Horse
Dragoons
Guns
Wikipedia
Young & Holmes, Rogers, BCW Project
4500 (Might incl garrison)
1800
500

2000
1800


Battlefields of Britain
*
3000 (+2000 in garrison)
1500
500

2500
1000


Battlefields Trust
None cited
2500-3000
1800
500

2500
1000


BCW Project
**
3000 (+2000 in garrison)
1800


3500


  •  Adamson, J (2007). The Noble Revolt. Orion, London.
Barrett, C.R.B (1896). Battles and Battlefields in England. London.
Bennett, M (1990). A Travellers Guide to Battlefields of the English Civil War. Webb and Bower Ltd, Exeter.
Beresford, M.W and St Joseph, J.K.S (1979). Medieval England - An Aerial Study. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Burne, A.H (2005). Battlefields of England. Pen and Sword Books Ltd, Barnsley.
Cyprien, M and Fairbairn, N (1983). A Traveller's Guide to the Battlefields of Britain. Evans Brothers Ltd, London.
Dodds, G.L (1996). Battles in Britain 1066-1746. Arms & Armour, London.
Douglas, D.C, Coward, B and Gaunt, P (ed) (1975). English Historical Documents Vol 5B (1603-1660). Routledge, London.
Gardiner, S.R (1889). History of the Great Civil War Vol. II. London.
Green, H (1973). Guide to the Battlefields of Britain and Ireland. Constable, London.
Guest, K (1996). British battles: the front lines of history in colour. Harper Collins, London.
Hunt, T (2003). The English Civil War at First Hand. Orion Books, London.
Kinross, J (1979). The Battlefields of Britain. London.
Lancaster, J.H.D (2015). Nantwich: Battlefield visit notes and observations. CastlesFortsBattles.co.uk.
Ordnance Survey (2015). Nantwich. 1:1250. Southampton.
Roberts, K (2005). Cromwell's War Machine: The New Model Army 1645-60. Pen and Sword, Barnsley
Royle, T (2004). Civil War: The Wars of Three Kingdoms 1638-1660. Abacus, London
Smurthwaite, D (1993). The Complete Guide to the Battlefields of Britain. Michael Joseph, London.
Woolrych, A (2002). Britain in Revolution. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

** A.H. Burne & P. Young, The Great Civil War, a military history (London 1959)
S.R. Gardiner, History of the Great Civil War vol. i (London 1888)
Peter Gaunt, The Cromwellian Gazetteer (Stroud 1987)
Ronald Hutton, The Royalist War Effort 1642-46, (London 1999)
P.R. Newman Atlas of the English Civil War, (London 1985)
Stuart Reid, All the King's Armies (Staplehurst 1998)
Alf Thompson, Nantwich 1644 (Orders of the day, Volume 31, Issue 1, Jan/Feb 1999)