Monday, August 02, 2021

Campaign Scenario #4 Freezing Hill


Given that we started this Campaign series in 2019, then got one game in each of the first two years, this pace now feels more like action.

Last Sunday, 25 July 2021, the Battle of Freezing Hill - prelude to Landsdowne Hill battle, Waller having occupied Landsdowne Hill, Hopton now must maneuver his army to another nearby hill, the battle here is the Royalist rearguard being harassed by a Parliamentary probing force.

a map of the deployment
based on the one from our campaign book

 I had some time to lay out the battlefield before my Royalist opponent arrived.  Then time to take a few pictures.

the 'farm' on the north west side

a little copse of woods in the north east

this copse of woods would become a thorn
in the Royalists side ...

woods, lane and hedges that were to be occupied
by Parliamentary Dragoons

the quiet field ... no troops yet

Rob did arrive and along with the troops we used his much more expressive hedges.

now filled with the troops of both sides
Parliament to the left, Royalists to the right
in this image

Royalist right wing

Parliament left center

Parliament Dragoons, Sommerset Dragoons in Green
Waller's in buff

Royalist command and center

Royalist left and center
(little copse of woods behind the Royalist line)

At this point we had just started to do some command rolls when the power went out in our area.
Good thing this was not a broadcast game as I could do nothing about the power outage - it was only in our little neighborhood between two streams.

We then moved the table out under the tent and resumed action with better lighting for photos, just a bit warmer than the shaded and cooled garage.

overall field at start of turn 2

Royalist center

the Parliamentary horse, under Colonel Burghill
(command stand labelled with 9)
chose to put forward a 'breakwater'

the Parliament horse went all the way
to the woods on the left

then Dragoons took over in the woods

that little copse of woods behind Royalist lines
acting like a plinko deflecting deployment and
reinforcements (later)

Colonel Burghill's view

Royalist reinforcments to arrive at this point on the map
(much delayed in time)

field overview start of turn 3


Rob was just not having any dice luck with the Royalist reinforcements, having rolled a 5 and 6 when needing a 2 or 3 or lower each time respectively.

whereas my dice luck suddenly was running HOT!
I needed to roll a 3 or less (did not roll on turn 2 - we forgot)
this was the result!

in combat, there was a terrible result for the Royalist
horse, fleeing from the table!

while the Parliament were able to push forward the new
arrivals to plug the 'breakwater' with a fresh
elite & steady horse

the horse clashed again

driven back again

the Royalist commanded shot kept up a
steady fire, while the first horse squadron
fled the field (seen in the distance at top of image)

table level view of action

the Colonel was busy rallying a badly damaged
first 'breakwater'

most of turn 4 was spent in rally and maneuver
for both sides
though the dragoons continued to trade shots

the sun was coming out more from under the tent
as turn 5 got started ... clearly the Royalists
would get their foot troops soon

Parliament's 'breakwater' was still in place
though taking a beating

the 'lesser horse' just held its ground under
fire from the commanded shot

the hedges where the Parliament dragoons started
on the left (west)

now all those dragoons were in action in the woods

trading fire with some more Royalist commanded shot

on the east flank, the Royalist dragoons failed in a
break test ... fleeing the field
This would leave the whole east flank in the control
of Waller's Dragoons!

start of turn 6
the open east flank seen at bottom of image

firing in the center continued apace ...

now in turn 7
both flanks were enveloped by Parliament
and there were two lines of horse
through the center

Trevanion arrives with his pike & shot
(at last!)

east flank controlled by Wallers dragoons

west flank controlled by Waller's and Somerset dragoons

the solid bulk of horse in the center

field overview at start of turn 8

more Royalist horse arrives

just in the nick of time, as the front line
for the Royalists was worn

that little copse of woods now really becomes
a thorn in the Royalists side

better gallopers hit smaller trotters
yet the trotters managed to make a few more
saving throws and the
break test (seen here 2x '1's) for
Royalist horse went horribly wrong

the Royalist horsemen just could not keep a flank steady

an attempted charge on the east dragoons failed
(the horse to the left of the image)
and the shot continued firing
indeed these commanded shot were easily the best of the day
for the Royalists

more horse moved up
squeezing past that little copse ...

on the road ... the Royalist lines were thin again

the scene at the start of turn 9
hemmed in on all sides, the Royalists now must
break one flank or the center
or face a retreat under fire ...

the failed charge at the east dragoons is now vulnerable ...

Captain Burry, a provisional officer,
replacing Major Dowet, who was KIA
at Stoke Lane

great shot of the Waller's dragoons, still holding the west
woods, now alone as the rookie/wavering
Sommerset dragoons had fled

Captain Burry's command, was quick to arrive
then slow to take any other actions

the Royalists did not get their arrivals quickly at all
this made them hesitant to push forward

while the dragoons in the east performed
miracles of shooting
causing many units to test or simply be disordered
and unable to move

the whole Royalist center now fit in one frame

evenly matched shooting!
The red dice are for the Royalists firing into the woods.
The buff dice are the 'saving throws' of the Waller's dragoons.

turn 10 view of the battlefield

Parliament horse, holding its line

Royalist horse, bowing back in the west

badly damaged in the east

and that maddening little copse of woods
makes doing anything about the Wallers' dragoons
in the east hedges impossible!

Trevanion's in the center, now needed to plug the hole

while Capt Burry still only managed to do a rally
no other troops moving

Waller's Dragoons view from the east side of the field ...

field overview at start of turn 11

Capt Burry still not doing much

Parliamentary 'breakwater' holding

now the Royalists must get a unit to break
or they face collapse

at least the west hedges were holding their own
although it took having the army commander
coming over to rally at one point ...

field at start of turn 12

now Colonel Burghill was moving forward

Waller's dragoons in the east had managed to break up
another charge attack
that could not 'flank' because of a little copse of woods ...

in the west ... stalemate continued

while another Royalist charge was stopped ... only just!

the field on turn 13, where we called off the action
the Royalists had two of three formations that were broken
they would retreat
Captain Burry was the only command with strength to pursue
and his command roll failed.  Therefore no further pursuit.

Exhausted yet triumphant all of Burghill's horse
were wounded

Waller's dragoons in the west were disordered from
the many volleys coming from the Royalist commanded shot

at least this flank for the Royalists held

no more advance was possible as the newly arrived
formation of horse was now also broken

The Royalists would retire from this field.  This makes a total of five times the Parliament has won in this series of battles from the war in the west country.

Each victory has come with unexpected ways and losses along the way. 

Rob, over at Codsticker's Historicals, has also post an account of this battle.


nundanket said...

A hard fought action! And you had a back up plan for the power cut. [Metaphorical bow with a flourish of a broad brimmed hat]

Peter said...

I do like your tabletop set up and it is an absolute joy looking through the photos with the figures in action.

MurdocK said...

Thank you gents!

Sometimes I wonder if my little blogging activity is reaching anyone, then I read that Peter had a joyful reaction.

Makes me want to keep at it all.

Codsticker said...

Some wonderful photos Murdock; I especially like the table level ones. I should remember to bring my little tripod.

You did a great job in this game of managing your small units of horse; by cycling them through you could keep wounded or Shaken units from taking Break Tests- my shot always had fresh targets!

MurdocK said...

Well Cod, I do like to keep the shooting gallery well stocked.