Sunday, September 12, 2010

Penberthy moor 1643

Generals Waller and Hopton in the guise of Martin and Neil , met across the west country moors in a battle for supremacy between two widely divergent forces.

The Royalists at the bottom of this photo came to the field with a large force of Cavalry, four regiments of horse being placed on their left flank, with more to the right of their guns.

By Contrast the parliamentarians fielded twice as many regiments of foot, but had to rely on a much smaller force of heavy horse, including cuirassiers. Two large hills flanked a small farm complex in the centre of the field, but due to the initial deployments of the horse, most of the action would take place on the Royalists left flank.

The initial advance saw the Royalist's move aggressively, using their far wing of cavalry (nearest the camera above) to tie down the Parliament infantry left of the farm. By Contrast the Parliament army suffered from rule by committee, and largely stood its ground.

As the strongest of Prince Maurice's cavalry rode over Penberthy Moor, the Parliament right began to form pike blocks, and urged it's own cavalry forward to protect it.

This resulted in the first of several major, but initially indecisive cavalry attacks. Truth be told the Parliament horse always had the better of the fight, but being so heavily outnumbered, one victory was not going to be enough. It was to take three successful charges for the roundhead horse to defeat the cavalier brigade of horse. Though defeat it, it did.

In the centre the Royalist artillery made slow progress manhandling it's guns towards the enemy. The Roundheads saw an opportunity to gain the guns, but alas for them, the royalists managed to turn their guns on the enemy. A blast or two of loose shot and nails saw a Parliament regiment of foot scattered.

The guns would soon serve even greater purpose.

At this stage though, the Royalist cavalry was still in the field; but it was brittle and in the face of repeated charges and flanking gunnery and musketry, regiment after regiment fell away...

With the Royalist horse fleeing the field, it fell to their infantry to hold the ground. They were charged by both infantry and horse and their fate seemed sealed.

But in truth the Parliament horse were spent, and their infantry proved unwilling to put in a real showing; the Royalist troops held their ground and furthermore their artillery enfiladed a cavalry regiment at some distance to devastating effect. Their infantry support advanced around the farm to threaten the rear of the now foundering roundheads.

And so a battle that looked lost for the Royalists was clawed back as a narrow, if Pyrrhic, victory for them. Parliament was undeniably unfortunate, especially having beaten a much larger force of horse.

Black Powder again provided an excellent little game, enjoyed by all. Being in the position to umpire, I was able to play out the rules more thoroughly, and include the rules for commanders, particularly when lost.

I don't know if we missed it, but I could not find a specific statement of what happens if a brigade commander is killed; so I'm taking it as counting as an extra lost unit for the brigade (which means it will break earlier) and that all following command tests in the brigade are at -1; until at least I'm told different...

1 comment:

  1. I can only make one comment ......"we was robbed" Damn the royalist artillery , it took them all game to hit the barn door , but when they did it really hurt ! Great figures from Too Much Lead and another enjoyable game . Thanks mate ! Martin