Tuesday, 6 September 2022

ECW - The Battle of Stoke Lane, 1st July 1643

This is the next scenario in the "English Civil War Campaign Scenarios - The 1643 Campaign for the South-West" book.

It is more of a large skirmish than a fully-fledged battle with around 450 involved in total. 

Sir William Waller planned a raid (known as Beating up Quarters) on the Royalists occupying the village of Stoke Lane. The Royalist commander, Sgt-Maj General Sir James Hamilton quartered his cavalry in this village with his dragoons farther to the east.

The Parliamentarian force was commanded by Major Francis Dowet of Waller's regiment of horse. Originally intended to attack just before dawn they were delayed arriving as daylight broke. Luckily for them there was an early morning mist allowing them to approach the village undetected. This is where the game starts.

Rules: Forlorn Hope by Pete Berry

Scale: 6mm Baccus

Table size: 3'9" x 3'0"

Figure Ratio: 1:2



CinC Maj Francis Dowet  LV:2
Dowet's Troop                    27 in 2 sections
Capt Pickering's Troop      24 in 2 sections
Capt Richard's Troop        24 in 2 sections
Troop of Dragoons - Maj Edward Carr LV:1
5 sections                          51 in total


CinC Sgt-Maj General Sir James Hamilton  LV:2
Hamilton's Troop             24 in 2 sections
Lt Col Carre's Troop        24 in 2 sections
Maj Blunt's Troop            18 in 2 sections
Capt Colt's Troop             18 in 2 sections
Capt Walsh's Troop          18 in 2 sections
Troop of Dragoons - Reynolds LV:1
3 sections                          30 in total

Walsh's troop are dismounted and acting as sentinels with each section covering the opposite ends of the village. The other 4 troops occupy 4 buildings, 3 at random with one in the inn. Historically, the royalist dragoons did not come to their comrades' aid when they learnt of the raid. I have decided to use the optional reinforcements rule and they will dice for arrival along Stoke Lane from turn 6.

The Parliamentarians will be strung out along the road running to the north east corner of the map and initially confined to the roads. 

Continued -

Monday, 22 August 2022

On The Workbench: ECW Cuirassiers

The recent heatwave brought my wargaming to a crawl! Painting figures was reduced to 30 minutes at most per day and the gaming of Sanlucar in my Napoleonic campaign no different. That has thrown out my plans somewhat, it being my intention to get the large Napoleonic campaign battle of Holbrook on the tabletop before starting my 2 week holiday in early September. It would not be finished in time and I would not be happy leaving everything out for the duration. 

Therefore, I have decided to play out one or possibly two smaller actions and returning to Holbrook after the holiday. The first of these is 'Stoke Lane', an ECW cavalry raid. 

Returning to the workbench, although the paint rate slowed considerably, I managed to make headway into my Edgehill project. These are the latest nearing completion:

These are 3 troops of Roundheads and one of Royalist Cuirassiers. The Roundheads are the troops of Bedford, Balfour and Stapleton. The royalists are the Gentlemen Pensioners.

All the artillery has been completed and I am now well over 75% of the way there.

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Sanlucar 3rd April 1808

The village of Sanlucar is located to the north of the action in 15A1. Grey 3 is the Spanish 2nd Division lead by Iglesias. He took it upon himself to ignore orders to withdraw towards Spain should the French approach and believed he will gain glory by defeating any French advance. Blue 2 is Lobau with an infantry and a cavalry division from the 6th Corps. It is his job to neuter any flanking threat to the main French force.
Continued -

Monday, 1 August 2022

Nap Campaign: Map Moves 2nd April 1808


An overview at the end of the day on 2nd April. While Napoleon and Blucher were slugging it out other forces were on the move. As before I will cover each theatre in more detail below.
Continued -

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Conclusion

We leave Grazzbenn with Napoleon and his battered force withdrawing under cover of darkness. This was his first defeat of the campaign, and aside from setbacks in the south, the French had enjoyed almost universal success. 

Although the French withdrew in good order I awarded the Prussians a decisive victory which impacts returning casualties. The French were resoundingly defeated with almost universal underperformance in stark contrast to the Prussian cavalry in particular who occasionally excelled themselves.

I will detail casualties shortly but first will highlight the performance of one individual unit. The Prussian 6th Uhlans. They had arrived as part of von Ziethen's 1st Corps reinforcements in Lutzow II's 2nd Cavalry Brigade. It was turn 27 when they first made their presence felt. Having negotiated their way through the great mass of advancing Prussian columns they were joined by Lutzow who lead a charge on an unprepared French infantry battalion still in line formation. 

Having almost wiped out that battalion they routed or forced to retreat 3 more infantry battalions in quick succession adding to the mayhem among the 2nd Corps as the panicked troops piled into the various tightly packed units in an attempt to escape. Their attention was then drawn to the approaching French cavalry of Pire's Division. Lutzow lead the 6th Uhlans in immediate charges against that division successfully causing 3 of the 4 French cavalry regiments to flee the field. The last Chasseur regiment also fled but successfully rallied later. This removed any possibility of the French holding the line or counter-attacking in any meaningful way. 

The total cost to the 6th Uhlans? Just 3 of their initial 13 figures, one of which returned post battle. This is one of the most outstanding performances of any unit in the campaign so far. They did not fail a single morale check. Normally when any unit goes above and beyond they are awarded an upgrade in their quality. In this particular instance I have for the first time given a unit a double upgrade taking it from line to elite! Lutzow will also be upgraded to excellent from average.

The 6th Uhlans at the start of their rampage.
Continued - 

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Turns 29 - 32

 Turn 29

The turn began with success for the French south of Grazzbenn. They have temporarily at least stalled the Prussian cavalry threat to their retreating infantry. The 1st Carabiniers and 3rd Dragoons defeated Watzdorf's 3rd and 5th Hussars in melee. Unfortunately for the French, both of their regiments will pursue the defeated Prussian Hussars. Clearly the humiliating defeats so far has generated a desire for revenge!

All the Imperial Guard infantry and artillery are now withdrawing south.
Continued -

Saturday, 16 July 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Turns 25 - 28


A reminder of the situation at the end of turn 24.
Turn 25

An early success came for the French when the combined Guard horse artillery batteries firing from the high ground onto the Prussian cavalry decimated what was left of Sydow's brigade. A double 6 was rolled killing Sydow and wiping out more than half of the 2nd Pomeranian Landwehr cavalry (losing 6 out of 11). The survivors fled the field and with the loss of Sydow the subsequent brigade morale test failed leading to the dispersal of the last unit in the brigade, the 1st Pomeranian Landwehr cavalry.

The photo shows the aftermath with just two Prussian cavalry regiments remaining to hold the line east of Grazzbenn.
Continued -

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Turns 21 - 24

 Turn 21

The Imperial Guards have now defeated the whole of the Prussian left flank and are beginning to concentrate on their next phase of assisting Vandamme defeat the centre.

In the Prussian centre, the Grenadiers a' Cheval continue their devastating attack. Having maintained superb discipline they press on to charge the 1st Dragoons. Thurmen leads the Dragoons into a counter-charge. The Prussians put up a spirited charge but are no match for the Grenadiers who inflict heavy losses on them (8 figures). This forces the Dragoons to retreat but some respite is awarded to the Prussians when the Grenadiers become unformed.
Continued -

Monday, 27 June 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Turns 17 - 20

 Turn 17

The start of the turn saw the Imperial Guard continue their assault on the heights occupied by the Prussian left flank. Here the 1/2nd Chasseurs of the Old Guard (left column) and the 2/3rd Grenadiers of the Middle Guard charged the 2/2nd Silesia Landwehr accompanied by Blandowski. The Landwehr morale broke leading to a "Mass Panic" Brigade morale result. This would see the Silesians flee the field.

With more Prussian units routing from the field the Prussian left flank all but ceased to exist. The Imperial Guard were on the verge of completing their initial task albeit with some battalions having received higher than anticipated casualties.
Continued -

Friday, 17 June 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808: Turns 11 - 16

 Turn 11

The Imperial Guard marches relentlessly on, their progress slowed as they enter broken terrain (half speed). Although the Prussian cavalry are light in numbers they are sufficient to prevent the French deploying their skirmishers. 

Napoleon decides he can wait no longer and orders Vandamme to begin his attack on the Prussian centre. The first columns move through the artillery line, several becoming unformed in doing so. 
Continued -