Sunday, September 25, 2011

English Civil War - Battle of Cheriton Nunawading Wargames Open Day 2011

Hello all,

It has been several months since my last post but I have not been idle I can assure you. Work commitments have prevented any posts to this blog but on the plus side I travelled to Europe for work training in Germany and managed a short holiday in the UK on the way.

I caught up with family in Wales and Chester, walked the wall of old chester, and stood on the spot where Charles I saw the rout of his royalist forces at the battle of Rowton Heath. I visited Caernarfon castle (which was a royalist stronghold during the civil war) and visited the museum of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (my cousin is a major in the regiment).

I then headed down to London and did the sightseeing tours of the Tower of London, Imperial War Museum and Apsley house (Duke of Wellington's London residence). In Berlin I visited Check Point Charlie, Reichstag, Brandenburg gate and other famous Berlin landmarks.

After a month of travelling it was good to finally come back to Melbourne and see my family again and get back to wargamming and my "projects".

First off the list was our club's annual public open day and myself and fellow NWA'er Tom were running a display game of the battle of Cheriton fought on the 29th of March,1644 between the Royalists commanded by Hopton and the Parliament forces under the commanded of Waller.

We have steadily built up our forces over the past year and we now have sizeable forces that really look stunning when set up on the battle field.

Here are the opening deployments:

This photo is from the parliament side. We see the parliament centre with four regiments of foot. The right flank has a troop of horse advancing while on the hill near Cheriton wood we have a unit of Dragoons and a small commanded shot unit. The left flank has a further two troops of horse. Waller surveys the battle from a small hill in the centre next to his artillery.

The Royalist deployment consisted of three regiments of foot in the centre. A Troop of curassiers and a firelock company occupy the hill next to Cheriton Wood. Royalist artillery deploy on the hill overlooking the battlefield. On the Royalist right flank two troops of horse and the dragoons advance towards Cheriton.

The miniatures used by both forces were mainly the Warlord Games plastics. Royalist horse were Renegade miniatures and there was a few foundry and Old glory minatures as well.

The rules used were Victory Without Quarter by Clarence Harrison. These rules use a card based turn sequence. These rules give a quick game with plenty of historical flavour. To speed up play a little we enabled leaders to issue movement orders to whole brigades.

The battle began with a general advance by both sides. Parliament had a early set back with the rout of a troop of horse on their left flank. The second parliament troop of horse had to turn quickly to close the gap on the flank.

The victorious royalists charged into the second parliament horse. But in the ensuing see saw fight the parliament horse got the better of their opponents and sent them fleeing to the rear.

The Royalist dragoons moved through the town of Cheriton to envelope the parliament flank.

By Cheriton wood the royalist curassiers moved down towards the royalist horse and charged but were halted by cool pistol fire from the Parliament Harquebusiers.

 As the royalist horse fell back the opposing foot came into contact. Volley fire rolled along the two battlelines. Colonel Samuel Jones' rebel green coats routed their opposing royalists also clothed in green.

The parliament horse troop exhausted from its previous melee succumbed to the second royalist horse and the parliament left flank lay wide open. The royalist horse charged towards to parliament artillery but were held in bad ground on the hill giving the rebel gunners time to pour grapeshot into the densely packed horse.

A second round of fire and the royalists broke!

Fortune swung back in parliament's favour. With the left flank temporairily secured, they routed a second regiment of foot while losing Samuel Jones' greencoats who had had enough of the fight. On the hill by Cheriton wood the curaissiers continued to fail to get to grips with the rebel horse.

As the rebel grey coated regiment swung round to hit the remaining royalist foot the royalist artillery spoke with fire and broke the rebels and sent the fleeing.

The battle balanced on a knife edge. As the afternoon draw to a close both sides had been blooded and either side could win the day if they broke another enemy unit.

Finally the royalist broke the rebel blue coated regiment and the battle was theirs!

The game was throughly enjoyed by both sides. The battle had many a tense moment. The VWQ rules can be a bit brutal but provide a quick game which still retains a historical feel. In the end history did not repeat itself with Hopton's forces winning a minor victory.

We had a lot of positive comments about our game during the day and we secured a honourable mention (4th) in the competition for best display.

Bye for now