Summary: At the “Battle of Stratton”, the Royalists finally won a victory against Parliament.
Jamie was third in the order of play, but his shift work meant he wasn’t available so we let Adam have a go as strategic attacker. Adam attacked with South-West with Chris as strategic defender.
Phase 1: Game Set up
The mechanics of Populous, Rich and Rebellious influenced most of the game set up.
1.1. Agree game size
With two players we played a small game, with small armies on a small table.
1.2. Recruit armies
In Populous, Rich and Rebellious, campaign cards influence the orders of battle.
Chris, as Parliament, draw a single campaign card, which was detrimental: “Cavalry absent on raid: Before the battle remove one Horse unit from the order of battle”.
Adam drew two cards and also used one of the retained cards:
- “Every gentleman can ride: Before the battle add one Horse unit to the order of battle”
- “Army well supplied with fodder: Before the battle add one Horse unit to the order of battle”
- “Cornish Levies: Before the battle add two Pike+Shot units to the order of battle, but only if fighting in Cornwall or South West. Retain until used.”
That still left Adam with the Dog-Witch up his sleeve: “Sergeant-Major-General Boy, the ‘Dog-witch’: Once during the battle reduce resolve of one enemy unit by 2 Resolve – Retain until used”
Orders of Battle
Because of the campaign cards, the two orders of battle were very unbalanced. The Royalists got a generous 18 units, compared to the Parliamentary array of 13 units.
Royalist Order of Battle
Parliament Order of Battle
1.3. Determine attacker (and game duration)
Adam had 18 units to Chris’s 13 units. That made Adam both the strategic attacker and tactical attacker.
The game was played in winter (max 8 Game Turns) but started in the afternoon (reduce 2 Game Turns). That meant Adam had six game turns to win. Put another way, Chris only had to survive for six game turns.
We give the tactical attacker the initiative in Tilly’s Very Bad Day.
1.4. Place Terrain
Chris drew four Terrain Cards, and every one was “Open”. So the table was empty. Wow, it has been years since I played on something billiard table flat. Shades of WRG 5th Edition Ancients.
So far we have ignored scouting for the campaign, but going forward I think I’ll roll for this. It gives dragoons more value.
Adam spread his rather large army across the battlefield.
Chris formed into a more compact group while asking, “So if I form a circle, I get support, right?”
Both sides scored hits in the bombardment step
Adam advanced briskly. Chris took the opportunity to adjust his formation.
Adam’s force curved in towards Chris’s smaller force.
And Parliament started taking casualties: Royalist musketry routed a Pike+Shot unit.
Cavalier horse also charged down a Round Head horse unit.
Adam kept advancing and Chris also pushed his force out towards the enemy.
A lucky shot from the Parliamentary dragoons got the Royalist left flank commander. That command was now, more or less, immobile.
So Adam charged in the centre and on the right.
It didn’t go so well for Adam, with a deadlock on the extreme right. Actually given this was dragoons versus horse, an even result was probably a good thing for Adam.
The neighbouring Royalist horse were thrown back.
But in the centre Adam’s infantry routed another Parliamentary Pike+Shot unit.
Generally Chris relied on shooting to keep the Royalists away.
That was an okay tactic as Chris’s dragoons routed a unit of Royalist horse. If any single unit was going to win the battle for Chris, it was the dragoons. They could shoot and they were facing more or less immobile horse.
Adam preferred charging to close combat.
Although they weren’t too spectacular.
The only impressive charge was by Parliament … horse against the Royalist dragoons on the extreme right flank. And the Round Heads just rolled over them.
Chris was fighting well, but he was losing. In game turn 5 he lost three units in a rush.
First up was a Parliamentary commander. Shot by musketeers.
Musketeers also got a infantry unit
And the third unit was routed by charging horse.
And that was the end of the game.
You can see Parliament took a lot more casualties.
Observations and conclusions
Game 1 in the East Midlands demonstrated that Chris is a master of the defence. He demonstrated that skill again in this game, but he had neither troops nor terrain in his favour. So, unsurprisingly, he lost the game. But he made a really good fight of it and lasted to the fifth game turn.
In this game Adam scored the first victory for the Royalists in the campaign. We have some catching up to do.
|Year + Round||Game||Location||Strategic Attacker||Game Size||Victor||Loser|
|1642 Early||1||East Midlands||Parliament / Chris||Small||Parliament / Chris||Royalist / Adam|
|1642 Early||2||Wales||Royalist / Steven||Small||Parliament / Jamie||Royalist / Steven|
|1642 Late||3||South-East||Royalist / Adam||Small||Royalist / Adam||Parliament / Chris|
Where to get Tilly’s Very Bad Day and Populous, Rich and Rebellious
Both are available for download as PDFs: