Jackson Gamers' English Civil War game
The Battle of Test

We played this game on November 24, 2007 with our 'Club' 15mm armies at the home of Jay Stribling. Most of the troops belong to Jay Stribling but some units were raised by Robert Whitfield, David Burton, Mark Stevens, and Mike Lowery.

The Roundhead players - attempting to return the King to the loving bosom of his loyal Parliament were: (Left Wing) Jim Pitts, (Center) Sean Pitts, (Right wing) Bill Hamilton.

The Cavaliers - attemping to remove Parliament from the evil influences of the London Mob and reunite them with their loving and generous soverign were: (Left wing) Ed Sansing, (Center) Phil Young, (Right wing) Fred Diamond.

The Game Master and Host was Jay Stribling. He was ably assisted by his little dog Chip who played the part of Prince Rupert's dog by barking loudly, demanding treats, and generally staying underfoot.

The armies at the start of the game.

Parliament forces are on the left, in the distance, and the Royalist army is near, on the right. This photo shows pretty much the entire table, which was 8' long by 5' wide. It was covered with a ground cloth, on which was drawn a 4" hex grid.

Dragoons in action

Royalist dragoons, supported by foot regiments, defend the Test family farmstead. Notice the dead cows in the pasture.

The parliamentary center

The Roundhead center as it prepares to attack the farmstead. Note that the hex grid is drawn with marker on a cloth sheet. When looking down on the cloth as we play, the ripples in the cloth - and the hex pattern - don't show up. But when looking at a low angle as our cameraman was, the hexes seem to have been drawn by a drunkard!

The parliamentary left wing

Foot on Parliament left wing begins to line the hedge as a Royalist tercio approaches. Most of the brigades (Tercios) of both armies were composed of three regiments of foot, each of three stands of shot, and three stands of pike.

Cavalrymen fight on the Roundhead left wing

The big cavalry fight of the Parliamentary left wing against the Royalist right wing. There were 6 Parliament horse regiments and five Royalist regiments in this fight. There was also a similarly large fight on the opposite wing, but we have no images.

The colored rings shown on some of the units represent the morale state of the units. This is not known till the units engage in combat and are required to test morale for the first time. Then the "Initial" morale of the unit is diced for. This morale level will go up if the unit wins hand-to-had melees or routs enemy units by fire. It will similarly go down if the unit itself routs. The colors for the morale states are RED (1 morale point - the worst!) GREEN (2 morale points - acceptable) BLUE (3 morale points - above average) and GOLD (4 morale points - the best!).

Continuing the Cavalry fight

And the result of the first round of fighting on the Roundhead left wing, with each side having had three regiments driven off. The Parliamentary left wing eventually drove back the Cavalier horse on the Royalist right. They enveloped the Royalist foot.

On the Royalist left, they drove off the enemy horse, so that each army turned their opponent's right wing.

A few historical notes on the English Civil War

The English Civil War lasted from 1642 to 165I. Increasing friction between the English crown and Parliament flared into open warfare in1642. In the civil war, sometimes called the "Great Rebellion" King Charles I was supported by the episcopacy, while the Presbyterians and reformers took the side of Parliament.

The Royalists who began the war strong in the north and west of England, lost the north at the battle of Marston Moor in 1644. After the Parliamentarian victory at Naseby the following year, Charles was forced to surrender.

The war entered a second phase when the king escaped and made an alliance with Scots. But the New Model army of Oliver Cromwell put down all Royalist uprisings and repulsed a Scottish invasion. King Charles was captured and executed in 1649.

After opposition in Ireland and a Scottish in favor of Charles's cause and his son was crushed, the monarchy was abolished and a republic (called the Commonwealth) was established under the protectorate of Cromwell. Two years after the death of Cromwell in 1658, the monarchy was restored under King Charles' son, who took the throne as Charles II. .

In the left-center

Royalist infantry approaches from the left as it tries to disrupt the Parliamentary attack on the farmstead. In the dusty background can be seen the big cavalry battle between the Royalist left wing and Parliamentary right wing cavalry

The infantry "gets to it!"

The aftermath of that cavalry battle saw most of the Parliamentary cavalry driven off. The Royalist left wing infantry and Parliamentary right wing infantry now get involved in a "push of pike" as the Royalist cavalry guards the rear of their infantry

You may be able to see black rings on a few units in this photo. These represent casualties, and when each figure on a stand has been "ringed" the stand is removed from the game!

Victory conditions for both players

  1. Sweep the field. Drive them before you like chaff!
  2. Exit a units (preferably cavalry) off the table in the enemy rear to threaten their supply lines
  3. Sieze the enemy's communications to their rear

Roundhead cavalry pursuit

Part of the Parliamentary left wing cavalry pursue the fleeing remnants of the Royalist right wing cavalry, easily riding them down.

The parliamentary left is victorious

While the rest of the Parliamentary left wing cavalry encircles and destroys the last combat effective Royalist regiment.

Near the end of the affair

A view of the battlefield as the battle draws to an end. Part of the Parliamentary left wing cavalry has gotten completely into the rear of the Royalists, overrunning several guns. The rest of the left wing cavalry threatens Royalist infantry who have hedge-hogged themselves near the hedge. In the center, the Parliamentary infantry has taken part of the farmstead, while in the background, the last of that flanks' cavalry fight each other.

As the reason for this battle was a test of playing our Charge Yr Pike rules on a hex-grid table, we did not dignify it with a name at that time. Perhaps we should call it - the "Battle of Test."

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