Thursday, December 3, 2020

1st Battle of Newbury, 1643, with Field of Battle, 3rd edition - Turn 3

Turn 3 began with the King winning the initiative roll by four, and choosing to go first. The fiorst card was a MOVE. The downside of this was that the two units of Royalist routers at table's edge, one the battered Lifeguards, and the other a uinit of Dragoons, retreated off the field and were removed from play. Rupert's Brigade rolls up a plain vanilla single MOVE. 

Situation om the Royalist left after Rupert's move. 

A timely "Double Magic" move for Lord Wilmot's Brown Brigade. 

The Royalist Dragoons have moved forwards boldly to pepper the Rouindhead Horse with musket balls,  and a Cavalier cavalry charge defeats its opposition. 

A triple move for Percy's Black Brigade... 

allows them to pull back from the uneven contest with the Trained Bands. 

Some Triple Magic for Lord Caernarvon's Grey Brigade! 

A successful frontal charge resulted, but the clever flank charge failed badly!

Situation on the Royalist right thereafter.

A Double Magic Move for Vavasour's Green Brigade; this allowed the Brigade to advance to the hedge line. They could have charged, but the advantages there seemed to lie with the Parliamentary troopers. 

A triple move allowed some repositioning of Astley's Red Brigade in defense of the Royal artillery. 

Triple Magic  (D12+1 for Belasaye's Yellow Brigade. 

Evidently not having learned from the experience of the Lifeguards, the Brigade bears down hard on the gun line, coming under heavy fire as it does so!

Lots of Black Powder burned here!

Two Royalist regiments are driven back by the fire. The remaining unit finally gets a chance to shoot, but has little effect!

A double move, but no charge for the White Brigade!

They use it to advance upon the crumbling Parliamentary right center! The next Card is ARMY MORALE; after checking, none of the Cavalier officer are hit. A TACTICAL ADVANTAGE card follows, and is saved for future use. 

The 4th and final Royalist card is another MOVE card. Rupert's Blue Brigade gets a key Double magic move!

View Halloo!  Rupert's boys charge straight at whatever lies to their front. The Dragoons try to break the charge of the cavaliers, but their fire is ineffective. This can't be a good thing!

Sorry about the rotation, but all three of these charges succeed, with a total of 4 Army Morale Points surrendered by the Roundheads. Ouch!

Parliament runs out of Morale points after the first two are lost, and thus the King regains two Morale points!

The 4th charge is routed by the Roundheads, who inflict heavy losses in the process.. 

Wilmot's Brown Brigade tries a little magic of its own!

Their charge is repulsed with loss, however. 

The two units of Foote from Norwich shoot at the Horse to their front, driving them back with loss. 

The situation on the Royalist Left thereafter. The White Brigade then makes a single move. 

Their advance subjects them to opportunity fire by the battered regiments of Lord Brooke and the Earl of Stamford.

Slack fire by Tillier's greencoats is ineffective. 

Double Magic for Belasaye's Yellow Brigade. 

Eager for revenge, they close upon the vulnerable, unloaded Parliamentary guns. They can't quite make it into contact, but both regiments fire, and... nothing!

A Triple Magic Move allows the  Royal artillery and supporting to change facing. 

This invokes a test for "Maneuver Disorder, which I almost  forgot; all Foot, Dismounted Dragoons, and Guns attempting to change facing must test, rolling a D6 against the unit's Defense die; if they fail to beat the D6, they suffer Movement Disorder. In the event, the guns passed, but York's Regiment is Disordered. 

Double Magic for Vavasour's boys. 

A successful charge; I have used up all 60 of my casualty markers, and must resort to alternate ones! 

Situation in the Commons...

after which a Triple Magic Move for Caernarvon's Green Brigade... 

allows the Dragoons to maneuver and pour fire into the flank of the Roundhead Horse! With that, the initiative passes to Essex and the Roundheads. 

The first card is... ARTILLERY FIRE! "For what we are about to receive..."
The Parliamentary gun line drives back the 2 Royalist Foote units yet a again in bloody ruin, inflicting the loss of 3 Army Morale Points in the process. 

The Light gun, lacking targets for the moment, reloads. 

The second Parliamentary card is MELEE. Lord Say and Seele's regiment launches a desperate charge at Gerard's regiment to their front. The first round id indecisive.

but the charge is beaten back with loss ion the second. The third card turned is...

Prliament is out of Morale Points, and thus must test. Essex rolls his D8 Leadership Die (the worst possible), against a D12, and must win the toss to carry on. He rolls decently, but not high enough. The Battle of Newbury has ended!

The King had only 5 Morale Points left himself, so it was a near run thing. On the other hand, the King has defeated the last remaining Parliamentary army in the field, and blocked their return to London. The roundhead cause is is grave danger as their army retreats sullenly. The Cavaliers are too exhausted themselves to launch a vigorous pursuit. 

    Overall, I was very happy with the rules and the scenario. the only exception was the Artillery, which was over powered/ That due to having both too many batteries, and only using one stand instead of two to represent each battery, which over concentrated the firepower. That is easily foxed. I would also use the optional Pursuit rules in FoB 3 next time, that being such a prominent feature of Cavalry actions in the ECW. I thought the relatively few modifications to the rules were quite effective at making the battle feel like an ECW battle, as opposed to, say, a Napoleonic game. Well done, Brent!


  1. A nicely evenly fought engagement Peter. I note your comments about the artillery, but there also seemed to be a few point-blank shots in there which would no doubt have added to their effectiveness.

    1. Thanks, Lawrence. It was mostly just too many guns and too narrow a frontage for them. Not at all a rules issue, a scenario issue. With Parliament on the defense, for the most part, It makes sense their guns did more damage. Even then, the Royalist won!

  2. Very enjoyable post, thanks.

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Norm. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Another great AAR. Good to see the ECW amendments in action.

    1. Thank you, Gary! I was very pleased with how well FoB3 worked for the ECW!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Brent. A few questuins if I may..

      A few questions for Brent, all Dragoon related:

      1) Dragoons seem better in melee than I would think - Horse don't have the Up 2 bonus when fighting Dragoons that they do against Commanded Shot.
      2) It seems there is no need or reason to mount/dismount Dragoons - do they just move 8" regardless? Or 12" mounted (and no maneuver penalty), and 8" on foot (with maneuver penalty).
      3) Does Mounting/Dismounting have a cost? Won even only?
      4) Interpenetration: Can Dragoons be interpenetrated by each other, Commanded Shot, Foot, and/or Horse? How about Commanded Shot?

  5. Spectacular pictures, great looking game!

  6. Another really interesting episode in your Newbury fight. Your table superb and narrative enjoyable. The guns did seem to be overpowering, for sure, but the enemy was determined to keep attacking them.

    1. Thank you Jon, and you are quite right, the persistent attacks allowed the guns top be more effective. For a bit of comparison Napoleonic guns would be UP 2 at 0-8", UP 1 at 8-12 inches, No change at 12-18", Down 1 at 18 - 24", and Down 2 at 24 - 36". ECW artillery is NO change 0 -12", Down 1 12-24", and Down 2 24 - 36". In addition, Napoleonic guns are UP 1 for shooting at columns and squares, whilst there are NO bonuses for shooting at the relatively dense formations of the ECW.

  7. Great looking battle if unfortunate result! Seemed like lots more triple and magic moves in this turn, Rupert winning it for his King?
    Best Iain

    1. Hi Ian! Yes, the Magic moves lead to a lot more action this turn, especially by the Cavalry. I would agree, it was chiefly Rupert's command that made the biggest difference. He performed well the day of the battle as well, but lost control as the Horse went into pursuit. Had that not happened, the historical result might have been similar to this one. That could have had major consequences for the outcome of the war and the evolution of the governance of the British Isles.