Monday, November 14, 2022

The Battle for Pinkney's Court

This is scenario #3 from the most excellent (fictional) For King and Parliament ECW scenario book, From Marlowe to Maidenhythe, by Robert Avery.   I see there is another such scenario book by the same author, entitled, "The Siege of Norchester. Definitely a future pdf purchase!

End of Turn 1; the Roudheads, left, commanded by myself, are advancing on Pinkney's Court and the Royalist positions. 

John commanded the Royalists alone until Thomas arrived and assumed command of the Royalist Left.

The Roundhead advance is going well thus far. My infantry are normal Battaglia, whilst all of rhe Cavalier Foote are Pike Heavy. As usual, they hold the advantage in Horse. 

The Caviler  Horse advance; while my three units actually have one more "hit" to take than their four units, the combination of the superior initial charge of their Swedish style horse, the advantage of numbers as far as creating outflanking opportunities, and the relative unwieldiness of the deep Dutch Roundhead horse isn't giving me much optimism regarding the outcome of a cavalry clash! 

My Dragoons move up slowly in support.

They intend to make for the Woods to their front and right, where they will be safe from the Cavalier Horse!

My infantry are closing with the enemy. However, the lack of any Parliamentary cavalry on this flank is making me nervous; I would really like to put some hedgerows between me an those horseys! 

As expected, the Royalist Horse comes on and seeks to turn the flank of my own troopers. 

What was that about flanks?!

Rather than waiting for the inevitable, one of my Veteran Horse charge their opposite number. The dratted Swedish style horse countercharge. 

On my right, I decide that the best defense is a good offense. Look at those beautiful lines!  I hope to drive off the small troop of Horse to the front of my Blue regiment, and use my commanded Shot to threaten flank fire against the other unit to keep them honest! 

I should be able to use my superior Musketry to gain an advantage, right? 

After a stand off result from my own charge (aside from a light wound to my General), a Royalist regiment charges my second unit of Veteran horse. My defensive pistol fire misses (as it always seems to do!), and the impetuous Cavaliers manage 3 hits (8+) on 5 cards. My Horse, being Veterans, need only a 6+ to save each hit. Disaster!  They save none, are eliminated, and don't even get a chance to battle back. 

Situation after the successful Cavalier charge. Now we made a serious error, forgetting the pursuit rules, which really are important during the ECW. That makes the Roundhead position even worse!

The green Royalist Battaglia has entered the woods! This both makes them very difficult to maneuver, and means that they count as lacking pikes for the rest of the game. Hopefully my Dragoons can take advantage from this situation?

My blue regiment attempts to charge the small troop of Horse to their front. "Milord, it says right here on page 41, "Foot may never charge Horse". Drat; we have to shoot at the buggers instead!

Our musketry is spot on, and the small Royalist troop flees the field. One down!

Unfortunately, the flank of the Blue regiment is vulnerable, although it will take two activations for the cavalier Horse to reach them. This also means they are just out of long range from my commanded shot, who are also somewhat vulnerable to a cavalry charge!

On the Roundhead right, my Gun turns and lines up a beautiful close range flank shot of the victorious Cavaliers. They, of course, miss, as usual! My dragoons have entered the woods to contest it with the now pikeless (formerly Pike heavy) Green Foote. Unfortunately, Dragoons cannot use their ammo markers for double shots at close range, like standard Foote can! 

"Shooting a Gentleman in the flank is just deucedly impolite!"

Just like that, but entirely to be expected, the Parliamentary gun is overrun. Things are going from bad to worse here!

Ugh!  Chaerged in the flankl with dash and pistol fire!

10 cards - 3 hits! 

This time, I mange to at least save two of them!

Copy cats - now the same unit is charged from the rear! 

10 hit cards once again. Fortune smiles on my lads, and only a single hit is registered!

I manage to save that one two - thank God for Veterans! 

In the center, the Cavalier infantry advances from their defensive positions, hoping to take advantage of their extra pikes. My defensive musketry scares a hit and throws them into Disorder, however. 

In the ensuing melee, they take a second hit, and are repulsed. My men are unscathed. One more hit and the cheeky bastards will be history! 

Next, the Royalist Blue regiment charges! The ensuing combat sees little results, however. 

The Royalist Horse on the far right  of course gets its two activation and merrily charges into the flank of my poor Blue regiment. 10 hit cards once again, 4 hits. I fail to save any, and the regiment is trampled under the hooves of the jubilant Cavaliers; worse still, General fails to save as well. "That will be 5 victory medals, Gov!"

Said Cavliers then thunder on across the hedge and into the rear of my Brown regiment (they should, of course, have pursued instead... which would have placed them at risk of a flank shot by my commanded shot! MUST remember that rule!)  At least with no Parliamentary units orthogonal to the now mourned Blue regiment, no Morale tests were needed. Without their dreaded initial Pistol bonus, the cavaliers miss with all 6 cards, praise the Lord.  

Situation at the end of the Royalist turn. 

Close up of the situation in the center. 

And on my right; the Round head Grey regiment suffered a hit from the opposing Oxford Musketeers (Commanded Shot). 

Still another view of the action at this stage. 

I move one of my deep Horse units onto the flank of some Cavaliers, but lack the activations to charge home! 

In the center, I attempt charges by the Brown and Grey foot; both are repulsed, with losses! 

Once more, with feeling!  More flank charges upon my poor , beleaguered Horse! This time, they are eliminated, although the General survives; 3 more Victory medals lost!

Although their situation is grim, my sole remaining unit of horse crushes a charge by the Cavalier Blue Horse, eliminating them. Go, team!

Sic transit Gloria! Charged in the rear, my remaining unit of horse takes 2 hits, but survives, barely. 

However, the Oxford Musketeers double fire on my Grey regiment, and score 2 hits; I save none, and, already having suffered a previous hit from aforesaid  Musketeers, the unit is lost - 3 more victory medals surrendered. And with that, the game is over. I have lost all 14 Victory medals, whilst the Royalists lost only 3 of their 11. A bona fide rout! 

Thomas recoding the scene of the victory for posterity... 

The second Thursday of December will see us play the 4th scenario from the book, Burchett's Green. The Scots start to appear in Scenario 5...


  1. Oh dear Lord, it all looks SOOOO familiar, Peter! I actually have a bit of an issue with the whole idea that the Parliamentarian horse was "Dutch" in style, as postulated by these rules - from my reading, that lasted a very short period at the start of the war, and for most of the conflict, all British cavalry (Scots as well as English) mainly charged with sword or lance. How many times have I had a flank turned in FKAP? Far too many, that's the answer! One of the downsides of the squares/hexes is that there is always an open flank available somewhere. I am interested in that cavalry pursuit rule though - in our last game, Chris did for most of my wing of the army with two or three cavalry regiments but sounds like we didn't play that correctly either..... Overall, I quite enjoy these rules, but they can be brutal and some of the "extras" that have been added to the original TtS seem a bit unnecessary to me. The scenario book looks a good idea though.....

    1. Yes, the Parliamentarians transitioned to mostly Swedish" style after a year or so. True, you can't "angle back" to protect a flank, but you can echelon units to accomplish mush the same thing. Even a single unit of cavalry on the Parliamentarian Left would have been a big help. However, the key was my mistake in NOT forming Hedgehog when I had the chance!

  2. A beautiful looking game Peter, and a pity that Royalist cavalry destroyed your nicely organised lines. Would the pursuit rule have made much of a difference, or was the action fairly well decided by then anyway?

    1. I think the end result would have been the same, but the gun would have survived longer with the chance to score a hit or two, and the victorious Cavaliers on the Royalist right would have been out of the action for a while, and possibly damaged or destroyed by musket fire from the Commanded shot.

  3. Replies
    1. Although I was thoroughly thumped, it was hugely fun!

  4. Excellent report, Pursuit can potentially get mounted units into troublesome positions and good to see cards hate you like dice hate me :-)

    1. Usually the luck runs at least even for me, but not today!. Pursuit really is essential in this era. You had better bet I'll remember it next game! :-)

  5. As usual, a great looking game, Peter. Still building my GNW armies to give FK&P a try
    As for the open flank situation: we played a fantasy battle last night using the Fantasy variant, Magic & Monsters. In those rules the ZOC of a unit is all 8 adjacent hexes. That certainly cured the open flank issue! We have mixed feelings about this, as it played very differently (in terms of battlefield tactics) from TtS! Not sure how this would play out in FK&P.

    Jim M

    1. I have no problem with flanks and the square grid. The smaller the number of units, the bigger the issue is.

  6. Nice table as always. I recommend that you burn the deck you were using, jail the cavalry commander for conspiring with the enemy and quickly learn how to charge in line!

    1. My big mistake was NOT forming Hedgehog with the flank Foote unit. I've ridden down enemy Foote myself when the shoe was on the other foot (ahem), and should have known better!

  7. Good stuff, Peter, and jam-packed with non-stop action. Careful reading suggests your boys took a pounding. The enemy regularly found an open flank or rear to exploit. Ouch!

    1. We got shellacked, our clocks cleaned, etc.; no care full reading required. They had 11/14 Victory Medals remaining at the end of the game!

  8. Great looking game, and glad you're enjoying Marlowe to Maidenhythe!

  9. A great game and an interesting one with non-stop action. Just the right amount of troop units. Imagine the possibilities if my pike-heavy battaglia stayed clear of the woods. The roundhead shot units might have been accosted on BOTH flanks. (But it looked like a good idea at the time).

    1. I had a blast with the gave, despite receiving a drubbing!

  10. Great looking game whatever the result, just been driving from Marlow to Maidenhead, bit of a coincidence!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks, Iain! That's a funny coincidence.

    2. All the locations/maps for M2M are loosely based on the actual places named. Here the map is loosely based on the actual Pinkneys Green: although Lee and Darling's Lane are now very obscure, single-track roads. So you can walk the ground if you like: just be careful not to trip over the grid lines!

    3. LOL! I had assumed the places and names were as fictitious as the scenarios; evidently not!

  11. Action-packed game and report Peter. The strength to the Royalist cavalry seemed to have you at a disadvantage all game—more so in that they were so well controlled on this occasion (no pursuits)!
    Regards, James

    1. The Royalist cavalry had the edge for sur5e, which might have been partially mitigated had I remembered the pursuit rule! It had been a year since our last game with FK&P, but our next is scheduled in 3 weeks!