ECW: Lansdown Hill Scenario Assistance
Tagged: Pike and Shotte
November 23, 2019 at 6:48 pm #172008
Hoping for assistance on the scenario from “To Kill a King” on Pages 64-65. I have finally physically recovered enough to attempt a game for the first time this year and want to give this battle a try but was uncertain about the size of table that would fit the game best as the author intended. I have the space for 6’x 8′ or 6′ x 12′. Any thoughts on which seems best?
In addition, looking at the game scenario, would you gamers suggest starting the Royalists 18″ or 24″ away from the Dragoons of Waller’s flanking forces (understanding the size of table will likely make a difference).
Thanks for the help and it may well be that it is obvious but I have not played in over a year and am very rusty.
0December 1, 2019 at 10:03 pm #172255Charge The GunsParticipant
- This topic was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Erik E.
Glad to hear you’re feeling up to a game. I would always go for as wide as possible and 12’ x 6’ if you can manage it. You can probably squeeze in to narrower if you need to.
I like to start outside musket range so 24” apart to start the game.
Let us know how it goes.0December 2, 2019 at 2:22 pm #172262
Thank you very much Charge the Guns and I have started the terrain set up this morning. I plan to game and provide and update by the end of the week. Appreciate the help. Oh, I assume that the Royalist horse would be using the 1643 “Local Horse” rating based on performance (referring to two websites – not overly familiar with more detailed books)?
Erik0December 2, 2019 at 4:07 pm #172263Rough RiderParticipant
Oh, I assume that the Royalist horse would be using the 1643 “Local Horse” rating…
I think most of it yes, as Prince Maurice is commanding and his horse were there I think you could rate them as Oxford. Perhaps also the Earl of Caernarvons horse.
0December 23, 2019 at 8:58 pm #172943
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Rough Rider.
Got lost trying to find access here for posting – sorry for this being so late.
Replayed the battle which was my first game in a year and this was a solo effort. First thing I did discover is I could use more hedges (LOL!). I also am a bit confused on what to do with the Royalist Commanded Shotte on the right and left flank infantry battalia that start in the woods. Are the woods significant enough to be only for skirmish order troops or are they more for show? Hmm…I was really not certain how to handle so I went for a bit of a compromise and attempted to extricate the royalist commanded shotte from the woods as fast as possible, gave them a -1 command roll for being there, and a natural “6” on a D6 would be a disorder. Not certain if that was too much or too little….
The 12’x6′ table was a great choice and I thank you both for the suggestion. Great look and started the forces 30″ apart which added quite a bit to imposing view of the Cornish forces trying to climb the hill.
How did it play? I allowed the Royalist to go first and that was when the hard decision began. Do you put those two large pikes in the column of pike blocks to get the extra command but then have that +1 risk of being hit by fire? Yep…I caved. I did NOT put them into two stands wide by three stands deep….
And for three turns straight…I rolled 10s or 11s (LOL!). Yep…those fantastic pike blocks stayed right where they were and looked great doing it (LOL!).
Meanwhile, the Cornish Shotte on either side moved up tentatively to the hedges and waited….
Those Royalist Commanded Shotte on the flanks were largely slow (well, I rolled badly) or had a disorder and failed to get much movement. They did inch forward, but lagged behind as well.
But, someone forgot to inform the Royalist cavalry of Maurice that they were not needed in an aggressive fashion. I flippantly said (well, solo gaming out loud speaking!) “just move up as far as you can”…..and to my shock I rolled “2” for the command roll. Yep….all “36” of five units of horse come half way forward across the table and right up behind the Cornish Pike!
Post this as part 1.0December 23, 2019 at 9:16 pm #172944
The Parliamentarians had those Dragoons on both flanks and they would get a few lucky shots which would cause additional disorders, again, slowing down the commanded shotte on the Royalist flanks. But, perhaps it was an accident with the way I had placed the table, but the hedges where the Cornish Foote were placed now were within range of the medium guns of the on the platforms (rules for the scenario) and even long range fire against light cover, a hit was still -2 morale. Stubborn rule still meant needed that natural “6” which was elusive and it become painfully clear that having now allowed the shotte to be separated from the pike was a disaster. They needed to move up now before was fire was available was destroyed.
(By the way, it was a reminder of just how much fun Pike and Shotte is – even though I have been out of gaming for some time and clearly had made a horrendous mistake, rusty with the rules, etc., the game was turning into a mess, but was there any way to retrieve it?).
The Royalists finally succeeded with some command roles with their wing commanded shottes moving forward to engage the first hastily arranged works, but those Parliamentarians have two “first fire” instead of one where the Royalist had none! In the center, still too nervous of the amount of fire the hill presented, I decided to use the “Follow Me” order on one pike block with Grenville and did the same with the army commander Hopton (probably a poor option, but it was what came to me at the time). Issuing commands to move forward as far as possible (it was not possible to charge), both commands managed two moves but lost the 3″ crossing the hedges (using the option rule in Pike and Shotte). Both Cornish Shotte had moved slightly forward more which ensured that they would be targeted priority (1/2 range rule – I had forgotten this until I read during the shooting phase). The Royalist horse only managed one move…..
Post as part 2.0December 23, 2019 at 9:30 pm #172945
The Hill bristled with fire as five units (all with first fire bonus), 2 light guns and 2 medium guns) unleashed on the two Cornish Foote. Stubborn rule did help with the one save, but it was a forgone conclusion. Each was disordered, had six hits (odd both had the same) and suffered artillery casualties. That was a lot of negatives when rolling break tests. Both were removed from the table….
The next turn witnessed a Royalist moment when both commanded shotte flanks cleared the woods and advanced to the improvised works, but the middle pike blocks were unable to make sufficient rolls to close for the charge. With no doubt that all the artillery and five units with “first fire” still available, the Maurice moved his cavalry as far as possible which just managed to cover the front of the Cornish pike.
But….that was 11″ away from the line of works…
The Royalist Commanded Shotte and two light guns did manage to cause some damage to various Parliamentarian shotte units but more the 1 or 2 hit variety rather than disordered, especially on any of the artillery.
The next turn was devastating by Waller’s men was devastating. The guns cut down two of Maurice’s cavalry units and another was equally shaken by very lucky combined shotte. The commanded shotte attacking the flanks were only somewhat repulsed, with the only consolation that Royalist could claim was the last “first fire” had finally been spent.
By the end of the turn, Maurice had two horse units break, one retreat into disorder and his battalia was broken for the game.
Next Part 4:0December 23, 2019 at 9:47 pm #172946
Then Hopton’s and Grenville had their chance and charged. Both hit Parlimentary foote units and I had NOT placed them Column of Pike. Grenville’s pike inflicted more casualties and by goodness if Cooke’s foote rolled an “11” and Held their ground though “Shaken”. Then, Hopton’s Foote did the exact same thing with Cooke’s other foote (though, in retrospect, I may well have forgotten to reroll a Tough Fighter die) and the Parlimentarian rolled a “10”, but he too was shaken.
So, neither Cornish Pike unit had broken through, but both of Cooke’s foote were crippled and they could not disengage (the rule in Pike and Shotte says they have to fight to a conclusion) especially as one unit was in between the improvised works (note: I did wonder if the unit behind the other works could have pulled back, but could not find that in a rule).
Desultory fire from the commanded shotte on the Royalist flank finally sent off the Parliamentarian Dragoons but it was so late in the day that it was rather an after thought. A second Shotte finally broke another of Cooke’s shotte but, again, it was an isolated unit so nearly did not matter.
Waller’s Parlimentarian turn was more setting up for what would be the moment after his center units broke. His commands rolls and those of his other troops was largely to move artillery into position to fire on the Cornish pike once they finished off Cooke’s foote, Haselrig’s Horse closed up and moved into position to charge and Cooke’s pike lined up either side of the dirt road ready to engage in case of an advance by Hopton’s men.
With the Royalist turn, it was totally expected. The Cornish pike annihilated the wrecked foote, but both were able to put one unsaved (even with stubborn) hit on the pikemen which caused both to be shaken. Neither advanced….and were unable to pull back.
The Parliament turn was what you would expect. Grenville’s pike block was destroyed by artillery and foote fire. Hopton’s was horrendously hit but somehow managed to retire two moves disordered but still not be destroyed (rolled an “11” even with all the negatives…..and with stubborn).
Needless to say, the game was over with both Royalist Battalia’s wrecked.
Part 5: Observations0December 23, 2019 at 9:53 pm #172947
Part 5: Observations:
I have no doubt I committed more than a few mistakes, a tremendous number of tactical stupidities, and outright dense moments especially having to stop and read rules that I had long since forgotten. Having written that, it was a wonderful game and highlights how much fun Pike and Shotte is to play and how friendly it can be when playing solo especially if you have to stop and start for work or health reasons. I did have a number of scenario questions which may be answered elsewhere or are very obvious to those who know the history of Hopton and Waller’s battles.
I do intend to try this one again after the New year after getting some more hedges, figuring out what should or should not do about the trees/woods, if Commanded Shotte matters in those woods, and is there anything one should do about the Shale Pits.
But..big question is whether it would have mattered being in Column of PIke? I suspect it would have. I think this Royalist commander was too timid and intimidated by all those guns….
Only way to know is to play it again!
Thanks for the suggestions and happy gaming. Be safe for the holidays and be careful on the roads!0December 24, 2019 at 4:33 pm #172972Rough RiderParticipant
Very interesting report ErikE. When I look over some of the early battles, it strikes me that several of the Royalist victories relied more on luck and bravado than tactical nous; Lansdowne may have been no different. My impression of the battle was that the musketeers on the flanks were not incredibly effective and perhaps that is due to the disorder caused by moving through the woods to get into position. I think I would have played as you did.0December 28, 2019 at 9:23 am #173044Charge The GunsParticipant
Very interesting report, Erik. A tough day for the Cornishmen! Advancing in to all of that firepower can be a nightmare. (Something we often forget is that artillery start on 5 to hit, rather than 4. It’s meant to tone down artillery a bit.)0December 28, 2019 at 4:08 pm #173058
Charge The Guns –
Oh, I cannot believe I did that…I know better. The Cornishmen just experienced 19th century artillery fire (smacks forehead and hangs in shame). I got too excited to play my first game in over a year and did not read the main rule book again prior. Yeah, that would have made a big difference.
One quick observation. This is quite good as a solo game the more I played it as the Parliamentarians do rather receive the Royalists with the exception if they chose to use their cavalry. I did not, but others might.
Advice please: Do you think the Royalist flank Commanded Shotte I should have treated as skirmishes for this scenario only or handled the way I did?
Thanks again…..I suspect I made a number of other rules errors! LOL!
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