At long last after nearly 3 years of painting I finished by Parliamentarian and Royalist armies and wanted to get them all out on the table for a big game. Although my collection is reasonably large Noel thought it would be even better to add more figures to the table and ask his friend Gary to join us with his collection which had taken him almost 18 months to complete. We had two huge armies. Each side had 28 regiments of foot ranging from 20 figures strong to a warping 64 strong. 28 regiments of horse ranging from 4 figures strong to 12 figures strong. To add to this each side had over 20 guns, 4-5 regiments of dragoons, Firelock and commanded shot companies. We estimated that were over 3,000 28mm figures on the table. These units were put into 5 cavalry brigades, 6 infantry brigades and a reserve. I chose to set the game in 1643 and the troops were classified accordingly and I used a Forlorn Hope guide to First Newbury as a guide. We used the full length of my table - 22' 5" to accommodate the troops. Noel and I have been working on a home-made rule set which unashamedly plagiarises concepts from Black Powder and Forlorn Hope in particular which we had been play testing at the club for several weeks.
The terrain was set up to form a valley running length wise along the table. There was two small hamlets one on each ridge, a few enclosed fields and some small woods. The terrain was pretty open. Both sides deployed their cavalry on their wings with their infantry in the centre with their guns being deployed along their front. With hindsight too many guns were in action that day! Both sides elected to strengthen one wing of cavalry the Royalist right and Parliamentarian left. The Royalist cavalry on their right led by Prince Rupert charged the Parliamentarian cavalry on their left wing. On the Royalist Left wing the cavalry were held back at the start. In the centre the artillery began firing at the infantry opposite them. Prince Rupert swept away his opposite number. However many of the Royalist cavalry units lost control and followed the routing parliamentarian cavalry off table. On the Royalist Left wing their cavalry was finally ordered forward and this too swept away the enemy cavalry opposite with again many units leaving the battlefield in pursuit.
In the centre both sides advanced part of their infantry line and were soon engaged in a fire fight. At one point it looked like the Parliamentarian infantry were going to punch a hole in the Royalist centre. This was eventually saved by independent Pike block.
Unfortunately the Parliamentarian cavalry held in reserve was unable to deploy to take advantage of the disorganised Royalist horse on their left wing. The Royalist also held back their third line of cavalry on their right wing which swept into action against the parliamentarian cavalry reserve. The Royalist horse also started to roll up the parliamentarian infantry on their right. On the Royalist Left some of their cavalry rallied and were moving to take the Parliamentarian infantry in their left flank. We had run out of time and at the end of the game the Parliamentarian infantry attack had stalled in the centre and both its flanks threatened by enemy cavalry. Although we did not have a conclusive result victory was declared in favour of the Royalists. The home-made rules had worked well to a degree. We agreed that further tweaks were needed to reduce the effectiveness of guns and give the ability for troops to more randomly.