Tally Ho!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Marston Moor refight - the Cirencester Christmas game

The Scenario

The full details of the scenario can be found in my earlier post, but as a quick recap we were refighting the Parliamentary / Scots army against the Royalists under Prince Rupert.

As we were fortunate enough to have 7 players we opted for 4 Parliamentary and 3 Royalist.

The initial phases

Marston Moor is classic ECW with mounted on the flanks and foot-sloggers in the centre. Its a fairly flat battlefield, with the ditch being only a minor obstacle. The scots bonnets add a dash of colour and the largish numbers of dragoons are a welcome sight.

The Parliamentary right

The Royalist right - the horse are out of shot

The Royalist left
The game began with a general advance from the Parliamentary / Scots troops, with Rupert content to let the enemy come to him for once. Honours even from the early exchanges.

The action on the flanks

Whilst the infantry exchanged fire in the centre both flanks clashed. On the Parliamentary left Cromwell advanced his elite Ironsides against a weak'ish force or Rupert's Regiment and the Northern Horse, later supported by the Life Guards. It was slow going with the Ironsides reluctant to charge  but gradually warring-down their lower quality opposition. The scots proved useful though sweeping away a troublesome gun battery before it did too much damage.

Cromwell advances

The action from the Royalist side

Cromwell makes progress

On the Parliamentary right the action was faster-paced with Thomas Fairfax making short-work of Goring's horse and turning the flank of Royalist line.

Battle is joined

Fairfax turns the flank

The Royalist infantry look worried

The End Game

With their flanks lost the Royalist infantry were losing heart having suffered heavy attrition from accurate Parliamentary musket fire. They began to retreat leaving only Newcastle's White coats holding the right of the line in good order. As the game ended they offered the only meaningful resistance.

The Royalist right crumbles

The White coats hold firm


The game had the benefit of largely following history, with the White coats not though forced to fight to the bitter end. We also had an impressive looking game with about 15 units of foot and 12 of horse a side, all in 28mm.


  1. Being a raw unit in these rules is a huge handicap as you get a mnus on fightng and a minus on the susequebt morale throws. As units rarely die on the first clash...and the luck reversal required to get a high score from a raw unit onto an average unit is lijely to prevent an initial kill the grading of units nearly always drives the final result. Veterans versus raw is a one way street.
    Its also a set that gives artillery an odd advantage, or rather the side with the most guns. Actually killing someone with artillery is hard because you need to get the 4+ on all three dice,( I think that is a 12% chance). However any hit, not kill, artillery causes a morale throw and the unit has to score a 7 on two dice to pass. The Parliamentarians had. guns on a ridge behind them, (whoever did this in the seventeenth century ??) so they were able to hit units and get a throw uwhich, if failed, put the target unit in the vulnerable position if being shaken, so one kill from their infantry to the front and it was another throw, which if failed was a rout, Mostly guns of this period were sited in front of the infantry lines, they fired a few times and the gunners bugged out when there was an advance. Having the guns on the ridge gave the Parlt. the equivalent of a cab rank of Typhoons. Fun and very friendly game!

    1. I quite like the way that Peter Pig's rules deal with artillery - you get a few turns of pre-game bombardment to soften-up the line and then they don't do much after that. We might try that next time. Another change I would make is only allowing guns to make units Shaken, not cause them to rout unless by causing actually casualties - which as you say is unlikely

  2. Looks like a splendid game to me!