Tally Ho!

Sunday 4 September 2016

First Battle of Newbury, 1643 - Part II

You will remember from last week's Blog that at the half-way point things were fairly even overall. Rupert's Horse was making good progress in the south, but the centre was firmly going Essex's way. Honours were pretty even in the fields to the north. Tune in next week for the conclusion.

The Northern section

In the Northern section of the field the Royalists pressed forward with both Foot and Horse in an attempt to force the flank of the Round Hill. The attack met with an initial set-back when the lead unit of Foot was routed and the Parliamentary Horse surged forward into the stationary Royalist cavalry.

Royalists advance into the teeth of the defence

View from the Royalist lines

The attack stalls as the roundheads counter attack
All this came to a shuddering halt though as the roundheads came up against a very lucky streak from the Royalists. They saved all the hits against them  and so threw-back the Parliamentary Horse, reversing all their gains and threatening to turn the flank. 

Luckiest men alive
Essex deployed most of his reserves to stabilise the position. the fresh Foot proved up the task and the battle quickly became a stalemate.
Fortunes reversed 

The action bogs-down

The Centre Section

In the centre the action began with The King throwing his reserves into the assault on Round Hill. They advanced boldly but were unable to make any dent in the defences around Round Hill.

Reinforcements for the Royalist cause

The attacks goes in 

The attack waivers

The Southern Section

Both sides received fresh squadrons from their reserves but Rupert's previous success saw him start with the upper-hand. He attacked boldly but the roundheads were able to rally some of their fleeing units and although at a disadvantage mount some sort of defence. 

Roundheads return to the fray

Rupert fights his way forward
This was in truth just a delaying action though, as Essex knew his tired troopers would not be able to hold Rupert for long. He used the time wisely to deploy a defensive line that refused his flank. 

Essex forms a solid defence

The Verdict

The game ended with the Royalists having taken valuable ground, but now lacking the strength to mount a serious assault on Essex's lines. Round Hill was secure and indeed had never been seriously threatened during the battle. Its guns were also intact following some very poor counter battery fire from the Royalist gunners. This proved decisive in holding back the Royalist tide.

So somewhat similar to history, which is not a bad result. It was also enjoyable to see almost all the clubs collection of ECW taking to the field at once. An inspiring sight, and we'll certainly undertake another ECW campaign soon, perhaps northern England so we can deploy the Scots again.

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