Category Archives: Renaissance

A Medley of Renaissance Games

It has been a busy month here in “The Wargames Room”. The month kicked off with several excellent DBA 3.0 test games to be followed with a series of DBR games. The first of these received a report which can be found on the Renaissance Wargaming section of this site, for the other two I shall simply post a some game photos and a brief summary.

The first found my Roundheads facing John Kerr’s Royalists in a scenario game from his Borsetshire game. If you are interested in John’s narrative campaign I suggest you following his posts on his site. This particular battle was an encounter at “Ashby Street” set in 1643.

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John periodically fields a cavalry heavy Royalist army and this engagement bought the Royalist horse out in great numbers. The battle was an interesting affair and went down to the wire.Above, John moves his right flank forward towards some Roundhead guns. Below, the Royalist Yellow regiment, without pike support, fires at a portion of the Roundhead centre.

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Finally, a view of the battle, at the same time, but  from a different angle. The Roundhead horse of the Roundhead left engage a portion of the Royalist musketeers while Royalist cavalry advance to counter this move, visible on the left.

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Just prior to the end it looked set to be a Roundhead victory but in the last turn, with much of the Royalist army broken, sufficient Royalist horse broke through the Roundhead left flank and fell upon the Roundhead camp. The result was the Roundhead army also breaking. You can find more on the Battle of Ashby Street at John’s website.

The next game was played on Friday evening between myself and Alastair Penney. This time set in 1644 our little encounter found both of us using more infantry centric armies. Both armies had similar numbers but the Royalist foot had a greater concentration of musket armed troops while the Roundheads matched man for man the enemy foot and horse fielded a number of cannon with which they hoped to cause much discomfort to the enemy horse and potentially baggage.

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Above, Royalist foot advance past the village of Little Dibton. By 1644 many Royalist regiments had abandoned the 2:1 ratio of musket to pike as can be seen here. Below, the centres of both armies can be seen.Royalist dragoons can be seen moving through Little Dibton.

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Below, Royalist horse can be seen passing Little Dibton and the nearby enclosures. The Roundhead commander should have secured these enclosures and thereby protected his flank. With insuffiient dragoons, and an inablity to dispatch commanded shot, the Royalists made good progress on their right flank, at least initially…

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Below, the centres of both armies viewed from the Roundhead lines. When the battle started there was a risk of rain. When this transpired the Roundhead foot pressed forward in an attempt to use their superior pike numbers. Alas, the attack soon stalled…

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Below, another view of the battlefield, this time from the Royalist lines. The Royalist cavalry, visible on the left, were badly handled by the Roundheads. As a result the Royalist left wing, like the right, broke. However, the Roundhead cavalry were unable to press their advantage sufficiently here.

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When night finally fell, which ended the battle, neither army was broken. As mentioned the Roundhead left and both Royalist wings were broken. However, only darkness prevented the decimated Roundhead centre breaking partly due to the Royalist foot and partly due to stray Royalist horse that threatened the Roundhead camp.

Three excellent games in two weeks against three different players. A great medley of Renaissance gaming in my books…

Borsetshire and Campaign Gaming

A couple of weeks ago I finally caught up with John for a long overdue DBR game. Last year John and I enjoyed several DBR encounters and it was with some interest that for our first game of the year John wanted to play a campaign game. In particular he has been running a series of linked games set in the fictional county of Borsetshire during the English Civil War. The latest encounter being fought in the winter of 1643 on a snow covered battlefield.

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As John has provided some photos and a description of the game over on his blog I shan’t go into the game details here. Well, except to say it was an interesting engagement as it involved a river swollen by winter rain. The result was the River Perch was a significant barrier to the Royalists who were on the offensive.

While this campaign isn’t laden with complex campaign rules it reminded me why I enjoy campaigns so much. Far from just an equal points based game our little encounter was placed in a context more important than a winning or indeed suffering a loss. This point was driven home this evening while discussing past campaigns with my son who has participated in both small and large Ancient campaigns with me over the years. Perhaps I need to add another simple campaign to my list of things to get around to…

In the meantime have a look at John’s report on the battle, which can be found here.

Arquebusier 33/3

Around a week ago the latest edition of Arquebusier, the Journal of the Pike and Shot Society, arrived. This issue, Volume 33 Issue 3 has been a while in preparation. However, it is to be expected as Aruebusier has a less regular publication schedule than some magazines and subscriptions are not defined by calendar year. However, as with previous issues, it has been worth the wait.

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This issue’s contents included, along with book and rules reviews:

  • The Eight Years War – Spain’s offensive of 1575 Part 1
  • The Men of 1670
  • The Memorial of Cornelius Wood (1637-1712)
  • Naseby at Naseby
  • The City, the River and the Boom, Londonderry under siege 1688-9
  • Renaissance Refelections from New Zealand

The first article was without doubt the feature article of this issue, being some 19 A5 pages and part one of what will be a three or four part series. Starting with an introduction to the situation the author Peter Lenders then considers the armies, both Spanish and Orangist in some detail. This series promises to be a fascinating covering a war I must admit to knowing little about. While I am yet to read all the other articles in this issue that on the siege of Londonderry, and in particular the naval aspects of it, look also to be of particular interest and substance.

If you are interested in finding more out about the Pike and Shot Society the society website can be found here.