Sunday, 25 March 2018

Powder Your Pike

Had a go at The Pikemen's Lament and fought a little known local battle not far from where i live , the castle has a web site Powderham Castle and yes it had snowed at the time of the battle.
Unfortunately the game did not replicate much of what happened in the battle as the defenders generally rolled poor for their activations whilst parliament rolled a-lot better.
I also altered the stats slightly and made firing a little poorer fo both sides , here are my mods

Shooting  , 1 stand fires with 4 dice
Infantry have 3 stands , generally 2 shot and 1 pike
Dragoon’s 2 stands
Cavalry 2 stands
-1 if shooting outside of 6” for infantry except rifles which are -1 for 12”
Shooting only directly to front of unit to any point on the enemy unit and measured from the front centre of that unit
All units have to wheel to turn and no part of a unit can move more than its normal move
Units may have grenades , this gives a +1 in melee single use only

Infantry units are 3 stands , you get 4 dice per stand
Early pike units that have a sleeve of shot will only roll 4 dice per sleeve but may not combine rolls from different sleeves a single order roll is required to fire all sleeves
a pair of pistols  7+/3”
hand gun 9+/6”
arquebus hit on a 8+/8”
matchlock musket on 7+/12”
flintlock musket 6+/12”
rifled musket 6+/18 , -1 outside 12”

The defenders had 4 units of infantry and a regimental gun and parliament attacked with 2 veteran units , a dragoon unit on foot only and would have had a unit of cavalry but those failed to turn up.


The Royalist could start to activate after the first shot was fired

Royalist is now moving out to engage the Parliament forces

The royalist attack with great vigor

But the shooting from the Parliamentary forces was even deadlier

Unfortunately for the Royalist their morale broke and the great retreat back into the castle happened

But with great resolve the Parliamentary forces took the castle

I thought this game was great fun and actually only took just over an hour to play , the rules i found did a great job of representing the period and played excellently solo though i never got to try out a cavalry charge as those Parliamentary cavalry failed to show , maybe they got lost somewhere between Crediton and Powderham Castle

This is what actually happened

A Powderham skirmish
The western side of Exeter and the Exe estuary were still held by the Royalists, who had a large force in Powderham Castle. On 14th December 1645, a Parliamentary force under Captain Dean of 200 foot and dragoons crossed the river in rowing boats from Nutwell, but finding the castle more heavily defended than they expected, they fell back to Powderham Church, were they were resupplied from across the river. After the Powderham Castle garrison was reinforced by 500 Royalists from Exeter, they attacked Captain Dean's force which was barricaded in the church; for three hours a particularly nasty battle raged, with grenades thrown against the building, and lead balls streaking back and forth.
Only the advance of a Parliamentary force from Crediton, under Hardress Waller, into Exminster, relieved the pressure on the church, and forced the Royalist besiegers back into their castle stronghold, leaving the snow covered church yard splattered with blood. The next day the freezing temperatures in the unheated church proved too much for the small force and Captain Dean and his men rowed silently back across the river to Nutwell.

During the Civil War Powderham Castle was garrisoned by 300 Royalist soldiers under the command of Sir Hugh Meredith. In December 1645 a Parliamentarian detachment under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax tried, without initial success, to capture it but it fell on 25 January 1646 to Col. Robert Hammond. The castle was badly damaged in the assault and remained, in places, open to the elements until the early 1700s when it was repaired by Sir William Courtenay, 2nd Baronet .

Friday, 16 March 2018

It's cold out there

Had my first game of Lion Rampant and did a little foray into the baltic which i must say was very enjoyable , i modified the stats slightly to give the Samogitians the ability to operate in their home terrain easier and to provide a more flavourful game, the stream , woods and hills were considered rough going , my figures were 15mm and mounted on 25mm circular bases and i used 1/2 inches so effectively cutting everything down by half

the stats were modified as follows

Teutonic Knights no mods , kept these as the base value and modified others in relation to these troops
Mounted Men at Arms :- (5+ to 6+) Chance of movement decreased due to poor terrain
Spearmen :- (4+ to 5+) Courage decreased due to skirmishing of enemy and harassment of troops while in enemy lands
Crossbowmen :- (4+ to 5+) Courage decreased due to skirmishing of enemy and harassment of troops while in enemy lands

Foot Men at Arms :- (5+ to 4+) Chance of movement increased due to native terrain , Armour Decreased due to poorer quality (3 to 2) , attack Value decreased due to poorer weapon quality (3+ to 4+)
Archers :- (6+ to 5+) Chance of movement increased due to units used to native terrain
Bidowers :- (5+ to 4+) Chance of movement increased due to units used to native terrain

The story behind the Battle is that the Teutonics were on a mission of burn the 3 buildings

A slow advance by the Teutons whilst the Sammy's Rushed towards the village to defend it

The Sammy Bidows moved up and started peppering away at those deadly crossbows

Which annoyed the knights who showed them who was boss and wiped them out but the Teuton men at arms deciding not to get too involved with the other Sammy warband and cower on the hill and eventually running away

And then the knights got the bit between their teeth and went on to wipe out the Sammy bowmen who would have shot but failed to activate

Everything else on the Sammy side went to defend the village

The final positions of a Sammy warband and their only bidower hiding in the buildings... so ended with the roasting of the Sammy forces

This was a good fun battle and played very well solo especially if the stats are modified to add flavour to the game

I think another go with the pikeman's lament into the late 17 century and another modifier of those rule stats to cope with some grand alliance games