OHW Scenario Twenty Six – 1649

As mentioned in the last post I wanted to do one more ECW test game using the OHW rules (with modifications), this time with 10mm figures.

Scenario 26 was randomly selected and provides both asymmetric terrain and army size. Since most of my 10mm Scots Covenanter and Irish Confederation figures are setup elsewhere for the Battle of Benburb I decided to use some of my New Model Army figures opposing figures from my Anglo/Irish army.

Notes on my One Hour Wargame (OHW) modifications can be found in the page index or here.

Working from the scenario notes,  I contextualized them to the historically situation in the summer of 1649 in Ireland in the Province of Leinster. Troops of the newly formed English Commonwealth hold Dublin. The Coalition armies of the Irish Catholic Confederation and the Anglo/Irish Royalists mean to take Dublin before Cromwell’s army can land from England.

The van of the Coalition army is approaching Dublin from the south when they surprise a weaker and somewhat disorganized Commonwealth blocking force. The blocking force must prevent the Royalist advance force from seizing the high ground that controls the Dublin Road.

ecw_ten-s26-board

The Anglo/Irish (6 units) will enter from the south (bottom) and move to take the hilltop along the northern edge of the board (top). The river is unfordable and may be crossed only at the bridge. The woods are impassable to all but dragoons. The Commonwealth (4 units) deploys on the board first, one unit in zone one (the four dark green corner markers), two units in zone two (the four light green corner markers) and one unit on the high ground.

To add in the effect of being surprised and somewhat disorganized the scenario specifies that the Commonwealth units may not move until an enemy unit is within 6″ (although they may shoot in the normal fashion). I take it to mean that a Commonwealth unit, once triggered, is allowed to move for the rest of the game. A more rigid interpretation would to be to move ONLY when a enemy unit is within 6″. This last interpretation would, I think, disadvantage the Commonwealth too much.

The Commonwealth has a further factor that limits their initiative: no Commonwealth unit can operate south of the river.

ecw_ten-s26-0

The Commonwealth deployment: one foot regiment near the bridge in zone one, one foot and one horse (galloper) in the second line (zone two) and the dragoons on the hilltop.

Although I will play the Royalist side, I tried to come up with the best defensive deployment. I would have, I think, preferred trotters (shooting capability) rather than gallopers.

ecw_ten-s26-1

Unsurprisingly, the Coalition brought forward a brigade of foot and placed the defending Commonwealth regiment blocking the road on the others side of the bridge under musket fire. The rest of the force positioned to support the rush over the bridge.

ecw_ten-s26-2

The fire forced the Commonwealth foot back with heavy casualties. Hamstrung by surprise and poor command structure, the remaining Commonwealth units could only watch as the bridgehead was cleared. The Coalition did some more reordering including rotating out (to the left) one of their Foot regiment that was out of ammunition.

ecw_ten-s26-3

The most forward Commonwealth foot which had already been severely savaged, advanced toward the bridge but were decisively beaten by the Coalition foot. As the Coalition dragoons moved toward the woods on the left, they and the lead regiment began firing on the second line of the Commonwealth defenders, still standing dumbstruck by the rapidly unfolding spectacle.

ecw_ten-s26-4

The Coalition dragoons moved into the shelter of the woods while their horse crossed the river and prepared to attack the Commonwealth front. The advancing Coalition forces were all but out of ammunition and began to take casualties from the enemy foot.

The Coalition has expended most of their ammunition with only a single foot regiment still able to fire (and it on the wrong side of the river).

ecw_ten-s26-5

The Coalition horse charged the Commonwealth horse while the foot (out of powder and shot) came up on their left. The remainder of the Coalition advance force began crossing the river. The dragoons, having negotiated the woods, swing into line facing the flank of the hill.

The foot unit, incidentally, is not actually fording the river, they are simply placed there for convenience. The ensign on the bridge marks the center of their actual location.

ecw_ten-s26-6

All of the remaining Commonwealth units were then engaged in close combat. The dragoons managed to approach the Commonwealth dragoons with great stealth and take them in the flank.

ecw_ten-s26-7

The fighting lurched back and forth for some time, heavy casualties being taken on both sides. The Commonwealth dragoons on the hilltop managed to swing to meet their Anglo/Irish counterparts.

The red arrowheads indicate which side is the attacker in any given melee’, significant since in OHW only the attacker may inflict casualties. If I weren’t playing solo this may not be necessary but they help me keep track of what’s happening. Once casualties are resolved the arrowheads are flipped to the opposite (yellow) side.

ecw_ten-s26-last-stand

At the culmination of the battle, the horse of both sides had fled the field along with the remaining Commonwealth foot regiment and one of the Coalition regiments. The Commonwealth dragoons made a valiant but useless final stand on the hilltop.

Again OHW delivered a fun, action filled game that was very manageable from a solo stand point. I need to caution that these rules are not designed to deliver a “simulation” of the various periods they cover, so purists and those that like all the minute details may very well hate the rules. From my standpoint I like Impetus:Baroque (which I think delivers the right amount of detail and playability) for my historic battle recreations of this period. For ease of setup and quick play fun it’s hard to beat OHW, however.

It is important to note that many modification were made to the base rules for my applications and I also incorporated Norm Smith’s rule extensions and a few of my own as well. These can be found in the page index of this blog but here is a direct link.

Having now played in both 10mm and 25/28mm, I much prefer OHW played with 10mm. The 25/28’s, while looking really good, are just to big for the venue. I will probably again relegate the ECW figures to storage (or possibly rebase yet again for “Pikeman’s Lament”! My actual hobby seems to be rebasing, don’t you know.) I will keep my Der Kriegspielers Napoleonic 25’s (and arguably the are closer to 20mm) since they do not suffer from the “bulky” look of the ECW figures.

I have enjoyed playing the OHW games and look to many, many more in the future. I already have a campaign designed for the Napoleonics and with the decision to use my 10mm ECW figures, I can put together many more and quite varied campaigns.

A final note on the scenario 26, it may be a little too restrictive to the Commonwealth (Red) force. When I use it again I may randomize the Red force restriction to something like (with a 1d6):
Roll of 1 – Use as is.
Roll of 2 or 3 – use “as soon as the first unit is lost all can move”.
Roll of 4 or 5 – use “as soon as one unit can move all can move”.
Roll of 6 – No restrictions, all units my move immediately.

 

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