English Civil War, Very Civile Actions / Tinker Fox, 28mm
For a week or so we’ve been running an English Civil War campaign, using the “Tinker Fox” system. This skirmish came about due to an event in the campaign – a Royalist raid on the fortified Parliamentarian outpost at Bracknell Church. Actually, in our game we fought around Bracknell House, as the church ordered from Hovels for the occasion didn’t arrive in time. The idea was that the church complex itself had been heavily fortified, and turned into a Parliamentarian bastion.To capture it would involve a full-blown siege. Its garrison consisted of a seasoned regiment of foot (less the pikes), supported by a regiment of cavalry (harquebusiers) and two small regiments of dragoons. The Royalist raiding force was made up of a small but seasoned infantry regiment (a block of muskets and a block of pikes), supported by a regiment of good quality cavalry (Cavaliers). In the campaign the area where the battle was fought was rated as having three “Provender Points”. The objective of the raid was to carry away as many of these as they could – represented by caches of provisions or livestock. Unfortunately we used a random system to work out where these caches were placed – and two of them landed up on the Royalist table edge! Us Parliamentarians weren’t off to a very good start!One of these was captured by the Royalist cavalry without much difficulty, while the foot marched over to claim the second cache. This one was a little trickier for them, as the Parliamentarian musketeers sallied out of the fortified church to contest the ground. Unfortunately the Royalists got to the cache (a flock of sheep) first, but were shot up by the Parliamentarians, causing a stand of casualties. The Royalist pikes were kept at bay by the rest of the shot, but it still wasn’t enough to prevent them from securing the objective. Unable to stop the raiders, the Parliamentarian shot pulled back to their defences and sniped at the enemy from long range.Our last hope was to see off the Royalist cavalry. Unfortunately they charged first, and our Harquebusiers routed from the table without even drawing their swords. As if this wasn’t shameful enough, the Royalists repeated the performance with one of our regiments of dragoons, who were charged and routed. The rest of the dragoons pulled back to Bracknell village, where the enemy horse couldn’t harm them.The only successful aspect of the game was that these other dragoons kept the Royalists away from the third cache… and of course we inflicted casualties on them. We also ran away or hid behind our fortifications before they could do the same to us. A lack of casualties is small consolation for such a generally dismal performance. I can only hope that as the campaign progresses the forces of Parliamentarian liberty won’t give the Royalists such a one-sided victory again.The rules we used were Very Civile Actions, a company-level set available for free on The Perfect Captain website. You can also download the “Tinker Fox” system from the same site. These rules always produce fun, fast-moving games, although I have to say this one lacked the usual sparkle – partly because it wasn’t really a well-balanced game … and partly because my side got beaten!