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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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The Battle of Conisbrough 1644

The English Civil War, For King & Parliament, 28mm

We’re back in South Yorkshire, for another instalment ion our fictitious clash for the county. In this one, both the Earl of Doncaster’s Royalists and the Earl of Rotherham’s Parliamentarians were in the field, and clashed near Conisbrough, midway between the two towns. This was just a little knock-about game, and not part of some larger and much grand campaign. In this, both sides had up to four foot and six horse regiments, plus a unit each of dragoons and artillery. However, we pulled cars for their appearance – spades meant they didn’t turn up. As a result, Sean 1 and Sean 2 had just three foot and four cavalry regiments, plus guns and dragoons, while my Parliamentarians had everything on the field but their artillery. That’s them at the bottom. As usual, things began with a cavalry fight. On the Royalist right, Sean had concentrated all four of his regiments, facing three Parliamentarians ones. They charged in, and quickly broke Col. Wilkinson’s Horse. The only thing stopping an utter disaster was the Royalists didn’t have the space to deploy everyone. So, they were attacking with two regiments up front, and two in support. Things went from bad to worse. I charge in with Rotherham’s horse, and they broke their Royalist counterparts of Sir Percy Longfellow’s Regiment. That evened the odds a bit, but weight of numbers soon told, and Rotherham’s were the next to rout. With that Harrison’s Horse pulled back o regroup, and wait for reinforcements – Wilson’s Horse sent over from Parliament’s right flank.  Over in the centre the opposing infantry regiments came within musketry range of each other, and began blazing away. Once again, the limited frontage played out in favour of the defenders, as my Parliamentarian second line didn’t have the room to deploy. Worse, those Royalist guns kept blazing away at my left-hand regiment, Sir Willoughby Fairfax’s, who started taking casualties. The firefight continued, with neither side pressing it at “push of pike”. Eventually though, Fairfax’s broke and ran. to be fair, the two Royalist foot facing them were suffering too, and withdrew to the table edge, trying to rally. They didn’t get a chance, as my foot advanced again to keep up the pressure. The Royalist dragoons fled on their left, leaving Arkwright’s foot deployed in “hedgehog” to to hold the flank. Still, they were holding up two cavalry regiments, and my own dragoons. Back on the left, the impetuous advance of the Royalist Robinson’s Horse across the flank of Harrison’s Horse on a nearby rise proved too much to resist. I charge in, and although the Royalists were routed, taking them down to two cavalry regiments, Harrison’s were forced to pursue, and it would take time to rally them. Still with Wilson’s horse, the odds had swung back in Parliament’s favour. In the centre just about everyone was now low on ammunition – apart from those damned guns though, Fortunately for me their aim was pretty poor.  Still, by now the remaining Royalist cavalry had reformed, and were threatening the left flank of the Parliamentarian infantry. the Scunthorpe Trained Bands turned to face this new threat, possible because  the Royalist Barnsley Trained Bands finally broke and fled the field. Both armies were now pretty worn out though, and almost every unit was tired and battered. Still, the Scunthrope lads stood their ground, taking artillery fire from their flank, while they and the blue-coated Boothroyd’s foot prepared to face a cavalry charge which never came.  The reason was a sudden victory by the Royalist Arkwright’s foot. They’d been firing from hedgehog at the Parliamentarian Lillburne’s Dragoons, and they finally managed to break them.The dragoons fled through the trees, and earned the Royalists just enough victory points to win them the game – 12 to 11. It was a shame, as battered though they were, my own cavalry were poised for a charge against their Royalist counterparts, who were still holding off from charging the Trained Bands. Still, when we reach the total the army has to pull back and cede the field. So, that’s exactly what happened – the Parliamentarian army disengaging and retiring from the field. All in all it was a fun little scrap, and a surprisingly viscous one. Both armies, no doubt, were happy to head home and lick their wounds, and plan for a rematch another day. 












2 Responses “The Battle of Conisbrough 1644”

  1. sean m page
    18th June 2023 at 6:12 pm

    Enjoyed the game. Still can’t get used to using cards instead of dice, but the rules seem to work well and are fast play. The tactic of piling most of the cavalry on one flank and holding with the other would have worked better if that damned wood wasn’t in the way. The man of the match was definitely the whitecoats on our left flank who managed to hold that flank in the face of overwhelming odds. I think the wood to our front helped there. Always enjoy ECW as the battlefield always looks good. Thanks Angus.

    • 18th June 2023 at 11:14 pm

      Those bloody whitecoats have to go!
      It was a hard fight, but you deserved the win, damnit!

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