The Siege of Hartlepool, 1644
5th March 2011, Comments Off
The English Civil War, Very Civil Actions, 28mm
An ankle injury meant that I missed this game, so my report is very brief, as the details were relayed second-hand. This was a large English Civil War affair, which centred around the fictitious Siege of Hartlepool, set some time in the spring or early summer of 1644. The premise was that a Royalist garrison were besieged there by the Parliamentarians. A Covenanting army was on its way south to reinforce them, in time for the storming of the defences.Meanwhile two Royalist field armies were out to stop them – a main Royalist army led by Prince Rupert, which was approaching County Durham from the south, and a hastily-assembled army of Scots Highlanders, Irish and other ner-do-wells, led by the Marquis of Montrose. Yes, we know Montrose never made it south, but he was always threatening to – and besides, we had the lead!This was a two day game, fought out in the Lundin Links Hotel in Fife. Day 1 – the Saturday – saw two battles – one near Bishops Aukland between Montrose and the Covenanters, and the other between the forces of King and Parliament. The outcomes would determine what happened in front of the walls of Hartlepool on Day 2 – the Sunday. to cut a long story short Montrose’s savages chopped the Covenanters to pieces, which meant that no Scots would appear on the field the next day. It was presumed that after his victory, Montrose would slink back to Scotland, to cause more trouble.In the second battle, fought somewhere near Newton Aycliffe, the Royalists found themselves outnumbered, but they had a slight edge in troop quality. Unfortunately it wasn’t matched by the ability of the Royalist commanders, and after a long hard-fought battle Rupert’s malignants were repulsed, and sent running back down the Great North Road towards York.Both parties retired to the bar, for an evening of carousing. Apparently, one of the highlights was the screening of Witchfinder General. As the sound didn’t work too well the guys made up their own voiceovers as they went along – a bit like that American show Mystery Science Theater 3000!On the Sunday the Parliamentarians launched an all-out assault, and all seemed to be going well until their leading commander rolled a series of “1s” at a crucial moment. In the space of two turns the battle turned around, and the game ended with the Royalists managing to hold off the attackers. While no doubt the siege would continue, for the moment the town know for hanging monkeys would remain a bastion of malignancy.