The first day of gaming in our dawned a little grey after a night of intermittent rain. A good breakfast of bacon, eggs, mushrooms, toast and strong coffee started the day before we walked the few steps to the garage, where an English Civil War game was to take place.
We had six players and one umpire, each commanding four or five infantry units, two or three cavalry units and a couple of guns. I fought for Parliament. Many of our troops were raw so we chose to stand on the high ground and await the attack with our centre and right while the commander of the left chose to take it on himself to try to turn the enemy right.
My position on the right, with the all important baggage in the foreground
The Royalist line
All went to plan at first as our left wing commander got himself into a good position. The enemy then struck at us on my front with some Scottish and Irish troops which had some initial success against my dragoons, but were soon held back and dealt to by the pike and shot unit.
We get into position on the left
The repulse of the Scots
Then disaster struck when a bad result in a cavalry melee saw one of my cavalry units driven off, then a second one was also beaten and suddenly the enemy was amongst our baggage. This was the critical thing we had to protect and when it fell we had technically lost the game.
My cavalry is gone and the baggage is lost!
However it was only mid-day and we decided that the battle simply wouldn't finish there so we would play on after lunch. But things didn't improve much for Parliament. While our right made good headway (well their infantry did, but their cavalry performed abysmally), my command was soon cut off and slowly taken apart. Our centre struggled to make any headway at all and as 5:00 PM rolled around a Royalist victory was declared.
At least the weather had improved as the sun went down, but a strong south west wind kept the temperature low.
We damaged defeated Parliamentarians retreated to the house for aperitifs and wine, followed by some excellent dinner of venison and cheesecake.
Tomorrow's game, a Napoleonic affair was set up ready for play