Sunday, 30 October 2022

English Civil War Game

Today we played an English Civil War game. I played Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsay, in command of Royalist force. My briefing was as follows.

In September 1642, King Charles I’s party is travelling south from Nottinghamto Oxford where he hopes to support his army in its attempt to drive Parliamentary forces from the city. 

The king’s party is protected by a small mixed force commanded by Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey

The Royalists have spent the night at Claydon House, Buckinghamshire, the home of Sir Edmund Verney who would become the king’s standard bearer at Edgehill later in the following month.

Lindsey’s forces include the following:

Horse:  Prince Rupert

Sir Richard Astley’s regiment (large)

Sir Charles Gerard’s regiment (large)

Marquis of Winchester’s regiment (standard)

Sir James Shaw’s regiment (standard)

Foot: Sir George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol

Prince Rupert’s regiment

Lamplugh’s regiment

Stradling’s regiment

Dragoons and independent musketeers: Sir Marmaduke Langdale

Sir Henry Washington’s company (standard)

Sir George Strachan’s company (standard)

Colonel Rogers’ company of musketeers (standard)


1 field gun

At daybreak, following an excellent evening enjoying Sir Edmund’s hospitality, the king and his party are preparing to leave when an observant dragoon reports the presence of a party of, presumably hostile, horsemen outside the Boar’s Head Inn to the southwest

Lindsey immediately gives orders for his force to deploy in case the horsemen’s presence across the valley indicates the arrival of a much larger and potentially more dangerous force.

At the commencement of play, Lindsey’s forces are deployed as follows:

  • The horse is off the table behind Claydon House;
  • The foot is encamped near the woods to the east of Claydon House;
  • The dragoons and musketeers are camped immediately north of the barn/stables;
  • The artillery and baggage are outside the front entrance to Claydon House as is the king’s coach.

Lindsey’s imperative is to protect the king and, if possible, to ensure that his force is able to forge its way through any opposition in order to join the rest of the Royalist army outside Oxford.

The table, looking towards the Oxford road, Clayton House and the King’s entourage can be seen on the extreme right.

So how did the game go? Well not quite as planned.

Above and below the King and his entourage prepare to depart

Dingy and Langdale formed up and moved towards the tavern.

Near the mill Digby came under fire from the Parliamentary guns.

The Royalist horse charged the dismounted Roundhead dragoons…

…but despite all the advantages in their favour were beaten off! Another attempt by the Royalist horse against some Roundhead cavalry were similarly beaten off, until finally two units found the Parliamentary flank and gained the upper hand.

By this point the Royalist forces had reached the bridge with the King’s coach, but further passage was blocked.

The Parliamentary forces closed around the carriage only to find that the King was not in it, having taken to his horse and made his way around the enemy forces.

Here the game ended. The King had escaped into the Oxfordshire countryside, but Lindsay’s force was all but destroyed.

And so a few extra images..


  1. A short, sweet and succinct account if the game there Mark! Even though I arrived half way through and didn't play, I think I have more images....idle hands and all that! I will post mine tomorrow, probably.

    1. I thought I had taken more images…I seem ended to get caught up in a lot of rules discussions.

  2. That looks like a fun game. It would have been amusing to see the reaction of the Parliamentarian players when they found the King's coach was empty.

    1. Yes it was fun on a miserably wet Sunday. They had figured out the coach was empty when they saw a couple of strange mounted figures join one of the units, but it was too late to do anything about it!

  3. Very nice Mark, what rules did you use?

    1. Thanks Stu. The rules were house rules that need a bit of modification after the experience of this game.

  4. A fabulous looking game / table - very nice photography.

    1. Thanks Norm. I understand it took hours to set that table up…and then he wasn’t happy with it!

  5. Splendid stuff and a cunning ploy by Charley Boy…
    Although I don’t think it’s going to end well for him…

    All the best. Aly

    1. I was saying after the game it could spawn a roleplaying game “Capture/Save the King” with various small units searching the countryside for him.

  6. This was a really clever scenario and I am sure a splendid game for all involved. Reads like a film script. Gorgeous figures and terrain. All the 'extras' add greatly to the effect.
    Regards, James

    1. Thanks James, although I can’t claim any credit for either the scenario or the figures!