Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Widbrooke Common - For King & Parliament AAR

My first game of the year was at Ted's weekly game night. The guys had been playing For King & Parliament for the past few weeks, and I was more than happy to join in. 

The table was set up following the second scenario from the 'Marlowe to Maidenhythe' scenario book. 

The Royalists (Chip and Steve) had won the previous scenario with a tally of 5-0. I was joining Ted as commanders of the Parliamentarian forces. 

The Parliamentarians were on the attack in this scenario, with standard Pike battalia, Dutch-style cavalry, and a pair of field cannons. The Royalists had their flanks covered by Swedish-style cavalry and their center consisted of a number of pike-heavy, untested battalia. 

Both sides would fight until one had lost all of their victory medals. 

My main concern on the right flank was a farm occupied by a Royalist Forlorn Hope unit. I had to get rid of it before Chip's cavalry could reach me. 

The main clash was going to take place between Steve, Ted, and I as our forces clashed in the open fields beyond the hedges. 

I got lucky with the first cannon shot of the game and gave one of Steve's infantry battalia quite the fright, which would take it out of most of the game. 

Steve's galloper cavalry got just close enough to allow Ted the chance to 'pounce' with his trotters as the infantry formed up on the cavalry's flank. 

You'll notice that the Forlorn Hope is still in the farmhouse. And that the infantry battalia I had assumed would chase the skirmishers off had not only failed to do so, but managed to accrue a couple disorder tokens as well! This didn't bode well.

And then it got worst! My infantry were so demoralized by their poor attack on the farmhouse that they ended up breaking. Chip maneuvered his cavalry through the hedges, ready to swing into the open Parliament flank.

Both sides seemed to mill about in a bloody mess as cavalry charged and countercharged. Ted pointed out to me that it was probably best if I stood off and shot instead of trying to go pike-to-pike with Steve's over-equipped battalia, so I burned through my ammunition tokens to fire at the double. 

Steve's gallopers were the first to break through the stalemate, chasing off their trotter opponents. 

I gave up on the farm and pulled my remaining battalia back over the hedge to protect the cannons. 

The Roundheads seemed to catch a break, if just for a moment. With the Royalist cavalry blown, they couldn't counter attack and Ted routed two units. 

As they're want to do in FK&P, the remaining cavalry from both sides began to chase their routing counterparts from the battlefield. If anyone managed to rally before running off the table, it could have decided the end of the game. 

I had also finally managed to rout one of Steve's infantry battalia. 

For the moment, it seemed like the Royalist center might break. 

And then on came Chip's cavalry like a hot knife through clotted cream. 

With horsemen to the front and flanks, my battalia was out of options as to how to defend their position. 

Chip wasted no time in routing not only my infantry, but the guns as well, taking out the last of the brigade.

What had seemed like a potentially precarious but positive position was now a dire, doomed defense. 

The Parliamentarian center was flanked on both sides and pinned from the front. Not only had Steve managed to rally his remaining cavalry unit, but he had re-organized the cannon-shaken battalia from the start of the game and brought it up to reinforce his line. 

Meanwhile, Ted was try to reestablish control of his trotters before they trotted right off the table. 

I sent one battalia to keep Steve's cavalry off my flanks as Ted's dismounted dragoons fired from the hedges, while my now-outnumbered troops tried to fend of Steve's infantry. 

Chip arrived at the right time to charge the flank of my commanded shot unit, easily routing them. 

Unable to get that last disordered marker on one of Steve's battalia, my own infantry was flanked in turn and routed. This removed the last of the Parliamentarian victory medals, leaving the battle as a Royalist victory, 7-0. This put the campaign's score as 12 for the Cavaliers and 0 for the Roundheads. 

As always, For King & Parliament is a fantastic set of rules that are easy to learn and quick to play. I'm always happy to see it on the table, and I'm looking forward to hopefully playing out the rest of the campaign. I'm also hoping that the rumors are right, and that Warlord Games' next 'epic' project is the English Civil War. 

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