After last week's game, consensus formed to give the Battle of Montgomery one more run-out on the table. This Wednesday's game again saw three players with two Royalists and one Parliamentarian. Two of the three players from the game before showed up for an encore performance. Chris (Horse and Musket Gaming) and David (The Ragged Soldier) shared command of Byron's Royalist Army. Mark (Mud, Blood, and Steel) commanded Meldrum's Parliamentarian Army. Please visit the The Battle of Montgomery 1644 for the prior battle report and brief battle background. Last week, the battle ended in an inclusive draw although there was discussion on both sides making good points to tip the outcome toward one army. Still, a draw seemed a reasonable conclusion. Would the result be similar this time out?
As a refresher, the two armies array for battle as shown in the photo below. Meldrum is outnumbered but is expecting a cavalry foraging party to return at some point in battle.
On to battle!
|Parliamentarian Right|Constricted by the hedges and enclosures, Byron sends his cavalry forward. Not too far forward. The Royalist horsemen advance into the open in preparation for action. Fairfax brings his cavalry, deployed in front of Salt Bridge slightly forward so that he has room to maneuver. Byron holds a four-to-three advantage in numbers.
Without hesitation, the two armies' cavalry strike in a series of charges and counter charges. Could the battle be decided from the first blows?
Leading with the horse regiment on the left, Tyldesley attacks! Fairfax counters! In a ferocious clash of man and beast, Fairfax's rightmost regiment is driven back with Royalist cavalry in hot pursuit. The chase brings the Cavaliers nearly to Salt Bridge, itself, as the enemy disintegrates. Fairfax has a breach in his line.
Tyldesley's right regiment of horse charges forward too. As before, Fairfax responds in counter charge. This time, Tyldesley's horsemen suffer a reverse and are seen scurrying back to their lines. Pausing to regroup, Fairfax is hit by a second wave of galloping Royalists.
Tyldesley's cavalry looks to be gaining the upper hand when catastrophe strikes. Weakened from the heavy fighting, the Royalist horsemen have seen enough fighting and break for the rear. Fairfax's horsemen follow, close on their hooves. Over enclosures they ride trying to shake their pursuers. With Tyldesley already engaged in pursuit near Salt Bridge, no general is close at hand to rally these Cavaliers.
In the initial clash of cavalry on the Royalist left, two Roundhead cavalry regiments are wrecked. One Royalist horse regiment is wrecked while two other regiments head toward the rear to regroup.
Despite these successes, all is not going perfectly for Byron, however.
|Destruction and pursuit sees Fairfax's command in tatters.|
Having witnessed the destruction of friendly cavalry to its right and the route of escape under threat, Lothian's rightmost infantry regiment turns to bring Tyldesley's over-extended and pursuing cavalry under fire.
The Roundhead infantry wheels right and gives the horsemen a salvo. Already exhausted from the fighting and pursuit, Tyldesley and his horsemen buckle and gallop away. For Meldrum, disaster averted for now. For Byron, disaster strikes!
|Meldrum's infantry turns to give Royalist cavalry a blast.|
|Tyldesley breaks and gallops away.|
Tyldesley looks on in disbelief.
The other two players enjoy the sight.
With the opening cavalry actions seemingly settled, Byron orders his foot forward. Woodhouse's two infantry regiments remain stationary on the heights while Broughton sends his brigade forward. They cautiously descend the hill then swing about to confront enemy infantry to their front.
|Tyldesley falls back to regroup.|Meldrum sees the return of Myddleton's foraging party as the two cavalry regiments cross the enclosures. The first regiment strikes Tyldesley's fleeing cavalry in flank and scatters it for good. Tyldesley, himself, barely makes good his escape. Now, it is the Royalist left that may be in trouble!
Back to the plain below the heights, Broughton presses forward. Perhaps showing overconfidence, Broughton's redcoats are repulsed in their first attack although the enemy is weakened. Leading from the front, Broughton attacks with a second regiment. This time, the Roundheads are scattered. With two of his three infantry regiments destroyed, Lothian's remaining regiment heads back to the bridge. Every man for himself!
|Myddleton returns and turns the Royalist Left.|
|Broughton's first attack repulsed|
|but the second attack finishes the job!|
|Lothian scrambles over Salt Bridge.|
While Lothian has a change of heart and brings his infantry back to the north side of the bridge and Myddleton's cavalry could present some interesting issues for the Byron and his Royalists as the left is turned, Meldrum concedes victory to Byron. The Battle of Montgomery ends in a Royalist victory.
Thanks to the three combatants. Congratulations to Chris and David. Condolences to Mark.
Could the battle have been waged differently yielding a different outcome? Perhaps. Those discussions may be reserved for another time.
No matter the outcome, I thought the game great fun. All three played well and fought hard.