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Battle of Dunsmore Heath – 25th August 1642

I got out my ECW figures for another airing and used one of the scenarios from Robert Giglio’s English Civil War Scenario books (volume 3).

I chose a very early war battle which meant most of the units were classed as Raw although a number of these were classed as Raw Elite which I am sure at the time they undoubtedly saw themselves as that.

The background to the battle. Some forces from the Earl of Essex army were dispatched to relieve the town of Coventry under the command Robert Grenville Lord Brooke. Opposing him was Spencer Crompton the Earl of Northampton.

Although historically the forces probably wore civilian uniforms, I had figures that matched a number of the units engaged in this battle and their flags in particular. I was please I use the famous purpled coated infantry of Lord Brooke. The armies fought at Southam the day before and I used the scenario for Dunsmore Heath for the game.

The Royalist unnumbered the Parliamentary in cavalry about 2 – 1 but conversely Parliament had significantly more infantry in a ratio about 4 – 1. The Royalist players thought this would be a forgone conclusion with such a ponderance of Parliamentarian infantry.

The Parliamentarian forces had to deploy first, and they put their infantry in the centre with cavalry on each wing. They had reserve infantry and cavalry as a second line. The Royalist mirrored their movement but put their Dragoons with their cavalry on their right flank.

The Royalist cavalry galloped ahead to engage with their opponents whilst their infantry held their ground. The Parliamentary infantry roiled forward to meet them. The cavalry battle was swift and bloody. The Royalist using their quality and numbers swept away their opponents, but most left the field in pursuit.

The Royalist Dragoons on the flank started to cause some issues to Parliamentarian infantry. Despite the Parliamentarian superior numbers in infantry they were struggling to manoeuvre the raw troops to greatest effect. The superior quality of the Royalist infantry showed with they charged and broke the Parliamentarian centre. With the Parliamentarian centre broke and with Dragoons and some Royalist cavalry on their flanks it was declared a Royalist victory.

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