The continuing story of the Second Campaign in the Valley of the Tercey …
Rockforth having arrived at his ancestoral home, immediately ordered Hastings to take the units of Urry and Nerne to the Shire Armoury and gain possession of the artillery stored within. Wingate’s Horse joined Hastings shortly thereafter.
Meanwhile, word of Rockforth’s return gave new vigour to the Shire for armed conflict. An unlikely pair decided that the Armoury would be a likely target of the “Imposer”. Ballard was the officer in charge of its defence. His church preacher and dominate citizen was a zealous and forceful man, Artemus Twill. He cajoled the local citizens and indeed Ballard’s men to haul the large cannon, oddly named “ Sister Margaret”, to the nearby hill. Ballard placed his pikemen at the bottom of the hill to protect the gun while his musketeers were hidden in ambush within the nearby woods across the road down which Rockforth’s troops were expected to travel.
|Artemus Twill |
for the “Tawny”
a large gun (6 points)
Ballard’s Shotte and his Pike units (4 points each with a +1 officer or “agitator” with each )
for the “Red” (Rockforth’s forces)
Urry’s Horse, Wingate’s Horse, Nerne’s dragoons (all 4 points each), Hasting’s Cuirassiers (half strength)(3 pts)
(Ed. note: while nominally Parliamentarian and Royalist respectively, personal and familial connection within the shire had the local participants go by the tawny (an orange shade) and red designations based on the colour of the officer’s sashes)
“Oh for God’s sake!” Hastings swore out loud. Urry in the lead troop seemed determined to reach the Armoury without delay and did not seem to consider any opposition along the way! Hastings was about to have an aide sent, when a cloud of smoke and shortly thereafter a report of a cannon shot had him look up in alarm.
“The gun is no longer IN the Armoury” was his muttered response.
|"Sister Margaret" is being readied to fire. My activation for 'her' was quite successful this battle.|
THE BATTLE OF ARMOURY HILL
The cannon fire fired at long range did but few casualties on Urry’s lead unit which seemed unaffected at this (passed morale) and continued their trot up the road. Obviously Wingate’s troopers following saw the few mangled bodies in the wake of the cannonball as they balked at further advance (failed activation)
|Wingate's horse move against the gun|
|Ballard's shotte in ambush|
Ballard’s shotte once again failed activation ( ordering a reload?) However Nerne’s Dragoons spent time kicking off the mud from the fields as they too failed a move activation.
While it could have been a tactical mistake as it was not ordered, but Ballard’s pike had indeed gained a semblance of close order as they crowded around to hear preacher Twill’s words. They now moved into contact with Urry’s troopers. The pike won the clash and Urry fell back in good morale until “Sister Margaret” boomed once again, with the remaining lone trooper losing heart and falling back out of the action.
|Urry pushing aside Ballard's pike to continue up the hill to the gun.|
Meanwhile near the hill, Wingate following Urry, charged the Pike pushing them away and opening up the way to the gun when that beast shot again (surprisingly owing to the high activation factor of the artillery) and killing many of the horsemen with “the greatest of slaughter” (all but one of the dice were hits ! ) and the few remaining willingly gave up the attempt to capture the ordinance and rode off.
This ended the battle and Twill and Ballard gave praise for their victory. Rockforth was denied his gun. What will his next move be?
A popular local tune, sung to an ancient drinking song, contains the battle’s history:
Urry came up, all in a hurry
Wingate came up, in a short gait
Hastings wasn’t hasty, at all
Ballard’s men fired
b’ they want to retire
Twill chided and preached
t’ pike couldn’t be breached
But when hence Sister Margaret doth fire
Rockforth men did hastily retire
to ask ‘im “what now sire?”!
Apparently it sounds much better accompanied with local county music and many a good beer.......