Monday, March 15, 2010

The Skirmish at Powick Bridge

We continue this week's coverage of Wargames Illustrated #269's English Civil War theme content with Neil Smith's "The Skirmish at Powick Bridge."

The article offers opposing Royalist and Parliamentarian perspectives of this initial cavalry clash between their forces in 1642 - and there was no shortage of propaganda and spin doctoring regarding this brief engagement not far from Worcester. In the grand scheme of things, this battle was pretty small, but it highlighted the differences in each army's command and elan. In short, it defined their core characteristics and helps us to understand how and why the armies and their leaders conducted themselves as they did as the war continued.

Powick Bridge has good wargaming potential and Neil Smith wrote a good scenario based on the engagement. As the game requires relatively few miniatures, it is perfect for getting painted minis on the table as soon as possible. The scenario orders of battle use Rick Priestley's 1644 ruleset (see cover image at right), and each army totals about 10-12 small units (about 60-70 figures).

Furthermore, the article includes an interesting sidebar on ECW dragoons (mounted infantrymen equipped with firearms). These units were not quite up to the professional ability or uniformity of England's dragoon regiments of the 18th Century, yet they still played critical roles on the field of battle despite the kinds of problems that undermined their potential (recruitment, funding, etc.). 

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