Thursday, 8 November 2018

A Continuation of Certaine Speciall & Remarkable Newes

Having received reports that Parliament's General Waller had indeed pulled forces from all parts of the South West to save Bridgewater, the King and the Councell of Warre put the second part of their plan into immediate operation. Appointing the Marquis of Hertford to be the Governor of Glastonbury, letters were sent  to the recently triumphant Sir Ralph Lord Hopton authorising him to build up his army with units from the garrisons at Bath and Newbury before marching north and east to assault the rich city of Bristol.

The young and abrasive Prince Rupert, who had little time for life at court, yearned to be back in action. Having made himself thoroughly unpopular with many of the more elderly and cautious advisors around the King, his request to press ahead with a bold thrust south was met with less resistance than he'd anticipated. By mid April it was felt that the twelve regiments of foote, eight regiments of horse and sixteen gunnes he'd assembled could be despatched from Worcester without significant risk to the new capital.

The Queen, who'd been active on the continent securing armes ammunition and recruits had managed to slip a major convoy of them in to Portsmouth harbour during the first week of April. Word was sent to General Goring in Portsmouth that he was to ready himself for a breakout north east towards Guildford, in support of the Prince's intended move south.

Here's where we left it last time.
After the default win at Sydenham Heath the King's party had five action points to spend from the positions shown above. In light of the narrative outlined in the first three paragraphs the moves chosen were:

Hopton's army based in Glastonbury laid siege to the fortified city of Bristol. A siege costs two action points and my campaign rules state the following:

Siege - A fortified town / citadel enemy controlled map location connected by road to one of your map locations may be placed under siege for the cost of two actions. A successful siege allows an enemy held location to be immediately converted to your control. Attacker and defender each roll 1D6 and compare totals. Defenders add one to their total if the location is fortified and two if it is counted as a citadel, (for example London or York). Locations under siege unconnected by road to at least one of their own friendly sites must deduct one from their die roll unless the besieged site is also a port. The highest modified die roll wins. The location is either overrun and changes ownership or the siege is broken and the besieging forces withdraw. If the attacker wins control then this new location may then be used as a staging post from which a further action may then be taken - if sufficient action points remain to do so.

The Current Mrs Broom, without knowing what the hell she was rolling dice for this time, rolled a 2 for the Royalist's which led me to assume the King had failed. But no! The second dice, (for Parliament) came up with a 1. After adding the bonus of plus 1 because the city is fortified, it came out a draw. Quickly scanning my rules I realised I hadn't considered the prospect of that occurring (doh!). Recognising that the spirit of them demanded an outcome one way or another I got the wife to re roll. This time the King's party got a 4 and Parliament a 3, so we were back to square bloody one. Putting my life on the line (the woman only has so much patience after all) a third re run produced a 6 for the Royalists and a 3 again for Parliament. Finally...Bristol had fallen! The King immediately gains access to another major source of supplies the cities extensive industry and a small flotilla of ships trapped in  the harbour.  (two action points).

Here's how the Royalist Pamphleteer Henry Harcourt reported the news (sorry, newes).

I notice its gone up by a penny since the last edition.
Moving south east from Worcester Rupert and his army had to spend a week destroying the defences of Warwick in order to secure its submission (one action point) before moving on from there to Oxford, whose university staff would have thrown open the gates to the city if they'd actually had any. (one action point).

Finally, with Parliament's defences apparently pre warned of his intentions, Lord Goring marched his forces along the coast to seize the neighbouring port of Chichester. (one action point. In actual fact I had a last minute change of heart and decided another south coast port was more important than just sacking i.e. nullifying) Guildford.

My sometime strategic opponent Jonathan (no not old Freitag - another one) came back pretty quickly with Parliament's three move response and I must be honest I was a little taken aback, having considered it likely that the elimination of Rupert's new garrisons in Warwick and Oxford would form at least two thirds of it.

His moves were:

The small force Waller had left in Bridgewater struck east against unfortified Glastonbury, causing its newly appointed Governor (the Marquis of Hertford) to immediately flee towards Bristol. (one action point - note this sacking of the town merely pushes the remaining garrison out and does not take control of the site itself which now effectively becomes neutral).

With local sympathisers reporting that Royalist troops had been drawn away north, Parliamanetary horse from Lyme, made a daring night time raid and broke into Salisbury where they captured it's Governor Sir Spencer Musgrove and over thirty cart loads of supplies. (one action point to sack the town, making it neutral).

Receiving intelligence that Salisbury, a major economic zone, had been left to fend for itself, troops from Poole moved into the town and began repairing its admittedly rudimentary defences. (one action point. Taking control of the now neutral site is permissible since the action originated from a connected but different site to Lyme).

With Bristol overthrown a number of pro Parliament worthies quietly locked up their homes and businesses and made haste (in the most part) to London. Among them was the printer Ambrose Slade who along with his mysterious patron KG purchased a new press and started a counter to Mercurious Publicus called 'A Continuation of Certaine Speciall & Remnarkable Newes.' Here's his (admittedly lengthy) description of the fall of Bristol - for those seeking the detail lacking in the Royalist account.

Ambrose Slade. Clearly paid by the word.
Anywhoo after all that malarky here's how the country's been divided up so far.

The current state of the nation.

Right then, as soon as I've cut up some of the trees that came down in the recent snow and then sourced some 10W30 for the generator I'll give some thought to organising the next battle - the last one for the quarter and the one followed by the exciting, (I know, I know… I need to get out more if that's my only source of excitement) random events die roll.


  1. I am amazed by your incredible output, enjoyed the ‘newes’.

    1. Thank you Norm, there's not much else to do here at this time of year, well not now the weathers turned, so output (unfortunately for everyone) is not going to be an issue. Glad you enjoyed the newes.

  2. This is a very entertaining bit of prose and I am enjoying your campaigning exploits very much. You produce much dash when you wield your keyboard.

    "Old" Freitag

    1. Why thank you sir, I have to say I enjoy making up the pamphlets as much as the gaming. I think I'll miss that the most when I wind the blog up at the end of the campaign.

    2. Let’s hope it’s a long campaign...

      All the best. Aly

  3. It's looking really poised at the moment with neither side able to grab a decisive advantage. How can Parliament makes the most of it's economic edge, and do you have rules for bringing the Scots?

    1. Hi Rob, yes there are rules for Scottish intervention. At the end of every quarter a 1D20 is rolled to produce a random event, the scots coming in in a roll of 5 if I recall. Note that though the likelihood is that they'd support the Parliament there is still an outside chance they could choose to support the King. Though Charles would be most unlikely to accept presbetarianism in England, (the price of their support) the independent faction in Parliament were equally unenthusiastic about the prospect. Anywhoo the list of random events is a few posts back..."Nothing to see here" I think it was.called.