What better way to spend an Easter holiday than pushing toy soldiers around the table? The Cardiff Care in the Community programme provided the antagonists and Mr. James Churchill emptied out his toy cupboard for the amazing miniatures. The rules used were Warlord’s “Pike and Shotte”. We had played a couple of games using this system and found it a little lacking but this game was a real gem.
Ken took the role of Hopton on the right of the above picture. He was aided in his defence of Beacon Hill by stout West Country hedgerows and ploughed up fields (slow going). I was under the command of Mr X ( international man of mystery- name withheld on personal and political grounds). Parliament mustered three and half thousand infantry and five troops of horse. I wanted to sweep around the fields but my Lord Chudleigh was intent on recreating the grand national!
True to events in the real battle, Parliament was able to push back the Royalist screen of musketeers. Hopton was content to sit motionless on the hill above. The Royalist horse were sent out to search for their Cornish reinforcements but the hedgerows confounded their efforts. My own ‘enfant perdu’ were able to unhorse a few cavaliers but the Parliamentary horse blundered. This is what makes the game so unpredictable but always seems to affect yours truly! I brought my horse forward again and you guest it, blunder again!
My fate was sealed when the Royalist Cornish army arrived. I felt it time to exit stage left! My musketeers did Stirling work, in hand to hand combat with the King’s bodyguard no less. Thankfully, Major general James Chudleigh was making Hopton pay for his static defence. The flags of Parliament were flying on Beacon Hill, despite a less than glorious display of horsemanship by my command!