An intermittent blog of two gamers and their adventures wargaming the English Civil War in 6mm.

Monday, 18 September 2017

The Battle of Sourpuss Plain: AAR

Yes its been an interminably long time without a post.  Lets just move past that shall we...
My Royalist left Brigade deploys under the command of Sir Percival Utterly-Barkinge
Over the weekend gaming club buddy Aled walked me through my first game using the Baroque tules set, released last year by the authors of Impetus.  It was a great opportunity to thrown down for some long overdue 6mm ECW action.
Royalist Horse deploys on the right flank near the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Guilt
Overall, I found the mechanics easy to pick up (I had a good tutor!) but it took me awhile to get my head around the damage system.  Once I did, I realised how elegant they are - adding and subtracting combat dice is easy to do, but damage impact is non linear.  That is, its how badly a unit fails a coherence test that matters - not the number of hits it takes.  But naturally, its easier too fail badly when hit a number of times.  So like real life, some units kept taking punishment volley after volley, while others evaporated much more quickly.
Foote Brigades engaged on Sourpuss Plain
Royalist Foot anchor the line behind the stone walls of the cultivated fields and engage the Roundheads
I also found that the Cavalry engagements on the wings was fast, strong and decisive (possibly because I had all those lovely Cavalier gallopers).  The melee combat system is the same as firing, but charging home adds dice as an impetus bonus and catching an enemy on the flank is brutally effective.  On the other hand, the infantry brigades in the centre were slow and difficult to adjust once committed (as you would expect).
A palpable hit indeed! Take that Roundheads!
I also quite liked the Army morale system: once reduced to half strength a unit is exhausted and its VPs are removed from the Force Morale.  However, if it is eliminated then double its VPs are taken.  Thus, withdrawing spent units before they die (and having reserves available to take their place) is not only sensible but essential in keeping your Army together.  But being able to withdraw the unit is not a given either...
Cavalier gallopers sweep away the Parliament horse on the right flank to penetrate into the enemy rear 
I felt like I was a General commanding the battle, though not everything was going to go the way I had planned it and there were certainly points of friction occurring around me.  Overall, a really fun experience and I'm looking forward to my next game.
And here is the WI review of the rules:

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Victory Without Quarter: Rules Review

Yes its been a dearth of ECW goodness around here but I think we are getting back on track now.  This week Dux and I were treated to a fantastic game of 28mm ECW by Millsy and got to play with all his lovely models - lots of pics and Battle reports here, here and here.
The Royalist Centre - from the wonderful collection of Millsy (a staunch and worthy King's man)
The rules we used were Victory Without Quarter by Clarence Harrison of Quindia Studios
Available (legally) off the Internet for free here: Link
These are my thoughts, noting that this was the only time I have played them.

Bottom Line Up Front - these are a fun, easy to pickup set of rules which really captured the period flavour without an overloading stack of detail.

The key mechanism is randomised card driven system.  Each unit has a card randomly shuffled into the deck so you don't know what order they will come in.  Shuffled in are Artillery units (both sides fire together), Reload Cards (which allow Volley Fire) and a Turn End card which ensures that you never know if a unit will get to activate or not before the deck is reshuffled.  The end result is a tense randomisation that can be as frustrating as heck, but definitely gives you the feeling that you aren't fully in control (which of course was exactly the situation).

Units get 2 or 3 dice per element to fire, depending on what they are, with 5+ (on a d6) being the target roll.  If you get three hits you inflict a casualty and cause a morale check roll.  After 3 casualties the unit dissolves.  Melee uses a similar to hit roll but the unit which inflicts more casualties winds the combat and repels the enemy unit.

Available units are Foote, Commanded Shotte, Dragoons (which can dismount obviously), Horse (Gallopers, Trotters, Cuirassiers) and Artillery (which is immobile) - each unit is comprised of 3-4 elements.  Army and Brigade Commanders are modelled individually. Units are rated as Veteran, Trained and Raw, which gives them various modifiers in Combat and to their morale test.

Overall, the system works nicely without getting too bogged down in detail. You can feel the difference between the different units types but its not overpowering.  The real challenge is trying to run a battle with random unit activation and no guarantee of any specific unit getting a turn before the turn over card shows up.  It was really enjoyable and we were quickly fighting the battle, not messing about with the rules.

With a view to 6mm battles vice 28mm scared ones, we've been thinking about how that might work with 12+ Regiments per side and single base units. We think that Brigading the formations would be the obvious way forward.  Looking forward to giving that a try sooner rather than later!

We are hoping to try the same scenario with a few different sets of rules too, so we can compare them: these have been a good start, and also in the mix are Baccus' Polemos and the newly published Baroque Impetus.

Thanks for the great day out and taking us through the rules Millsy!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Covenanter Horse

More goodness from the brushwork of Sir Dux, MP to add to his northern rebel force





Saturday, 2 January 2016

ECW Relics at the Tower of London

Some eye candies we found while visiting the Royal Armouries exhibit at the White Tower recently:
Harquebusier's Breastplate, buff coat and equipment (but not the colt .45 next to it though!)

Helmet detail

The inlaid armour of King Charles I

Cuirassier armour
Period pikeman's uniform

Long barrelled cavalry pistols
Period Falcon cannon

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Saturday, 19 December 2015

A visit to the Houses of Parliament

...to find this chap looking down disapprovingly at me! I think he can sense my Royalist tendencies...

Monday, 23 November 2015

Covenanters!

Dux Homunculorum actual here!


It has been a long time since I've done anything on our ECW project, but with Paul heading back to the same hemisphere soon it's time to get cracking. To get some runs on the board I've been painting Covenanter infantry, and nice and simple they are after the army of Republican Romans in 28mm I've been painting over the past few months.

I've altered my painting style on these little chaps compared to my last lot of English troops. I've generally gone for lighter shades and haven't used any washes. What do you think?

Oh and Paul - don't call them rebels. They're the forces of the Scottish government, right?!

Monday, 2 November 2015

More Library additions

The 'about to move overseas and not have Amazon anymore' buying frenzy is underway.
The ECW library got a few new titles, including our intended rule set: Baccus' Polemos.
Yes Dux, the centre bottom title is a present for you!
Sadly, most of these must go into the sea freight box shortly and wont be seen again until March or maybe April.
Lots to look forward to then though :-)

Monday, 19 October 2015

Cruel Necessity

I've been looking at this ECW boardgame from Victory Point Games for awhile now and finally ordered it this week.

In this solitaire game one plays the Parliamentarians and tries to balance a range of political, military and religious matters to try and wrest control of the country away from HM King Charles.  It clearly has quite an array of variables which impact those and failure in any one of them leads to defeat.  The 75 different event cards add a lot period flavour and deployability value too.

The tactical aspects are also of interest, but the game could clearly be used quite easily as a campaign system with the tactical battles resolved on the tabletop.  That might have a lot of promise actually, and one I'll put my mind to as I play the game and get a feel for it.

There are quite a few detailed reviews and playthroughs on YouTube.  I'll post my own thoughts here once I've given it a go.  The good news is that when you loose at this game, the Royalists triumph - yay!



http://www.victorypointgames.com/cruel-necessity.html

Thursday, 15 October 2015

ECW Uniforms

I recently found another useful article at Warlords Games, which depicts some of the ECW displays at the Combined Military Services Museum - here

The museum’s English Civil War collection is one of the finest in the country, with armour, swords, polearms, muskets and clothing from the period on display.

http://www.cmsm.co.uk/collections.php

Alan and I clearly need to find an excuse to go on an ECW pilgrimage to the UK I think...