Tuesday, February 05, 2008

English Civil War game using 1644 Rules

I actually got along to the club last night for the first time since last April! We played an ECW game using 1644 rules by Wargames Foundry, which I haven't played before. They are by Rick Priestley and so some of it is familiar from Warhammer ECW but there are some differences; notably the fact that you need markers to show the status of the morale of units and also to show intention to do things like charge.

Bicorne's ECW casualty pack

Personally, I don't like little signs on the wargames board so I might think about getting some wounded and dead figures to act as morale markers. Most of my figures are Renegade, with the rest being Bicorne. Bicorne do a nice casualty pack so I will pick this up and do some casulaties in the colours of my two completed regiments. The only problem we had with the rules was that we ran out of time. We played for about three hours but probably needed another hour to bring things to a conclusion. Part of this is the fact that foot only move four inches a move and cavalry eight and so take ages to come into contact. I didn't help by deploying behind a nice hedge and staying there, making Nick trudge across what seemed like miles of fields to get into contact.

Unlike WECW, casualties are small, with only one or two figures lost per unit for each round of firing or melee. Given that we had 36 man units, and loss of figures itself does not seem to trigger morale tests, the engagements turned into slogging matches. Actually, I quite like this and if we had been more familiar with the rules we would probably have gotten along faster. Other peculiarities we found were the ineffectiveness of cavalry against infantry. Because the infantry units were so much bigger they could just pound away at the cavalry and reduce their numbers move by move (or at least until they are hit in the flank by a charging unit of Dragoons, which was the fate of my cuirassiers.

Sir Arthur Hesilrige's Cuirassiers: destroyed by some motley Dragoons. It's enough to make you jump off a cliff

Cavalry, to be effective against infantry needs to have a wide frontage and get another unit to pile in in support. The other issue was that we had quite a lot of units on the table. For Parliament, Adrian and I had seven Infantry units and four cavalry units, plus four light guns. We are going to have another go in a few weeks, which would be good. In the meantime, I might fight a few test skirmishes against my little boy to get a feel for the best size for units etc. This is important as having more figures firing makes such a small difference to the hits you might have that it may be best, for example, to have three smaller units that one big one. It was nice to play a game again and has got me keen on ECW once more, so I might try to paint another unit of cavalry in the next few months.

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