Friday 13 February 2015

Rules for the English Civil War

I have recently been looking at rules to be used with my 28mm ECW collection which has laid in its boxes gathering dust for many years.  

On the Old School list I have a few options for rules.

1. The English Civil War published by Bayonet Publications circa 1970. I bought this set around that time from a Wargame shop in East Ham which I think was called New Model Army. I used to travel all over London on Red Bus Rovers visiting various wargame shops.

These rules are attributed to Neville Dickinson and I believe where the set used for the ECW campaign in Donald Featherstones book Wargame Campaigns. Pedigree indeed. 

These rules have large units consisting of 18 Muskets and 18 Pikemen with 3 Officer/Standard Bearers. These are fairly simple but have a rather more complex morale tables.

I used to use these rules with my old 20mm Minifigs figures

2.  Don Featherstones ECW rules

These rules were published in the Book Lost Tales and a very similar to the other period rules published under the Wargamers Newsletter series.

These rules are simple and look to nicely reflect the period. I have not tried these but they do look promising for an Old School game

There are no units sizes specified however seperate officers are required for morale. Infantry Units of 30 or more and 3 officers would look to be the right size.

3. Pike and Shot rules by Charlie Wesencraft.

Charlie has 2 sets which are similliar, Firstly there are the ones in his First book 'Pratical Wargaming'

Charlie also published a further book 'With Pike and Musket'. 

This book contains another set of rules and also includes details of the battles and the figures required to refight them, 

Some of the other sets I own include:

These are the new kids on the block being published in 2014. These are a relatively simple set but having read through them look to capture the period feel very well.  

Combat uses stands and 2 * d6 plus and minus a few factors scoring a 8 to hit.  If you score 6 hits remove a stand. If you score less roll  a D6 and score equal or less than the number of hits to remove a stand.

Melee works in a similar way with losers being pushed back the difference in hits.   
Units can only be pushed back so far before they start to crumble and then rout.

The Army lists have a nice way for selecting the quality and type of troops you get by using cards with cards being drawn for each type of unit they select. 

I am looking forward to giving these a go,I

Other rules for the period I own include:

And finally this dubious set co authored by yours truely some 10 years ago.

I have started re basing and refurbishing my collection on 40mm squares bases for infantry. My cavalry are going to remain on 50 by 50 bases but I will touch up the ground work.

Monday 9 February 2015

Birthday Battle

This weekend my son Max had 3 friends over for a small birthday celebration and for a spot of tea and wargaming.

I set up a small game up using the scenario - 'Action' from Charles Grants classic The War Game.

The 2 sides were equally balanced and consisted of the following.

The Electors army had

Liebgarden Infantry regiment
Hock Infantry regiment
Schuch Jäger Korps
Electors Garde Cuirassier

The Duchy of Calvados (the Imperialists) fielded

Brie Infantry regiment
Royal Bourssin regiment
Grenz de Moules
Rochefort Dragoons

Infantry units had 24 figures plus 2 officers. Light infantry 9 figures and the cavalry 12. Artillery consisted of a single gun and 5 crew. Each army had a commander and Aide de Camp.

The rules used were the basic ones from Charge with a few amendments.

1. Rather than have an army quit the field  when it reached 50% I used the advance rules and units infantry and artillery retire when they reached 50% and Cavalry and Light units on reaching 33%.

2. I added Light Infantry and allowed them to move 9" in all terrain. They fired as skirmishes needing 6 to hit at range 6-9 inches. 5 or 6 at 3-6 inch range and 4,5, or 6 at 0-3 inch range.

3. Infantry and Light infantry who moved 3inches, or less, of their full move could fire. Moving a full move would mean a unit could not fire.

The Electoral army arrayed ready for the battle.

The Electoral Garde Cuirassier deployed on the left and the gun and light infantry on the right.

The Imperialists deployed their army as a mirror of their opponents.  This means that both sides cavalry faced their opponents light infantry and artillery.

The Infantry faced each other on the centre.

A close up of the Royal Boursson deployed for action. 

The game started with both sides advancing. The Imperialists drop their artillery first and halted their Infantry line.

The Imperialists opened up on the Electoral Garde Cuirassier causing the first casualty.

The Electoral army won't the dice toss at the start of the next turn and asked the Imperialists to move first, 

The Grenz de Moules quickly moved through the wood and occupied a small walled enclosure. This flanked the Electoral Garde Cuirassier who faced with either pulling back or advancing on the Imperial gun.  

They choose to advance.

Inspite of taking artillery roundshot and canister fire they charged home putting he gunners to the sword.

Meanwhile the Infantry clash had started with both sides trading volleys . 

Meanwhile the Rochfort Dragoons held back keeping the Schuch Jäger Korps in check but at a cost of casualties from the  Electoral artillery.

The Grenz de Moules, with no cavalry facing them, nimbly nipped across the low walls of the enclosure and moving 6  inches were able to flank the LiebGarden. 

The fire of the Grenz plus that of the Brie proves too much for the LiebGarden who reach 50% and are forced to retire. The Hock now find themselves outnumbered and although they get the better of the Royal Bourssin the end is quick. Next turn they too reach 50% loses. 

With both of his Infantry units in retreat and the Electoral Garde Cuirassier badly mauled the Elector Maximilian decides that he has seen enough and orders his remaing troops to retire.

The youngsters enjoyed themselves and there was interest in having another game this time with Tanks.  

Looks like my old western desert tanks, some dating from the early 70s, might see some action. Rapid Fire might be good choice of rules for the next game.

Tuesday 3 February 2015


One of my gaming friends job means that they have to clear houses contents before they are put up for sale.

Last night I was given a rather interesting find from a house clearance.  A display case made of 1cm thick Perspex and rather heavy. Inside was a diorama of unpainted figures on basic sand terrain. A strange idea for a diorama

The figures are undoutably Nurnberger
Meisterzinn and although slightly larger than Prince August will nicely complement my existing armies. 

These will form the basis of a new Grenadier Battalion, of 24 figures plus 5 command figures, for the Electorate Furstenburg-lederhosen.

So what do I paint them as - the Erbprinz from Charge or perhaps the Saxon Lieb Garde in red and yellow. 

Sunday 1 February 2015

Blasthof Bridge

Today we ventured over to Vapnartak at York. This years we put on a participation game - Blasthof Bridge - one of the all time classic scenarios from Charge or How to play Wargames by Messrs Young and Lawford.

The scenario and rules are a great introduction to Horse and Musket gaming and indeed where the rules I first used back in the late 60s with Airfix ACW figures.

The game was well received and we run the it 3 times during the course of the day.  In all we had 4 adults and 8 children joining in. My son Max also played all 3 games and helped with running the game. 

We had a very enjoyable day out at what is probably the best show up North.

I used Prince August 40mm home cast figures and green painted MDF boards. 

I think the game looked - what do you think ?