Thursday, November 14, 2013

Royalist Commander Selected

In the rules that I'm writing for my in-house ECW battles, all Generals and Brigadiers have a "personality" (Aggressive, Steady, Careful and Political).  Each personality has differing advantages/disadvantages which will affect the Brigadiers under him as well.

Before each battle we will roll to see which personality our General and Brigadiers will have.  There are thus four possible Generals (one of each personality) and eight different Brigadiers (two of each personality).

Originally my thought was to fit various historical figures to each of the C-in-C's personalities (as I expect my Roundhead opponent to do).  But in researching various commanders, one leaped out at me.

The Earl of Forth (Patrick Ruthven) had battle results all over the map (some great, some terrible, some where he wasn't there, etc.); and he had a very strong reputation as a "hard drinking man" . . . viola!

He will be perfect for me.  He will always be in command (unless killed, in which case I will revert to the "traditional" four general solution).  I will simply roll to see which of his inebriated states will come to the fore on the day of battle . . . Aggressive, Steady, Careful or Political.

Fun, eh?

Now to pick the eight Brigadiers (who will also be rolled for on the day of battle to see who is there).

-- Jeff

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Some Decisions to be Made

Beside my Warlord plastics and Perry lead for my English Civil War project, I acquired a fairly substantial number of lead figures from a fellow down island.  The price was great, however the figures had not been treated kindly.

One specific problem was with the cavalry.  There were lots of sword-waving troopers most of whom had broken off swords.  Now Murdock has kindly offered to come down with his dremel tool and help me replace them with pins . . . (this is something I've never done although I've read of folks who have done so).

Now one of my problems is how well this will look with the unbroken swords of my Warlord and Perry troops.  Will I have to replace them as well?  I will have to wait and see.

Another issue has to do with the muskets of the Warlord plastics and the Perry lead.  I had planned on mixing them up within each unit . . . but while the sculpting of the two lines matches very well, the musket lengths are noticeably different (with the plastic being much longer).  Now I have to decide whether to simply use them in separate units or to snip the ends of the barrels off from the plastics.  I'm currently leaning toward the former but might well change my mind.

On a positive note, I did manage to make a hundred 80mm pikes from the mild steel welding rod I picked up last week . . . and I have finally assembled the arms and hats for way too many plastic foot and glued all of my plastic horses together.  However I still have swords to glue on the foot and pistol holsters on the horses.

I am getting very tired of all of the fiddly little bitwork needed to assemble all of the Warlord plastics.  They look good and the price is great but I have to pay for it in time in putting them together.

Nothing is painted yet (nor will it be soon) but I do continue to get things prepped.

-- Jeff

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mounted Units Selected

I have made another slight change in my prospective foot units . . . but that will be the subject of another post.

Today I will focus on the mounted units that I hope eventually to field.

At left you can see the ten "Horse" units and two "Dragoon" units that I've selected.

The horse units are mostly historically correct although two or three are either conjectural or were "unknown" and assigned to existing commanders.

As with my foot units it will take a long time before all are painted and ready for the table top . . . but one does need a plan, doesn't one?

-- Jeff

Friday, September 6, 2013

Updating Planned Foote Units

Well after some further research I have once again (and probably not for the last time) changed my mind as to which pike and shot units I hope to eventually build.

The units to the left are my current choices.  All of these flags (as well as a listing of their coat colors) are from the Wargames Designs website.

This current mix will have four red-coated units, three blue-coats and one each with green, yellow, white, grey and black coats.

It should be very colorful indeed.

-- Jeff

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Online Resource for ECW Coat Colors

I just discovered (thank you, Steve Wylde) that Wargames Design, the same source for the wonderful ECW flags that I'll be using, also has an extensive listing of coat colors for the ECW.

Of course it should be kept in mind that the coat color worn at one point during the war might be different from that worn during a different point in the war.  Still this list gives a good basis for painting many different units (both foot and horse) for both the Royalists and Parliamentarians (I did not see anything for the Scots).

-- Jeff

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Proposed Foot Units

I want to use "real" units, not "imaginary" ones . . . but, of course, we really don't what color the uniforms and/or flags were for most of the ECW.

So I searched for units for which both uniform coat and regimental flag are known . . . even though they might be in differing commands or in different years.

What I've provisionally selected to eventually add to my forces can be seen at left.

The "color" above the commander's name is the coat color as found in one source or another.  Some varied by year, but these are what I'm currently looking at using.

I will not, of course, start out with all of these at once.  In fact my forces may never get to a dozen pike & shot units . . . but this (at least currently) is what I hope for.

-- Jeff

More "Rules" Discussion

Some years ago I wrote a set of wargaming rules for 18th century tabletop combat.  They were for my own use only and we had a lot of fun with them locally.

Their key component was in their "Command and Control / Fog of War" mechanisms.  All Generals and Brigadiers had "personalities' (Careful, Steady, Aggressive and Political) . . . and how their personalities interacted (along with a dice roll) affected how they interpreted their orders once they made contact with the enemy. 

They might follow their orders as intended; or interpret them more timidly or more rashly than intended; or they might just halt and wait for new orders (particularly with a "political" C-in-C). 

Also, whenever their orders are changed, they had an "initiative" roll they had to make before they could interpret and act upon their new orders. 

Together these created a lot of interesting situations on the tabletop.  Also it forced the C-in-C to really consider which Brigadier he assigned to which task and what orders he chose to give them . . . in other words, the sort of command decisions that real generals had to make.

I would like to carry these aspects over to my ECW rules.  But my opponent has been traveling for the past month and I've not had a chance to discuss it with him yet . . . still I do not foresee any difficulties.

My shooting and melee mechanisms were not particularly unusual and seemed to work well (and I think that most rules over-rate artillery's effectiveness in these earlier periods . . . so I've made them moderately ineffective). 

One thing that I do plan on changing from my "Tricorne Wars" is movement (instead of IGO/UGO).  I recently (during an extended illness) played some solo "Victory Without Quarter" rules.  I particularly enjoyed the card-motivated actions . . . but more for brigades than for individual units.

I plan to use a card-activated system.  However it will not have individual units, but only "commands" (i.e., Generals and Brigadiers).  The number of cards they have in the Action Deck will depend upon their individual "Initiative" ratings . . . and, of course, even so the "End of Turn" card can turn up any time.

Also I'm looking at concentrating on the early part of the ECW (say 1642-1645) during which a high percentage of units were rated "poor" and very few could be called "superior" . . . which once again will require C-in-Cs to think about what units to assign to which Brigades.

Anyway, those are a few of the things I'm tossing around.

-- Jeff

Sunday, August 11, 2013

ECW Uniform Colors ???

Do you know what color uniform coat the following Royalist foor regiments wore during at least part of the English Civil Wars?  If so please leave a comment as to which regiment it is and what the coat color was:

(Please note that, as replies come in, I will add a note to those identified)

  • Ashley, Colonel
  • Aston, Sir Arthur
  • Astley, Sir Bernard -- White
  • Bagot, Col. Richard -- Dark Blue
  • Bellasyse, Col. John -- '43 Oxford issue, either Blue or Red
  • Byerley, Sir Anthony -- 1644 possibly White
  • Chaytor, Col. Henry
  • Cooke, Col. Francis -- Blue
  • Darcy, Col. Conyers -- Blue
  • Duke of York -- 1644 possibly White
  • Earl Rivers -- Oxford Blue
  • Fitton, Sir Edward -- '43 Oxford issue, either Blue or Red
  • Lambton, Sir William
  • Lord Byron
  • Lord Molyneux -- Burgandy suit
  • Lucas, Sir Gervase -- Blue coat, White facings, Yellow breeches
  • Marquis of Winchester -- Burgandy suit
  • Strading, Sir Edward -- '43 Oxford issue, either Blue or Red
  • Thelwell, Sir Anthony -- '43 Oxford issue, either Blue or Red
  • Vaughan, Sir Henry -- Red suit, Dark Blue facings
 -- Jeff

Friday, August 2, 2013

Some ECW Figures

Well today some sample Perry Miniatures ECW figures that I'd ordered appeared in the mail.

Perry's Pistol-armed Cavalry
I've read a number of places that they mix well with the Warlord plastics (which have not yet arrived -- so I cannot verify whether they do or not).

By the way, the photos on this page are not mine but are from the Perry website.

Perry's Musketeers Loading
And while the photos might make these appear to also be plastic, the figures I received are metal . . . and very well-cast, sharply detailed metal indeed.  They look very nice.

When the Warlord plastics arrive I will let you know just how well (or not) they do mix.

-- Jeff

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

ECW Rules

 I'm not completely happy with any of the rule sets for the ECW that I've read . . . so I think that I am going to write my own.

And at least I've decided upon a name for my own version of ECW miniature rules . . . and I've taken a clue from Larry Brom's "The Sword and the Flame" Colonial rules by plucking a phrase from a famous English author.

However the phrase did not come from the English Civil War.  In fact it was written before ECW had even occurred . . . that's right, as a man of the Theatre, I pulled something from Shakespeare.

Almost everything title I liked for the ECW has already been used.  The best that I came up with was "King vs Cromwell" but that really didn't do it for me.  Then I recalled a bit of a speech in Act III, scene iii of Shakespeare's "Richard II":

“But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' sons
Shall ill become the flower of England's face;
Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
To scarlet indignation , and be-dew
Her pastures' grass with faithful English blood.”

 This seemed to me to be a fair assessment of the situation during the ECW (even though it referred to 1399) . . . so I picked the last four words for the title of my ECW rules:

"With Faithful English Blood"

Now all I have to do is write the rules, eh?
-- Jeff

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Some Figures Ordered

Yes, it has been a long time since I last posted here . . . and many health issues have kept me away . . . cancer surgery, radiation and chemotherapy as well as extensive (and ongoing) dental work (17 teeth removed) and two eye surgeries.  But I'm finally beginning to feel a bit better now.

I'm happy to report that my second cataract surgery (my right eye this time) has been successful.  I can see things a lot more clearly now.

And, in celebration (at least that's what I'm pleading) and the fact that WARLORD GAMES is offering free worldwide shipping through July 31st, I have finally ordered some 28mm figures to begin work on my long-time desire to game the English Civil War.

I ordered the "Pike & Shotte Starter Battalia" (note: link is to US site).  With it I will get 90 foot and 24 cavalry for $96.

Yes, I know that they are hard plastic rather than metal but I really don't care . . . I will be able to build them with a lot of options so as to get a good "irregular" look to my ECW units . . . and anyway I use 1/4" MDF for basing my figures so that provides sufficient "heft" even with plastics.

I might even order a second set as well since what one gets for under a hundred bucks is quite a lot . . . but if so it will be a separate order in the hope that both will clear Canadian Customs without getting whacked with duties and an "inspection fee" . . . (ah the 'joys' of getting things shipped across borders).

However please do not expect to see them on the table top too soon.  There will be a lot of assembly and painting to accomplish first.  And in the meantime I will be keeping an eye on eBay and Bartertown for deals on Warlord and Perry ECW figures (these being apparently a very good mix -- even in the same unit).

-- Jeff