Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life; currently concentrating on a re-fight of the entire English Civil War, but with numerous discursions into battles from many different periods. The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

ECW Campaign - Take Two

This is my second attempt at using the boardgame The King's War as the basis for a full re-fight of the English Civil War.  I began an attempt in 2017 but although it started well, it lost impetus due to some real life issues and then some data loss dramas whilst moving.  However, the New Year seems like the time for a new go!  On the plus side, I have more extensive armies now, in particular I should have enough Horse to suffice for the battles.  The only thing I don't have is specific Covenanter troops, since Baccus haven't released a resculpted range yet - it is due in the next few months.  Since the Covenanter armies don't turn up until 18 months or so pass, then I am hoping I will be okay.

I will repeat the starting forces for both sides:


The  King's Army:

Newcastle: 750 Horse, 1000 Foot
York: 750 Horse
Newark: 1000 Foot
Nottingham: King Charles I with 2250 Horse, 4000 Foot
Oxford: Byron with 750 Horse
Portsmouth: Goring with a small garrison
Bridgewater: Hopton with 750 Horse, 2000 Foot
Shrewsbury: 1500 Horse, 5000 Foot
Preston: Derby with 1000 Foot

Parliament's Army:

Hull: 1000 Foot
Airedale:  Fernando Fairfax with 750 Horse, 1000 Foot
Northampton: Essex with 3750 Horse, 10000 Foot
London: 1000 Foot
Portsmouth: Waller with 750 Horse, 2000 Foot (besieging Portsmouth)
Wells: Bedford with 750 Horse, 4000 Foot
Bristol: 1000 Foot

n.b. I haven't included subordinate commanders, for the sake of clarity.


A kind reader pointed out that there is a Cyberboard module for The King's War, so I am able to use that for my campaign.  Please forgive the garishness of the maps!   Blue counters represent Royalist leaders and forces, Red counters represent the Parliamentarians.

The situation in the Midlands - Charles has raised his standard at Nottingham, despite that being an area strong for parliament, but the Earl of Essex is stronger and is quite close, being based in Northampton.  There is a strong Royalist garrison at Shrewsbury.

A less garish map!

The situation in the North: small garrisons of Royalists (blue) in Preston, York and Newcastle; a small Parliamentary (red) garrison in Hull and a small field army at Airedale.

And finally in the South: a nominal Royalist garrison in Portsmouth is being besieged by a small Parliamentary army led by Waller; Byron holds Oxford for the King, whilst there are Parliamentary garrisons in London and Bristol.  Small armies face each other in Somerset: a Royalist army under Hopton is at Bridgewater, a similarly-sized Parliamentary force under the Earl of Bedford is based at Wells.
The mechanics of The King's War should work fine, with a small number of changes in converting the tactical effects within the boardgame into tactical effects in the miniatures rules.  The one slight difficulty occurs at the strategic level, which concerns the use of "ambuscades".  These are a mixture of insider jobs, revolts and so on which might result in a Royalist revolt in Kent or a traitor opening one of the gates into a fortress.  In the normal game, these are managed by holding 3 of these possible ambuscades, then gaining and discarding additional ones as they go.  It is an optional rule, but it seems a pity to rule out their use entirely.  So what I propose is that the side which goes first in each turn may draw two random ambuscade chits which must be used in that turn or not at all.