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.

Monday, 2 April 2018

ECW Campaign: March 1643

The English Civil War: March 1643

Pembrokeshire sent renewed sentiments of brotherhood in the struggle and hope that, by the Grace of God to whom all good things are due, the war will be won soon. Agents in York indicated that there was a small Parliamentary party in the city ready to act, but would need substantial aid from outside to succeed in taking over the city.

The Fairfaxes moved to Blackburn, hoping to engage the Earl of Derby's inferior force.  Derby tried to evade but was brought to battle and defeated at the Battle of the River Ribble.  After the defeat, the Earl of Derby gave up command and went to fight with the Marquis of Newcastle as a private individual having lost confidence in his own abilities as a General.  Brereton then left Preston and took his small army to Airedale, which then destroyed the remnants of Derby's defeated army.

The Marquis of Newcastle sent Lord Ethyin back to Newcastle to recruit, whilst he continued to train his troops in the Richmond area.  Newcastle was joined by Cavendish, who moved north from the Lincoln area.

Byron moved his troops to join King Charles at Oxford.  Whilst Essex trained his soldiers around Wycombe, Charles detached Prince Rupert to make a lightning strike against Foppingham at Worcester.  The latter general opted to endure a siege, but Prince Rupert made another assault and brought the siege to a swift, if bloody, conclusion: c.1750 Royalist troops fell in the action, but the Parliamentary army of 3000 was destroyed, and Foppingham and Dalbier were captured.

Bedford continued to train his troops at Dorchester.  His army has grown formidable in skill and training.  Hopton likewise continued to train his troops around Winchester.

The North:

Newcastle at Richmond with c.10,000
Forth at York with c.1000
Eythin at Newcastle with c.1000

The Fairfaxes at Blackburn with c.5000
Brereton at Airedale with c.2000
c.1000 at Carlisle
c.1000 at Hull

The Midlands:

Prince Rupert at Worcester with c.4000
Vasey at Shrewsbury with c.4000
c.1000 at Newark
c.1000 at Chester

Waller at Pembroke with c.4000
Wark at the Fens with c.5000
Groby at Melton Mowbray with c.1000
c.1000 at Nottingham

The South:

King Charles at Oxford with c.8000
Hopton at Winchester with c.7000
Goring on Dartmoor with c.2000

Massey at Bristol with c.2000
Essex at Wycombe with c.11000
Stamford at Reading with c.4000
Bedford at Dorchester with c.7000
Willoughby at Colchester with c.2000
Hampden at London with c.4000

Game Notes:
Fairfax and Brereton combined their efforts in Lancashire and West Yorkshire to destroy the (small) Royalist Army in that region. Not only useful in itself, but also a great morale and experience boost for these forces.  On balance, this was probably more useful than Prince Rupert's successful lightning strike against Worcester, although that action, following on from the re-capture of Oxford last month, has restored the King's fortunes in Middle England.
Things remain quiescent in the Midlands and on the South Coast, primarily as a result of insufficient supplies to enable any further activity on the part of either army.

The Action at Airedale (where Brereton destroyed the remnants of Derby's army) had to be conducted using the combat rules in the campaign's game engine, the board game The King's War.  This is because the Polemos rules can't really deal with a battle between 1750 Parliamentarians (1000 Foot, 750 Horse) and 1000 Royalist Foot - it would be 8 bases versus 2 bases.  Does anyone have any recommendations for rules for such small actions?


  1. Could change the ratio of troops to bases for the fight and then recompress?
    Something like a base per 200 troops? more like 18 vs 10?

    The normal ratios look like 500 inf per base and ~150 cav per base? Is it about relative frontages that they differ so much?

  2. One could, but I don't think it would have the right flavour. I will defer to those who know more, but I think actions of that size would be better dealt with by a more detailed ruleset, concentrating at that level. I imagine that one would get into the interactions within the battalia. But I don't know.