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.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

ECW Campaign: October 1643

The English Civil War: October 1643

Sir Richard Browne and Rowland Laugharne became available as commanders for the Parliamentarians and Thomas Glenham offered his sword to the King.

The town notables of Chester wrote to the King to assure him of their continuing loyalty to his noble and righteous cause.  Some partisans of the King in Nottingham claimed that they had secured the co-operation of a number of junior officers within the garrison and if a force could be sent, they could ensure the city was taken by coup de main.  The King decided to chance this and was rewarded...with complete success!  He then took Melton Mowbray too and continued to march south, ending up at Peterborough.  Manchester dared not risk a battle, so moved south on parallel lines, marching to Bury St.Edmonds. 

Bedford took Truro and then marched on Penzance.  Bringing the remnants of the Royalist army to bay North of Penzance, he destroyed it at the Battle of Penderleath.  The majority of the survivors then took service with the Parliamentary army instead.

Newcastle remained at Newcastle, training his troops.  Brereton also remained quiet at Appleby, training his men too.

Prince Rupert took Wycombe, then took Bishop's Stortford in order to cover any attempt by Manchester to reach the capital.  Hopton left a small garrison in Oxford, then rapidly marched west to Sherborne.

Waller remained quiet in Ross-in-Wye, training his men.

The North:

Newcastle at Newcastle with 4000 Foot & 1500 Horse
Ethyin at York with 1000 Foot
1000 Foot at Preston

Brereton at Appleby with 3000 Foot & 3000 Horse
Fairfax at Hull with 2000 Foot & 1500 Horse

The Midlands: 

King Charles at Peterborough with 4000 Foot & 3000 Horse
Prince Maurice at  with 4000 Foot & 1500 Horse
1000 Foot at Chester
1000 Foot at Nottingham
Cavendish at Hereford with 3000 Foot & 2250 Horse

Manchester at Bury St. Edmonds with 7000 Foot & 2250 Horse
2000 Foot at The Fens
Waller at Ross-on-Wye with 3000 Horse & 2250 Horse

The South:

Hopton at Sherborne with 1000 Foot & 750 Horse
Prince Rupert at Bishop's Stortford with 8000 Foot & 3750 Horse
1000 Foot at Oxford
1000 Foot at Gloucester

Essex at London with 8000 Foot & 2250 Horse, plus 2000 Foot garrisoning London
Hampden at Basing with 2000 Foot
1000 Foot at Reading
Massey with 1000 Foot at Bristol
Bedford with 6000 Foot & 2250 Horse at Penzance

Game Notes:
King Charles took advantage of his intelligence network's good work by cheaply and quickly taking Nottingham, to allow him to control the East Midlands and the major routes North, before beginning his march southwards to join Prince Rupert.  The King's and Prince Rupert's respective army's are positioned to make it very difficult for Manchester to join Essex without fighting a battle first.  This will hopefully (for the Royalists!) allow the Royalists to combine to make one large combined attack on London.
The Earl of Bedford completed his slow but sure conquest of the South West - his very slowness had the effect of boiling the Royalist frog - he was simply not that much of a threat, until he was so much of a threat he couldn't be stopped without detaching major forces from the Oxford Army.  Lack of supply was beginning to take a real toll on the Royalists here: the King would have liked to fight with Cavendish and possibly Prince Maurice too, but simply could not supply all the fronts at once.
One thing happening in the background now is that desertion will increase and recruiting will decrease, so it will be as much as each side can do to maintain its strength.  However, recruiting can also be improved by winning battles - hence the desertion of the remaining Cornishmen to Bedford.  Decisive victories thus become distinctly more decisive from this point forward.




  1. Hi
    I am just starting to paint (badly) my ecw armies and want to use these rules could you do a post listing the changes you have made as that would be most helpful.

    The battles look great and have inspired me to make a start

    1. Hi Mike, thanks very much.

      The only change I am playing with at the moment are to increase fire effectiveness by 1 point (i.e. just add 1 to any result on the ranged combat table). This was necessary to stop Mixed Foot beating Shot-Heavy Foot nearly every time.

  2. Thanks Jonathan - I'm very interested myself to see how this turns out: it has been quite unexpected so far!