Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). 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.

Thursday 20 December 2018

End of ECW Campaign

At the end of June 1644, following King Charles' decisive victory at the Battle of Wembley, the Royalist Army advanced upon London.  This was joined by a large contingent from Prince Rupert.  King Charles handed over command of the force to the Prince, with orders to take the city as quickly as he might...

Although taking heavy losses in the assault, the city and the garrison fell in short order. This left the position as follows:

At this point, I decided that the Parliamentarians must sue for peace and mercy: I don't see how the King could lose from this position.   Feeling he could be magnanimous in victory, he was content with merely the exile of those leading Parliamentarians who could not be reconciled to his rule...if only because he was planning for a more permanent reckoning in Scotland and knew that he would  need all the strength he could muster to make all his Kingdoms bend to his will...

Game Notes: This campaign has been a fascinating exercise for me.  I have combined it with more reading about the war and it has become apparent just how many different elements the conflcit had.  However, the key to a successful campaign is compromise and focus on the essentials and I felt that The King's War made a really good stab at bringing out those essentials.  The game is very finely balanced with lots of very difficult strategic choices to make about which regions to focus on and which to let go - I felt the accounts I have read of the ECW really come alive when considering in detail the operational choices.  In particular, the balance between fighting battles and conducting sieges is a difficult choice, because of the necessity of achieving something for one's efforts.  The desertion mechanism is realistically annoying, as one's strength is constantly dissipating.  The Covenanting Army looks overwhelming on paper, but the logistic rules are finely calibrated to force the Parliamentary Army to co-operate with it, or it can be stopped by a force of 50% its strength.  The only pity is that it does really concentrate on the English & Welsh side of the conflict despite the Scottish and Irish angles being just as absorbing.  Maybe in the next campaign...
The tactical rules handled the battles pretty well and it was easy to translate the campaign to the wargames table and back again - a key requirement for a successful campaign.
I hope those of you who have been following this campaign have found some things of interest, either in the way the battles have unfolded, my comments on the rules or the way that the campaign has gone in its entirety.  My thanks to all who have left messages of encouragement on the way!
I am hoping to do this again sometime in the next few years, although this time with Ireland and Scotland made a more integral part.  I don't intend to leave the ECW, or TWotTK, entirely - I am hoping to play more of the set-piece battles that I haven't yet refought.  However, I feel myself drawn to the equally fascinating events happening across the channel in mainland Europe...please watch this space!


  1. Your campaign was superb and I thoroughly enjoyed following along. I have long considered The King's War as an engine for just such an endeavor. Your effort has, indeed, whetted my appetite even more.

    Very well done and thank you!

  2. Thanks very much Jonathan. I am not quite sure which campaign to tackle next! I will probably give myself a couple of weeks to think about it whilst I do some other stuff over the holidays.

  3. Fantastic stuff! I have really enjoyed following your campaign. I look forward to the next one.

    1. Many thanks - I have enjoyed doing it. I think it will be even better next time I do it. If I can, I may run it as a multi-player PBEM, that would be very interesting.

    2. That would be interesting and fun too!