Thursday, 25 November 2010

15mm ECW - Battle of Roundway Down (Fire and Fury Rules)

Fought on the 13th July 1643 near Devizes in wiltshire, it pitched the Royalist forces of Lord Wilmot against the Parliamentarian forces of Sir William Waller. In this game we used the Fire and Fury Rules as a basis, but converted by a couple of club members to cover specifically the English civil War. Having never read or played the original F and F rules I couldn't comment on what the differences were.
A large part of the cavalry of both forces were facing each other on the Royalist right flank - with only a couple of cavalry regiments placed on the left. I was intrigued as to how this would develop given some hefty opposition in the form of Parliament armoured cavalry ('lobsters') and dragoons etc. Infantry were heavily concentrated in the center.
I'd played one game of 28mm rules for ECW before and completely neglected the abilities of pikemen (thinking firepower/musketry could carry the day). Darren, my Royalist colleague in this battle, advised me a little more on how pikemen and musketry worked together. Pikemen being the "shock troops" in this instance.
As the cavalry collided on the right it struck me how units could become easily disordered in these rules. Not essentially an immediate defeat for any unit experiencing it (as they could still charge etc if they passed the next command roll) - but experiencing successive low dice rolls could seriously put you in the crap. This is exactly what happened with ourselves, as our initial victorious charges started to disintegrate as the enemy began to rally and then counter-charge.
The reverse on the other hand happened with the infantry. The Royalists experienced some ferocious fire as they pressed forwards but only became disordered without losing any casualties. As the enemy then charged into us the minus points to the die roll during melee made uneasy viewing. However, luck shined on us this rare occasion and a high 9 to the attackers 3 pushed them back with a number of dead.
Due to the innacuracy of musket fire during this period 6 inches is counted as long range, whilst just 2 inches is short. This means getting up close and personal for effective firing. At which point your pikemen have to be ready to get stuck in. Also, having supporting lines gives some +'s to your die rolls. We had one regiment in single line (pikemen in the middle) with another regiment in line behind less than 1 inch away which proved to be sound advice.
Figures photographed above are mainly Essex Miniatures (courtesy of Chris).

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Military Book Shopping on the Cheap!

For convenience, I'd always used Amazon and other online retailers when it came to books. Why trudge the dreary rainsoaked streets of Leicestershire and pay over the odds at Waterstones? However, I've now gone back to the high street after discovering what treasures can be picked up for a pittence at local charity shops! The books in the photo were all gathered from two of these shops over the period of a week, the average price being around £2.50 (even for the hardbacks). I was really pleased to see Richard Holmes 'Redcoat' and Mark Urban 'Rifles' as these were ones I'd normally get over the web at far greater cost. One of the outlets appears to restock the shelves of their military section every couple of days - which suggests they must have an absolute aladdins cave in the back somewhere.

Anyway, if you're ever strapped for cash they're always worth a visit. The best in the UK seem to be War on Want, British Heart Foundation and Oxfam (who take time to place all their titles in specific sections - better than having to wade through mountains of Jilly Cooper novels etc).