Friday, February 25, 2022

Battle of Marston Moor - Pike & Shotte

Well, got to finally get the ECW figures on the table today thanks to four of my buddies coming over to play out a Marston Moor scenario. Although I am familiar with the Black Powder/Hail Caesar style of play which the Pike and Shotte rules are based upon, wasn't exactly sure how it would play out with the specific rules. All in all, it was a really fun game had by all. The one thing we felt should be changed in the future would be to lessen the amount of rough terrain which slowed down the Parliamentarian-Scots Covenanter advance. I had tried to replicate the terrain from what I read in the Osprey book as well other sources, but agreed that less of the rough would've made the game play better. Anyway, here are some of the images from the game - with captions as best as I can recollect.

The Parliamentarian-Scots Covenanters were allowed to go first as this reflects them charging into the unprepared Royalist the evening of the actual battle. Top of turn 2 with part of the Royalist foot having successfully made it up to the hedge and ditch.
The Parliamentarian horse on their right wing led by Sir Thomas Fairfax being met by dismounted dragoons and cavalry led by Lord Goring.
On the Parliamentarian left Cromwell and his Ironsides charge into Royalist cavalry led by Prince Rupert. The Royalist cavalry, less their cuirassiers, had the Galloper rules which increased their basic movement to 12" from the usual 9". Also, units which were joined by Prince Rupert had the Ferocious Charge rule which allowed them to re-roll missed attacks in every round of combat when they charge or counter-charge. This was used to good effect in the game. In fact, the cavalry action was continuous for the 5 turns we played. Not the least due to the Galloper rule of them having to countercharge if able to always have to make sweeping advances.
View from the center of the battle; Newcastle's Whitecoats in center facing Scots Covenanters. One thing the players learned midway through the game was to remember that the foot regiments were made up of 3 separate units: 1 pike and two shot, and that they don't have to stay in rigid line. Soon the players got the hang of this and would use the shot more effectively, and while staying within 6" of the pike unit could always attempt to form hedgehog formation if needed.
The Royalist right. Most of the foot regiments had a light or medium cannon attached to them which allowed fire support to be manhandled along with them. The large areas of rough hindered the advance of the allied army. Although later in the game, once the players realized they could move units around terrain in smaller individual units, it became less of an issue.
Bottom of Turn 2 with Fairfax leading his cavalry through the openings in the rough areas. Goring's Royalist cavalry preparing to charge into their flank.
Turn 3 with foot regiments in the center closing in for musket fire.
A view of the Allied foot battle line. Behind them, on Cromwell's Plump are their heavy artillery.
Prince Rupert's cavaliers charging into the flank of a unit of Parliamentarian musketeers.
The Royalist left with some of their foot forming hedgehog - one unit of musketeers, while another staying in battle line for more firepower. The redcoat foot is a unit of commanded shot with firelocks.
Scots Covenanter musketeers getting into close range.
Parliamentarian foot on the right giving traversing fire upon Goring's Royalist cavalry. The troops in green are a unit of commanded shot with firelocks.
Prince Rupert and Boye in the heat of the battle on their right flank.
View of the center of the battle with Scots Covenanters closing in on Royalists.
As it was the last turn of the game, a unit of Parliamentarian cuirassiers charged into Sir Thomas Tyldesley's Regiment, even after the latter successfully formed hedgehog. The muskets failed to cause any casualties with closing fire, and the hand to hand was a draw - even with the pikes doubling their combat dice and the cuirassiers losing any charge bonus. With most of the Royalists unit holding out behind their cover and the slow advance of the allied army, we called it a close win for the Royalists.

All in all a great first time experience with the Pike and Shotte rules. Looking forward to more games with the rules. Thanks as always for visiting and wishing you all the best.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Battle of Marston Moor Set Up

Set up for a Pike & Shotte Marston Moor game this Friday. The layout follows the overall terrain in a simplified way. The high ground on the Allied Parliamentarian - Scots Covenanters side represents Cromwell's Plump. This high ground allowed the allied army to view the dispositions of the Royalists. The hedges nearest the Royalists side represents ditches and hedges running the length of the battlefield.
The ever useful Hotz mats representing cultivated and plowed fields.
The Allied army arrayed with 9 foot regiments with artillery interspersed between, and cavalry troops on each wing. Commanders are the Earl of Manchester, the Alexander Leslie, the Earl of Leven, Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.
The Royalist army consisting of 7 foot regiments with artillery also interspersed between them, and cavalry troops on either wing. Royalist commanders are Prince Rupert, the Marquis of Newcastle, Lords Byron and Goring. King Charles may or may not appear on the battlefield.
"I will mark you well for that insult, sir. Be on your guard!"
Another view of the Allied army. The cavalry on their right wing led by Sir Thomas Fairfax.
The Royalist army; the cavalry on their left wing led by Lord Goring, who, according to his secretary, "...strangely loved the bottle, was much given to his pleasures and a great debauchee." He no doubt would not have gotten on well with Cromwell. Until the next post with the game's AAR - Tally Ho!

Sunday, February 20, 2022

ECW Pike & Shotte Muster Formation

Finished the main units for the ECW Pike & Shotte project, and with a game scheduled for this week figured they should be arrayed for a visual inventory. There are 16 pike and shot foot regiments, 11 troops of cavalry, 2 troops of dragoons, 3 units of commanded shot with firelocks and 19 cannon. Of these, 4 pike and shot units, 4 cavalry unit, the firelocks and several cannon were painted in 2020; the remainder were painted since the beginning of the year. Most of the command were also painted in 2020.

As I currently only have an 8x5' playing area max, it might get a little tight for maneuvering all of the units. I'll likely have to pick up another table to increase the area to either 12x5' or 10x6' - depending on how the tables are configured.
Took pictures of the figures from several angles as they probably won't be posed en masse like this again in the future.
The first game for these will be loosely based on Marston Moor - with King Charles being unhistorically present at the battle along with a unit of his Foot Guards and Horse.
In fact, as mentioned in earlier posts, many of these units weren't actually at this battle, but will be used in any case. This shouldn't pose much of an issue as many of the coat colors and unit standards are not fully documented or verified.
Plan to have the Parliamentarians get the first move, as they had at the actual battle, then it'll be all up for grabs. Also plan to have the Royalists have pretty much the same amount of units as the Parliamentarians - even though they were outnumbered historically.
Thanks again for visiting the blog and looking forward to getting these figures in their first battle - a post with pictures will follow.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Old Glory ECW Artillery

These are the last major units/figures for the ECW project. All of these were part of the deal from my buddy last month - he actually threw these in for free. I stripped them of the old paint and repainted them - possibly a bit too colorful.

Speaking of stripping the paint - I found out that Simple Green simply doesn't work anymore. They must've changed or weakened the formula. I ended up using some wood finish striper that I had on hand - Citristrip. That worked great - but only on metals as it will soften/melt plastic if left on too long.
The figures aren't too bad - and have a lot of variety - but the cannon themselves are really nice, IMO. I like the raised sculpting on some of the gun barrels, as well as the nicely detailed wheels.
The gun carriages being pretty colorful, I tried to mute the clothing of the crews. They should look okay when spaced apart with foot regiments. From what I understand, guns weren't usually grouped together like in later periods - although they might've been during sieges and such. They were also usually brought up onto the battlefield and left there to be manhandled during the battle. That is, they weren't limbered up and moved around once the battle commenced. To reflect this in Pike and Shotte, heavy artillery are immovable; medium guns can be manhandled 3" per turn; and light guns can make up to two 6" moves per turn. Only two crew per gun as I only had 30 figures; which allowed the bases to be smaller overall to take up less space on the gaming table.
My first Pike & Shotte game is scheduled for this coming Friday - so, hope it goes well and will post an AAR with pictures afterwards. Thanks again for dropping by and wishing you all the best!

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Warlord Games ECW Commanders

A few more commanders for the ECW project. From left to right: Lord Minimus, the Marquis of Newcastle and a Scots officer.

The figure used for Newcastle is actually sold as James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose; and the Scots officer is actually listed as Prince Maurice. The Scots fifer and Newcastle's standard bearer are Perry figures - left overs from the Scots foot command ordered previously.
The Lord Minimus figure is a single casting (horse & rider) and came with the To Kill a King
 supplement. That's a pet monkey he has on his left arm.
Lord Minimus was appointed a Captain of Horse by the Queen, and he liked to be known as Captain Jeffrey Hudson (his real name). He fled with the Queen to the Continent in 1643 and while in exile had killed another Royalist in duel. He was later captured by pirates and spent a quarter of a century as a slave in North Africa. He later died in England and buried in a paupers' grave. Whether he actually participated in any battle or not is not certain, however, the supplement has stats listed for his use.
Since I have a week or so before the Marston Moor game, I think I'll work on some of the Old Glory cannon that came along with the other figures from my buddy's sale. Until next time, wishing you all the best and thanks again for dropping by the blog.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Warlord Games ECW Dragoons - Mounted & Dismounted

Finished the last units for the ECW project. The ones in blue coats belong to Sir Henry Washington's regiment and the red coated ones are Colonel John Okey's regiment. One each for the Royalists and Parliamentarians. Both flags come with the Warlord Games set - two each for the mounted and dismounted troops.

As these fight as skirmish troops, most of the dismounted figures were based as singles. I used the larger two-figure bases for the standard bearer and leader figures since those might topple over more easily on a single base. The mounted figures were based in pairs and singles, for ease of movement as well as a more stable base for the standards.
Per the Pike and Shotte rules, they can only fire while dismounted, so the mounted guys firing are for show mostly; however, as harquebusiers in 30 Years War, I think they can fire while mounted.
Dragoons have a free mount and dismount move. As a charge reaction, if already dismounted, they can fire (after passing a command roll) and then remount and retire (evade) their basic 9" mounted distance. We'll see how much flavor they'll add, but I wanted to have as many bells and whistles for the players.

In fact, I've scheduled a game with a few of my buddies for later this month. I still have a couple of command figures to paint up, and maybe a few of the artillery (Old Glory pieces) that my buddy threw in with the deal. Although I don't think there was much artillery action at Marston Moor. Something like a few shots by the Parliamentarians before they rushed towards the unprepared Royalists.

Well, thanks again for stopping by and checking out the blog. Best wishes to you all.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

ECW Scots Covenanters Pike and Shot Unit - Warlord Games and Perry Figures

Finished the last pike and shot unit - a second Scots Covenanters unit with a mix of mostly Warlord Games plastics and a few Perry metals. Half of the pikemen and the command are Perrys. The two makers mix well - although I did try to raise the Perrys a bit during basing. The metals figures' bases are thinner than the plastic ones.

There are now a total of 16 Pike and Shotte units (4 were painted in 2020). These along with the cavalry units should be more than enough units for the usual 8 x 6' table playing area I have.
I'm also thinking of forming the musketeers in 3 stands per side when formed next to pikes. Not ideal, but a compromise as it takes up less frontage and also they were formed more in blocks historically; at least from period illustrations. Have them in 3 ranks with a 4 man front would looks best, but then it would be problematic when trying to form into hedgehog formation. Also, keeping them 4 per 40mm square allows them to be used as commanded shot more easily, I think.
We'll see how the formations will work best once I finally get a game or two in. This should be soon, as I only have the dragoons (both foot and mounted) to work on. I do want to have dragoons included in the inaugural game as they should add some flavor to it.
So much for now - thanks again for stopping by and wishing you all the best!

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Warlord Games ECW Cavalry Completed

Here are the 7 new units of cavalry, 3 units of Parliamentarians and 4 units of Royalist - including a unit of Cuirassiers. With the 4 units painted in 2020, there are now 11 units of cavalry; not counting the 2 Dragoon units still to be painted as they fight more as dismounted troops than cavalry.

Most of the flags are from downloads off the Warlord Games site. The one for the Cuirassiers is from the Warlord kit, and is a conjectural one for a Royalist Cuirassier unit.
The style of the period clothing, at least for rank and file, is pretty simple and paints up nicely. Specifically, there aren't any laces and buttons to worry about, as in later periods.
This range of figures from Warlord Games has become one of my favorites - for variety of troops and also ease of painting.
The clothing is colorful, but not complicated - so make for a nice look overall.
Next up are the Perry Scots Covenanters to finish up that unit - then on to the Dragoons. After those, there are a couple of character figures for leaders and also the artillery.

Well, thank you all very much for stopping by and checking out the blog and best wishes to you all.