Saturday, 18 August 2018

English Civil War painting and rules

With the end in sight for the painting of my English Civil War (ECW) armies: 2 artillery, 3 cavalry and 4 infantry. I decided to purchase a few more figures for 2 commanded shot units from Hinds Figures Ltd who still produce the Hinchliffe range thank goodness.

These extra figures will delay me finishing the project by a couple of weeks. At present I am painting at a rate of 1 unit per week (slow and steady). The fact that I am happily gaming with the existing units I have painted makes the painting effort easier as each new unit completed soon gets recruited into the existing armies.

My house rules are starting to become more firm and I am now moving into the “rules tinkering” stage. As per usual the rules are aimed at playing a game with one hour and are inspired by One-hour Wargaming pike and shot rules. I have stuck with using D3 dice (1,1,2,2,3,3) for combat as I really like the concept of a unit’s combat outcome being treated as: below average, average or above average.
The arrival of cavalry
For the sequence of play I am trying to reflect the difficulty of organising movement for the army as a whole and not at an individual unit level. I did consider a DBA style player initiative points (PIP) approach initially, but in the end opted for the following approach.

At the start of each game turn both players roll a D6.

  • The player with the lowest score goes first and is able to activate half their units, rounding up any fractions.
  • The player with the highest score goes second and is able to activate all their units.
  • Whenever scores are drawn there is a lull in fighting and both players can only activate their commanders.

This mechanism creates opportunities for one side to activate some units twice and capitalise on a situation, or be at the disadvantage by going first a few turns in a row. This second point lead to an optional rule whereby players are allowed to re-roll their turn dice. The number of time they could do this during a game would determined by their commanders ability. The greater then ability the greater number of times they can re-roll.

I will cover the other rules over the next few posts as the rules firm up.

A grid-based game
In the photos you will notice I have been playing games using both a grid and free movement. Although my leaning is currently towards using a gridded approach for the ECW period.


  1. The potential for double activation should bring some nuance to play. I think Hinds must be doing well from their Hinchliffe range at the moment, there just seems to be some much interest about for the figures.

    1. The Hinchliffe models have some depth to their detail which helps me with my painting. And the service was very quick.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you - mostly home made terrain except for many of the trees.

  3. Glad I popped over to your blog - it seems you're thinking about rules along similar lines to me. That activation rule is simple but clever!

  4. Thank you. It may be an age thing that I am returning to simpler rules. Also One Hour Wargaming captured my imagination and got me back into historical gaming and writing house rules.