Sunday, 16 September 2018

Beginning the ECW Campaign

Yesterday I finished painting my final English Civil War (ECW) unit. An elite unit of pike made up of the remaining unpainted figures I had available. Hazzah!

Elite pike - the last unit to be painted
Full of enthusiasm it was time to start the ECW campaign. Knowing the end of painting was insight, I had been doing a bit more preparation and reading for the campaign. One site, where I found a simple ECW campaign was the Solitary Wargamer, this provided some ideas on how to start the campaign in 1642.

Start of the campaign and the contest begins in the Yorkshire region.
The campaign starts in 1642 with Parliament in London controlling the Thames Valley region and Royalists the North Midland region, where the King has been recruiting. There will be a series of small battles played as each of the remaining regions are fought over as recruiting begins in earnest. Each side gets to contest any empty region in turns. A victory on the tabletop will give them control.

The rules for contesting a region are:

  1. Taking turns players pick a region which has not been contested.
  2. Both sides dice for the order of battle which are influenced by any adjacent controlled regions (see below).
  3. The winner of the battle gains control of the region.
  4. This process continues until all regions are controlled and the campaign can move on to the year 1643.

The orders of battle are decided using the following steps for games:

  • Cavalry = D3+2
  • Infantry = D3+2
  • Dragoons or Commanded Shot = D3
  • Artillery and elite units = D3-1 (elite units for Parliamentarian forces are Lobsters and Royalists forces are elite pike).

When dicing for the order of battle, a side can re-roll a D3 score for each adjacent controlled region. The re-rolled score stands. For example, a side controlling 3 adjacent regions can take the opportunity to re-roll 3 times and a category (infantry, cavalry, etc) can be re-rolled more than once.

I still have to write up my notes on campaign rules for the years 1643 onwards. This may appear a bit haphazard on my part, but the whole ECW period seems to be a rather haphazard affair.

A game in progress
Cavalry engage
Infantry units bide their time.
One of the purposes of starting this campaign is to provide a background for games where I can test out my house D3 ECW Rules based upon One Hour Wargaming Pike and Shot rules. I will post the current version of the rules in the next couple of weeks.


  1. I'm looking forward to seeing how this works out; that force generation system looks rather elegant.

    1. Thank you. It will be interesting to see how the force generator works for the initial series of games. The D3 dice limit the extremes of luck, but I hope will provide some unbalanced forces.

  2. Me too!This really is tempting me to invest in some small armies...

    1. Armies of 100-150 figures seem to work for me. I can sustain my painting effort over 6 months to complete them all.

  3. Interesting mechanism for contesting control by region. In later years, will controlled regions be able to become contested? This basic mechanism reminds me of the board game Condotierre.

    1. Once all the regions are controlled. The campaign focus will move to marching armies with a national focus, which will need to be paid to remain effective in the field.

  4. I look forward to seeing how this develops and I fully plan to steal, I mean, leverage, some of your campaign mechanics. Good luck!

    1. Many thanks, hopefully there are some mechanisms you can reuse.