Wednesday, 19 December 2018

ECW Campaign rules for 1643

It has been a few weeks since I have done anything with my English Civil War campaign. The WW2 Western Desert project has been consuming my time of late. So it is time to revisit the ECW campaign which is moving into 1643. The first year, 1642, had both sides battling to control as many regions as possible.

The campaign map ready for the start of 1643

The campaign rules for the remaining years now change in an attempt to reflect the marching armies fighting out battles between the months of March to November. The number of battles fought will vary and will also be influenced by chance cards which are draw by each side before a battle commences.

The first stage of a campaign year is to decide which side will strike the first blow. This is done by both sides rolling a D6 and adding to it the number of regions they control. The side with the highest score will make the first campaign move (re-roll any draws). From then on campaign moves alternate between sides.

The next step is to determine which month the battle is to be fought. Roll a D3 and add to the current month starting the year in February. For example, a D3 score of 2 will have the first battle fought in April. This continues for each campaign move until the month selected is December, when the campaigning for the year stops. This approach means the number of battles will vary between years and the month will influence the available daylight hours and weather for the battle to be fought.

The side making a campaign move may strike at any enemy held region adjacent to two friendly controlled regions. (If for whatever reason this situation does not exist, they must pass on the opportunity to strike.)

When preparing for a battle, each side draws one or two chance cards. I have yet to decide if it is one of two, I am quite tempted to have two cards drawn if a battle is in the months May through to September. These cards will result in:

  • A re-roll when recruiting for the current battle
  • An extra unit being selected (normally a specified unit type) for the current battle
  • A re-roll when recruiting for all battles in the remaining campaign year
  • A loss of a unit or a delay in arrival of a unit(s)
  • Or have an impact on the game (e.g. commanders ability, ammunition, etc)
Each side, Parliament and Royalist, has their own pack of chance cards.

A quickly created example of a chance card

Finally, sides determine the order of battle of their marching army in a similar way to the previous campaign year. However, rather than being influenced by the number of adjacent controlled regions, it is the chance cards that assist (or not) in calculating unit numbers.

  • Cavalry = 2 + D3 score (re-rolls allowed for chance cards)
  • Infantry = 2 + D3 score (re-rolls allowed for chance cards)
  • Dragoons/Commanded Shot = D3 score (re-rolls allowed for chance cards)
  • Artillery/Special units = D3-1 score (re-rolls allowed for chance cards)

After the numbers are determined remove any units specified by change cards. Then let the game begin!


  1. Very good, will the drawn card force a re-roll or is it for the player to choose whether to re-roll or not?

    1. It is the players choice. Normally with the 4 D3 rolls a 1 turns up either on one of the unit types and the player can re-roll.

  2. So having won more territories doesn't give a bonus when raising an army but just means that the King can lose more provinces before being knocked out?

    Looks like each side has only 2 possible targets at the start of the campaign season. Should be an interesting year.

    1. For the year 1643 loss of territories does not have a influence in the game, but will be a determining factor in the victory conditions in 1646.

  3. "The side making a campaign move may strike at any enemy held region adjacent to two friendly controlled regions."

    So it's impossible to attack Cornwall then?

    1. Good one, I didn't pick that when writing up the rules last night. There will be a new rule saying except Cornwall. Many thanks.

    2. Maybe simply require that you can attack any area, but that the force compositions are affected by the relative ownership of the adjacent areas?

    3. Yes, like the approach. Many thanks.

  4. Nice campaign ideas here. I might borrow some. I can see utility for Great Italian Wars, 80 Years War, and 30 Years War.