Sunday, 6 January 2019

ECW Campaign 1643 game report

To open the campaign of 1643 Royalist forces recruited an army and marched on the West Midlands. Parliament diverted their army to meet this threat and an opening battle occurred at the town of Pershore.

The armies sighted each other in the afternoon and deployed. From a gaming view point the Royalists, having the smaller force, were allowed to deploy on their tabletop side of choice. Placing half their units before Parliament deployed all their units on the opposing side. The remaining Royalist forces are deployed and they will get to go first in the turns and adjust their positions.

Opening positions
Neither army seemed to be in a hurry, so it was late afternoon when Parliament attempted manoeuvres. The river was deemed fordable along its whole length by all units. Cavalry could cross unimpeded with a 6 inch move, while foot could cross but would take 1 hit. There was one bridge near the Abbey where infantry could cross without cost.

Tabletop setup based upon the terrain cards (see previous post) 
Prior to the game both sides had drawn a change card. The Royalists were having issues with their leadership (a bit of rivalry perhaps?) And would reduce their turn activations by one. While it was the opposite case with Parliament's army who had an experienced commander. This increased their activations by one each turn.

The smaller Royalist force chose the tabletop side and deployed. 
Parliament deployed with all their cavalry on their right wing.
Royalist forces watch as Parliament prepare to launch an attack late in the day.
A quick note on the use of time in the game. This is something I am playing around with during this year of the campaign. As the rules are a variation of One Hour Wargaming, a game does not take more than 15 turns. However, the game can be limited down to 7 turns due to weather and season of a year. For example: an overcast day in winter can be limited to 7 turns, while a sunny summers day can be as many as 15 turns. A game's turns are further reduced, up to a maximum of 6 by the time of day armies encounter each other.

The lateness of the day has reduced this game to 5 turns. On to the game report...

Dragoons harass Parliament infantry as they cross the bridge.
Royalist cavalry move up to charge Parliament's cavalry as they cross the fordable river.
A surprise advance by Royalist forces places Parliament infantry under pressure as they cross the bridge to avoid taking any hits by fording the river.
A cavalry melee begins as Royalist cavalry try and drive their more numerous opponents back across the river.
At the Abbey bridge Parliament forces retire back across the river after suffering casualties and one eliminated unit.
Royalist cavalry are eliminated by the larger Parliamentarian forces who were able to envelop their flank. Royalist infantry who were slow in moving up were able to inflict some payback with musketry. The slowness in response was partly added to by the reduction in activations due to their chance card.

So as darkness closed in. The battle ends with Parliament having secured a position across the river on the Royalist left flank. With limited reserve cavalry Royalist forces decided to stay put for fear of having the army routed by roaming Parliamentarian cavalry.

Losses for this brief encounter are:

  • Parliament - 1 infantry and 1 cavalry unit
  • Royalist - 3 cavalry units

Both armies now redeploy using their existing unit positions. All remaining units reorganised (removing any hits) and are resupplied with ammunition.

A smaller Parliamentarian force hold the Abbey bridge as most of the army has been redeployed across the river on the right flank.
Royalist reposition to protect their left flank and keep any remaining cavalry in reserve. 
Parliament's right flank safely moved their infantry across the river under the cover of darkness.
The existing chance cards will remain in effect for the second day. But as this is almost another campaign game, both sides will draw another chance card. (A last minute decision on my part to mix things up a bit.)

  • Royalists will be able to resupply one of their "out of ammo" units during the game. 
  • Parliament's chance card is not really suitable for day 2, but let us assume their cavalry were not resupplied overnight and will have to revert to being gallopers (rather than trotters) and use the charge. 

So what will day two bring?


  1. The Royalists came out the worse on day one. With a smaller force, they cannot afford a battle of attrition. My money is on Parliament for the victory.

    1. Even with their good defensive position it will be a hard task to gain any victory.

  2. Very good, when I first read that you had dropped the game to 5 turns, I thought it would not give enough time to cause significant casualties ... but what a surprise.

    1. While most unit vs unit engagements are over in 3-5 turns, it was still a bit of a surprise how quickly the eliminated units mounted up in those few turns.

  3. Another great game, the ideas for limited turns due to time of day and conditions is very clever.

    1. During the campaign I will be trying to introduce both time and weather into the rules. Both based on ideas from various wargaming books and rules.

  4. The Royalist cavalry managed to disappoint yet again, although they can protest that they were outnumbered. The forces of the King will need a lot of luck to pull a win out of this one, I think!

    1. Where is Prince Rupert when you need him! They still have a strong central defensive position and Parliamentary forces are spread out which creates command activation difficulties.