Monday, June 22, 2020

Stoke Lane ECW skirmish battle

More details are coming to light on what needs to be available for the coming Stoke Lane battle.

William Waller's Brigade of Horse is on the attack and Waller's own Regiment is leading the way with six sections and Waller's Dragoons with five sections.

I have set up 10 miniature models as a Dragoon 'section' and the two Majors as 'heroes' from the 1991 Origins Award winning Star Wars Miniatures Battles system.

Major Francis Dowet commands the 'horse' and this attack
The cards are designed to be folded over and put into a thick card protector so that game data can be recorded using grease pencils or other wipe off markers.

Major Carr commands the Dragoons
I have more of the 'teddy bear fur' to do up now for these troops before the game and to organize some more photo sessions, for now I have the first four of the five troops of Dragoons done.

Then I have also done up the first of the Royalist cards in preparation for Rob's contribution of more photos of the 'dismounted' troops for use in the game.

Sergeant Major General Sir James Hamilton was in command of the green troopers of his own Regiment of Horse
Lieutenant Colonel Lewis Carre was the General's second-in-command at Stoke Lane
More photos and more preparations to make yet for this major skirmish game coming in just over a fort-nite.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

ECW Game Preparation for Stoke Lane

When Rob and I started down this campaign battles road for the War in the West country of the English Civil War, we only took a glance at the battles and figured we had the miniatures we needed to run the battles (possibly with a few mix'n'match from our sets or making a few new ones) then I read Stoke Lane battle in detail.

The battle is set at an almost skirmish level with 200 +/- dragoons and horsemen per side.

The scenario book broke it down to 1:2 ratio, yet even still it will be a challenge to come up with that many mounted and dismounted dragoons.  So the numbers will still be under consideration.

Also, Rob did not have any rule sets for such a skirmish, and I had always wanted to adapt the 1991 origins award winning Star Wars Miniatures Battles to a different era from the sci-fi world it was made for.  So the plan was now set.

Here we are with 20 days to go until the planned battle and my musings and preparations are coming down to something more concrete.

I have liked the effect that the pulp games have had with our card systems to help control things and did not want to use the original b&w 'worksheet' version of things that came with SWMB (Star Wars Miniatures Battles) as the imagery that I could use to help identify troops on the battlefield is of great value I have found.

Here is my first draft of a control card for a 'sleeve' of shot for a pike&shot unit.

The concept is to print out the card and then fold it in half, slipping it into a rigid card sleeve for easy use at the table.

More detailed cards are planned for the Dragoons (mounted and dismounted) and the 'hero' leaders that the units will have for the tabletop game.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Scottish Armies for ECW

Knowing that there was no way to complete the tale of the English Civil War, or War of the Three Kingdoms, without including the Scottish, I had set the task to create a force that could be used as purely Covenant, or mixed  or as a Montrose force (as a Scots/Irish internal) for use as tabletop troops in action in the north of England, Marston Moor is not possible without the inclusion of Scots.

So here are some shots of the recently (last week) completed Scots forces.

Montrose (foreground left) and Irish (background right)

Montrose again, all the bases are in the tan teddy bar fur setup

For some reason (likely operator error) the Irish did not come out in focus.

I then laid out the Covenantor forces that I had already completed last month.

Now the whole Scottish foot can appear at one time.

all 8 Scots Pike & Shot formations - Covenant to the right foreground

Covenant are in the yellow grass teddy bear fur

There may be more battles using the yellow fur, yet I have plans to replace it as they brown looks better

The Covenant forces include chanters and pipers as musicians

So I also did up some single shots of the regiments (for potential use in computer game setups) and the Irish stood still long enough to be captured on the camera.

Irish Pike & Shotte unit

Irish Pike & Shotte unit
Now I have the basics to handle the whole of the War of the Three Kingdoms period, 1642-1660.

The aim is to generate eight more horse troops of border horse, and the three kingdoms will be all set.

Beyond that are general plans for a French 'conjectural' invasion force which would have come from Lorraine in France.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

High Tech interlude

The Command and Conquer and Red Alert re-release on Steam was a big deal for our family.

I had the opportunity to beta test the game in 1995 while in Winnipeg and renting a room (and a closet full of computers - hosting a BBS) to a connected game player.  When we combined my basic military knowledge to the game inputs - BAM - a powerhouse was discovered.

We must have played for hours on that first set up, then after the release we figured out how to hack the connection of the computers via the printer hub and I joined the world of LAN parties.

Well, two of my older boys did get to experience the original game (before Windows operation systems changed too much and the game did not work any more).  Now though we have been able to head-to-head game in the old way and the fun has returned.

Along with the C&C my middle son has re-introduced me to Star Wars, Empire at War, with some amazing new mods that bring a new visual life to the game.

Needless to say this time usage has dropped my painting efforts, yet it has been great to connect this way with all three boys.  We will need to get another C&C copy for Steam, as we have a full 4 way game potential in just the house now.

Monday, June 15, 2020

D3 ECW games online

Many thanks to Jeffrey for coming online and playing as my opponent in two games of the D3 ECW rules from Grid Based, but not always.

We used the system put forward by Grid Based, with the following addendum:

Trotter horse *may not* initiate close combat, but may continue any close combat initiated by others.
Trotter horse may initiate close combat only if  'out of ammunition'

in all cases Trotter horse fights at a d3-1 in close combat
This change made, we entered into combat.

first battle, the Royalists had the 'attack' position - I was commanding the Royalists for the first time

the Royalists had purple 'paper' under them

Parliament had orange 'paper' under them

the colors idea came after the last Napoleonic game where the units got close and we had troubles telling them apart with the green grass paper ... again the pebbles denote hill slopes, the outer limit and the 'ridge line' or center 'top' of the hill

after a few turns I was in trouble with too many units far apart and taking damage from multiple shooters

at least the units can all take a few hits and not just vanish instantly (each can take 6 hits)

the artillery is sometimes more of a hindrance than a help - certainly it cost me in this battle as I was unable to keep it safe from being charged ... on contact with close combat artillery is eliminated

Parliament took that hill and held it

Royalists attempted to make a stand on the other little hill

just not able to make the same level of fire

Parliament kept their firing capacity (no 3's rolled in shooting)

in the end a melee was needed to resolve the situation, Royalists came up short

No doubt it was the Parliament that won the first match (though it was 3-3 tie at one point) as the Royalists just never collected together
Time enough for a second game and to watch even closer on the moves and command 'pips' from the commanders.

This time Parliament was to be 'attacker'

even using random die to determine where we came from we ended up fighting from the same sides as before

Royalist was more embedded in woods

Parliament was even more spread out on the hill

in progress, Royalists had hit the left of Parliament with horse, while Parliament had shot the Royalist left

scoring damage, but in so doing rolling a '3' - meaning no powder left and the pike & shot must go to close combat

horse battle on the hill flank

Royalist foot move hard behind the Horse

Royalist Lord General had to keep in motion to keep the most 'pips' available for command

eventually the battle began a counter-clockwise movement as the Royalist Gallopers shredded the Parliamentary Trotters

artillery got in a couple of shots, yet again were mostly useless

luckily (for Royalists) not so lucky for Parliament, their foot ended up all 'out of powder'

this meant a charge was inevitable

a charge which would not work against solid pike & shot which could fall back and shoot up at 2:1 the Parliament troops that were out of powder

at the end all remaining horse formations for both sides 2 Gallopers for Royalists and 1 Trotter (of the 4 started with) for Parliament were at 6 'hits' and just barely existing - Royalists won this battle, though again at one point it was 2-2.
With the small adjustment for Trotters , this ECW game system plays like a DBA for English Civil War and I can certainly see myself using it to tell tales of the War between the Kingdoms.

Thank you again Jeffrey!