Sunday, 19 March 2017

Battle Report: The Civil Wars In Scotland

Yours truly, doing some experimental archeology...
Some of you may recall the 6mm American Civil War rules I wrote - detailed rules for regimental-level combat, with a focus on period battlefield tactics and drill.  We used these to refight every battle in which the 4th Texas fought. Well, I've now done the same for the British Civil Wars, using my 6mm Baccus figures.

Warre Without An Enemie is a tactical game where you command a body of pike and shot, supported by some cavalry and skirmishers.  You need to get all the different types of troops to work together effectively, in particular your musketeers and pikemen.  The rules revolve around morale and ground - casualties are almost an afterthought.  Your men will start to fragment long before they all die.



To playtest the rules - which are very similar to the ACW version, with suitable tweaks for things like pikes, cavalry and matchlock muskets - I went to the sangar with Mike to playtest the rules.  It was a really fun game, and a Sunday afternoon spent with bacon butties, coffee and general good humour reminded me what good wargaming is all about.

As with all my 'battle reports', I won't try and report every dice roll - just some annotated pictures which should give you a feel for how it all went.

A regiment of New Model pike and shot.  These are slow units, but powerful in close combat.
The New Model force drawn up.  A small body of commanded shot is on the flank, closest to the camera.  These aren't as vulnerable to cavalry as you might think, particularly if they are in good cover like some woods.
Some rapacious Scots to oppose them!  In this scenario, the Scots have more cavalry, which is higher-quality, but their infantry are composed mostly of levvies and are not that dependable.
The battlefield.  To make it as realistic as possible, it's full of fields which will impede movement and prevent cavalry from operating at full effectiveness.
I switched one of my P&S units to column to manoeuvre through some woods.
The very formidable New Model Army!
I dispatch some Lancers to the flank to guard against a sneak attack, but pretty quickly they start taking fire from the NMA guns, and I have to bring them back over the river and take cover, allowing me to redress the ranks.
The NMA having some trouble over here; their commander shot are becoming disordered by trying to manoeuvre through woodlands.  They'll need to spend a turn redressing the ranks before they can fight at full effectiveness.
Methinks a push of pike is in the offing!
A vicious fight errupts for the village.  The Scots get there first, but the NMA troops are exhausted and unsupported after driving them out the houses.  They have no choice but to retreat - the various morale levels give each unit a distance.  If there are any enemies within this distance at the start of the turn, they've got no choice but to back off.
I unforgivably forgot to get any pictures of the pike push itself.  But thanks to being slightly less tired, and having their flanks secure, the Scots perservere and drive the NMA off.  This game rewards the careful husbanding of reserves - after winning a pike push, these Scots are in no shape to chase off the enemy.  Thankfully, I have some nearby cavalry who I can push up to finish the job.
A nice cinematic shot of some Scottish lancers hiding behind some trees!
To be fair to Mike, this was only a playtest and his first game to boot, so it wasn't entirely fair.  We tweaked the rules as we went along as well, so the Scottish victory is certainly not the result of better generalship on my side!

All went well, I think.  Mike actually lost comparitively few troops, and even fewer were killed on my side.  I was just lucky to keep winning initiative rolls, and my cavalry were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to drive the enemy off.  An excellent game, and a fantastic chance to show off my newly-painted 6mm stuff.

Hope you enjoyed this!

4 comments:

  1. Great looking game, good stuff!

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  2. Really Ed, you should be publishing and making monies from all of these rules sets you keep coming up with.

    Another post I enjoyed. Your 6mm collection is impressive but tour scenery wins it for sure!

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    1. Ah, you and your mind reading... I'm currently writing the 2mm rules we use up for publication. Next post will reveal all...)

      Thanks, yes the ability to pool all our little bits of scenery into one location really makes a difference.

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