The king raised the royal standard today, 22nd August 1642, in Nottingham castle and "Summoned all well affected people north of the River Trent to muster there", what better day to get my ECW campaign started?!
With curve balls aplenty to deal with, time has been VERY limited here at TWA Towers, but I'd earmarked today for a test drive of the "Pikemen's Lament" rules.
Chaotic scenes are witnessed across the East Midlands, as parties loyal to King or Parliament begin their initial moves to secure key locations for their cause. In the (fictional) Erewash Valley, the two major towns of Kenborough (parliamentarian) and Worringham (royalist) are polarised in their allegiances, and the struggle has begun for strategic control of the region.
The first job was to create a pair of rookie junior officers using the 'Background' and 'Traits' tables in the rules, so allow me to present, for King Charles.........
Ensign Gerald Castledine. A weasel of a man with little honour, much to the chagrin of his rich merchant father who paid for his officer rank and financed his troop of horse.
Being of a "sly nature", he may refuse any personal challenges without occurring any usual moral checks.
Ensign Henry Palmerston. The son of a priest and seemingly also blessed in some way, as he always seems to escape danger.
Having the 'Blessed' trait makes him invulnerable to "Lucky Blows".
Next, I raised two "companies" to suite the scenario, which was a variation of 'Mission C: The Kings War Chest' in the rulebook -
On hearing that King Charles had declared a state of war, the local parliamentary C-in-C acted swiftly to consolidate men and munitions. The Trained Bands were called to arms, and a young officer (Ensign Palmerston) was instructed to seize the weapons, powder and shot stored at Trewes castle - by force if necessary, and transport them to Kenborough.
His company of foot were bolstered by a troop of dragoons for the mission, and a squadron of the Kenborough Horse were also placed at his disposal to act as escort once the munitions had been brought out of the castle.
Taking advantage of the confused state of affairs at the garrison, Ensign Palmerston soon had the contents of the armoury loaded into a pair of carts and away at speed with the dragoons, his pike and shot moving slower in an attempt to "screen" the rear.
Having outpaced the foot, and misunderstanding their orders to rendezvous with the Kenborough Horse at the bridge, the dragoons called a halt by the river and watered their horses while they waited for everyone else!
The dragoons watering their nags
The "Attackers" deployed their entire force on the west edge of the table (having sallied out from the castle), and would move first each turn (no rolling for initiative)
Castledine's cavaliers lead the royalist advance
This could be very one sided!
Especially since the dragoons failed to activate!!
Both troops of Kenborough Horse and the pikemen led by Ensign Palmerston have arrived 'on time' but the musketeers failed to activate.
Castledine's troop was itself then charged and seen off by a unit of the Kenborough horse!
It looks like poor Gerald is heading for an early bath (in the river!)
Trouble ahead for young Gerald Castledine when he dries out and arrives back at Trews castle, and accolades await Henry Palmerston if he can get back to Kenborough with the wagons.
A thoroughly enjoyable test drive of the rules, and I now "get" how dragoons 'work' which seemed odd when I initially read the rulebook.
Looking at the game and the rules as I typed this AAR, I spotted a mistake I'd made regarding when and how troops react to losing in melee - well, the war has only just started and generally all rank and file participants (including your humble scribe) are new to this malarky!
Many thanks for visiting, reading, and putting up with the poor photo's! As ever your comments and questions are most welcome!