Tuesday, 6 March 2018

ECW Target Date Review

Time for a "stock take" on the ECW mini's I've been wading through since November last year.
I'd set myself the ambitious goal of two playable 'armies' for use with Victory Without Quarter by the end of February (well actually my birthday at the end of the first week of March but let's not split hairs), and I'm pleased to say I've managed it!
There's been some compromises along the way, as well as a fair amount of midnight oil burned, but here's the evidence that enthusiasm can compensate for lack of talent (to a degree!!)

The complete muster,
I've included a 'baggage train' that will see service across all of the 17thC games. The wagons are removable from their bases to also act as terrain pieces / objectives etc.
The rest of the tally comprises:
Four Regiments of Foote - each 6 pike and twelve shot
One unit of Commanded Shot - 12 'Forlorn Hope' shot
Two squadrons of Dragoons - mounted and dismounted, each of 6 Dragoons plus dismounts
Nine squadrons of Horse - 7 squadrons of 6 'arquebusiers' and 2 squadrons of 'cuirassiers'
Artillery Trayne - 2 heavy and 1 light gun and crews
Two (temporary) C-in-C's - these 2 single figures will become 'Brigadiers', the multi based C-in-C's are currently on the painting table.

One of the (several) appeals the Victory Without Quarter rule have, is that there are no points values or army lists, so the rules work perfectly for any style of game or campaign you wish to play.
Obviously, these units have been assembled specifically for "mass battles", but while working on them, I took into consideration the 'Pikeman's Lament' small battle / large skirmish rules I intend using (they share mechanics with the 'Dragon Rampant' rules I'm familiar and happy with), so I simply painted up this stand of 6 pikes which can be added to the 'green regiment' above,
then combine the two 'blue units' of pike, remove all the 'subordinate' (those without officers and cornets) squadrons of horse, and finally take away the 'red regiment' pike to leave the muskets as Commanded Shot. and...........
......... I have enough units to pick various combinations of "companies" to begin playing The Pikeman's Lament!

In a surprising display of forward thinking, I also based a few of the mounted figures on single bases - there's no requirement to do this for either Victory Without Quarter, or Pikeman's Lament, but these guys will fit in OK for Witchfinder General skirmish games.

All of the bases are simply covered in a homebrew green texture paint, and I'll revisit them once I've made a final decision on just how I want them to look, and how to achieve it!

I intend adding to the collection over time, to increase the options of choice of troop types and army composition (as well as adding "local" regiments for the campaign), but from this starting point there's no rush and I'll do it without the pressure of a target date!

Apologies for the poor photography and the fact it's a bit of a boring post, but I wanted to mark the occasion and sadly it's been done while suffering 'sleep deprevation' - the key snapped off  in the ignition while we were up in Bradford last night. The RAC were called out at 10:30 and made arrived with a first response (a recovery wagon too small for the job and no tools!) at 03:30. He called for a larger recovery wagon (still no tools) which arrived at 0840 and dropped us off at our local garage just after 10am. A taxi got us home just before lunch and then we were on 'hot standby' to go back to collect the van as soon as repairs were completed so I could get it home and unloaded.
I've spent a little time googling the alternatives out there in advance of our RAC membership expiring!


  1. Despite your RAC shenanigans, Wargame Addict - that is shocking service - there's much to admire with your "ECW" army. It looks awesome imho :-)

    1. Thank you kindly Simon, I have to admit I'm quite pleased with them as a result of a 'speed painting' exercise and I'm looking forward to getting them into action :-)

  2. I'm sorry to hear of your vehicle problems and shocking service by the RAC. But, I have to agree with Simon, your ECW army looks most spiffing. Sadly, it still remains a period of our history that I know so little about.

    1. Thanks very much Bryan - we're being philosophical about the key snapping when it did. It was obviously going to happen at some time, and could quite easily have been when we DIDN'T have free time the day after to sort it out ;-)
      We SHOULD have been going over to Warlord Games to pick up my birthday present, but that's now going to be 'on the day' :-)

      I'm hoping my ECW posts will still be 'interesting' for anyone unfamiliar with the genre, and at the same time I'll try and weave some historical context into the tales, even though the campaign is set in a fictional region of the country (and of course the WfG side of it contains a "High Fantasy" element) ;-)

  3. What a nightmare experience with your van, hope you find a good alternative.
    The army looks great all layed out, and fantastic you achieved it in the time period you set yourself Greg, " WELL DONE ! "

    1. Many thanks Dave, at one point in the project I started drafting up a list of excuses for not finishing on time ;-)

    2. At least you didn't need to use them, you can always save them for future projects if needed ! LOL
      Hope you've had a great birthday

    3. Cheers Dave, I have had an awesome day! An element of which probably deserves a mention in my next post ;-)
      For now, I'm just rounding the evening off with my good friend Jim Beam and trying to catch up on a few blogs.
      Bottoms up my friend :-)

  4. The army looks brilliant Greg, good effort dude! What a shoddy service from the “Knights of the road”

    1. Cheers Andy, much appreciated mate :-)
      The RAC were crap, but as I've mentioned in an earlier comment we've found the positives - thanks to them leaving us stranded overnight, it meant the recovery guy could take us straight to the garage ;-)

  5. Hi Greg - sounds like a very trying time with the van. We have been with the AA for years and always having old cars have called them out quite a lot, 1 hour is the average turn out on maybe 7 or 8 calls. They are quite expensive and put the price up every year unless you challenge them but have been good.

    Well done with the ECW especially the horse, there seem to be quite a lot of them. Are you using the warlord plastics, if so what do you think to them? I'm trying to paint some horses at the moment and making a right mess of them, so hats off to you there.
    Hopefully you will post your campaign here, the ECW always seemed a perfect time and place to campaign in. There is a story that the boys from my old school stopped a unit of cavalry crossing the river way back then, so there's loads of potential for off the wall games.
    So combined with the zeds should be 2 posts a week in the future.
    Happy birthday for whenever, have a good day.

    1. Thanks John, we were with the AA until they hiked their prices for our size van :-( Definitely agree they gave a better service (faster response and more 'fixes' rather than just recovery), so they're in the hat as contenders :-)

      A bit of a reveal - apart from the wagons and light gun and crew, they'e ALL second hand ebay wins!
      The majority are Warlord plastics (including all of the horse), and because I was trying to do so many I did comment in a progress post that "mass assembling multi-part mini's was maddening" ;-)

      No complaints about quality except that a couple of the horse poses have VERY badly fitting joints (at the neck), and one of them has to have the alignment lugs cut off or the two halves just don't fit together.

      Definitely intend posting the campaign here, and you're absolutely right that once you start scratching the surface, you find plenty of 'unusual' encounters ripe for gaming!

      Yes! and three a week when the samurai (that you've made me revisit) get done - or maybe not ;-)
      Many thanks for the birthday wishes - I'm having a great day! :-)

  6. That;s quite a force you have now and having the figures based for 'multi-use' across genres is a great bonus and some good (lucky?) foresight.
    I've had experience like yours over the years with various break-down services, so you my sympathy for your own experience.

    1. It was a combination Joe ;-)
      I found some spare plastic bases that looked about the right size and when I found they were close enough, I had the light bulb moment.

      To add insult to injury, "Roadside & Recovery" doesn'r cover broken keys so we had to pay £185 for the recovery :-(
      Add the cost of the repair and I now possess an extremely expensive key !!