Monday, October 12, 2015

'The Smoke of Her Burning' & ECW Doodling

My good friend M J Logue's new English Civil War novel The Smoke of Her Burning is released today! She's holding a Facebook party this evening at:- The Review present: The Smoke of Her Burning by MJ Logue

...for those on the social media site; type the above in to take you there. There's fun and prizes, so head on over for a look.
Meanwhile, I'm noodling with various basing and formation options for an ECW army. I'm going to collect forces in 10mm to suit my current terrain, and I'm thinking in terms of early war, which is to say pre-New Model Army. The rules will probably be Victory without Quarter by Clarence Harrison.

With a few one inch square sections of card and a Sharpie pen I made up a profile of two regiments of foote, one Royalist (top) and one Parliamentarian (bottom). 'M' represents musketeers, 'P' pike, 'D' drummer, 'F' flag, 'O' officer. The early war Royalist foote regiments lacked equipment and had a preponderance of pikes to muskets. Parliament didn't have such trouble so typically had a 2:1 musket-pike ratio. I'll probably have a sergeant figure with halberd on two of the musketeer stands. It might work better to have the command figures on a separate base; I'll see.

I'm working to avoid any suggestion of 'sporty little battalions zipping all over the table,' as one rules critic said of a set of Napoleonic rules. The overall length of the regiment is six inches, plenty big enough for a modest sized table. At the moment this gives me an idea of what's possible.


Bluebear Jeff said...


If you are going to use the "Victory Without Quarter" rules, the actual number of figures on a stand doesn't really matter that much.

So, if (like me) you find yourself believing that the shot deployed in more open formation than the close-ordered pikemen, you might want to adjust your thoughts.

Now I am using a different set of rules for the ECW (while I like VWQ, my chief opponent does not). It uses square bases with a nominal four figures per base. What I did was to use three figures for shot and five for pike bases:

If you like the idea of this style of basing, you might want to change your six muskets to five (in alternating "M" and "W" configurations); and change your pike to three ranks (of 3,2,3) so that the pikes are more numerous.

But whether you like the look or not, I urge you to dig into the period and have fun.

Finally, as I believe I have mentioned before, the VWQ rules work very well as a solo game system.

In fact I fought three battles using them the first time I was on chemo for my cancer. But at the time I did not have any ECW figures . . . so I used some Renaissance figures and with the help of "online" generals who wrote orders from time-to-time (when requested). If you are interested in taking a look at these, then go here . . .

That is the link to the blog that covers all three battles. To start, go to November, 2012 and scroll down, then read forward:

While I did not have the energy for face-to-face gaming, I really enjoyed fighting out the Alpian Wars. Hopefully reading these posts will help give you an idea of how VWQ can flow.

Anyway, AJ, I hope that you have a lot of fun with the ECW . . . and I look forward to reading your posts.

-- Jeff

A J said...

Thank you, Jeff, I appreciate your thoughts on the subject and the links will be useful. So far what I have is a few ideas on basing etc. I like what I see of VWQ, especially the provision to fight solo, although I will probably adapt them somewhat.

I am also of the opinion musketeers fought in a more open formation than pikemen. Having fired a musket on several occasions during FIW re-enactment events I can appreciate the need to have some elbow room. That need would probably have been even greater given the use of rests by musketeers of the ECW period. I'll probably make the pike blocks denser.


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