Friday, November 16, 2012

Portable Wargaming The Storming of Brentford

I have another blog, dedicated to the English Civil War , Forlorn Hope .
Last night I put up a battle report on trying to recreate the Storming of Brentford, using my adaptation of the Portable Wargame. I found that cavalry did not have the impact that I though it should, so made a couple of modifications. This afternoon, I re-played the scenario, and found the results much more to my expectations.

To summarize, Cavalry and lobsters are now 3 strength points(formerly 2) and both get an additional dice pip to NOT be hit in Close Combat.

I also tried and liked a rule suggested to me by Arthur: Cavalry that has no enemy in movement range, and no one between themselves and the enemy start line, must roll on the hit Results table to check morale.  A roll causing a casualty will compel them to move off the enemy's baseline, looking for the baggage train. They are out of the game, but do not count as Unit;s lost.  A "retreat" result represents the Unit reforming after their charge.

I will post in "Forlorn Hope" every Thursday. I welcome comments and discussion, both of Wargaming and the history of the English Civil War.


  1. Ooh. I like the chase the baggage train rule.

    DBM used to have a similar rule forcing troops to go after opponents' camps. But you could always assert control over those troops if your command rolls gave you enough PIPs.

    One thing, and I admit I don't know enough about the ECW, but should it be 'any enemy' or 'any enemy mounted'? What I recall of these incidents was the cavalry defeating enemy cavalry and chasing them off the battlefield and ignoring the enemy foot. But again, that's just some vague memories from my readings from 25 years ago when I took a 'History of the English Civil War & Restoration' from a Professor who thought military history was useless.

  2. Quite often, when cavalry was on the flanks, there might be no formed infantry between victorious cavalry and the baggage. Brentford was a strange case, in that one side was predominately mounted, and the other had only foote.

    Playing ECW and Thirty Years War with Bill Protz's "Wargamer's Guide to the English Civil War" rules, I have had more anguish at seeing valuable cavalry going berserk than any mortal should have to endure.

    Maybe another optional rule could require a test for cavalry to charge anyone other than an in range mounted opponent.

    BTW, are all Renaissance history professors blissfully unaware that there were a huge number of highly game-able wars being fought in the period they teach? We spent five minutes on john Ziska and the Hussites
    and spent absolutely no time on the military aspects of The Italian Wars, ECW or TYW. I wanted a refund on the course.

  3. Hi Steve,
    Coming from other rules, especially about ancient period, I have a little bit confused about the right use of the commander unit. For example according the musket rules in the portable wargame the commander is considered as another full unit (I supose) as in DBA for example. But in your ECW version you say that the commander may stay in the same grid area (does it mean that it's not like the other units?) and you don't mention anything about its capabilities in movement, close combat or firing. In this case how can your enemie hit it?
    Well these are some of my thoughts, so far :)
    Thanks in advance and Best Regards

  4. Hi Carles,
    That is one of the reasons this is a DRAFT, not a finished product. I need people to catch things I missed! Thanks you for finding something I THOUGHT was in writing.
    My first trial runs, I used Commanders as a regular Unit, in their own square. My second run, I used them as in Bob's BBPW. I just forgot to put it in writing. I will correct the 2nd Draft and get it posted Thursday.

    At this point. I am moving Commanders like cavalry. They add one to the Close Combat roll to Not be hit, and if the Unit they are with is hit, they roll for results as well. They can not initiate Close Combat on their own.

    Again, thanks for catching my glaring mistake. Good playtesters are invaluable!

  5. Hi Steve,
    Are you considering to include the alternative close combat mechanisms in your ECW rules? I am very interested how this alternative sistem could fit in the rules or what do yo think about it or if this new mechanisms works better for modern periods than, for example, XVII century o even earlier due to the different types of troops involved in the battles.
    Thanks again for your time

  6. Hi, Carles,
    I AM going to try out the alternative version sometime in the next two weeks. I am also going to try some of the mixed musket/pike organizations we have discussed here. My first test of both will be a re-fight of Marston Moor.

    I'm a little behind schedule on this blog and Forlorn hope due to re-modelling the kitchen, but GOOD NEWS!, we have finished spackling, dry-wall,sanding and priming. Tonight, WE PAINT!
    Thanks for your patience and support!