This Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited to join a select group of 28mm ECW gamers at the Community Centre off Dover Drive in Ellesmere Port. The event was organised by Aiden, who supplied a large slice of the troops and scenery, while Michael, Dennis and John brought along the remainder of the forces involved. The table was set up with an impassable river along the eastern edge (River Fowey?), with a fortified village on the western flank. Us Royalists entered from the northern table edge, while the treacherous Parliamentarians deployed along the centre of the table. The Parliamentarians aimed to exit their infantry off the southern table edge, representing them making it onto boats in Fowey and getting back to safety, while their horse aimed to get off the northern table edge by breaking through Royalist lines, with a view to riding north to Plymouth as fast as possible. The game was broken up with a series of event cards, which Aiden played whenever he felt things needed livening up. We played using Warlord Games Pike and Shotte.
Setting up, looking east with Royalists on the left and Parliamentarians on the right. Dennis (Royalist) is placing his gleaming infantry, with little to indicate the massed hordes of extra shiny cavalry he has waiting to the rear. John (Parliament) is frantically garrisoning the village and fortifying it with anything he can lay his hands on.
The game ebbed and flowed nicely. Early Parliamentarian efforts to charge cuirassiers into the Royalist centre came to naught when they were repulsed, although this pinned one of my battalia of foot into a hedgehog from which they couldn't escape for most of the battle. Having failed to get the horse out, the Parliamentarians tried, with varying success, to withdraw to the south. In response, the Royalists signalled a general advance with Dennis' infantry storming the fortified village to the west, Mike and I taking on the centre (Dave and Aiden) and Chris keeping the east occupied and putting pressure on the small village at that end. Ammunition was in short supply, each time a unit fired a card from a deck of 54 cards was removed. These cards were placed in table in carts of buildings, which acted as arsenals for the armies. In trying to move one of the carts off table, Aiden threw a double 6, resulting in a colossal explosion, destroying almost half of the Parliamentarian arsenal. At the same time, a thick fog decended, reducing visibility to 12", greatly restricting the ability of artillery to support. The ebb and flow of battle dwindled the remaining Parliamentarian ammunition supply to zero, just as a card was drawn which suggested reinforcements had arrived in Fowey and that they needed now to hold on and secure the field of battle. Simultaneously, Royalist cavalry and infantry arrived on the western flank and attempted to roll up the Parliamentarian flank and storm the remnants of the defenders in the fortified village, respectively. The end came, by mutual agreement at the point where the Royalists had achieved a minor victory through destroying more units than had managed to exit the table prior to the change in battle plans.
Dennis' cavalry (commanded by Chris) flowing around the rear of the fortified village in the west.
All in all a fun game and day out, played with a friendly bunch of gamers. I'm going to have to add a 28mm ECW battalia to my collection to keep my end up so to speak. Thanks to all involved, especially Aiden for the organising.
Thanks too for looking.