EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Friday, October 12, 2018

A Cabin Divided

The last miniatures game from last week saw Paul's old Minifig ECW troops take the field. The ECW has never quite been one of my "periods" though I have on occasion read a bit on campaigns and battles and painted troops in 15mm, 25mm and 54mm and played the occasional game with mostly other people's armies.

Note on images: The bright, clear, pictures are Rob's, the dark, fuzzy ones are mine.
My handful of Minifig Scots took a vote and marched off to join Paul's Scottish army. Here they are spearheading the counterattack.

None the less, when Paul recovered his old ECW armies along with a horde of Scots to which I added my own handful, we needed some rules so I did a one pager last Spring and we used a slightly improved version of those. Like most one pager's they are woefully inadequate for "accurate simulation" but provided a decisive game in a few hours with enough high level period flavour  for my superficial knowledge.
They are available here: Ross's One Page ECW.
The battle begins.  
The scenario was inspired by an historical one but inspired by is as close as it gets. There was no attempt to recreate any historical action. 

The Royalist army under Paul and Mike had an extra cavalry unit, one of which was Elite, all of which were "shock" cavalry with a charge bonus but lower staying power. 

The Allied army under Rob and Anthony had an extra Infantry unit, an Elite unit of Scots pike and shot as fate would have it (Well I painted them 40+ years ago and they're carrying my clan badge and battle cry aren't they - no prejudice involved!), as well as a unit of Cuirassiers.
Another shot as the game gets under way.
Parliament was allowed to send a handful of units to occupy the hill in the middle of the table before the battle began. Victory would go to the side which managed to break the enemy army's morale before night fall in 15 turns.

We were a little short of English cavalry so these bareheaded Scots were deemed sufficiently Cavalier to fight for the King.

Parliamentary foot, disordered by heavy casualties and 2 hits from destruction.
The battle began with an exchange of artillery fire followed by a lengthy period of musketry while the cavalry supported by dragoons and detached shot and Highlanders probed on the flanks and tried to get the enemy off balance or mislead him.

The climax approaches!
At last Parliament had enough of an advantage in the infantry fight to pull back their hardest hit unit, replace it with a fresh reserve and launch an all out assault.

Casualties were heavy on both sides and the Elite Scots looked about to be overwhelmed and flanked.

Finally the Royalists brought on their Elite cavalry reserve  and launched an all out cavalry attack on the right.

But........ those old Scots are tough and handfuls of 1's and 2's won't over awe Roundhead cavalry, though they were amazed at how many such dice the Royalists could throw.  There were a lot of severely battered allied units at the end but even more broken Royalist ones.
The end of the game or near it. Rob is behind the camera, that's Anthony on the left, 3 victories on his first visit to the Maritimes, Paul, the eldest, is standing, Mike is seated behind the remnants of his cavalry and then there's the old geezer who wandered in and kept telling people what they could and couldn't do. 


  1. I blame Mike! If he had just managed to roll "average" dice he could have swept the Parliamentarians from the right flank. But nooo, he specialized in 1s and 2s throughout the battle. :) :)

    1. This sort of blaming other commanders is just why the Royalists lost! :)

  2. Thanks again to Ross for joining us and providing the necessary direction to keep the game moving on the straight and narrow. Thanks to Mike for his contribution of ones and twos that helped bring about a Roundhead victory. A very enjoyable morning in the country.

    1. The timing of your attack was, as usual, spot on and I think had more effect than Mike's die rolls though Anthony's burst of 5's and 6's in thta cavalry melee didn't hurt!

  3. Great looking game,those Minifigs are splendid.

  4. Looking good there Ross, and the game too! Those old Minifigs are still so full of character.

    1. I confess that I've never been a real fan of the chunky Minifig era though but they do have a certain charm.

  5. Your reference to "the old geezer" intrigued me, as I had always assumed the term was exclusive to the Cockneys of London, so I looked it up. Here is what the Urban Dictionary gave me: "A geezer will be found usually outside a pub with a pint in his hand on match day. They commonly like football, scrapping, beer, tea, tits, and Barry white."
    I really don't know where Barry white comes into the mix!

    1. hmm its used widely enough around here but I was intrigued so I did a search (I also had to look up Barry White but then I'm not fond of football or scrapping either)

      Webster gave me: "a queer, odd, or eccentric person —used especially of elderly men" probably derived from an old Scottish term for someone in disguise which is appropriate since the grey beard makes me look considerably older than I am!

  6. The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
    Gang aft agley, by rolling ones and twos;
    An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
    For promis'd joy: instead of win, we lose!

  7. Looks superb, these armies are just splendid Ross, and nice photos as well, what a spectacular period to play!

  8. Gosh, I haven't seen Minifig ECWs for decades. It takes me right back to 1978. Thanks for posting this Ross.