Monday, 28 November 2016

A Fictional ECW scenario for Pike and Shotte

We have been looking at the 'sweeping advance' rule in Pike and Shotte and Steve came up with some alternative mechanisms.  In place of the sweeping advance he proposed a pursuit move which would be different for the different categories of mounted troops (Caracole, Horse and Gallopers).  Caracole would be very unlikely to pursue, and Gallopers almost certain to, with Horse somewhere in between. There would also be a modifier for the rating of the brigade commander.  To try them out he devised a fictional ECW scenario in which two opposing forces meet.  The Royalists are slightly stronger in cavalry and have better commanders, the Parliamentarians have more foot and a higher proportion of musketeers.

The Royalist infantry
A roll of the dice allocated the Royalist command to me and I deployed with cavalry on the wings and infantry in the centre.  My intention was for the cavalry to advance, drive off their opponents and then threaten the flanks of the Parliamentary foot.  At this point my infantry would advance to complete our victory.  With Prince Rupert commanding the cavalry what could go wrong?

Steve also deployed conventionally with infantry in the centre and cavalry on the wings and so we started the first move.  It was at this point that Lady Luck decided that it was time she went on holiday (at least as far as the Royalist cause was concerned).  Rupert's men failed to move; on the opposite wing one unit surged forward, but the rest failed to follow suit.  In  the centre, the foot plodded up the hill with the artillery, before establishing themselves in position to await the Parliamentary foot.

The Parliamentary cavalry await their orders
Steve managed to get more of his cavalry moving, but his dragoons resolutely held their ground ignoring all orders to advance.  After a couple of moves the cavalry did come to blows but, refusing to adhere to the script my dashing troopers were constantly bettered by their opponents and when falling back disordered their supports.  In no time at all half my cavalry were disordered, with two more Shaken.  The only fresh units were trapped on the baseline behind their defeated comrades. Disaster was only averted by Steve's units also being shaken.

Parliamentary foot advance with a light gun in support

One of the many cavalry melees
It was not all doom and gloom, I did win two cavalry melees; but the victories proved to be poisoned chalice.  In the first, my victorious troopers charged off in pursuit of their defeated foes and ignoring all orders to pull up disappeared into the distance, probably to the nearest inn.  The other victorious unit did not pursue (it was shaken), was charged by a nearby enemy unit and utterly routed in the ensuing melee.  To complete the job, it then disordered a couple of units before leaving the table.

Astley's foot in position
 With my cavalry being below par, it was up to the foot to show a bit of resolve.  Astley had put them at the foot of the hill with the artillery able to fire over their heads.  When the parliamentary foot advanced into range the opening volleys were fired and were a little ragged to say the least.  Although I had two units firing at one opponent casualties were about even.

Another success for the parliamentary cavalry
 Thankfully, we ran out of time at this point, battle will recommence next week, so there is a chance things will even out.

How did the proposed amendments work?  Well, they seem to reflect the tendency for some cavalry to gallop off into the distance rather than stick to their orders and they do present a few more challenges for the Royalist cavalry commanders, trying to control their troops.  However it is early days yet, one outing is not enough to make a decision.


  1. An interesting twist to the rules. I have heard that there is an ECW supplement due out for this system shortly. I can see that doing well.

  2. Thanks for the tip Norm, we will keep an eye out for the supplement