Saturday, August 29, 2015

ECW Battle of Southam, 1642

The ECW collection has not seen action in a very long time.  How long?  I cannot recall but at least two years, I suppose.  One of my 2015 goals (see 2015 Project Plans) was to get this collection onto the gaming table for an outing or two.

Following Jeff's ECW replay of Battle of Southam (see Jeff's Battle of Southam) provided the motivation to both deploy the troops for battle and give this scenario a try.  Jeff's replay was based upon the scenario by Wyre Forest Wargames Club using their rules, Warr Without an Enemie (see Battle of Southam scenario).  The Warr Without an Enemie scenario, in turn, is drawn from Robert Giglio's English Civil War Gaming Scenarios Vol 3 (2005). 
Battle of Southam Initial Deployments
Southam is an early war battle in which two mixed forces clash opposite the village of Itchington.  With their backs against the Itchin River, the Royalists must hold the field or be dashed against the banks of the river.  As the OB illustrates, the Royalists under Compton outnumber Brooke's Roundheads by about 2-to-1 in cavalry yet are outnumbered in both artillery and foot.  Interesting tactical problem! 
Parliamentarian forces
Parliamentarian Army OOB:
Army Commander: Lord Brooke: Average

Infantry:
  • Colonel John Hampden's Foot
  • Lord Brooke's Foot
  • Colonel Denzil Holles' Foot

Cavalry:
  • Left Wing Cavalry: Fiennes Horse (Trotters)
  • Right Wing Cavalry: Goodwin's Horse (Trotters)
Two artillery stands

Royalist forces
Royalist Army OOB:
Army Commander:Earl of Northampton: Good
Infantry:

  • Earl of Northampton's Foot
  • Sir William Saville's Dragoons (Dismounted) 
Cavalry:
  • Wilmot's and Carnarvon's Horse (Galloper)
  • Legge's and Clarke's Horse (Galloper)
  • Compton's and Northampton's Horse (Galloper)
  • Saville's and Middleton's Horse (Galloper)
One artillery stand

Resolution of the game itself with be carried out on a portion of the gaming table.  With the size of the forces given, only one-third of the table is required (4' x 6').  Southam is a straight up fight with the objective to defeat the opposition although if the Royalists can hold the field at game's end,  they win.

My plan is to fight out this battle using three different rules systems; two of which are untested by myself.  The two new rules to undergo some scrutiny are Thomas' One-Hour Wargames and Dadi & Piombo's draft of Basic Baroque for Impetvs.  Most of my ECW gaming has been carried out using a variation of Howard Whitehouse's Ironsides.  Ironsides always produce a fun and tense game.  This will be an interesting exercise in a comparison between the three sets.  As a bonus, I can knock off a few items from my 2015 planning objectives.

Having each of the belligerents arriving upon the field with differences in force composition, Southam provides a test of asymmetrical warfare under each ruleset.  What should the strategies and tactics be for each?  My initial thoughts are that the Royalists must employ their superiority in cavalry to destroy Brooke before he can bring his infantry and artillery advantage to bear.  Of course, the Parliamentarian forces under Brook will want to do the opposite!  That is, get his infantry into the fight to force the Royalists off map before his force succumbs to the Royalist cavalry advantage.

How would YOU handle the asymmetry in this clash? 

37 comments:

  1. Lovely painted figures Jon. I'm looking forward of your thoughts and after play testing opinions, using the Basic Baroque - Impetvs rules.

    cheers,

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Phil.

      I am looking forward to giving Baroque a go too. First up will be Thomas' OHW.

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  2. Looks gfreat. I am really looking forward to your test of these rules. My ECW armies are actually probably just about the oldest remaining in my collection, and are by far the least used of anything I own. I've never really round a rules set that I liked for this era. I do have Pike and Shot, the Black Powder variant for the ECW/TYW, and need to give them a try myself.

    I really need to retire to have enough time for all my projects and interests. Not that that is happening any time soon, mind you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My ECW have not been seeing much action either so it is a good excuse to knock the dust off and get them back into battle.

      I am with you! We need to retire to fit all of our hobby activities into a day.

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  3. I am glad that our game has inspired you to break out your ECW troops. Here are links to our various posts/photos of our Southam re-fight:

    http://ecwprojectjeff.blogspot.ca/2015/08/battle-of-southam.html

    http://murdocksmarauders.blogspot.ca/2015/08/ecw-warr-without-enemie-battle-of.html

    http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?381459-Codsticker-s-Historicals-Fun-With-Plastic!%28and-now-metal%29&p=7521617&viewfull=1#post7521617

    Each of us had a different perspective on the battle . . . and we hope that you enjoy your refights of the battle.

    By the way, we are planning on a refight of the Battle of Whalley (April, 1643) tomorrow evening:

    http://www.wfgamers.org.uk/images/resources/Whalley.htm


    -- Jeff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I enjoyed all of your views on your Southam replay and look forward to following your Whalley action.

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  4. I'll be interested to see what you make of the One Hour Wargames rules. I'm looking forward to the battle reports.

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    Replies
    1. Have you played OHW, Nate? If so, what were your impressions?

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    2. Not the Pike and shot version yet. I'm using them for all my pocket projects. I can't help modifying them a fraction to reflect the particular quirks of the periods I play, but essentially I find they give a very enjoyable game.

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    3. For this test, I put the P&S variant (available on the AMW Yahoo Group) into play. Still, may need a few other tweaks too.

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  5. Very nice! Looking forward to the AAR.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michael and good to see you dropping in to read and leave a comment. Much appreciated.

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  6. A very interesting question?? Not too sure how to play the game for either side, but I'm interested in how you do! Not knowing any of the rules doesn't help, but surley the Royalists have got to try and smash the outnumbered Parliamentarian horse then swing into the infantry flank??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you on your Royalist tactical assessment.
      Can they pull it off? We will see...

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  7. Looking good, Jonathan. Amazing collection needing to see the gaming table again.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Dean. Righto! These boys need to get out more often. One of these days I ought to pull the entire ECW collection out for a group photo.

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    2. Please DO pull them out for photos, Jonathan . . . and perhaps that will inspire you to get them on the tabletop more often, eh?


      -- Jeff

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  8. I do love a bit of ECW, thanks for posting

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  9. ECW is so beautiful to look at, and these figures are awesome!

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  10. A lovely grouping of figures and a typical small engagement rather than the big half dozen or so. I am looking forward to seeing how the rules play out.

    Can I ask you what you use on your bases? Most unusually they actually look like a summers field rather than the building site look that is so fashionable. I am very tempted to copy you.

    John

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    Replies
    1. Appreciate you stopping in a for a visit, John!

      The ground covering is simple; Wood Scenics Green Blend applied to a base first covered in dark green paint.

      Delete
  11. Jonathan, The figures look great - will follow with interest. I think you will like Baroque.
    Richard

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Richard. I quite enjoy Impetvs so would be surprised if the ECW version was not also a first class experience.

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  12. There is nothing quite like actually realizing one's projected plans, and an impressive collection like this deserves some time in the spotlight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One benefit of planning is that it gives me a goal or two to which to strive. A few goals attained gives me a sense of progression, accomplishment, and keeps motivation high.

      As for the ECW collection, yes, it is good to get these fellows out onto the table for a game. In this case, a series of three games is the plan.

      Delete
  13. Lovely looking ECW game, makes me want to get on with painting mine!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Perhaps these upcoming BatReps will push you over to the paint table with a handful of ECW figures?

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  14. Lovely looking troops, looking forward to how it plays out.
    Iain

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  15. On the narrow frontage presented, it looks like a tough time for the royalists unless they can quickly assault with their cavalry. If the field was wider, I'd outflank the Parls on each flank with my extra cavalry. Royalist infantry needs to hold back. Big question is what will the Parls do? They have an infantry advantage and are uphill. But they need to take the field. If they come off the hill and advance, I'd meet them halfway and try to win the cavalry contest.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent analysis! You will not be surprised by the OHW replay. It will look very familiar.

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  16. The game sure looks good! I have been eyeing my ECW stuff as of late and so have some others it seems.

    Christopher

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    Replies
    1. Keep reading. A follow up post has a BatRep of the battle.

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