Home Forums Renaissance ECW Campaign: Second Battle

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  • #86738
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Please see here for the AAR of the second battle in my ECW campaign (as well as a couple of notes on my struggles with some of the rules!)

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #86758
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Interesting battle!

    I was a little surprised at how badly the Royalist horse seemd to fair too – especially given their almost invincible nature in many rule sets (especially early war).

    I wonder – you say maybe an answer is to test as a brigade. I bought the rules following earlier readings of your battles and although I haven’t played a full battle yet (I think I need to rebase- otherwise my normal table is looking a bit small) I have been tinkering solo. I may have missed something as I find the flow of rules a bit odd in places, but on p.20 of my pdf copy it says:

    ‘When declaring a charge the ranged combat is conducted by the entire force ie the brigade of four horse bases will roll once and apply that to the entire force.’

     

    (although just to confuse the issue on p.19 ‘Whether the chargers charge home is resolved for each charging base in the ranged charging phase’ – I was presuming as this latter is talking about the timing of the test it simply means you test for all the chargers in this phase rather than testing by base – but I may be wrong).

    Also I see in your example in the comments section you say the Parliamentarians advance as 6 – is this without a test? I see that there is a ‘-‘ for their Offensive Ranged Combat Factor – I had assumed this meant they get no factor and always test at a massive disadvantage. But now I see pike get a ‘0’ – so does this mean Dutch tactic horse automatically close? Seems odd if so. I had presumed that the Ducth school horse found it much harder to charge than Swedish tactic horse in these rules. Again it looks as if I may have missed something?

    Also – quick clarification please – Brooke’s Left wing horse – ’16 bases of Raw Horse (SH)’ – SH?

    Thanks for posting – I really must sort myself out and play the rules through as a whole!

    #86761
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Thanks very much Guy, that really helped.

    ‘When declaring a charge the ranged combat is conducted by the entire force ie the brigade of four horse bases will roll once and apply that to the entire force.’

    Ah yes, that will be it.  I had been using p.19 “Whether the chargers charge home is resolved for each charging base in the ranged combat” as you described and thought that meant roll for each. Excellent, I can use the above, which will improve things a bit.

    Also I see in your example in the comments section you say the Parliamentarians advance as 6 – is this without a test? I see that there is a ‘-‘ for their Offensive Ranged Combat Factor – I had assumed this meant they get no factor and always test at a massive disadvantage. But now I see pike get a ‘0’ – so does this mean Dutch tactic horse automatically close? Seems odd if so. I had presumed that the Ducth school horse found it much harder to charge than Swedish tactic horse in these rules. Again it looks as if I may have missed something?

    I think so: the definitions p.10 state that “Charge: only available to Horse (S) and Irish and Highland foot”.  So the Parliamentarian Horse trot forward as an advance to combat which does not require a test, but gives a +1 in the close combat for advancing to combat.

    Also – quick clarification please – Brooke’s Left wing horse – ’16 bases of Raw Horse (SH)’ – SH?

    Sorry, an error, it should have been a simple (S) for “Swedish trained”

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #86767
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Thanks – that was very helpful to me as well – I don’t think I wanted to believe that  ‘old decayed servingmen and tapsters’ could just wander up and get such an advantage: so I must have glossed over that bit!

    It feels wrong that cavalry whose intention was not purely to intimidate with the threat of a physical clash with the sword can ‘walk/trot’ into close combat at will, whereas a unit whose training and raisond’etre was to close, has to take a test and stands a fair chance of sitting around studying its nails.

    I shall have to have a think about that.

    Thanks for the clarification on Brooke’s horse – I note the army generator in the rules only seems to allow Dutch tactic trained Parliamentary Horse – even in the Naseby list – seems a bit odd for the Ironsides?

    Anyway, all the best with the campaign – cracking start.

     

    #86780
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    It feels wrong that cavalry whose intention was not purely to intimidate with the threat of a physical clash with the sword can ‘walk/trot’ into close combat at will, whereas a unit whose training and raisond’etre was to close, has to take a test and stands a fair chance of sitting around studying its nails.

    Yes, it is a problem.  Testing by brigade only changes the odds slightly towards the Royalist Horse – they are still at a fair disadvantage.  As written, the Royalist Horse need to win the ranged combat by 2 points to give them at least an even chance of success in the close combat – if they charge shaken, then the odds are firmly in favour of the Parliamentary Horse.  The Royalist player can only do two things to influence that success: have an officer lead it in person, and charge downhill on a steep slope.

    Thanks for the clarification on Brooke’s horse – I note the army generator in the rules only seems to allow Dutch tactic trained Parliamentary Horse – even in the Naseby list – seems a bit odd for the Ironsides?

    Maybe – I will leave that to those more expert than me.  In the rules as written, the Ironsides are much better off as they are haha!  The only thing that I have been told is that the Horse of Fairfax’ army should fight as Swedish-trained Horse.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #86781
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Anyway, all the best with the campaign – cracking start.

    Thanks!  But I’m not sure it has gone so well – I may need to re-start it to give unhappy King Charles a fair chance!!! And  I need to do some more testing first to get this cavalry stuff right.  I am thinking that maybe if I alter the required scores by ‘1’, that may work, so:

    -2 or worse: Chargers remains in place, Shaken +1

    -1 to 0: Charges remain in place (not shaken) OR Charge home, Shaken +1

    1-3: Charge home

    etc.

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #86807
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    That looks as if it might even things up a bit.

    Ironsides – sorry! Lazy use of the word – I was thinking of the New Model’s horse – Commanded by Cromwell perhaps but indeed Faifax’s rather than the old Eastern Association horse.

    As for your start – Perhaps Manchester’s thoughts re Charles were in my mind:

    ‘If we fight 100 times and beat him 99 he will be King still, but if he beats us but once, or the last time, we shall be hanged, we shall lose our estates, and our posterities be undone.’

    Whether a continuation or a fresh start – all the best for the campaign and I look forward to seeing if the devilish Royalist horse can yet win!

     

    PS – get Stapelton or Balfour in charge of the horse instead of that Huntingdonshire egg merchant! Cromwell should still be weeding out the dross from the Eastern Association shouldn’t he?’

    #86812
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    That looks as if it might even things up a bit

    Ha! Well it does.  But the operative word here is “a bit”.  I spent a bit of time today taking this apart more fully, but the bottom line is – I would take Dutch-trained troopers every time.  I have left my notebook at work, but I more on this tomorrow…

    Whether a continuation or a fresh start – all the best for the campaign and I look forward to seeing if the devilish Royalist horse can yet win!

    Many thanks!  I’m veering towards re-setting, but we shall see…

    PS – get Stapelton or Balfour in charge of the horse instead of that Huntingdonshire egg merchant! Cromwell should still be weeding out the dross from the Eastern Association shouldn’t he?’

    Yes, you are probably right, but I don’t want to sweat the small stuff about the campaign game.  The King’s War has him in, so in he goes!

     

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #86933
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Okay as promised, a breakdown of the odds:

    No advantage (positional or troop quality or commander present) Royalist Horse attack:

    42% chance of refusing to charge, becoming shaken

    30% chance of charging home, but becoming shaken in the process

    28% chance of charging home, without becoming shaken

    +1 advantage (either from troop quality, commander present, or terrain) Royalist Horse attack:

    28% chance of refusing to charge, becoming shaken

    30% chance of charging home, becoming shaken in the process

    42% chance of charging home, without becoming shaken

    In cases where the cavalry charge home, but are shaken, the odds in the first phase of combat are 50:50.  However, if the Royalist Horse does not achieve a shaken result (28%) chance, then the odds turn in favour of the Parliamentary Horse.

    In cases where the cavalry charge home unshaken, the Royalist Horse should win the first phase of combat 72% of the time.  I would have to write a program to go through all the permutations after that, but they should then win the large majority of the subsequent combats.

    When the Parliamentary Horse attacks, the calculation is simpler.

    The Parliamentary Horse should:

    lose: 28% of the time

    draw: 14% of the time

    win: 58% of the time.

    The draws should break even between the two sides.  The Parliamentary Horse should thus win 2/3 of the combats.

    But, that is not all.  Pursuing is usually a very bad idea in Polemos: ECW – and fortunately for the Parliamentarian Horse, they don’t have to do it.  The Royalists do however.  This is bad news, because at minimum they will charge with at least 1-point of shaken (i.e. -2), at worst they will be caught static with 2-points of shaken (i.e. -4).  Unless there is a gross disparity in troop quality, the Parliamentary Horse will win relatively easily.

     

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #86934
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    so, for any Polemos ECW cavalry commanders out there, I think the following are the basic tactical lessons:

    Parliamentary Horse should attack if the odds are roughly equal or better.  Doing this will force the Royalist commanders to attack at equal odds too, even though this isn’t to their advantage.

    Parliamentary Horse should always keep an immediate tactical reserve (to take advantage of wildly pursuing Royalist Horse).

    Royalist Horse should always have its commander charge with the troops.  This isn’t as necessary for the Roundheads.

    Royalist Horse should ideally be placed uphill.

    Royalist Horse should place its second line slightly further back than Parliamentary Horse (to avoid it being routed into; and if the charge of the first line was successful it probably won’t need immediate support).

    For both sides, keeping Horse in lines 3-strong, 1.5BW-2BW back with 1 BW distance between groups works well – within charge / attack distance, but with sufficient space to avoid being routed into by fleeing friendly horse.  However, judging the optimum distance to maintain between the front line and the supporting line is one of the trickiest in the game, because the depth of recoil changes as army-level morale changes.  On balance, I slightly favour keeping the Royalists further back but the Parliamentarians a little bit closer.

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #86935
    McKinstry
    Participant

    Have you looked at the Impetus variant Baroque as an alternative? The basing is the same and while somewhat similar, there are enough differences to possibly be worth kicking the tires.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    #87024
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Whirlwind,

    Hmm?

    I’m going to have to go and have a look back through some actual battles rather than relying on memory but I have to say that those results look wrong to me.

    Not your workings! Their reflection of actual battles.

    The split in charging home and results once in combat look odd. The idea that early (up to Marston Moor at least?) Parliamentary cavalry wander up to the Royalists and have a 2/3 chance of winning seems wildly at variance with real experience.

    Royalist pursuit – bit of a stereotype but mostly true – so if they are that unruly and gung ho, why so difficult to get to charge? On the other hand 72% chance of victory once in contact probably feels a little high – especially for mid war on, once the lower classes have been shown which end of a horse is which. (Outrageous hyperbole for effect only – but you know what I mean).

    I know the Dutch/Swedish tactic split is  a nice way of giving a period ‘feel’ but I’m not sure how accurate it really is.

    Dr Gavin Robinson is one person who has had a bee in their bonnet about this for some time eg

    Dutch or Swedish or something else

    He only reads English, so following some of the continental 30Years War accounts may give other slants for the period (Daniel Staberg I know has very different views on the ability of cavalry to break pike blocks for example).  I think Gustav Adolph’s rep has been massively ‘bigged up’ by some US military historians who seem to love charismatic heroes and I think this has probably coloured some of our ECW interpretations.

    I really must play through a few whole battles to see if the rules give believable results as a whole, but at the moment I am having some doubts about them.

    What do I want? Good question! A set of rules that allow relatively (for the majority, not all by any means) less enthusiastic Parliamentary horse at the beginning to have a really hard time against the Royalists, changing over the war to something more like parity of quality and possibly better Parliamentary control.

    I am not convinced I want a division of tactical doctrine along a Royalist/Parliamentary split – I suspect both sides used different options depending on circumstances – but in big battle I am not sure how much I want to explore those nuances in complications of rules. I think I just want something that delivers a believable spread of outcomes for big(gish) battles.

     

    Thanks for the reports and the stats.

    Having printed the pdf off and read them more closely, part of me really wants to like these (tempo bidding remains a niggle!) but I’m not sure.

     

    #87032
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    @McKinstry,

    I haven’t yet, but will get round to them.


    @Guy
    ,

    There is one thing which I didn’t put in the above, which I absolutely should have – I am clearly not thinking very straight this week!  – which is that there is nothing (as far as I know) which prevents Swedish-trained Horse from advancing to contact like the Parliamentary Horse.  I had temporarily forgotten this, since I had been using the Royalists “to gallop at everything” in some of the historical scenarios I had been playing, to test the boundaries a bit (otherwise I would have defaulted to both sides “fighting Dutch” all the time).  Therefore, when the odds are even, the advantage is with the side that is attacking, as long as they don’t attack too wildly!

    This should create an interesting “magnetic” effect, in which as soon as one side moves forward to attack, the other side needs to think about getting its attack in first…hence the crucial importance of winning the tempo!

     

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #87033
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Anyway, my campaign is rolling along, so hopefully there will be some more battles to report on soon…

    The current situation (and a mea culpa) here.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

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