Home Forums Renaissance ECW Rule Recommendations / Warnings ???

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  • #5019
    Jeff Hudelson
    Participant

    A buddy and I are painting 28mm ECW armies . . . but we have not yet found a rule set that appeals to us . . . So what suggestions or warnings do you have about various rule sets for the English Civil War (1642-1645 non-Scottish)?

    My personal preference is more for the simpler rather than more complex rules . . . and for rules that move relatively quickly.

    Oh yes, as we are painting them, our P&S units are 24 figures; cavalry, 12 figures; dragoons & commanded shot, 12 figures each.

     

    — Jeff

    #5033
    Jeff Hudelson
    Participant

    I forgot to mention that my table size if 5’x8′ . . .  and rules for smaller scale figures are not to be excluded since it is usually easy to adjust distances.

     

    — Jeff

    #5065
    Piyan Glupak
    Participant

    It might be easier if you specified what kinds of features of rules you liked.  For instance, I would suggest the ‘RRR’ adaptions for DBA.  On the other hand, if a variation of DBA is not your cup of tea, then that suggestion might be mildly irritating for you.

    I used to play DBR for my ECW games.  DBR is more complex and detailed than DBA, but a little less complex than either DBM or DBMM.  I liked it; it was a breath of fresh air after playing ‘Forlorn Hope’ with the adaptions for 6mm figures that were recommended by the authors at that time.  Ironically, when I last played Forlorn Hope, I used 25mm individually based figures with some use of movement trays, which is what it was written for, and it was a reasonable game.  Those adaptions for 6mm made Forlorn Hope a much worse game.  I suppose that the message is that Forlorn Hope is a good choice if you like casualty removal of individual figures, whereas if you prefer element based games, DBR might well satisfy.

    I never meant to stop playing DBR, it is just that someone did some different troop types and army lists for DBA, and called it ‘DBA RRR’.  DBA is one of my favourite games, so I found DBA RRR easier and quicker to play than DBR.  All of a sudden I realised that I hadn’t played DBR for a couple of years, but I had had several sessions of DBA RRR.

    DBA RRR is a free download from the FADBAG Yahoo Group.   You will also need a set of DBA 2.2 rules to play a game.  I love it, but it is DBA with different troop types and army lists.

    #5080
    Jeff Hudelson
    Participant

    Richard,

    Thank you for your reply, sir.  Since my opponent and I are each building armies of between 500 and 600 figures each, I am sure that we do not want a figure-removal system.

    I’ve applied to join the FADBAG Yahoo Group to get their DBA ECW variation but unless it allows far more elements than DBA I suspect that it won’t suit our need to put lots of lead on the table top . . . but I’ll take a look anyway.

    I have read that Forlorn Hope is very good at period flavor but that it is a very slow game.  I am a senior with health problems that keep me from lengthy sessions (chemotherapy is exhausting) so that might be a problem for me with Forlorn Hope.

     

    — Jeff

    #5083
    General Slade
    Participant

    Victory Without Quarter by Clarence Harrison seems to be popular and they are available to download for free.  I’ve read them but haven’t played them (ECW is one of those periods on my ‘to do’ list).  You can find a PDF here: Victory Without Quarter

    Stephen

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by General Slade.
    #5088
    Jeff Hudelson
    Participant

    Stephen,

    I have played (and enjoyed) “Victory Without Quarter” on several occasions (although admittedly in an earlier setting).  Unfortunately my opponent does not like them at all . . . *sigh* . . . but I thank you for the suggestion, particularly as it is an excellent one.

    Clarence Harrison’s “Victory Without Quarter” are indeed a fun set of rules . . . and, while not specifically written as such, they make a very good set of solo ECW rules.  I fought quite a few battles using them during my chemotherapy.

    I had two “internet generals” who planned their attacks and then I’d solo game them out until I needed more input from them.  I never knew what the next card would be making it lots of fun.  Those interested in seeing this earlier period version can view my blog of it here:

    http://alpianwars.blogspot.ca/

    As with all blogs, you would probably be best served by going back to the start and moving forward.  It was great for me (particularly because I could quit as I tired).  But, as I say, my opponent does not like them.  Still General Slade’s suggestion is a good one.

     

    — Jeff

    #5104
    General Slade
    Participant

    Hi Jeff,

    I checked out your blog and I am really enjoying reading about the conflict between Alpia and Stagonia.  I’ve got to the point where the first big battle is about to start and I will read the rest this evening.  It’s nice to see some 16th century imaginations for a change.

    Stephen

    #5120
    Bill Bartlett
    Participant

    I would recommend Forlorn Hope and the various scenario books written for it.

    Bill

    #5230
    Jeff Hudelson
    Participant

    Stephen,

    I am glad that you are enjoying The Alpian Wars.  It was a great comfort to me during a very stressful time . . . and by playing it solo in little chunks it didn’t tire me out (chemotherapy is very fatiguing).  And using VWQ for the 16th century worked very well.

    Please let me know how you like it as you wend your way through the blog posts.

     

    — Jeff

    http://alpianwars.blogspot.ca/

     

    #5288

    I’m not going to recommend a rule set as such because rules are horses for courses. I found, the biggest issue for me was how I wanted to do the pike and shot. Should they be a single unit that fights as a single entity and runs as a single entity with factors for different ratios of pike and shot, or should it be a unit of pike with separate sub units of shot all fighting as individual units? I think this is the major rub with any set of rules for this period and you usually start at one end of the spectrum, gradually move to the other then, regardless of which end you started, go back in the opposite direction until it sends you bonkers. I eventually gave up and did the Italian Wars instead!

    Personally, I think I liked the one unit with a ratio most because I liked fighting battles with 12 to 20 regiments a side, and infantry sub unit games tripled the number of infantry elements and slowed the game too much. I also know of very few instances where part of a regiment did much different from the rest – so they essentially fight or run as one unit. It also meant that I could create units with a generic ratio of pike and shot then label it with its ‘actual’ ratio as required for the scenario – I’m not a big fan of counting heads.

    The rest of the period is pretty straight forward, IMHO.

    BTW, as you are in the process of collecting, please take a look at this link. Why just do units for the King or Parliament? They could be painted for both, or even the TYW.

    http://olicanalad.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/top-tip-flags.html

    My whoring and daubing:
    http://olicanalad.blogspot.co.uk/

    #5309
    Hwiccee
    Participant

    Our group has some rules for the ECW – http://www.wfgamers.org.uk/WWAE.htm

    They are inspired by Forlorn Hope but a lot more playable.

    #5707
    Henry Hyde
    Participant

    Jeff, I know some who swear by Rick Priestley’s 1644, and many who seem to enjoy the Pike & Shotte extension to Black Powder. Both give fast, fun games. Unit sizes can be whatever you like.

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    #6056
    Jeff Hudelson
    Participant

    JAMES  —  While I think that I prefer the “one unit” concept, I can also see the “separate units” argument for various encounters.  I think that it might be one of those things that depended upon the particular commanding officer.

    HWICCEE  —  Your group’s rules sound interesting but read like they might be really geared to small encounters.  However I am NOT reassured by the fact that I applied to join the Yahoo Group and after 6 days have yet to hear back from them.  This is not helpful, so perhaps you might nudge the person in charge (I’m bluebearlair on Yahoo, by the way).

    HENRY  —  Thank you for the suggestions.  I have copies of both rule sets and have loaned them both to my opponent but so far I’ve not heard any enthusiasm from him.

     

    — Jeff

    #6068
    Hwiccee
    Participant

    Jeff: I added you to the Yahoo group shortly after you applied. You then left a few minutes after that. I have sent you an invitation.

    The rules are for smaller battles – say 5 to 10 regiments per player.

    #6080
    Jeff Hudelson
    Participant

    Hwiccee  —  I just checked again and everything is greyed out with the “Whoops! You need to be a member to perform this action” message whenever I try to get anywhere.  Also I have never received the messages from Yahoo! that one gets when a group is joined . . . . So obviously something went wrong somewhere.

    I have re-applied to join . . . let us see if it works this time.

     

    — Jeff

     

    #6084
    Jeff Hudelson
    Participant

    HWICCEE  —  All is fixed.  I just now got the Yahoo! notices and I am able to access the Group page.  I will read some of the threads and see if I think I should buy the download . . . I’m thinking that we will be wanting larger actions but I will not reject things too soon . . . I am more open than my opponent.

     

    — Jeff

     

    #6110
    Hwiccee
    Participant

    OK Jeff. Please ask if you have any questions.

    #6128
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    Of the ones I’ve played:

    Warhammer ECW. These looked promising, but they suffer from not being able to make up their mind whether pike + 2 shot sleeves is 3 units or 1. Also the usual Warhammer single figure counting, and lots of dice.

    Regiment of Foote. A very nice pre-battle system. The rules themselves are OK, but we found the number of dice rolled under some circumstance excessive.

    1644. Played these quite a bit. The melee system, particularly for cavalry, is very good, with extra ranks feeding in to the melee. Nice morale ladder system. There is a very nice mini-campaign. The casualty system is very deterministic. You can see that you will do 1 hit, plus a 2/3 chance of a second – but there is no chance of scoring 0 or 3 hits.  Pike & shot combat is a bit cumbersome. You do need to count individual figures

    Swords & Fury – Fire & Fury variant published in Arequbusier. Good game, feels nothing like an ECW battle.

    DBR. Played these a lot, mostly at condensed scale (normal scale works less well). Good period feel, work well for refights. A bit dry.

    DBA using Humberside ECW extensions. These are quick and work well, but like DBR are a bit dry.

    Warfare in the Age of Discovery. Interesting activation and morale system. You need to count figures and multiply by factors – enough maths to need a calculator. Some nice ideas but too cumbersome.

    Field of Glory:Renaissance. A very good set of rules with good period flavour. Probably work better than the ancient set. More fun than DBR. Elements, so no figure counting.

    Maurice. Yes, I know it is an 18th century set, but it goes back to 1690, so there are rules for Pike. Dragoons we treated as irregulars. It work well, has good flavour, and like all Maurice games is entertaining.

     

     

     

     

    #6129
    Henry Hyde
    Participant

    Interesting recommendation for FoG, Steve. I have a set sent to me for review ages ago, but have never actually tried them. Is there a particular size of action that they are best for?

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    #6142
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    Field of Glory are a big battle set. A typical ECW Pike & Shot unit would be 6 elements in 2 ranks. Mounted 4 or 6 elements also in 2 ranks. The rules work fine with about 6 foot and 6 mounted units a side.

    The ancient set is all about inflicting cohesion tests, because shooting is not that likely to cause casualties. Gunpowder changes all that. You can’t stand around and be shot at.

    I should say here that my ECW stuff is 20mm scale (mostly the Revell 30YW range with some conversions) and is based on 40mm squares. FoG wants figures in one rank on 40mm width for 15mm or 60mm for 25mm, but in practice, so long as both sides are based the same, it all works fine with a non-standard basing like mine (as indeed do DBR and DBA, which want the same basing as FoG).

    Oh, just remembered there’s another set we tried – Warmaster ECW. That suffers from the usual warmaster problem; good game. Little resemblance to history.

     

    #6143
    Jeff Hudelson
    Participant

    Steve Burt,

    Thank you, sir, for your evaluations.  I do want to hear some of the “less positive” feelings about rule sets as well as the “these rules are great” comments that often come up.

    I do appreciate your interpretations, sir . . . of course if anyone cares to disagree, please chime in.

     

    — Jeff

    #6144
    Nick the Lemming
    Participant

    I prefer one base for pike and shot as a cohesive unit, but then I prefer to play large battles. Polemous is ok, but I prefer Forlorn Hope. I’ve tried a few other rules (including an early playtest of Warre without an Enemie, I think, though I may be confused because I believe there are at least 2 games with the same name), but none I’m completely happy with yet. I did some preliminary work on a Maurice conversion for ECW, but that’s fallen by the wayside. I may do some simple rules for ECW myself at some stage, but not for a while yet – too many other things to consider.

    #6322
    Henry Hyde
    Participant

    Steve – thanks for the FoG assessment. I’ll certainly be giving them a try. I’ll call your plastics and raise you old Minifigs! When I was running Battlegames, the previous owners of Minifigs owed me some money for advertising, so I took figures in lieu of payment to help them out. Scratching my head about what I liked in the catalogue, I decided on the 25mm ECW stuff which has a certain old-fashioned charm. But it’s been languishing in boxes for several years now! There’s a chap called Tim Elcock (he writes for the magazine as Tim Beresford) who does an absolutely amazing job painting up these old school figures with modern techniques, which I may well try myself.

    Editor, Battlegames
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    #6383
    Jeff Hudelson
    Participant

    Henry Hyde,

    Please do not make the same mistake that I’ve made.  Since (for me) foot is more tedious to paint than mounted I decided to paint all 16 units of my foot first (that is close to 400 figures).  While I have at least 5 colours on each of them, none are yet ready for the table top . . . and, of course, none of the mounted has even been started.

    So, Henry, instead of following in my footsteps, may I suggest a different approach?

    Figure out what the very smallest army you would put on the table with your chosen rule set is . . . then paint that (and only that until it is finished).  Now play with it and start painting the units that you want to add.

    And above all, have FUN.

     

    — Jeff

    #6490
    kevin searle
    Participant

    for skirmish games you could try ‘once upon a time in the west country’ a quick and very good game.

    #6706
    Caesar Anderson
    Participant

    I’m keen to try Maurice for ECW using the pike and early artillery advanced rules. Anyone out there given this a go?

    #6733
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    Yes, we’ve used Maurice for ECW using the Pike rules from the book, as I said in my earlier post.

    It works well and has a good ECW flavour.

    #6751
    Henry Hyde
    Participant

    I’ve also just remembered the Perfect Captain “Very Civile Actions!” rules that we reviewed in Battlegames years ago – issue 3? – at http://perfectcaptain.50megs.com/vcactions.html

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    #6785
    Greg M
    Participant

    Hello Jeff,

     

    I have yet to play these, but after reading through them a few times they seem quite usable, to me at least:

    http://pulpactionlibrary.com/FreeStuff.php

     

    They are titled Ironsides, and are written by Howard Whitehouse.

    #6862
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    I was having another look at Very Civile Actions recently.

    An attractive set of rules, but very loosely written. There’s quite a few areas which are not very clear at all, such as whether rallying gets rid of all your disruption or just one marker (I think it;s the former, but the rule could certainly be clearer).

    They certainly look like they should work. Maybe we’ll give them a try next time we do an ECW game.

    #6968
    John Watts
    Participant

    Gosh – Swords & Fury. I think that I wrote that about a millenium ago.

    The rules our group tend to use now are an adaptation of Rank & File, a horse and musket set published by Crusader. As far as I can make out, Rank & File actually started as an ECW set and developed into what they are now. They are simple, they use bases, probably 6 for one of your foot units.

    The adaptations to take these rules back to the ECW are on the forum: http://www.crusaderpublishing.com/forum/index.php?board=2.100 beginning 0n 18 Feb 2010. Included in the messages are the original ECW rules from which Rank & File developed.

    If you want any other info about how the game has developed with our group, I’d be happy to let you know. Incidentally, Forlorn Hope is an often tediously slow game, but the rulebook is worth having as a resource. We use the army builder for pick up games if we’re too lazy to produce a detailed scenario.

    #8123
    madaxeman
    Participant

    I’m very much enjoying FoGR – there are plenty of reports on my website to give you a flavour of it. The most recent (which I’d ideally post in a new thread, but can’t seem to find how to do that) is from the Roll Call event this June, which is the current BHGS “Big Boy’s Toys” event with 25/8mm periods on offer. I actually fielded 2 separate 28mm armies, one of which was the Spanish that I was driving and one was the Weimarians, which I ended up facing in the last game…

    You can see how the big toys did in 4 by-now-familiar match reports.

    The photo’s aren’t all close-ups, the figures are 28mm!

    see more of this rubbish at www.madaxeman.com

    #9937
    Timmo
    Participant

    Steve – thanks for the FoG assessment. I’ll certainly be giving them a try. I’ll call your plastics and raise you old Minifigs! When I was running Battlegames, the previous owners of Minifigs owed me some money for advertising, so I took figures in lieu of payment to help them out. Scratching my head about what I liked in the catalogue, I decided on the 25mm ECW stuff which has a certain old-fashioned charm. But it’s been languishing in boxes for several years now! There’s a chap called Tim Elcock (he writes for the magazine as Tim Beresford) who does an absolutely amazing job painting up these old school figures with modern techniques, which I may well try myself.

     

    Did I hear my name mentioned? Thank you Henry.

    The Minifigs (MF) ECW figures are actually better proportioned than many more recent figures, including one make that might surprise you. I had lots of them painted up and just decided to stick with them than start all over again in 28mm. One of the issues with MF is that lots of folks have only ever really seen them painted up in gloss enamels or in flat block colour and so dismiss them out of hand. If you paint them in a style influenced by what’s been going on in the hobby for the last 20 years the results can be surprisingly interesting. I’d just say avoid any Roundhead infantry as they will be in pot helmets and armour. Generally I use the Roundhead cavalry and the Royalist foot from the MF range. I do conversions and I add apostles where there are none (it’s much easier to do than you’d expect. If you consider you mostly see heads when looking down on our armies changing the head gear of a few figures in a unit can make so much difference to break up the MF induced regimented look.

    I have three figure command groups as vignette pieces for each regiment  and these almost always feature conversions.

    Rules:

    Currently I dabble with modified WRG and modified Forlorn Hope, I’ve played both with card activation. I’ve also played masses of both as written back-in-the-day. Both suffer from too many morale tests, which you can largely do away with. Forlorn Hope is great once you’ve ironed out the flaws in the ratio system that favours small pike heavy units too much. Essentially FH favours classic Royalist armies far too much. Even after all these years WRG does give good results but its perhaps a bit boring to play. In it’s favour the cavalry action is better than FH but if you introduce the way WRG handles pistols then you can make the FH cavalry action more level and interesting, as written the Parliamentarian horse are always at too much of a disadvantage.

    I prefer the separate pike and shot units of WRG – I don’t find them a pain to use and the pike block becomes a rallying point which is as you’d expect. I just find giving foot units a ratio tends to make the units like say WSS, SYW or even Napoleonic regiments but having sleeves of shot supporting the pike and visa versa gives an ECW feel to the game and introduces some micro tactics that FH lacks.

    I found FoGR to be too much a game of dice luck and dragoons are far too powerful IMHO.

    However, I’m looking forward to when TooFatLardies publish In The Buff.

    #10046
    Howard Whitehouse
    Participant

    Hello Jeff, I have yet to play these, but after reading through them a few times they seem quite usable, to me at least: http://pulpactionlibrary.com/FreeStuff.php They are titled Ironsides, and are written by Howard Whitehouse.

    I thoroughly recommend them, of course — 🙂

    Written in the ’90s, but pretty futuristic by the terms of that  bygone era. Since I haven’t worked on them in a long time, we put them up as free/give us beer money.

     

    I do all my own stunts.

    #10051
    Shecky
    Participant

    Howard,

    I just sent you beer money. After a quick glance I like what I see.

    #15669
    Allen Campbell
    Participant

    Take a look at “For God King and Country” by the Canadian Wargames Group.  They are pretty simple and the booklet has a lot of great info in it.

    #15671
    Jeff Hudelson
    Participant

    Take a look at “For God King and Country” by the Canadian Wargames Group.  They are pretty simple and the booklet has a lot of great info in it.

     

    Well Mr. Campbell’s suggestion is so good that about a month ago we decided to use them for our large games.  Indeed, we are planning to game their version of “Edgehill” as our first battle (it seems so appropriate to do so).

    One of the reasons for selecting “For God King and Country” is that our current six stand units could be split into two easily enough AND that I would not have to paint quite as many mounted figures as planned in order to put an army on the tabletop.

    And, as to painting mounted, I am much closer but still a while away from finishing painting enough lead . . . *sigh*.

     

    — Jeff

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