Title

Title
Tally Ho!

Sunday, 13 March 2016

New ECW campaign - Montrose

Our latest venture is a campaign set in Scotland during the ECW and featuring the charismatic Marquis of Montrose. The rules are set out here and for reference also in the ECW section.
http://cirencester-wargames.blogspot.co.uk/p/english-civil-war.html

For this campaign we are adopting an modified version of the Victory without Quarter, which I have dubbed Victory without Cards. The principal change is the removal of the card-based activation system to make it more amenable to multi-player use. This naturally ripples through the rules and requires changes to things like flank charges.   



Famous by my sword - the campaigns of Montrose

Background

1. Between 1644 and 1645, James Graham : 1st Marquise of Montrose, led the King's armies in Scotland in a campaign that criss-crossed the country. He fought seven major actions and defeated a number of Covenanter commanders. His most famous enemy though was perhaps Archibald Campbell: 1st Marquise of Argyll.

2. This campaign recreates that struggle and in particular focuses on two aspects:
·         Montrose often had the strategic and tactical initiative - fighting when and where he chose on most occasions.
·         Army sizes could vary greatly depending on morale, time of year, clan politics, and interventions to/from England.  

3. So in this campaign movement is somewhat abstracted, with success measures by territories loyal to each side not necessary occupied by each side. The system should also work as a solo campaign with some minor adjustments. 

Campaign Map

 
Campaign Turns

4. Each turn represents a month and is marked-off on the campaign calendar on the map. There are penalties for fighting in the winter. These are stiffer for the attacker than the defender as they will be further from their supply bases. 

5. Each month Montrose may launch an attack into any territory he does not control so long as it is adjacent to a territory he already controls. This could be either a neutral or Covenanter-held territory:
·         If the territory is currently neutral then the winner of the battle may claim it.
·         If the territory is currently Covenanter then Montrose claims it if he wins. If Montrose loses then he must sacrifice a territory he currently holds.
·         Argyllshire and Ireland are home territories for the two sides and may never be captured. Both sides also begin with a second territory

6. Optional Rule: Both sides could have two commanders. They are Montrose / Alasdair MacColla and Argyll / Lieutenant-General Baillie respectively. Both of the Royalists may launch an attack each turn. You might also allow both sides to attack alternatively if you want a more active Covenanter side. 

Territories

7. Each turn a player may "play" up to 3 territories to support his forces. Territories can confer both forces and a tactical / strategic advantage in the coming battle. These abilities are rolled-for the first time a territory is fought over and remain the same for the rest of the campaign.

Armies

8. Both sides will field armies that consist of core units and then are supported by various auxiliaries depending on the territories held. Core troops are refreshed for each battle and auxiliary troops are only used for that game. Dice for both type and quality of auxiliaries, only using outcomes for which there are figures available.

9. [Design note] These army lists reflect the figures we have available. They are probably over generous in terms of the numbers of mounted troops. All classifications are for Victory Without Quarter rules.   

 

  Montrose - core forces
Covenanter - core forces
Montrose (Exceptional)
Irish Brigade - 3 * Vets
Gordon foot Brigade - 1 * Trained, 1 * Raw
Gordon Horse Regt - 2 * Trained Trotter
Gordon Horse Regt -  2 * Trained Galloper
Highland Brigade - 2 * Trained Highlander
1 * Light artillery
 
Leslie (Average)
Infantry brigade - 3 * Trained
Infantry brigade - 3 * Trained
Horse Regiment - 2 * Trained Trotter,
Horse Regiment - 2 * Trained Galloper
2 * Medium artillery
 
  13.41 points
14 points

 

Roll
Covenanter
Montrose
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Forlorn Hope
Forlorn Hope
Raw
Trained
Vet
2,3
Infantry
Infantry
Raw
Trained
Vet
4
Trotter
Trotter
Raw
Trained
5
Galloper
Galloper
Raw
Trained
6
Medium gun#
Highlander*
Trained
7
Medium gun#
Highlander*
Raw*
Trained
Vet*
8
Dragoon
Dragoon
Raw
 

*  = Montrose units only, Covenanters are always Trained
# = max 1 per army. If no highlanders available Montrose may take a medium gun
If the correct figures are unavailable them roll again.

Tabletop Battles

10. To avoid all the battles being head-to-head slugging matches two elements of randomness will be introduced to the action:
·         Firstly a scenario will be selected which specifies the deployment, victory conditions, and terrain type for the battle.
·         Secondly terrain will be determined by drawing an appropriate card from the terrain deck. We are using the excellent cards from Perfect Captaine. 

Scenarios
1,2,3
Pitch battle. A classic encounter.
4,5
Meeting engagement. Both march to the sound of the guns.
6
Flank attack. You have out-foxed by gad
7
Reinforcements. My enemy is near but so are my friends
8
Rear guard action. Hold them while the baggage escapes
9
River Crossing. Seize the ford my good man .
10
Fortified position. It's a siege by god sir.

Weather and time of year

11. The weather in Scotland can by notoriously changeable, so roll before each battle to see what mother nature has in store for you.

 
1
2
3
4
5
6
Spring / Summer
Grey & overcast
Rain
Autumn
Grey
Rain
Heavy rain
Snow
Winter
Rain
Heavy rain
Snow
Blizzard

  1. Grey & overcast - No effect. This is as good as it gets, so enjoy it!
  2. Rain - No-one counts as volley fire.
  3. Heavy rain - As rain but fords become impassable and streams count as rivers. Guns may not fire except at short range. No charges, must advance to contact.
  4. Snow - Movement reduced to 3/4 usual speed.
  5. Blizzard - As snow plus no visibility beyond 4" and no charges allowed, must advance to contact.

12. It is assumed that the attacker would suffer greater attrition in the winter than the defender who is tucked-up in his warm hovel. If Montrose attacks in the winter both sides dice to see if their morale is reduced for that battle. On a 5 per unit Montrose lose 1 morale class and on a 6 by 2 morale classes. On a 6 the Covenanters lose a morale class.  The battle will always be a flank attack and Montrose will be the attacker.   

Solo Supplement

13. The structure is inherently suitable for solo play as only one side will be attacking strategically. So the solo player will take the role of Montrose.

14. Armies: As a solo player you could model the gradual growth of Montrose army as he won battles and rely on the inherent weakness of AI to counteract the bigger  Covenanter forces. You should start with the Irish and Highlanders only. Add the Gordon foot after 1 win and the Gordon horse after 2 or 3 wins.

15. Territories: If the Covenanters acquire neutral territory then choose it randomly. If they have more than three territories then roll to see which they use. 

16. Battles: Use your favourite AI to model the Covenanters deployment and movement. You may find the original Victory without Quarter to work better for solo play as the card based activation system gives natural friction and works well for the solo player.  

 

Territory Effects

Roll separately for both reinforcements and strategic effects.

Roll
Reinforcements
Effect
1
0.5 rolls
Special Event: Roll for a special event affecting a both players. Reroll effect.
2
0.5 rolls
Well-fed recruits: +1 on the quality dice.
3
0.5 rolls
Going to the chapel: A preacher joins you adding +2 moral to the unit he is with.  
4
0.5 rolls
Magazine: The additional powder means D3 units may ignore their first reload marker.
5
1 roll
Arsenal: You may field an additional light artillery.
6
1 roll
Loyal town: You receive an additional reinforcement of Raw infantry as clubmen or similar. 
7
1 roll
Excellent road network: +1 on initiative when determining who is the attacker in a scenario and +1 on troop arrival dice.
8
1 roll
Port (coastal only): You may count any other coastal territory on the same side of the country as adjacent for movement.
9
1 roll
Well defended: You may field hard cover for D3 units.
10
1 roll
Down from the hills: You an additional reinforcement of Raw trotters as the local nobility turn out to help.
11
1 roll
Commanding views: You may add an additional small hill to your side of the battle field.
12
1 roll
Brewery: One unit is suitably fortified and receives +1 morale.
13
1 roll
Fortified manor: You always defend if a fortification scenario is selected.
14
1 roll
Drill square: Your infantry still test to form hedgehog if charged from less than half way, but at -1 morale.
15
1 roll
Siege Train: Always attack in a fortification scenario.
You receive a mortar - this ignores the effects of hard cover and may start a fire on 6 (D6) when it hits.
16
1 roll
Powder Factory: The additional powder means D6 units may ignore their first reload marker.
17
1.5 rolls
Supply dump: You receive an additional reinforcement unit.
18
1.5 rolls
Manor: You may field a member of the local gentry as an additional brigadier.
19
1.5 rolls
Library: Studying the great commanders sharpens your mind. Your commander counts exceptional (or double exceptional if Montrose)
20
1.5 rolls
Spy Network: Roll for an espionage event each turn. Reroll effect if the territory is captured.

Espionage Events
1
Counter Espionage: Your spy-master is caught and the network unravels. Reroll the territory.
2
Assassins: Roll D6 for a nominated Brigadier. On 3-6 he dies before the battle.
3
Sabotage: Your spies get amongst the enemies horses. Roll for each mounted unit and on 6 (D6) they begin with 1 casualty.
4
Bribery: An enemy officer is in your pocket. Nominate a non-Veteran enemy unit at the beginning of the game: for the rest of the game it must roll a D6 at the start of each turn: on a 6 it is Shaken.
5
Stolen plans: knowing your enemies dispositions gives you an edge. Redeploy up to 3 units after deployment.
6
Poisoned Wells: Your spies disrupt the enemy badly. Roll per enemy unit and on a 6 (D6) each starts the battle Shaken.
Special Events
1
Bring out your dead: Plague stalks the land. People are flocking for the hills so reinforcements are halved.
2
Stand and deliver: Dandy highwaymen disrupt the roads. Spy networks and excellent road networks are unavailable this turn.
3
Rotten harvest: The harvest is poor so you must forage further afield. Armies must start with their cavalry off-table dicing as flank marchers.   
4
Peasant revolt: One of the territories you control rises and must be quelled. Dispatch a unit and roll D6 each turn until its under control -  Shot=5+, Pike=4+, and Horse= 3+.
5
Storms grip the country: whatever the season the weather counts as storms
6
Burn um: Witches are abroad. Roll 1D6. 1/2= one cav unit is missing on  wild witch chase, 3/4= everyone is spooked, a unit starts Shaken, 5/6=one inf unit has +2 morale having killed a suspected witch.

Battle setups

17. Games are played on a 10' table with a 4' wide centre, 2' wide wings, and 1' flanks. Water counts as streams  / marshes unless otherwise noted. Units are Brigades, regiments, or unbrigaded dragoons NOT artillery.

Pitch battle
Terrain: Choose any except rivers and strongholds.
 
Deployment: Both deploy up to 12" in and not within 12" of the edge. There must be more mounted on each flank than in the centre and more foot in the centre than on both flanks combined. Guns, dragoons, and forlorn hopes deploy anywhere. Both deploy behind screens. All zones must have at least one unit in.
 
Victory: Route the enemy be reducing to 50% of forces. Each side nominates a victory objective that counts as a routed unit if held by the enemy.
 
Meeting engagement
Terrain: Terrain: Choose any except rivers and strongholds.
 
Deployment: Both sides establish an order of march in brigades / regiments / unbrigaded units. The first must be mounted or dragoons. Units then arrive down the centre (or a suitable road as per the map) one at a time in column of march. If there are mutliple roads then foot / guns will arrive down the one closest to the centre but mounted arrive on random roads (roll before the game)  
 
Victory: Route the enemy be reducing to 50% of forces. Each side nominates a victory objective that counts as a routed unit if held by the enemy.
 
Flank attack
Terrain: Choose any except rivers and strongholds.
 
Deployment: Dice for initiate, higher score is the attacker, remembering exceptional and poor commanders. The attacker selects up to 1/3 of their force to flank march. The attackers selects a flank to attack. Both sides then deploy as for a Pitched Battle except the attacker may ignore a flank deployment zone if they wish. The flankers arrive in the enemies flank (roll for which 1' square) on a 4+ in turn 2, or automatically in turn 3.
 
Victory: Route the enemy be reducing to 50% of forces. Each side nominates a victory objective that counts as a routed unit if held by the enemy. 
 
Reinforcements
Terrain: Choose any except rivers and strongholds.
 
Deployment: Roll to see who is the defender - they choose sides. The defender deploys half their force as though for pitched battle but up to 24" in and may leave one wing unoccupied. The attacker then deploys as for pitched battle. The remaining defenders arrive down a random road on a 4+ in turn 2 or automatically in turn 3. 
 
Victory: Victory: Route the enemy be reducing to 50% of forces. Each side nominates a victory objective that counts as a routed unit if held by the enemy.  The attackers objective must be the defenders half.
 
Rear guard action
Terrain: Choose any except rivers and strongholds.
 
Deployment: Roll to see who is the defender - they choose sides. The defender deploys half their force as though for pitched battle but up to 24" in and may leave one wing unoccupied. The attacker then deploys as for pitched battle.
 
Victory: The game ends when the end-game total is exceeded, thus indicating the baggage etc has escaped. Roll D6 at the end of each turn. When the cumulative total exceeds 23 the game is over.
 
River Crossing
Terrain: Choose a river card, with two bridges added. Terrain will be adjusted to provide a fair race to the river crossings.
 
Deployment: Both sides deploy as for a meeting engagement. In addition to the bridges there may be a ford. Troops may search each section of river and on a 6 (D6) they discover a ford.
 
Victory: Whoever holds both bridges at the end of the game is the winner.
 
Fortified position
Terrain: Choose a stronghold
 
Deployment: Dice to see who is the attacker unless either has the Fortified Manor or Siege Train. The defender only uses 1/2 their force. 1/4 deploys on table as a garrison. The attacker then deploys as for a Pitched Battle. The remaining defenders arrive down a random road on a 4+ in turn 2 or automatically in turn 3.
 
Defences provide all-around protection and infantry can count as firing from any side, guns must fire forwards only. When 3 sections of defences have been destroyed then it only counts as soft cover.
 
Victory: Whoever holds the fortification at the end of the game has won. This must be by an unshaken unit.
 

 
Territory Value Record

Territory
Reinforcements
Effects
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ireland
 

 

 

1 comment:

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