As a prelude to our latest campaign we held a practise game this week to remind ourselves of the rules. We're using "Captaines and Calivars", an ECW variant of Ian from Hinton Hunts, "Musket and Marshalls" Napoleonic rules.
We've used the rules before but never with Highlanders, so this was an opportunity to test them. The campaign itself is set in 1650 and follow's Cromwell's suppression of the alliance between the Royalists and Covenanter's that attempted to seize control of the UK, often known as the Third Civil War.
We rated the Highlanders as 8" move, +1 in combat, and no shooting - this being accounted for in the increased melee factors.
Since this was a trial / rules refresher we went for a very simple setup with both sides splitting their cavalry equally between the flanks and massing all their infantry in the centre. Both sides deployed dragoons forward to hold a village (Royalist) and fields (Parliament) near the centre line.
|Royalist Scottish lancers on the left flank|
Royalist centre right - highlanders to the fore
|Cromwell's horse on the left|
|Long shot of the game from the Royalist right|
|Highlanders advance quickly past the village|
|Scottish lancers move forward|
|Crunch - this would end badly for the Scottish|
|Highlanders advance on the English|
|Royalists attack on Cromwell's left|
|Pipes playing the Highlanders prepare to charge|
|Highlanders advance stalls|
It is fair to say that the results were disappointing for the Royalists as both Highland units rebounded off the English line and found themselves Disordered for their troubles. A second wave advanced but found themselves under fire from across the English line and under threat from Cromwell's horse who had managed to win on both flanks. So after 2.5 hours play we declared the Parliamentarians the winners.
|Scots somewhat outnumbered|
|English make progress on the village.|
It was pleasing to achieve a result within 3 hours for a large game (nearly 30 units a side) but we concluded the Highlanders needed a further review. It was slightly tough to judge their true performance though as they diced so poorly. Despite being +1.5 up I most melees they still managed to loose most of them due to some awful dice rolling. We are considering 3 options:
- Have less of them so they matter less - a shame as we have lots and they look great!
- Reclassify them as Pike & shot but of poor quality.
- Allow them some limited shooting (volleys and short range) but reduce the combat bonus
I would like to try the later as this seems to reflect their tactical method best, so I'm looking at:
- Move 8"
- May shoot / volley at short range only
- +1/2 in combat
- May not form pike stand as historically they were vulnerable to horse charges