Tally Ho!

Thursday 5 May 2016

Montrose ECW Campaign - battle report

After a few weeks experimenting with Chain of Command it was back to business with the start of the ECW campaign. As a warm-up we held a practice game to test the campaign rules and armies.
Battle Setup

The Scenario

The game featured a simple pitched-battle between the two sides.

The Covenanters fielded 7*Pike&Shot in 2 brigades, 2 cavalry regiments, a field gun and unit of dismounted dragoons.

Montrose fielded the Irish Brigade (3*regiments), a Gordon brigade, 2 cavalry regiments, a Highland brigade, light gun and a unit of dismounted dragoons - a slightly larger but more variable quality force.

The Game

As usual we used a variant of the excellent Victory Without Quarters rules, modified to be more suitable for multi-player use.
Covenanter right flank

Covenanter centre

Both sides pressed forward with their infantry in the centre, clearly keen to come to grips with the enemy. On the open flank the Covenanter cavalry seemed reluctant to engage so Montrose opened-up a lively with his cannon, hoping to damage them before attacking himself.

Units give fire in the centre
In the centre of the field the lines closed rapidly and began to blaze away at each other. For this game we trialled a new version of the rules where instead of needing a simple 3 hits for a kill with no carry-forward of hits it became 4 hits but casualties were accumulated from turn to turn. So the shooting was bloody but satisfying.

Montrose cavalry attacks

Montrose mounted make progress
On the Montrose right the Royalist cavalry moved forward covered by the artillery. They made decent progress and were able to drive-back their opponents, who shaken by the fire failed to charge. 

Highland charge with Gordon foot in the background
On the Montrose left flank the hairy Highlanders launched themselves at a brigade of  Covenanters, with the Gordon foot in support. Thanks to some smart shooting the Highland attack was quickly blunted and the Gordons were forced to intervene to save them from defeat.

After about 2.5 hours struggle the Covenanter centre had been smashed and the flanks were wavering. With half the units routed they withdrew from the field leaving Montrose victorious.


The idea of cumulative casualties (rather than needing 3 hits for a kill in a single go) certainly sped-up the game and removed the annoyance of constantly scoring 2 hits and never causing a casualty. We managed a big game in just about 2.5 hours so we should be able to play to conclusion even with deployment time in a campaign game.

The highlanders proved less effective than we had wanted so in future will receive the same charge bonus as Gallopers. This gives more punch but if they fail to break-through immediately they will find themselves ground-down by the enemy. 

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