Friday, 13 November 2009

ECW Interlude (5)

Last Wednesday evening I headed up to north London for a try-out ECW experience with Eclaireur and chum Timmo. This was the first time that EC and I had used the "Forlorn Hope" rules; Timmo was on hand as a veteran of these particular rules (he even had a first edition copy of the, er, first edition!). I brought up my modest ECW collection of 3 foot regiments and some vignettes, although in the end only Rupert's Foot went on the table as EC's collection has outstripped mine by some distance. EC's troops are a mix of Warlord and Perry, with a few Bicorne mixed in; the photos below show how well they fit together. As I've said on other fora, I think that Bicorne provide a good central point for ECW figures - you can then "go large" by mixing them with Renegade and Reboubt or "go small" by mixing in Perry and Warlord. I've gone the former route, but Rupert's Foot did not look significantly larger than their opponents, so there is clearly scope for extensive mixing and matching in this period.

We didn't play out a battle but rather tested different types of combat. Rupert's Foot advanced against a Parliament regiment to try out infantry combat. A little later we had some cavalry charge more Parliament foot that had deployed behind a hedge. The mechanics of "Forlorn Hope" certainly take some getting used to. I found the calculation method for firing rather confusing and the melee result for the cavalry charge produced a very one-sided result, with the infantry breaking immediately - they didn't see to have any + modifier for being behind a hedge and so "in cover". As a player you clearly need to be wise to the effect that troop grading and the ratio of pike to musket have on your ability to fire and melee effectively. Orders also have an important role as there seem to be several different "advance" orders that a unit can be on, and which influence what you can do. So a bit of home play will be required to get the hang of the rules.

Apologies for the lack of posts of late. I actually have 3 units painted and varnished, but as yet unbased due to the chaos caused by having 2 bathrooms re-fitted and a general tidy-up of the rest of the house. Thanks to that, and also work, I've only finished 3 figures since the end of the previous weekend, which I think is an all-time low. But I'm going to see if I can crank up production a bit over the last couple of weeks before BBE (Before Baby Era). I'm currently trying to finish two First Carlist War regiments and some more Crusaders, the latter in order to try out some new Foundry triads that I bought in their recent 20% off sale (the new WW2 colours mostly).


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

The models look nice.Have you tried Warhammer English Civil War or 1644 set of rules?These are the rules I plan on using.
Oh,after you have the baby you will notice your painting time will go down and the time of day will change(to late evenings probably).Of course it's all worth it!:-)


Ubique said...

Is anyone else secretly relieved that Giles’ painting has slowed down to just three figures a week? His painting output is now more equivalent to my own. However much I look forward to the latest blog updates it always reminds me how little progress I’m making.

No? Just me then. I’ll just have to pull my finger out and get painting.


Anonymous said...


Great to see the pictures, the evening seemed to fly by in a blur. I must admit that even though I've played over 100 games of FH, way back when they do now seem a bit 'clunky' these days. However, I'm sure in the fullness of time a couple more new sets will appear that will up the ante of an ECW gaming experience. That written I still feel FH offers the best feel for the period even if it is at the expense speed of play. As you can imagine those seemingly endless rounds of calculations we went through only become more time consuming as the numbers of troops on the table increase.


Allan (AJ) Wright said...

It's always great to push the figures about the table after all the work to paint them up. I've played Forlorn Hope a couple of times about a decade ago and thought at the time they were fairly good. Since then rules have become more streamlined. I'm not sure anything superior is available for ECW, although I'd keep your eyes open for Field of Glory Renaissance, which might just be the next good ECW ruleset.

Allan (AJ) Wright said...

I'll second that you might try Warhammer ECW. Some people like it a lot. Of course you have to like the roll for hits, then roll for saves mechanism that Warhammer rules use. Since you like British Grenadier, you might like them well enough. I'm watching with interest. The new plastic 25mm ECW figures are intriguing, and I have a few free samples from Historicon to try out.

Phil Olley said...

Great battle report Giles. I have used 1644 for many years and always enjoy them. But then, I've never really tried much else in this period. I think once you settle into a set of rules, and even add a few house amendments, any rules become set for life!

Interesting to hear your thoughts on mixing ranges in this period. I think as painters we tend to get hung up on compatability while we are examining figures closely and painting, but once the boys go onto the tabletop the perspective changes. Minifigs throwing a 6 at the right moment suddenly become beautiful figures! Certainly gaming with units of various manufacturers doesn't matter so much once battle commences.
Best regards, and every good wish for your upcoming parenthood. You'll love it.

Anonymous said...

Is that geo-hex I see? I thought all the sets had long since fallen apart.

To echo the others the baby will totally change you and your lady's lives but it is well worth it.


Gunfreak said...

How big is your gaming table, Just wondering as you do 28mm, it needs a little room

legatus hedlius said...

We play 1644 and Warhammer ECW at guildford and I think, on the whole we tend to favour 1644 (which is really early Warhammer ECW)although it can take an eternity to move troops about! WHECW seems to have more period flavour than some of their other sets and some rules, like restricting ammunition available, do have an interesting effect on the tactics.

Ubique, I agree that seeing Giles only paint 3 figures in a week cheered me up immensely! I wouldn't mind but they are all to such a high standard of painting as well!

Grrr! Bring on the baby!