Wargaming the English Civil War, American War of Independence and Sudanese campaigns in 28mm

Sunday, 14 March 2010

English Civil War Project

Photo: Jeff Parker, English Civil War Society

Inspired by a recent visit to the Royal Armouries museum in Leeds and the rather incredible blog of Saxon Dog, my Dad and I decided to have a go at a small English Civil War project. Nothing too big, just a couple of units on each side, just enough to capture the feel of the period.

There's a lot of ECW history in the area, being so close to Newark and Grantham and then there's the siege of Lincoln Castle which is just down the road. It didn't last very long, the besieging forces blew a hole in the wall with their canons and the defenders surrendered immediately!

I have 4 regiment packs from Renegade Miniatures, each costing £11.95 for 24 metal figures! A bargain in my eyes. To buy the same number of figures for one regiment from another manufacturer such as Bicorne Miniatures would have cost me as much as the four packs from Renegade. I think I prefer the sculpts of the Bicorne models ever so slightly but cost always wins in my books, unfortunately. I do have a unit of 9 cavalry figures from Bicorne, as they are much better than those available from Renegade by a long way.

I will be trying to get as much of this project completed in my Easter holidays but before I do that, I need your help! I wondered if anyone could recommend any ECW rules? I would one day love to write my own rules for the period but that takes time! I also need to know how best to base my figures. The unit packs from Renegade include 4 command figures, 6 pikemen and 14 musketeers but I can't really work out how best to base them. One idea I had was to decrease the size of the units to 20 and base the figures on 60x60 bases with 6 on one, and 7 on the other two. That sound OK? The problem will come when a rule set is chosen and if this doesn't really fit.

Any help anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated!


saxon dog said...

Hi Consul,
There are a few good ECW rules on the market but rules are like figures it’s all personal taste. Here are some of my thoughts on rules I like....
1644 is an old set of rules but still available from Wargames Foundry,I believe! Don’t under estimate these rules they are old but still a favourite amongst guys I play with!
Clarence has written a set of ECW rules called “Victory without quarter”. I haven’t played them but the feedback is good. Clarence bases his figures on big 60mm by 60mm bases ,three figures to a foot regiment. If you like this look (like me) then these may be worth a look and they are free from Clarence’s site.... http://www.quindiastudios.blogspot.com/
In the big Marston game that I played recently we used the Perfect “Captain rules” again a free download from their site. The game was good and the rules played well. We based up on 4 figures to a 40mm by 40mm base for it.
I have had a few games of Warhammer Civil War but didn’t take to it...enough said!
Getting a set of rules is easy... getting a set that you like is more difficult! I personally would play 1644, Victory without Quarter or perfect captain. Also, if you’re doing a large skirmish type game with single based figures have a look at” File Leader” not sure where you would get it nowadays but you could have my copy!
Hope this helps.

Consul said...


Had a look at Clarence's rules - they look good. Managed to get myself a copy and will have a play test, probably in a few months once I have a couple of regiments ready! I think basing them 6 on a 60x60 base is the only way you can really base ECW if you're using smaller unit sizes. 40x40 is better for much larger games but as I'll only be playing with my Dad or perhaps my cousins, smaller sizes it is!

My own rules probably wouldn't involve cards and would be akin to more traditional rule sets such as Donald Featherstone but with a simpler, quick play element to it. However, the stuff I've been working on in the last few days would make melee much more interesting and realistic but it definitely wouldn't work for larger battles and may require considerable bookkeeping which isn't ideal!


Dalauppror said...


I woul go for 60x60mm bases 3 to a unit 2 with 5-6 muskets and 1 with 2 flags, 1 drummer, 1 co and 3-5 pikes Like my friend Ogge, you can se some pictures of he´s army here: http://www.stockholmwargaming.se/plank/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=394&start=100

we are going to use black powder rules for our games.

Best regards Dalauppror
wisit my wargaming blog at www.metrobloggen.se/dalauppror

Consul said...

Thanks for the advice Dalauppror and for the link - the way he bases the Dragoons is a great idea, something I will try for mine eventually!

Thanks again for the interest,

Anonymous said...

...have tried many rules - for the scale i.e number of units you are planning and for its simplicity but playibility (it 'feels' ECW)I(and the club - Kirklees crusaders) use Perfect captain's rules (free download and easy to adapt to personal tastes). Rupert

Phil said...

Hi Consul

For anyone who is interested, this August bank holiday weekend, the Sealed knot will be performing their largest live muster of the year at Basing House.

See http://www3.hants.gov.uk/museum/basing-house.htm for full details of the event and http://www.rawdons.com for details of one of the host regiments.

gregoryk said...

Polemos is a good set of rules, with a very innovative activation system. Based on "tempo" points,and their expenditure. Renaissance Warfare gives a very good ECW game and is well supported on the web. There is another free set that plays quite well, based on "morale points" called For Parliament, King, or Glory I have playtested these and they deliver quite a good game.

gregoryk said...
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