Millennium Con 19 was held over Veteran’s Day weekend in Round Rock, Texas. Run by the Lone Star Historical Miniatures group, it was a really fun weekend, with 11 of my 12 gamers experiencing Victory Without Quarter (VWQ) for the first time.
After numerous play tests of the scenario and little tweaks here and their with reinforcement schedule, I ran the following scenario described below twice over the weekend.
The scenario was the Battle of Beacon Hill, 1643. Royalists, initially outnumbered, are tasked with holding Beacon Hill until reinforcements can arrive. In this scenario, neither side knew exactly when, and with how much, reinforcements would arrive for both sides. If I was not running this at a convention I would have delayed the implementation of reinforcements for both sides. However, having gamers sitting there do nothing is BORING! So … I adjusted the scenario as noted below.
Order of Battle
The initial forces/cards were as follows:
CinC, Sir Ralph Hopton; Brigadier of Foote, Sgt. Maj. Gen. Basset.
2 regiments of foote (Godolphin, Grenvile – all trained) deployed in line.1 regiment of foote (Lord Mohun – trained) deployed in march column having just arrived on the battlefield.
CinC, Sgt-Maj. Gen James Chudleigh; Brigadier of Foote Col Merrick; Brigadier of Horse, Sir William Bereton
3 regiments of foote (Rosewell, Wear, Bamfield – all trained)
2 regiments (actually squadrons) of trotters (Chudleigh/Drake – trained, and Pym/Yeo – raw)
2 Field gonnes (Field arty that could not move, only pivot).
1 Artillery card
1 Reload card
1 End of turn card
Reinforcements (added to the deck in turn 3)
2 regiments of 2 squadrons of gallopers each (Diby/Hawley and Stowell/Stowell – both trained)
1 regiment of dragoons (2 sqd of 2) (Cosworth – raw)
1 regiment of foote (Merrick’s regt – veteran)
1 unit of commanded shotte (Northcotts – trained) of just 2 stands.
1 Event Card
1 additional End of Turn card (2 now needed to end the turn)
Reinforcements (added to the deck in turn 5)
2 Regiments of foote (Slanning – Veteran, Trevanion-trained)
Pull cards from the Deck turn 10
After turn 10, pull 1 end of turn card – only 1 EoT card now needed to end the turn.
The initial running over the rules was fairly quick, and thankfully all the gamers present were experienced in wargaming, if not with VWQ. Since I had brought all the minis, terrain, cards, etc – all they had to do was show up and play. And play they did!
While VWQ is a card draw system making movement/timing more of a historical issue, having a plan to enact is always better than just seeing what happens when your card comes up. This is what happened twice this weekend.
In the first game, the Parliamentarian gamers decided that the Royalist left looked vulnerable to their horse with the main open area available for their trotters to exploit. So they concentrated on making that happen
Parliament did not have it all it’s way, as the Royalist reinforcements all poured onto the board as soon as their cards were added to the deck. Parliament’s reinforcements were a bit lagging behind.
The royalist though had too much of a good thing. They didn’t deploy off the hill, and ran into a traffic jam of units flooding the field, with no where to deploy. Parliaments shooting was on target, but the Royalist could not make a morale check to save their lives.
In the end, it was Parliament’s assault on the Royalist right that did them in. Their foote formed pike block in response to the Parliamentarian trotters, but shook due to trotters shooting, giving Parliament the ability to assault them. Unable to bounce the horse, Sir Hopton joined Godophin’s regiment next to the engaged pike stand to hold off the assaulting Parliamentarian Rosewell Regiment.
Sir Ralph, brave and fearless, ended up being skewered in the assault as Godolphin’s regiment broke under the relentless pressure. This caused multiple morale checks on nearby units, causing multiple routs. These troops then blew through other units, causing them to shake and take more morale tests
The game was over in about 2 hours of actual gaming.
In the second game, the Royalist again decided to play the “give terrain for time” option, while the Parliamentarians decided to try the Royalist right with their horse. They closed quickly, causing Lord Mohun’s regiment of foote to form pike stand at just about their deployment area.
This caused a HUGE backup as Royalist horse attempted to join the field, finding their way blocked. The Royalist had a moment or two, when the cards were all going their way. They moved forward a bit off the hill to give their horse room to maneuver.
They were just starting to get their horse and dragoons out of harm’s way, when Sir Grenvile’s regiment, after being shot into shaken, was finally charged and broke. They plowed through the mounted dragoons and a regiment of horse, both of these failed their morale checks, also breaking. Not a single Royalist unit made their morale checks, causing over 80% of the Royalist to immediately flee the field.
A good time was had by all!