The Bane of Miniature Gamers – missing opponents

One of the great issues almost all miniature gamers face is having an opponent to play against. Not really an issue at gaming conventions (aka Millenium Con 19, an overhanded plug for it!). But what about those time you’re free, but friends are all busy?

While very popular in Europe, there are some who don’t really like “card pull” games, where you have to draw a card/chit/dice to see if your troops move. The “issue” being you might not move your troops this turn, or for a couple of turns, depending on how your particular rules set handles that.

This method of movement selection can be a great boon to solo play though.

These types of rules are becoming more popular entry into the U.S. miniature gaming market with games like Bolt Action group here in Texas.

For English Civil War (ECW) – it is another reason I like Victory Without Quarter.  Since you make the cards/chits/whatever for movement, you can add in some interesting items. So that while you make your “plans” – they almost never survive contact with the enemy (or the deck in this case).

This method of action selection gives you a chance to put your stuff on the table, try out tactics, maneuvers, etc. without have a major gaffe that your non-present opponent can ridicule you about the rest of the Con (been there, had that done to me). And if you’re available, your opponent is available.

Also – this gives another great reason to always buy/paint opposing armies! (See your local game store for more purchases!! $$).

If your rules set does not have that card pull mechanic in it- give something like this a try. You might find your best opponent is yourself.



Update: Victory Without Quarter at The Game Closet.

If you are looking for info on the game, etc, on August 20 at The Game Closet you are in the right place.

So, the rules, addenda, etc  can be found here,   which has links to the pages.  The rules are only 13 pages long (including the diagrams on how things work).

We hope that commanders will be on time at 11am, so we can briefly go over the rules. You are MORE than welcome to print off the rules and Quick Reference Sheet (QRS) from the link above. The rules are free from the author (Clarence Harrison) and available in multiple places on the internet.

What will be happening at the game is there will be maximum of 3 players a side: 1 CinC, and 2 brigade commanders. There will be 2 game masters (myself and Steve Miller) who will provide the terrain, figures, dice, etc. and will either play or provide assistance/game refereeing as needed. Some forces for both sides start on the board, and both sides will be getting reinforcements as the battle proceeds.

Scenario: It is April 23, 1643. The Royalist forces in Cornwall are a bit scattered. The Parliamentarian army commander, the Earl of Stamford, is laid up with gout but wants to push forward before the Royalist forces can finish gathering. He turns over the reins of the army to the “notorious firebrand”, Sgt-Maj. General James Chudleigh (son of Sir George Chudleigh) who pushes quickly into Cornwall.

For the Royalists, the speed of the advanced has caught Sir Ralph Hopton surprised while in prayers at church. He orders the forces local with him to proceed to Beacon Hill, while sending couriers off to gather the rest of the Cornwall Royalist forces to join them there as soon as possible. If Hopton can hold until the Royalist forces gather in strength, he may be able to cut off the Parliamentarians retreat and force them to surrender. This would be a major strategic victory for the Royalists.

Victory Conditions:
Parliamentarian players will be trying to force the Royalists off Beacon Hill and move 1 foot unit down the road to Launceston, preventing the muster of Cornwall for the King (Decisive Victory). If they can clear Beacon Hill, they achieve a Major Victory. If they hold the road edge to Poulson’s Bridge at the end of the game, they achieve a minor victory.

Royalist players can achieve a Decisive Victory, if they can hold at Beacon Hill and by holding the road exit Poulson’s Bridge. If they push Parliamentarians back to their starting positions and hold Beacon Hill (no Parliamentarians on it) it is a Major Victory. If they only hold Beacon Hill (majority of forces on the hill) at game’s end,  or only hold the exit to Poulson’s Bridge, it is a minor victory.

Game Length: 25 turns.

Your comments on the game would be greatly appreciated as we will be doing this scenario at Millennium Con 19.  See you there!


Painting Update!

The Parliamentarian army at Beacon Hill, under Sgt-Major General James Chudleigh (notorious firebrand … he he he), are 95% completed for painting. Still awaiting their base stands so they can be mounted.

In the meantime, I’ve scored a HUGE cache of lead from a fellow LSHM member (thanks Thomas) to flesh out future armies. So what’s in store?

Well next up will be the Royalist army at Beacon Hill, under the daring command of Sir Ralph Hopton. Using most of Bob Giglio’s army list from his excellent scenario books, (click on that link to find his books) I will be painting about 5 regiments of foote, 4 troop of horse, and a troop of dragoons.

After that – will do up an Irish Confederate army. Looking more towards Thomas Preston’s Leinster army  rather than O’Neil’s. O’Neil’s is colorful, but Preston survived the war!

Don’t forget game date August 20, at The Game Closet in Waco. See ya soon!


Where I Stand on Bases

Ha ha … you say – (bad puns are not dead – just in critical condition! LOL).

Speaking of bases today because, well, sometimes I’m an idiot. I ordered some magnetic bases from a reputable company (Litko). I thought this would include the wooden top of the base with the magnetic base all cut to proper size. Umm … no my mistake. It was just the magnet sheet material cut to be stuck onto the bottom of wooden bases (not included, but available separate). Moral – READ THE FULL INSTRUCTIONS, Alan! (Wooden bases now ordered).

I played some “Hail Ceasar” with the LSHM guys at the Muster in San Antonio over the weekend. We got talking about different rules sets and basing miniatures for games. The general consensus among most players was that if it was “close”, and number of figures really didn’t matter, then using different basing sizes was a non-issue. At least for non-tournament games. If doing a tournament game, basing per the “official” rules set was a must (due to dramatist personnel aka rules lawyers screaming no fair).

One of the joys of using Victory Without Quarter (VWQ) for ECW is it really doesn’t matter about base sizes, as long as most of the figures match up fairly well. The basing my own VWQ armies, using the author’s suggested figures per base, creates typical infantry regiments of 18 figures – 5  musketeers to each side of an 8 man pike stand in a 5/8/5 formation. Looks good, and uses less figures than some games (so more units I can field – YAY!).
Game on comrades, and don’t be a dick!



Game Dates Added!

Ok gamers. Mark your calendars. August 20, 11am at The Game Closet in Waco Texas. Steve Miller and I will be putting on some Victory Without Quarter games there. You don’t have to bring a thing except yourself.

There is also on the site a new page and menu item for any gaming dates of ECW gaming I know about, under the ECW Gaming Dates Calendar page.

See ya then!



The Painting Train is rollin’ …

Wow – even for me I’ve been a busy boy. 4 regiments painted in 9 days. Whew! Will post pictures soon. Painting and basing (when the bases get here – come on Litko!) will be per VWQ rules.

Northcott’s Commanded Shot (Ex Lord Brooks’ Regt)
Sir John Bamfield Regt of Foote(North East Devon Trained Bande)
Sir Henry Rosewell Regt of Foote (East Devon Trained Bande)
Col John Merrick’s Regt. of Foote

In progress:
Col John Wear’s Regt. of Foote
Sgt-Maj General James Chudleigh’s Troop of horse
Capt Thomas drake’s Troop of horse
Capt Alexander Pym’s Troop of horse
Capt John Yeo’s Troop of horse.

Till next time,

ECW Flag Links here

So you want to play English Civil War in miniature. Cool. But where to go to find information on the flags (aka colors) of units?

Well I’m here to help, my friend. I’ve put together my ECW Flag page here to help you in your search. While this page is by no means the final word, or exhaustive, it will help you find some information on those strange and nefarious units that are not just the Lifeguard or Ironsides.

If you have any other link suggestions, please let me know.