A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Friday, 10 October 2014

ECW Generals

Rupert and Chums
A very pleasant feature of an otherwise fairly dismal week here was the arrival of a little packet of ECW generals, painted for me by Iain in return for my foisting off some old deadbeat cavalry onto him - an exchange out of which I feel I did rather well. Iain has long been one of my favourite brush-wielders, and he has done a lovely job on these - thank you, again, young sir. (Hope the house-move goes well.)

It is an established truism that, for 20mm ECW, you just can't get the staff these days, so these fellows are especially welcome. These are SHQ figures, though the left hand figure (who is Prince Rupert in his working gear) is actually a Tumbling Dice man, hacked around a bit, with a pistol from Old John's useful accessory pack (from his 20mm Nostalgic Revival range), and his horse, as usual with my armies, is an SHQ casting, to try to keep scale creep down.

Such is my crazed enthusiasm, I even bought a packet of HO white metal cats and dogs from a model railway supplier, but eventually went off the idea of commissioning a 20mm scale Boye to keep the Prince company on his adventures. Partly this was because it would restrict the scope for getting Rupert to act out the part of someone else when required, but mostly it was because the dogs were not really of suitable breeds, and it would be undignified for the King's nephew to be galloping across the battlefield with a Dachshund. For an instant, I did consider providing one of my ECW personalities with a cat...

So please say hello to Rupert and his chums (as once featured in the Daily Express), and we expect them to speak exclusively in rhyming couplets from this point on. 

In passing, last night I was reading my revised edition of Donald Featherstone's Wargaming Pike and Shot (as one does), when I suddenly received a shock which might have threatened to spill my cocoa if I had had any. I was reading Mr Featherstone's animated account of the Battle of Auldearn in 1645, when I was surprised to note that Montrose was opposed on this occasion by an English force under the command of Sir John Hurry. English? If there was one person I can think of who would have  reacted badly to any confusion over just who was English and who was not, it would be DFF, so this is a puzzle to me - I am not letting go of this one - and there can be no temporary mistyping here, since the army's Englishness is restated on a number of occasions in the narrative. The battle map shows clearly that this English force appears to have comprised the regiments and contingents of Lothian, Findlater,  Seaforth, Moray, Campbell of Lawers and some Highland levies, so what can he possibly mean? Does he mean that they were Protestants? That they were the national army of Scotland, who were allied to the army of the English Parliament? I would reject, out of hand, any suggestion that the writer had had a tiny lapse of memory, and had slipped a hundred years to the Jacobite Unpleasantness. My surprise is only heightened by the fact that this proxy English army at Auldearn, of course, was on the receiving end of - to use a noble Scots phrase - a good gubbing.

So - it is no matter at all, but I am intrigued. I am keen to get back to the book tonight to see if the French turn up at Cropredy Bridge.

Please note - any commenters will get no marks at all for mentioning the Referendum or any related matters. 


  1. Nice command additions to your ECW project. As for Featherstone and Auldearn, Hurry having an English force is an unfortunate mistake. Could the confusion be due to Hurry switching allegiances more than once during the conflict? Perhaps, this error is only in Curry's revised edition? You have me curious and will check both Curry's edition and The Donald's original when I return from a business trip.

    1. It's just a slip, no doubt, though it's an amusing one given DFF's intolerance of other people's errors in this department. I think he may have lapsed into his neo-Victorian depiction of the noble (i.e. high born) savage (for Montrose read Bonnie Charlie) in a brave but doomed (and therefore forgiveable) struggle against the empire-builders and culture-crushers.

      Anyway, we all know that he screwed up, so chalk it up - not that it matters, of course! By the way, the nationalities at Cropredy seem to be in order...