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


Tuesday, 27 February 2018

ECW - Marston Moor? - Maybe's Aye, Maybe's No....

Game is scheduled for Saturday, but current weather situation here on the East Coast of Scotland is not promising. I live next to the sea, and we hardly ever get snow (though we have a little today), but my gaming companions have to travel from higher, more northerly lands and that may be a problem.

Tuesday and counting - only a little snow here, but we rarely get any at all
Last credible local forecast I saw said that it will be pretty terrible here Wednesday and Thursday, but might well be OK Friday and Saturday. Thus we live in hope (which, as discussed previously, is a small village not far from despair).

I've set up the battlefield - making everything fit on the table is a starter challenge. If I have to tidy the thing away again without a game that's all right - we can rearrange when the Beast from the East (as the literati in the popular press call the present storm front) has gone. I have a photo of how the field looks now, so it will be an easy matter to set it up another time.

From the South West - behind the Allied left flank
...and from the South East. Table is 17 hexes x 9 - that's 10'4" x 5'
Very plain battlefield - the ridge is on the Parliament side, there are a couple of enclosures on the north side of the road, the infamous ditch/hedge feature is fairly trivial, and only a couple of portions of it appear. The roads themselves have no function at all, other than to give the battlefield some recognisable shape - no movement bonus, no cover. The little wheat fields up next to the village of Long Marston are a bit tricky - broken ground - troops arriving on one of these will have to stop until next turn; also, any horse occupying or attacking such a field does not get to count any "Galloper" bonus.

That's it really - I'll set up some soldiers later on - I was going to leave it until we had a better idea of the weather, but I decided I would rather enjoy setting the troops out and, if necessary, putting them away as well. I may publish some pictures of the armies in position - on the other hand, it only makes it more awkward if we have to cancel; I went through a bit of that last year with my over-publicised Siege of Newcastle...

Maybe's aye, maybe's no. We'll see.

***** Late Edit *****

All right, all right. I set the armies up as well. Note the little packets of commanded shot attached to the horse, and deployed in the hedge.



15 comments:

  1. You call THAT snow? Hope weather improves for you before the weekend. BTW, game looks terrifc!

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    1. No - my house is literally 400m from the sea, so snow is very rare right here. If my guest generals get stranded in a snow-bank on the M90, THAT will be snow! We should be OK if the trains keep running.

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  2. Sod this horrible cold white stuff, I hope it does not delay Marston Moor. The set up looks brilliant, I would love to be part of such a game. Kent has ground to a halt, soft Southerners that we are, only had an inch or so here in Dymchurch and the sun has melted most away today but everything has shut down and Sainsburys have been cleared out of bread and milk from panic buying.... whats wrong with us? Best of luck for the game Tony, I'm really looking forward to it.

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    1. What happened to the "blitz spirit"? Actually, come to think of it, I have heard tales of the black markets in Liverpool during the war, and i doubt if much has changed! Tomorrow (Thursday) is expected to be the worst day of the week here.

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  3. Set up looks brill. My fingers are crossed for Saturday. Minus 11 this morning in central France....brrrrrr.... Thankfully no snow this week.

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    1. If I find a stray chicken, I may sacrifice it to appease The Beast. Nothing excites our media more than snow in Essex.

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  4. An impressive looking tabletop with the armies deployed.

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    1. Thank you Peter - hope we are able to get the game in!

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  5. Looks splendid! If your visitors cry off, a shame to just pack it away; it could be a rather grand solo game...

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    1. It would maybe be a bit too grand for a solo game - I would need my staff to keep me constantly supplied with rations, and to massage my neck from time to time. If it's a solo game, it may be a 2-day job!

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    2. De Vries suggests "a two-bottle job". What can he mean?

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  6. When the wife and I travelled through Scotland at new year the local authorities were very, very good at keeping the roads clear. Remark of the trip as we trundled through the Cairngorms was, `Why are all these poles by the road? Is it for decorative lights?'

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    1. Disadvantage for Scotland is that sparse population = not much money. Advantage is that the weather is bad enough to force us to have a permanent infrastructure to cope. I used to wonder how Finland managed to get through their (rather worse) winters without grinding to a halt, while an inch of snow on a British motorway and we are shut down. I guess the Finns have to have a lot of kit standing by and a lot of people employed full-time to handle the weather as business as usual. Without it they would be in real trouble. Things being a bit gentler in most of England, it would not make sense to pay for a permanent set-up, so when we have problems we struggle a bit. Someone who knows more about this could certainly produce figures to prove that occasional struggles work out cheaper.

      In Scotland, I guess we are somewhere between the two situations, so in many ways we are better positioned to handle adverse conditions. [It occurs to me that a permanent mountain-rescue team in Lincolnshire might not be cost-effective, in the same sort of way]

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  7. The Royalist HQ currently has 3" of snow and a blizzard and even Boye the dog is reluctant to go out. It may be winter quarters for a while longer!

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    1. Oh ye of little faith - I say unto thee, the sun will shine in Saturday, or my name's Max Foy.

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