Napoleonic, WSS & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Saturday 23 December 2017

Thinking Aloud? - Marston Moor (maybe)

Royalist celebs preparing for Marston Moor - the fellow in the carriage may be
the Marquis of Newcastle, enjoying a crafty pipe of tobacco
One of this week's Things to Think About in the Background is the possibility of my staging an ECW battle - possibly in February. This is to be a proper, social game, not one of my weird solo efforts, so I am keen to make a decent job of it. Any kind of a historically-based scenario is always viewed with some suspicion here at Chateau Foy, but since the tie-in with history usually vanishes after about two turns it's not really a major concern.

My short list of promising scenarios has been steady at a choice of two for the past month. I did an ECW game based on Kilsyth (that's Montrose vs the Covenanters) a few years ago, which went well, and is a smallish action on interesting terrain, with plenty of potential movement, and highlanders and Irishmen and all sorts - that might be an attractive thing to have another go at.

On the other hand, it is tempting to go for the Grand Bash, just for the mind-numbing spectacle of the thing. I am drawn towards Marston Moor - hardly a leap of the imagination, you might think, but I've never attempted it, and it does have a certain [moronic?] appeal - flat, open field, groaning with toy soldiers, minimal scenery - all the alarm bells should be ringing.


I've been doing a bit of reading, as you would expect - everything from Peter Young to Osprey, with John Barratt and Newman and a few others on the way - I've even looked at scenarios for MM in De Bellis Civile and Charlie Wesencraft's Pike & Shot book.


The major criteria, of course, are the lowbrow ones: how many soldiers have I got, and how many would I need? What size table? That was easier - I believe that, without any extra figure painting (always a potential disappointment, since, in my experience, the fresh units always get eliminated within the first few moves of their debut appearance), I can set up a ⅔-scale version of the battle on my larger (10'6" x 5') table. The ⅔ refers to numbers of troops, rather than of units - we'll just assume that the smaller entities were assembled into fewer, larger groupings...

OK - looks pretty good. I need to improvise some scenario-specific rules for the treatment of the small bodies of musketeers which both armies interspersed among their units of horse in this battle, but that's all part of the fun. Righto - at the moment, it looks like Marston Moor is feasible. The background thinking may continue.

You may hear more of this, in time. I'd even get to field Rupert and his magnetic dog - the dog doesn't know what he's in for, does he?


  1. Tony - I can't wait, I'll even bring my own dog!

  2. This all sounds very intriguing. Looking (cautiously?) forward to learning more and seeing hw this might develop.

    Best Regards,


  3. For this sort of occasion I'm sure its a case of the Moor, the merrier.

    Merry Christmas!


      Merry Christmas!

  4. Marston Moor would be a terrific goal!