Sunday, 23 July 2017

Battle plans and more Dapol buildings.

With the total of painted figures now exceeding 400, it's clearly time to get some figures on the table for a first battle. From the start of this project it has been my intention to use the old WRG rules with which I played so many memorable games 30 odd years ago. I retain much of the rules to memory, and find no issue with the requirement for lots of morale or 'Reaction' tests as once you strip the many factors down to just those relevant to the ECW it's really not that bad. On many occasions a roll of the dice and quick look at the units situation will determine a fail or pass result after a few games. Royalist Horse are particularly difficult to handle, and that first sight of the enemy test can often see them take off in an 'uncontrolled advance'.

At the gallop, charge!

 Must give him a clean up!
I have been giving much thought to how I want to fight my battles, and have decided that I'm going to fight a fictitious loose campaign based on my local area in Kent. This part of the country did not see much action during the First Civil War, only later in 1647 did the war arrive down here on a small scale, with actions around the Medway, Maidstone and Leeds Castle being recorded. But my armies are early 1642 period, with heavy muskets on rests and armoured pikemen etc, so I'm going to use this old wall map of Kent that hangs in our hallway as a basis for a campaign. This fits the theme of the project, being very much influenced by the battle described in the Airfix ECW book.

Lots of ancient churches down here on the Romney Marsh, my village of Dymchurch (11th century) can be glimpsed on the coast at right, above Romney.






To this end I have been sorting out suitable terrain items and will be making them compatible with the WRG rules, where for example a 'Small Hamlet' may be taken a terrain choice and features just a couple of houses on a single base. Each base will be able to hold a regiment of foot or horse. IN addition there will be enclosed fields available, or a large church with walls etc, all very practical and simple. To date I have made 3 thatched cottages, a country Inn and a church, all in '00' scale and have a second Inn model that I plan to expand into a small manor House with walled grounds. The Dapol kits are cheap as chips, very easy to build - although the church was more challenging- and I put together the 3 cottages below in about 45 minutes yesterday whilst watching an episode of Midsomer Murders on the laptop.


I still have a couple more regiments of horse bought ready painted to rebase, this one is next and as you can see they are much cleaner than previous arrivals so will require nothing more than removing from the bases and onto my standard size horse bases, 25mm frontage rather than 20mm as they are far too squashed on the narrower base. I'll probably repaint  the sashes in Tawny Orange to represent a Parliamentarian regiment of 240 horse.

Next up for re basing, the officer (second from left in above image) is not a Hinchliffe model and I don't think he's a Minifig either, but he's a fine little figure anyway. Figure second from right will become the standard bearer.



Finally for now those Minifigs 'Clubmen' have been re based and retouched to form two bands of reluctant villagers with improvised weapons ready to defend their land. I left them very much as was, only painting in missing collars here and there and re varnishing them with my standard satin as they were TOO shiny. Flags were supplied as free extras when I ordered my flags from Wargame Designs and they make a nice addition to the units with their slogans. The officer figures are wonderful examples of the Minifigs ECW range so they just had to remain with the units. These are rated E class under the rules and will probably not hang about in a fight very long, but can add a touch of unpredictability when dicing to see which side they will support (if any!).


I'm still not happy with the look of the bases!



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