Went once more to HMGS Cold Wars at the Lancaster Host Resort. I did not stay at the Host again this year but I did enjoy the place I did stay at again this year. Don’t know what the future will bring but I do enjoy the Lancaster area and both my wife and I enjoy the area.
I had pre-registered and I felt that the registration area just flowed well Thursday night when I stopped by to pick up my registration. Liked the way it was handled by the convention staff volunteers they deserve congratulations for handling it so well. The information booth where you come in the front door is a great idea. For me the convention was well handled. In addition, I had no games I was signed up for canceled for a change, which was nice. Had a bit of bad luck this last couple of years with some games I was interested in getting into being cancelled. Many games to choose from that I would have liked to get into this year but too much overlap. I ended up just playing two games a day Friday and Saturday. A very slow down for me from the late 80’s and early 90’s I am showing my age and I am happy with that.
First game I played was an English Civil War game called Protestants, Catholics, Cavaliers and Roundheads put on by John Hollier. Nice figures 28 mm from many different manufactures including some plastic figures. They all looked good together on the table. The goal of the game was to have the Royalist to hold the town in the center vs the parliamentarian Roundheads. I commanded the Royalist Left Flank with two infantry units and three cavalry units. The Royalist Center had mostly infantry units, some dismounted dragoons, a field gun and one cavalry unit. The Royalist Right Flank had a combination of infantry and cavalry like the left flank. The center had a waterway surrounding it with a bridge and two fords otherwise, the terrain was pretty wide open and clear.
The War of the Three Kingdoms to use the correct terminology for the period is an interesting period to me for the troops, dragoons fight dismounted, cavalry still has the heavy shock value at this time and infantry need to carry pikes to negate the power of cavalry. The infantry firepower is growing but they still are vulnerable to the shock value of cavalry. Not having to have distinct uniforms for all your troops’ kind of appeals to me. Lots of sides to choose from and battles to fight, good variety. The rules used were home rules from the GM of the game and I would say I liked them after only one time playing them. They were easy to understand and flowed I thought pretty well. An I go you go system with a bloody combat results table.
Click picture for larger image
On the Royalist Left flank, I concentrated on the cavalry we were evenly matched number wise though I decided to dismount my one unit of Dragoons and use the firepower to inflict casualties on the enemy infantry. After forming my two infantry units into blocks in the rear, I chose to charge the two oncoming parliamentarian cavalry units holding my other cavalry unit in reserve. I had fixated on the cavalry worried my infantry would be too weak to hold out. Still the cavalry was evenly matched. We were locked for several turns no one gaining an advantage until we each had one unit fail morale and fall back. This did cause my unit in reserve to go to shaken for seeing the route and not making the morale roll. Next came a decision I regret. I had the choice use the cavalry unit that one the fight to go after the fleeing parliament cavalry that had routed or turn to face the other cavalry unit that had one its combat. I decided to turn and face the new threat.
My reasoning for this at the time was he was turning on my side. The unit was in good shape and I felt lucky with it. If I continued to chase the routed unit if I hit it would disperse but I ran the risk of running off the table if I did not make a morale roll. Further, the Parliamentarians center was moving a fresh cavalry unit in my direction. This unit has a very nice flag by the way.
Why I regret the move. I ended up locked in combat for 3 turns with the other unit as we tied each turn doing little to no damage. This allowed the fleeing parliament cavalry a chance to recover which they did and then I received a charge in the locked units’ side. This caused too much damage and after several more dice ties, I lost the melee and failed morale. This unit would then by charged while routing and disperse. The fresh reserve cavalry unit who failed morale and routed off the board never seeing any combat witnessed this. I was disappointed with that result though it was most likely historically accurate.
Meanwhile the Royalist Center just ground each other down with fire though it did lose the cavalry unit from long-range infantry fire. The Royalist dragoons though did mess up two parliament infantry units and that was helpful. The center for a while I did not think would hold but between the dragoons and the infantry they were pushing most of the parliament forces back in the center.
The Royalist Right Flank in many ways was very similar to the left with grand cavalry charges and countercharges. The long flanking movement by the one royalist cavalry unit I thought was a great idea and kept some parliament forces out of the fight as they ended up having to reverse course and face the new threat. Good maneuver that helped out the center and left in the end.
Towards the end of the game, I changed the layout of my infantry to maximize their firepower and did some damage as the parliament forces got into range with infantry fire. While they were disordered and no longer fresh, I then charged the enemy infantry with good results. Though it was leaving me to face some cavalry all of which had taken hits, I felt decent about the chances taking most if not everything with me.
The game was bloody and overall I think the Royalist would have lost though they were declared the victor. Hard to say as we had really ground each other down but I do not know that unless you were willing to play another additional hour or two the Parliament would have taken the town.
Interesting rules, which caused the cavalry to roll after victory to see if it continues to charge. If you don’t make your morale roll you just keep going. Sure, you might hit another unit even if you want to but you could also just keep going of the table. I actually liked this rule, though you could never be blown which allowed for lots of charges by units. I was fixated on the cavalry but it was my infantry that were the real decider in this game. The Dragoons in the center also proved to play a pivotal part in holding the lines.