More Uncivil War

I purchased the latest Lardie special (2022) and one item that jumped out at me was an article espousing the use of Sharp Practice to wargame the English Civil War! It included several force lists and some handy explanations. My long-suffering opponent, John, also had noted the ECW article, and after a brief but excited phone call, a test game was organised. I have been looking for a replacement set of rules as I have never been entirely happy with Warlord Games “Pike and Shotte”, especially after a notorious game where I had a pike block charged in the rear by a cavalry unit that started in front of it via the “Follow Me” rule.

I put together some basic lists and set up a small English crossroads where two valiant forces met to decide the fate of Merry Olde England. I didn’t bother too much with points but rather just cobbled together a small but representative force, each consisting of a pike block with wings of muskets, some cavalry, a piece of artillery, a storming party, and an extra pike block for the Parliamentarians and an extra commanded Shotte unit for the Royalists.

John took the Royalists and fittingly got a higher force moral role. The poor roundheads had a poor showing in the force moral stakes, possibly early in the war and were not entirely comfortable going to war with the King. Deployment was patchy as usual, and the Parliamentarians were able to start deploying onto the field slightly quicker.

Advancing towards the crossroads
Clash of cavalry, my scouts were swept away
A fire fight develops
And let that be a lesson!! My pike blocking the road
The fire figh expands drawing in the neighbours

The game swung back and forth but came to a conclusion with the push of pike that occurred in the middle of the table. John’s royalists finally gained the upper hand and was able to collapse my force moral by breaking up my main pike block.

For those who are familiar with Sharp Practice it will feel like putting on an old pair of boots. What I found fascinating was that with fairly minor adjustments it gave a game that felt completely different from a napoleonic game. I take my large floppy hat off to the Lardies. It was enormous fun and both John and I felt that it succeeded in capturing the flavour of the English Civil War. The best part was that it made sense. With no units rocketing around the table. Now to convince some others.

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