David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

From Byklabad to Pyddle Down...

...is but a short stroll around the table here in GHQ. Wargaming, for me at least, is almost like a stroll around one of those 'Model Villages' which formed {still form?} one of the attractions of British seaside resorts for parents and children alike. Even perhaps a sort of mini 'Grand Tour' of the world's military and historical hot spots without leaving the comfort and safety of your own home/club. This week I've been able to get in two games here in GHQ: an Indian Mutiny game, using my own The Devil's Wind rules with Jon, and an English Civil War game with Phil, using our current rules of choice, Victory Without Quarter, the Second Battle of Pyddle Down.
In the Mutiny game I took the Mutineers' part, as the Raja of Byklabad attempting to block a HEIC relief column 'somewhere along the Grand Trunk Road. {The command elephant is the Foundry one, but Mutineer have a really good one too, and probably a tad cheaper...}

The Raja's main force consisted of his Guard, who in the end proved his most stalwart asset, both the Foot Guard...

...and his Horse Guards.

The Raja's position straddled the Great Trunk Road, with the Guards supported by a battery of Mutineer Foot Artillery and the local Badmash, eager for some loot.

The HEIC Relief Column gathered at the western end of the table: to win they merely had to escort the baggage safely off at the eastern end...

The Raja's forces attacked fearlessly and repeatedly, while in the far distance you can see the Badmash beating off the best efforts of the HEIC'S best...

Even the services of a marksman trying to take out the Raja himself failed to shake the gallant defenders...

But finally the Raja's forces wilted, under repeated bombardment and merciless infantry fire, their Pluck finally gave way as they fled the field.

The following day here in GHQ, our attention switched back two hundred years or so and half a world away, to an English Civil War action: the Second Battle of Pyddle Down. Phil, as ever, taking the part of the Royalists and yours truly taking the part of the Parliamentarians.

In an epic five and a half hour struggle both flanks saw swirling cavalry fights surging back and forth across the table.

In the centre the Foote faced off against each other in dour struggle, intermittently bombarded by each side's large positional guns.

The battle seemed to swing away from the righteous forces of Parliament as Obadiah Bykleigh's foote "...went home to beer and family..." as a result of an Event Card! They were soon followed by a second Regiment of Foote fleeing in disgrace and then the positional battery as another Event card had the master Gunner 'drunk as a lord'!

Things even looked bleak for Obadiah Bykleigh himself at one point!

But fortune in battle { that is the run of drawn cards in this case} can so readily change. With the Royalist cavalry on both flanks put to flight and two fresh Regiments of Foote being sighted off their now unprotected right flank the Royalists fled the field of battle, leaving Obadiah Bykleigh victorious and in the bosom of his family! "Hurrah for God and Parliamente!"


  1. They both sound like great games David and I love all the photos. I've got a copy of Clarence's rules but never had a chance to use them yet but they are supposed to be the rules of choice for our League of Gentlemen Wargamers ECW weekend in June.

  2. I think you will enjoy the rules, David. We tweaked them just a little and I made a playsheet for them ~ Kevin has a copy I think. The event card can really mess up your plans on occasions.