David Bickley's Wargames Blog

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

Friday, 28 August 2015

The Battle of Pyddle-in-the-Marsh

Earlier this week Jon and I managed to get together in GHQ for our first game this month! We chose an ECW game using my own 'A Crowning Mercy' rules. Jon took the part of Lord Walton, one of our Royalist commanders, while I commanded the Parliamentary force as Obadiah Bykleigh, Gentleman. The opening positions are clear in the first picture, I hope, with the Parliamentary army drawn up with its back to the Pyddle River and Pyddle Marsh defending the crossing to Pyddle Down Hall. In the far left distance can be seen the Royalist Horse reserves who could enter after Turn 2 by passing Lord Walton's Command Rating of 8 ~

The Parliamentary army was tasked with denying the ford over the Pyddle for 12 turns to claim a win but lacked much Horse at the start. These could arrive from the end of Turn 3 by passing Obadiah Bykleigh's Command Rating, also of 8, but only one unit of the three making up the Horse reserve per turn could enter if the roll was successful.

The Royalist Foote advanced steadily under Parliamentary artillery fire, mostly ineffective but noisy, while on the right the rival Horse were soon engaged with each command loosing one regiment.

The Parliamentary Horse commander withdrew his surviving Regiment to guard the flank of the Foote who would have been threatened otherwise by superior numbers of enemy Horse and Foote
The withdrawal and subsequent defeat of the Parliamentary horse meant that the Royalist Horse could hit home against the Parliamentary Foote before the commander could do anything about it ~
The other Foote reacted to the loss of its partner Regiment by swiftly forming Hedgehog.


Meanwhile, on the Royalist right flank the Foote advanced on the hard pressed Parliamentary Foote, supported by the reserve Horse who had arrived very promptly! Parliament's position was in danger now, although some Horse was finally coming to their aid.
Parliament's right had collapsed and the centre was under great pressure from both Foote and Horse.
The Royalists pressed home their attack on the Parliamentary right. Things were looking grim for Obadiah Bykleigh!
The Parliamentary Horse had arrived too late to make an impact and the game was lost in Turn 11, with two commands in the Parliamentary army having fled the field or been destroyed.
It was a while since we had played an ECW game and I found out how much I had simply forgotten about my rules as the game went on! As Rick Priestly once said, the worst person to ask about the rules is the person who wrote them. Seems more than true based on my problems of memory with this game. Never the less, we both enjoyed a close encounter. Both side's firing was noisy but mostly ineffective. The game was largely won by the Royalist Horse's cold steel! I'm replaying the game on Tuesday next week with Phil, with one or two amendments to the OOB though I think to give him more to think about. Now, back to painting Late Roman archers!
PS Its taken two days to make this entry thanks to swapping between my iPad and my laptop. Thanks a bundle Microsoft for Windows 10!!!!!!


  1. Awesome looking Pike & Shot game! I loved the line about rules authors being the last to question concerning them :)

    1. Thanks for that Dean, much appreciated.

  2. Wonderful looking game. Great work!

    1. Thank you very much for those kind sentiments Roger!

  3. Oh Obadiah! What a to do, better luck next outing, don't worry if you forget something I will make it up, very impartially of course.


  4. That's an awesome looking game David! I really do need to work on my ECW material!!