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Sunday 18th May k/spiel - 1644 ECW campaign

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Sunday 18th May k/spiel - 1644 ECW campaign

Post  Martin on Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:55 pm

The May 2014 game is on Sunday 18th, starting at the usual time of 11 am, at the Little Gaddesden Village Hall.

Background

It is the beginning of May 1644.  In the south, the Earl of Essex, in command of the main Parliamentary army, has just taken Reading.  Another powerful Parliamentary army under Sir William Waller has been recruiting at St Albans, to the N of London.  Smaller regional forces are under General Massey in a small enclave around Gloucester, and the Earl of Denbigh in the Midlands.  The Earl of Manchester is raising a new army for Parliament from the counties of the Eastern Association.

The King is with the main Royalist army in a loyal enclave around Oxford.  A second Royalist army is in the Royalist-controlled SW under his nephew, Prince Maurice, besieging the port of Lyme Regis.  Smaller regional Royalist forces are in S Wales under General Gerard, and in the Midlands under Lord Loughborough.



Player roles

Most players will represent army commanders, of greater or lesser seniority.  There will also be a position for a player representing the Parliamentary 'Committee of Both Kingdoms (CBK)'.  This was set up during the war in association with representatives from the Scots, to oversee the conduct of the war and foreign policy.  Whilst this player will be operating from smoke-filled rooms in London, he/she will sometimes have more of the big picture than the commanders in the field, has control of the fleet, and can also pull lots of financial strings.

Turns will normally be approximately weekly, so armies can cover quite a bit of ground. When there is a battle, the campaign game will temporarily stop, and it will be fought out using a 30-minute battle module.

NB so folks aren't sitting on their hands, all players will be involved in fighting the battle, wherever they are on the campaign map. The players commanding the armies concerned will be in charge, but other players on the same side will act as subordinate generals. Given that turns are weekly, we work on the assumption that news of the battle result would spread pretty quickly to wherever they are on the map.

Please register your interest on the doodle link below, together with any preferences as to Royalist, Parliamentarian, Umpire.

http://doodle.com/b8m337f88bwmcu9x

Martin (J)


Last edited by Martin on Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:01 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Sunday 18th May k/spiel - 1644 ECW campaign

Post  Father General on Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:03 pm

Have you ever had a player join in one of these things by email or Skype? --More or less in real time, but physically displaced?
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Re: Sunday 18th May k/spiel - 1644 ECW campaign

Post  Martin on Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:39 pm

Father General wrote:Have you ever had a player join in one of these things by email or Skype? --More or less in real time, but physically displaced?
See my longer reply on your PBEM thread.  Theoretically possible (and to be encouraged!) but technically difficult atm.  It might also be necessary to tailor the player's role, given the comms angle.

Martin (J)

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Re: Sunday 18th May k/spiel - 1644 ECW campaign

Post  Martin on Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:49 pm

A reminder that the May game is on Sunday 18th May, starting at the usual time of 11 am, at the Little Gaddesden Village Hall.

We have 9 players already registered, but could certainly fit more in.  So if you would like to play, please register your interest on the doodle link below, together with any preferences as to Royalist, Parliamentarian, Umpire.  http://doodle.com/b8m337f88bwmcu9x

Martin (J)

Here are some more details on the game........

How will the game be run?

We will use weekly turns.  Apart from that it will operate much like the usual kriegsspiel.  Players will normally represent various army commanders, and will therefore typically be some distance apart.

Each player will give his orders for the coming week to the umpires, who make all necessary moves on the umpire map, before feeding the results back at the end of the turn.  The aim is to complete each turn in 10-15 minutes, and get through three to four months of a campaign.

If a major battle takes place, this will be resolved using a ’30-minute battle module’ and all players will step away from their normal responsibilities, to take part as subordinates of whichever player commands the force involved.


How are my forces made up?


Your army is composed of foot (infantry) and horse (cavalry).  Rather than distinguishing between pike-men and musketeers, we are regarding your foot as a mixture of the two.  Similarly, your horse actually includes a small number of dragoons, but for the purposes of this game we are not dealing with these as a separate combat arm.  In addition you will also have field artillery and, more rarely, heavy siege artillery.  

Whilst the troops in the main armies will march anywhere, those in the smaller regional forces are mainly local men, and their leaders are local bigwigs, who have enlisted to protect their homes.  Some of them will leave their garrisons if so ordered, but won't go very far, and will expect to return to them when the operation is complete.


How fast can I move?


With frequent rest days, your foot will normally march no more than 3 towns on the map in a weekly turn, even on the best roads, and in good weather.  A purely mounted force can move somewhat faster for a short period, but will be unable to fight effectively if the horses are pushed too hard.  Heavy siege artillery can normally only move 2 towns per week.  In periods of poor weather you will move more slowly.  

Only the primary and secondary roads are marked on the map.  You can leave these using more minor roads, but will move much more slowly.  Large rivers can only be crossed easily at bridges, and even then this may take a day or more, depending on the size of your force.  


What about logistics?  


In the ECW, both King and Parliament established a form of taxation in order to support their new armies.  Actually levying the tax was always difficult, but it was important to control a wide area to maximize your chances.  For this reason, some horse were always included in the garrisons.  

The taxes were levied in cash, food and other materials, but for simplicity we will assume that cash denominated in ‘£’ are the currency of our game.  Each turn the umpires will tell you how successful you have been in raising cash, and how much you currently have.  

The Royalists were very dependent on raising cash from the towns they garrisoned, and the surrounding area.
The main Parliamentarian armies were largely financed by periodic remittances of cash from SE counties and particularly the City of London, a major backer of the Parliamentary cause. The Committee of Both Kingdoms (CBK) administered this process.  By taking enemy garrisons, the main Parliamentarian armies under Essex and Waller limited the Royalist's opportunity to collect contributions, rather than directly increasing their own war chest.

In the game, larger towns provide more cash than small ones.  The amount raised by any player may vary widely from week to week, for reasons which are not always clear to you.  

  • Large town: £100 pw


  • Small town: £20 pw

For both sides, troops in garrison can usually exist on what money they find nearby.  Marching armies must take money with them however.  This is used to pay the men, and to buy food and fodder from local suppliers along the way.  Horse cost more than twice as much as foot.  If you rest your army at one of your own garrisons, you will spend a lot less, as you can draw on the resources held there for some of your army's needs.

There is one specific issue which relates to horse.  The demands for fodder from large numbers of horse were a major constraint.  Even if money was available, it was very to provide sufficient fodder from more than about 6,000 horse in one place for any length of time.


What can I do each week?


You are operating with relatively inexperienced troops, poorly-trained officers and the almost complete absence of a military staff.  In general, things are only done when you spend your own time making them happen.  Given this, each week you can do only one of the following:

• Campaign Move your army in order to seek battle, attack enemy garrisons, or to protect any of your own garrisons which may be under threat.  You will be expected to lead them, and you will need to spend cash in order to supply and feed them.

You may be able to bolster your forces by temporarily drawing support from any nearby regional commander.  They will bring some supplies with them, which will last them for a while, but after that will need to be paid.  Any such troops you have added to your army will normally return to their garrisons as soon as you move out of that area.

• Establish new garrison
Occupy an un-garrisoned town.  This allows you to control more territory, and potentially raise more taxes.  This does cost money when you move to the town, but from then on the garrison will become self-supporting like any other.

To protect the new garrison, you will need to strengthen the town defenses.  That also costs time and money.

• Improve or repair fortifications Strengthen the defenses of one of your garrisons.  This will costs lots of money for materials and for feeding and paying the extra labourers you will need to employ.  As a guide perhaps £250 for a small town, and much more for a large one.  Repairs to damaged existing fortifications may be less.

Assume that fortifying a small town will take a week, and a large one even longer.

• Evacuate garrison You may wish to do this if you find the garrison is no longer serving any purpose, or is threatened by an enemy army.  Or you are short of troops!  If they have time, your garrison will slight the defenses and destroy any stores before they leave.  This does not cost money, but you may face resistance from the garrison commander and/or his troops, some of whom may be inhabitants of the town!

• Raise troops Attract new recruits by beat of drum, and cajoling local dignitaries, at a location you designate.  You do not have full control of what you will raise.  This partly depends on who turns up, and the attitude of local dignitaries.  If you conquer a new area, there is a better chance of finding lots of new recruits there.
You will need lots of cash in order to pay the new men an initial bounty, and equip them.  As a guide it will cost perhaps £200 per 1,000 foot raised.  Horse will cost considerably more, but may occasionally turn up with their own horse and equipment, as they tend to be from the better sort of person.

• Rest & train troops This may be a good idea if your army contains a lot of new recruits.  Trained men (represented as 'veterans' on the battlefield) fight more effectively.  You need to be at one of your garrisons to do this, but it is cost free, as you are drawing supplies from your existing depots.  

• Launch major raid Small scale raiding between garrisons was endemic, but large scale raids deep into enemy areas were much rarer.  But you can send out some of your horse on such a raid, and may get lucky and capture enemy supplies, or even some wagons carrying money.  It is potentially risky though, as your horse may be attacked, and they will need to rest for a week following their return before they can be used again.

In addition to one of the above actions, you can send as many messages as you like, and also send cash to other players.  You can also send a spy to any point within 3 towns of your current position, and hopefully obtain useful intelligence at the end of the week.  Spying is a dangerous business however, and you will have to pay the spy (up front) £50 to go on the mission.


How do I communicate with other players?

Communications between commanders so far apart are problematic.  Assuming messages get through, you can assume they will take several days to reach the recipient.  You are not therefore guaranteed to get a response by the end of the turn your message is sent.


How do I capture enemy garrisons?

You cannot conduct a regular siege with lines of circumvallation and contravallation to totally cut- off your target.  ECW armies were usually simply too small for this approach.  This means that the defenders can often still send & receive messages.  It also means that, if the defenders arrive with a relief force, the besiegers must either try to retreat, or bring the relief force to battle.  If you fail to defeat them, you will not be able to continue the siege

Troops are often lazy, and their officers less than diligent, so garrisons occasionally fall to a surprise attack.  If a garrison is not surprised, it is standard practice to summon it to surrender.  If the garrison agrees to hand over the town, it is customary to grant them honours of war.  This means they can march off with their arms and colours to another garrison, and they may opt for this, particularly if their defenses are weak.

If the garrison remains stout of heart, the normal approach is to blockade the town, and bombard it with any field artillery you have.  This may weaken the defenses and or demoralise the garrison.  This may or may not be effective, depending partly on how good the fortifications are.  It may be necessary to summon siege artillery or miners (who are expensive).  But you may have no siege artillery, and there may be no miners locally.  

In this event, you can still trust to luck and attempt to storm the place.  Storming can be a good idea if the defenses are weak and/or the garrison is too small to cover the entire circuit – which is sometimes the case with large towns.  You risk heavy casualties however, and your troops will not be happy if ordered to storm frequently.  

Your only other alternative is to continue to blockade the garrison until it runs out of supplies.  The latter could take many weeks


Play hints


If you have a large force of reasonable quality, marching around the country to seek battle is an option.  But remember that battles are always risky, and be aware of how much your campaign is likely to cost.  If he is weaker than you, your opponent may seek to avoid your main body and attack your distant garrisons.  It is difficult to force an opponent to accept battle, unless perhaps he has a river at his back.

You do need to garrison key bases, from which you can control other towns in that area and draw supplies from them (or in Parliament's case, prevent the enemy from doing so).  If you can, set up garrisons in places which cut off your opponents from sources of supply.  You do not have enough men to garrison every town however.  

Poorly garrisoned or fortified enemy towns can often be taken quite cheaply.  Well-fortified towns will normally need siege artillery to take them quickly.  Siege trains are few and far between, but if you can lay your hands on one, it can really speed up sieges.

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Re: Sunday 18th May k/spiel - 1644 ECW campaign

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:32 pm

I have filled in the Doodle matrix. I'll be there. I can play or umpire.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Sunday 18th May k/spiel - 1644 ECW campaign

Post  Martin on Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:07 pm

Jolly good, Diggers.  I'll email you a game map.  Actually let me see if I can insert it here (perhaps as a thumbnail as it's rather large)



Never tried that before, but it does seem to work.

Martin (J)

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Re: Sunday 18th May k/spiel - 1644 ECW campaign

Post  Martin on Sat May 03, 2014 6:59 pm

Just to confirm that we have 10 signed-up for the ECW campaign game.  We could still fit a few more in, so if you're interested please complete the doodle here
http://doodle.com/b8m337f88bwmcu9x

I will aim to allocate roles tomorrow, and send out individual briefings early next week.

Martin (J)

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Re: Sunday 18th May k/spiel - 1644 ECW campaign

Post  Martin on Mon May 05, 2014 3:13 pm

Individual player briefings have been sent out today to each player and his liaison umpire.  Please contact me if you have not received yours.

See my previous posts for details on how the game will run.  If you have any questions on this, am happy to answer them before the game.

Could still fit one or two more in, if a gap has opened in your calendar  Smile 

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Re: Sunday 18th May k/spiel - 1644 ECW campaign

Post  Martin on Sun May 11, 2014 11:57 am

We now have 11 players signed-up but could still fit one or two more in.  
Please register your interest on the doodle link below, together with any preferences as to Royalist, Parliamentarian, Umpire.
http://doodle.com/b8m337f88bwmcu9x


A further reminder re the following two face-to-face k/spiels:

Sunday 15th June - North West Frontier colonial game.  Run by Steve
For further details see here http://kriegsspiel.forumotion.net/t1045-june-15-2014-face-to-face-game-at-little-gaddesdon
Please register your interest on the doodle link below, together with any preferences as to British, Rebel or Umpire.
http://doodle.com/t48tcxp8am2msuz2


Sunday 21st September – a War Of the Roses campaign.  Run by Paul
For further details see here http://kriegsspiel.forumotion.net/t1012-wars-of-the-roses-game-at-gaddesden-sunday-21st-september#8950
Please register your interest on the doodle link below, together with any preferences as to faction (Royal Lancastrian, Yorkist Pretender, Kingmaker, Duke of Buckingham), or Umpire.
http://doodle.com/wf243bztpc3e7yf2


All games will be played at the Little Gaddesden village hall, starting at 11 am and finishing between 4 and 4.30 pm.

Martin (J)

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Re: Sunday 18th May k/spiel - 1644 ECW campaign

Post  Martin on Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:13 pm

I’ve been asked for an AAR by someone who wasn’t able to attend the game.  Time is in short supply however, so here is a brief synopsis of 2-3 months campaigning........

Waller opened the campaign for Parliament by moving into the NW Midlands and attempting to surprise Banbury.  This failed, and he then marched SW to the smaller Royalist garrison of Burford, which he captured.  The King had briefly advanced through the Chiltern Hills to Watford, from where he could threaten London.  He lost heavily in attempting to storm the Parliamentarian garrison however, and pulled back to Oxford, but did capture Aylesbury on the way.  He then moved to counter Waller in the Cotswolds.  Waller had by now outrun his supplies, and eventually joined Massey’s small army in Gloucester in hopes of finding something to eat.  

Meanwhile Essex had also failed in an attempt to storm Wallingford, an outlying garrison for Oxford.  He was then forced to move W in response to Prince Maurice, who had raised the siege of Lyme Regis and was marching towards a junction with the King.  The two Royalist armies attempted to trap Waller between them but without success.



The Parliamentarian command structure was creaking at this point.  Due to the briefings, Essex was mistrustful of Waller, the latter had doubts over Essex’s commitment to the war, and Sir Henry Vane in London was mistrustful of both.  He attempted to keep the 2 generals on a short leash by withholding pay for their troops.  Essex (as generalissimo) and Vane were both issuing orders to Waller and the regional commanders.  The umpires were pleased to see that the players were hamming it up nicely.  Essex initially adopted a peremptory tone with Vane, but realised this route led to penury, and smartly changed his tune!  The Royalists experienced none of these problems, as the King was the King by the Grace of God, and Prince Maurice was a dutiful nephew.

Having eaten all the food in Gloucester, Waller now moved further south and linked up with Essex.  The King continued to shadow his movements.  Waller’s hungry men naturally soon ate all of Essex’s food too, and both fell back towards London to refit and re-supply.  Essex had suffered heavy losses due to the failed assault on Wallingford, and both he and Waller had lost from attrition due to the shortage of supplies.  Vane therefore took the decision to strip all the ready troops from the Earl of Manchester’s newly-forming army, and brought them down to London.  Manchester naturally resigned in high dudgeon at this high-handed action.

The need for Parliamentarian reorganisation left the King freedom of manoeuvre for the first time in several weeks.  He decided to besiege Reading and called for Maurice to join him.  Parliament were loth to give up Reading without a fight, and brought a large combined force to break the siege.  Although battle was normally discretionary in this period, both sides had their own reasons for wanting to fight on this occasion, so battle was joined.  

Both armies were of similar size.  The defending Royalists had the advantage of rising ground in the centre and on their right.  After a stiff fight, the strong Parliamentarian right wing of horse, lead by Essex himself, eventually prevailed, and drove the Royalist horse from the field.  The Roundheads also made good progress in the centre, where Waller drove the Royalist foot back and captured their guns.  Things were more even on the Royalist right wing, but with dusk approaching, things looked grim for them.  However the Essex's victorious Roundhead horse could not be rallied to attack in the centre, and instead rode on to plunder the Royalist baggage train.  A severe blow, but at least it gave the Royalist foot in the centre the chance to rally, and withdraw from the field in reasonable order as dusk fell.  The King displayed admirable sang-froid, as befitting his royal status.  For all that, this was a clear Parliamentarian victory, somewhat against the run of play.

Capturing the Royalist baggage had both eased the Parliamentarian supply situation, and also forced the main Royalist army temporarily onto the defensive until they could reorganise and raise more money.  In the wake of the battle, Essex planned to advance S of Oxford and Waller was intending to move NW and attack Banbury again.  The umpires took the view that these moves would have met with some success in the window of opportunity before the King was able to take the field in strength once more.

The earlier decision to break up Manchester’s new army was probably necessary, but did mean that Parliament would not be able to fully exploit the Royalist defeat at Reading.  Additional reinforcements had been raised for the King in Wales and Ireland, and would have become available in a few weeks.

Overall the umpires felt that honours were even.

Martin (J)

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