1644 An attempt at an English Civil War campaign (As at 14 May 2012)
I intend to run a play by email campaign which seeks to give some simulation of the English Civil War in 1644. There are few hard and fast rules. Players represent generals and all orders are followed through in the style of the period- with events happening in line with 17th century reality. So there are no strict limits on the speed of troop movements, length of time of sieges or even formulas for working out the odds. The umpire controls all these things. It’s a map based game with battles possibly fought on the umpire’s table- with accompanying battle reports. Orders and reports will be sent by email.
The King controls his armies and sends out orders to his appointed generals. Parliament gives orders to its generals and sits back and waits to see what happens next. Players represent the main protagonists in the war, commanding regional forces. Very few will have the overall picture of what is happening in the country at any specific moment in time.
The game starts on 1 January 1644 and will end (if it makes it that far) on 31 December 1644. The Scots have gathered an army and are set to move south. Regional forces across the country are poised to start the New Year seeking to gain the upper hand.
It is intended for the campaign to be rolling and not run to a set of deadlines. Events nationally may slow as events in one region take priority but mainly it will be in the hands of the umpire to move things along- provided players do their bit too.
Orders will be needed strategically and then may well come down to a campaign week or day depending on circumstances. All communications will be run through the umpire and participants will only be revealed at the end of the game.
Players will guide the main armies across the country but they must not forget that localised actions abound- or that new forces may be raised by local citizens. Events may not turn out as expected....
The game may work or it may fold under the weight of expectation, lack of excitement, umpire or player fatigue, but if you are interested then please do get in touch. 14 players are required to play the game. I may be trying to be too ambitious but if you are willing to be relaxed about it we can see how things go. Feel free to ask questions and seek clarification if things aren’t clear. The campaign will start once all players have been assigned roles.
Initially positions exist in the first instance for
1, The King, 2.Rupert, 3. Maurice, 4. Newcastle, 5.Byron, 6.Hopton and 7.Montrose
8. Parliament (mainly a watching brief directing operations as they unfold and then trying to react),
9. Waller, 10. Essex, 11.Fairfax, 12.Manchester,
13.The Covenanter Kirk ( again mainly a watching brief in charge of allocating forces and appointing generals but some decision making required)
Other positions may arise as situations develop.
Playing the game
On 1 January 1644 current troop dispositions will be sent to the King and Parliament and both sides will appoint their commanders to troops (creating regional armies?) and a plan of action.
Full strength foot regiments will be 500 strong and Cavalry 400. Each general must name his regiments and also, where appropriate, appoint officers to command his foot and horse brigades (following historical example where possible). E.g. a force of 2000 foot and 1000 horse commanded by the Marquess of Newcastle will have 4 regiments of foot and 3 of horse. Each regiment will need a name and an officer appointed as infantry commander (Mackworth) and Horse commander (Goring)
A general map will be provided to all players but troop movements will be made in two ways.
General moves. Instructions will be given naming towns en route- using A/B roads as shown on road maps .
Specific. Once armies/troops come close to one another more detailed maps may be issued to facilitate detailed movements.
1st of the month
Revenues are collected and spent/transported if desired.Powder is bought
Troops are paid (nominally and assumed to be paid unless it is mentioned otherwise)
GarrisonsAll settlements mentioned in the lists supplied are assumed to have garrisons of between 500-3000 troops. These can be stripped out to form/join field forces if required. Field forces can be added to existing town garrisons too. Empty towns may of course change sides or be easily taken. This could affect troop morale and performance ! The bigger the garrison the more likely it is that the town will be able to withstand a siege or assault.
Supply. As long as troops can trace a route to a settlement they are generally assumed to be in supply. The Scots must trace a line back to Scotland via land or sea port.
Sacking. Troops can sack settlements they pass through or conquer. Revenue/pay will be raised. But all actions have consequences.
Settlements; Seiges/storming/subtefuge All three manners can be used to take a settlement. Who knows how long a siege will take... or if an assault will succeed. Check the history books for a guide to the strength of each settlement. Of course, the bigger the garrison the better the defence.
Settlements can and will impede the movement of enemy forces in the vicinity.
Powder must be transported with an army, if it is to fight to its full effect.
Powder and revenue. Both can be transported in convoy to other locations. The bigger the guard the more likely it is that a convey will reach its destination. Hostile settlements en route could well impede movement!
Recruitment. Each general can recruit new troops at any time in the settlements he controls. There is no cost involved but there is no guarantee anyone will turn up to fight though. Some troops can be raised through payment as outlined in the player specific rules. A Levee en mass can be attempted to replace major troop losses only.
Settlements with garrisons,
A map will be issued to each side which outlines the general state of the country. The following settlements have garrisons which will influence matters- although there maybe others that spring to mind as the game develops.
Berwick, Newcastle, Sunderland, Scarborough, Bridlington, York, Tadcaster, Durham, Selby, Carlisle, Richmond, Pontefract, Wakefield, Retford, Newark, Chester, Shrewsbury, Worcester, Banbury, Oxford, Reading, Marlborough, Devizes, Sailsbury, Bristol, Bridgewater, Barnstaple, Taunton, Abingdon, Hereford, Exeter, Weymouth, Winchester, Ashby de la zouch
Lancaster, Preston, Bolton, Manchester, Warrington, Nantwich, Liverpool, Stafford, Leicester, Nottingham, Coventry, Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, Warwick, Aylesbury, Marlow, London, Fareham, Arundel, Hull, Gloucester, Lyme Regis, Plymouth, Poole, Southampton, Portsmouth, derby, Northwich, Bedford, Boston, Market Drayton, Aylesbury, Lincoln