View Full Version : ECW - Raising the Royal Standard

03-18-2011, 06:15 PM
I am starting a short, solitaire scenario based on the start of the English Civil War. I will only be using dice to resolve the battles to expedite testing, but the intention is to use DBA-RRR once testing is complete.

Here is a link to the map at the start of the Late 1642 turn: http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/w_michael/ECW%20-%20Raising%20the%20Royal%20Standard/ECW_Standard_T1_Start.jpg

The development of the ECW campaign rules can be found here: http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/showthread.php?t=10875

Royalist controlled area are coloured light blue, and Royalist armies are blue rectangular flags (with the King's army marked with a "K"). Parliament uses tawny colours and triangular flags to mark their armies.

I am using the following die roll system to resolve the battles:

Roll 1 die per side
If one side has more elements than the other add the difference in the number of elements to that side's die roll
If tied reroll, but the eventual losing side will have the General's element as one of the losses
The side with the higher result wins the battle
The winning side loses elements equal to 1/2 their actual die roll (not result), rounding down
The losing side loses elements equal to 1/3 the number of elements in the army rounding down, plus 1/2 their actual die roll (not result), rounding down
If anyone has any suggestions to make the above system more closely resemble possible outcomes of a DBA-RRR game, please let me know. Keep in mind that armies may not be at full 12-element strength due to losses in previous battles.

03-18-2011, 08:23 PM
Late 1642, Royalist Move 1/4

The Royalists hold the North, Wales, and (barely) the South. That is all very well, but it is what Parliament holds at the end of Winter 1642 that counts. The South is worth 5 VP (including all economic regions), as is the Midlands region, so these are the primary theatres of operations. The Eastern and Northern regions, 4VP each, are secondary regions in that the North must be held and Parliament pinned defending a feint to the East. Wales is worth 2 VP, and it will be tough for Parliament to gain control in only two turns.

Parliament wins an automatic victory if the King is captured, so I have to be lucky with my combat die rolls with that army. Capturing London is the means to Royalist automatic victory, but it is impossible in the first two turns. No Royalist army is close enough to move there and successfully siege it in that time (perhaps this needs to be addressed). Which Royalist army to move first? There is something to be said for pinning an enemy army in battle to reduce their strategic options. There are two armies of Parliament in the South region so it makes sense to activate the Royalist army in Bridgwater (South) first and engage the Parliament army opposite in Exeter (South).

Operation Points die roll: 2

Well, that is limiting. I will spend 1 OP to initiate a local gentry attack on Salisbury (South) to convert it to Royalist political control. The last OP will be used to move the army from Bridgwater (South) to Exeter (South), engaging the Parliament army there in battle.

Here is the situation after the Royalist operations: http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/w_michael/ECW%20-%20Raising%20the%20Royal%20Standard/ECW_Standard_T1_Royalist1.jpg

03-19-2011, 12:29 PM
Late 1642, Parliament Move 1/4

Parliament wins automatically if the King is captured. In a DBA-RRR game the King is part of the General's element. If that element is eliminated, the King is captured on a D6 roll of 4, 5 or 6. Now that I am considering Parliament's move, I can't seen any reason not to attack the King's army every turn in the hope of a lucky win. This is not what happened historically as Essex was cautious knowing that a decisive victory by the King in battle could be folled up by a Royalist march to London where the Royalists could obtain an automatic win. Perhaps I should make the King harder to capture.

The field armies were usually left alone if they occupied a Fortress Area like Oxford or London, so I've changed the campaign rules so that an army defending a friendly controlled Fortress Area has their Aggression Factor reduced for that battle.

Another thought has prompted a campaign rule change. I wanted to show the activities of local gentry and committies to spread political control outside of the activites of the field armies. I could use use 2 OP in the South to gain control of the Cornish Tin Mines economic area. Think of the swing in control if 6 OP were available. I have changed the campaign rules to limit the number of OP that an army can spend for this to 1 OP per turn to better reflect these limited activites.

I'll leave London (East) guarded for now, and activate the army in Portsmouth (South).

Operation Points die roll: 4

The battle at Exeter (South) will decide the fate of the south-west, so I will move this army north towards the Wool Road economic area and Oxford, taking out Basing House en route. One OP is used to move to Basing House (South) and another OP to take the fortified manour house and convert the area to Parliament's control. One OP moves the army to Newbury (South) and a second changes control.

Here is the situation after Parliament's operations: http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/w_michael/ECW%20-%20Raising%20the%20Royal%20Standard/ECW_Standard_T1_Parliament1.jpg

03-19-2011, 02:17 PM
Late 1642, Royalist Move 2/4

I will have to deal with Parliament's army at Newbury (South), but let's move the Midlands armies last to counter any incursions there and spread our influence. It is time for the army at Newcastle (North) to march south.

Operation Points die roll: 4

Good. I'll spend 1 OP to let local Gentry take Pontrefract (North) and then use the remaining OP to march to York (North).

Here is the situation after Royalist operations: http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/w_michael/ECW%20-%20Raising%20the%20Royal%20Standard/ECW_Standard_T1_Royalist2.jpg

03-19-2011, 02:29 PM
Late 1642, Parliament Move 2/4

The army at Exeter (South) has limited options as it is committed to battle.

Operation Points die roll: 1

Well at least I didn't waste a 6! The committee at Plymouth (South) will take control of St. Austell (South) for 1 OP.

Here is the situation after Parliament's operations: http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/w_michael/ECW%20-%20Raising%20the%20Royal%20Standard/ECW_Standard_T1_Parliament2.jpg

03-19-2011, 02:50 PM
Late 1642, Royalist Move 3/4

I'll leave the King's army in place for now and use the army at Shrewsbury (Midlands) to expand control there. It there are enough OP available then the Parliament army at Wakefield (North) will be attacked.

Operation Points die roll: 2

Oh, well. For 2 OP the army will advance and take control of Macclesfield.

Here is the situation after Royalist operations: http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/w_michael/ECW%20-%20Raising%20the%20Royal%20Standard/ECW_Standard_T1_Royalist3.jpg

03-20-2011, 01:15 PM
I'm too lazy to look it up but is this a basis for something we can do at Fall In (if you are attending) or a proxy campaign like we are currently running elsewhere?

Following with interest. :D

03-20-2011, 03:32 PM
I'm too lazy to look it up but is this a basis for something we can do at Fall In (if you are attending) or a proxy campaign like we are currently running elsewhere?

Following with interest. :D

I wanted to create a campaign system for my own use, but I thought I would post my ramblings here to get some feedback while I fine tune the campaign system.

I would be happy to run one of the scenarios at Fall In (I plan on attending), but I like the alternate suggestions from others as well.

03-20-2011, 03:35 PM
Late 1642, Parliament Move 3/4

The army at Wakefield (North) has been nicely cut off from advancing further north to contest that region by the Royalist move to York (North). On the other hand, if I attack that army and win, I pick up three Standard Areas and put him on the defensive there.

Operation Points die roll: 6

That high roll let's me take a less direct route so that I can capture Pontefract (North) on the way to York (North). A raid from Scarborough will take control of Thirsk for 2 OP because of the Moutain transport route. It didn't make sense for this to cost just 1 OP so I changed the campaign rules.

Here is the situation after Parliament's operation: http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/w_michael/ECW%20-%20Raising%20the%20Royal%20Standard/ECW_Standard_T1_Parliament3.jpg

03-21-2011, 03:43 PM
When I designed and ran an (DBX) ECW campaign about ten years ago:
(1) I started with players having regional armies that were limited in where they might move to so they were tied to a region.
(2) Gave the King a 'national' army so he could move around the country.
(3) Gave Parliament a 'national' army with the creation of the New Model Army.
(4) Allowed an army to (a) move, or (b) recruit, or (c) pacify a region i.e. make it friendly to that power - there was also a randomiser roll that might increase or decrease the distance moved, improve or discourage recruits, enhance or retard the process of converting the locals to the right viewpoint.
(5) Used an operational roll to define if an army could evade battle if it wanted to (modified by commanding general's ability) and rewarded a victorious army by being able to do all of (4) in one go
(6) Allowed the nature of armies to change in each year of the campaign to reflect the historic development of the troops.
(7) Added special rules so the West Country army had 'elite' cornish infantry, London Trained bands for the London army, Haselrig's lobsters unit for the Western Association, Irish Royalist troop reinforcements of better quality ... .
(8) Gave each army generals for each year so the Royalists started with poor politicals to competent TYW veterans and ended with all competent, while Parliament started with mainly indifferent politicals and ended with quality: so the NMA was commanded by the superior Fairfax and Cromwell.

I suggest adding a few of these points in. Happy to say the campaign ran well and fairly historically, apart from the King rather than Rupert going north to confront the Scots and thrashing every Parliamentarian army he fought - beating the Scots twice and the Northern Association once after the NA had defeated Newcastle's northern troops. The Royalists lost on points in 1645 with Parliament occupying much more than half the country but not quite the two-thirds needed for immediate victory.

03-22-2011, 11:26 PM
Hi Hammy, thanks for sharing your insights. I have a few comments and I hope that you will let me know what your experience was.

1-3. I thought about the regional/national general allocations and I decided against it only due to team play. It would be monotonous for the South Region players, for example, to play a series of 1-on-1 games. Also, the Region based reinforcement rules discourage the concentration of forces.

4. What was the size of your movement areas (cities, counties, regions)? In my scale, cities, I am worried that political control would pass too slowly if armies could only perform only one option type per turn. There are only 11 campaign turns in the entire war.

5. That is a good idea. I was thinking of the opposite, a die roll for the opportunity to intercept an enemy army passing nearby if the army hadn't been activated already.

6. That might be good as well in a friendly game. I was thinking along the lines of a tournament where we do not allow army composition to change. A player may change their composition at least a couple times when the RRR army list changes.

7. I agree that characterful rules like these would add flavour. I am trying to keep the core rules simple for name and may introduce advanced rules for ECW followers like me.

8. I could assign strategic and tactical factors for each of the generals, perhaps in the advanced rules. I don't think that they would be appreciated in a tournament environment.

03-23-2011, 06:33 PM
If you run it as a tournament then you have to create a perfectly level playing field. we were using our own DBX variant that had sub-generals so everyone got a command in every battle.

I had 23 areas in a self designed map, so it was roughly county sized but adjusted, so Yorkshire was about three areas. I suspect the UKC areas are a bit smaller.

I had nine monthly turns in a year with a Winter completion turn, when armies changed, Cornishmen went home and the same for the London Trained bands and so forth.

As on each turn you had a strategic die roll it was possible to get an outcome when you could do ore than one thing and as you got a plus according to the generals rating good generals tended to do more.

Armies finding or missing each other you can do either way but I did not want someone to walk up to another army and force a battle. I rated all generals tactically and strategically and not necessarily the same. Thus good strategic generals were better at forcing or avoiding battle but might foul up during the battle e.g. from memory Waller was rated as good strategically but poor tactically because he proved good at recruiting and moving his army but lost most of his battles. There is some difficulty in this because we use a home-brew Renaissance DBX rather than straight DBA.

We rated each army as having x000 troops, had certain fixed minimum units (so the Kings army always had Lifeguards, Cromwell his Ironsides) and rolled against a table according to the army and year to determine the rest of the troops, with each unit being worth x00 manpower.

You can keep all the armies the same in troop type if you feel players would not appreciate variety. I found my colleagues enjoyed the variety and the challenge of winning battles against the odds ... or blaming circumstances when they lost.If you do not want to use historic characters perhaps you could reward players on battlefield performance; win battles and you get a higher rating. I suppose we were keener on being more identified with the generals and their armies.