The Circus Performs

I have been going up to York, PA occasionally to to visit these guys so I can actually play wargames with other humans. The production company that does Little Wars TV is based there as well and the on-screen talent is drawn from the members of the group. What you see on YouTube is really what the location and the people are like, very friendly, very knowledgeable, and a great deal of fun to be around. I have been made to feel at home since the very first visit.

Earlier in the week I had the opportunity to present the aforementioned “traveling circus”, the demo game provided with the For King and Parliament rules, the Battle of Montgomery, Wales, 1644. The Royalist force (Ed and Miles) are besieging Montgomery Castle which was recently taken by the Parliamentarians. A Parliamentarian force (Simon and Tom) has been quickly assembled to lift the siege, but getting no immediate response from the Royalists, sent out a third of the horse to gather much needed forage. The Royalists then attacked:

The Royalist (in the background) come down off the high ground en masse to try to destroy the Roundheads before their cavalry returns

The horse from both sides begin to engage one another while in the background the Forlorn Hopes (acting as skirmishers) do a credible job of stalling the advance of the Royalist foot

The fighting amongst the horse is a see-saw affair but with the Parliamentarians beginning to gain the advantage. As in most battles of the period, however, they also begin to run off the table in excited pursuit of the enemy.

On the hill in the top right the Parliamentarian infantry brigade, while taking mounting casualties, is continuing to steadfastly hold their position. In the foreground, the Roundhead foragers are about to return and finish off the Royalist cavalry.

After six turns we needed to call it a night. Based on victory points it was a marginal victory for the Roundheads. Two of the players (the Parliamentarians) had had a chance to look through the rules but had never played. The Royalists started with zero knowledge but quickly picked up the basic rules. It is possible that given more turns the Royalists would have been able to destroy the Parliamentarian infantry and secured the win.

As a learning game I think it was quite succesful. I was so excited watching (and trying to remember rules) that I forgot to take the usual hoard of pictures I normally take, so I had insufficient data for a more detailed AAR. Still the bare bones above capture the evening. Most of the game mechanics came off without a hitch but I did boggle up the rule about Swedish style horse counter-charging their opposite numbers. They should NOT become the attacker! This likely created a disadvantage for the Royalists.😬

As far as I could tell, everyone had fun and there was a good deal of interest expressed (both by players and spectators) to play again. As you look at the Army Group York’s website you’ll see a set of icons at the bottom of the homepage representing the periods they normally play. Missing is one for the 1550 – 1700 Pike and Shot era. Maybe that will change. 😀

As an after-note, I usually stay overnight in York but the possibility of bad weather caused me to leave for home (a three hour drive) at the end of the session. I packed up very quickly (with lots of help!) and was surprised when I unpacked the next day. Everything made it home. Most amazingly ALL 140 number chits. I usually lose one or two every solo game I play and have to go on a search.

The post-game chit inventory! All present and correct

10 thoughts on “The Circus Performs

  1. An excellent report and great looking game. Thanks for sharing Bill!!!!

    Just makes me that much more anxious to get started on my TYW French and Spanish!!!!


    On Thu, Jan 31, 2019 at 1:22 PM In Red-coat Rags Attired wrote:

    > Guillaume d’Guy posted: “I have been going up to York, PA occasionally to > to visit these guys so I can actually play wargames with other humans. The > production company that does Little Wars TV is based there as well and the > on-screen talent is drawn from the members of the group.” >


  2. Good looking game, Bill, and, speaking a mainly solo player myself, great to see you getting involved with what looks like a great bunch of wargamers (even though you probably have to drive the equivalent of me driving from Glasgow to Aberdeen here in Scotland – what dedication!) I assume the chits are used instead of cards. Do you find 140 chits too many and have you actually run out of chits for any particular number in any of your games?


    • Thanks, Westie! They are a great group with tons of different interests, well worth the drive! The Glasgow to Aberdeen comparison is interesting, but you have done ACW tours here in the States and are well aware that many of us drive three to five hours as a matter of course. The drive to our state capital is 60 miles farther the my drive to York.
      Yes – chits replace cards. They take up less space, much easier to “shuffle” and handle in general. The rules iirc mention three decks (120) so I went just a bit beyond. I have run out of chits (80), but have not come close since adding 60 more. 140 makes “card counting” nearly impossible. I love the card/chit mechanism.


  3. Wow! It was so nice to see you actually have people to play the war game with you for a change. I’m sorry your attempts to enlist your houseguest did not bring results. Feel free to keep trying. Meanwhile, I really enjoyed seeing your pictures of other players enjoying your game! I’m sure it’s well planned and executed. Everything you do is. Have fun!


    • Thanks Bonnie! It is really a large wargaming world out there and what I do is really rather primitive compared to the works of art many players produce – still I am happy with my lot. Getting you both into gaming is like trying to make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse! Still I have not abandoned the idea.


  4. Yes I really like those rules played them 3 tines so far
    Also the ancients set ‘to the strongest ‘
    Which are great fun


Comments are closed.