For King & Parliament: Local Rules

For King & Parliament has proven to be what I want in a set of rules: a good balance between period feel and playability, quick play mechanisms, and very adaptable to solo play. Since I do many atypical games in the period, I have also found that the rules can be easily extended to capture some of the details of fighting on the Celtic Fringe (and elsewhere).

I will use this page to help me keep tract of where I am with these local rule experiments – last updated June 6, 2018

No Pikes (NP)

This is a simple expedient that allows certain Highland and Irish units to melee other foot (including pike armed) as if they had pikes. It is an easy way to account for a variety of polearms, swords, half-pikes, axes, etc. that might allow the unit to get “passed the points” of their opponent and wreak havoc. The unit is typed as Musket & Pike and fits into the appropriate place in FK&P hierarchy of “All Pike”, “Pike Heavy”, “Standard”, and “Shot Heavy”, while being classed as No Pikes against any type of horse.

Attached Bows {AB}

Bows were still in use in the Highlands as late as Mulroy (1688) and likely at Killiecrankie a year later. They were not used in large numbers nor were they decisive,  so not adding them to the base rules is understandable. I like them as they add at bit more flavor (as long as they are kept at some reasonable minimum for the c. 17th).

I use a rule very similar to “Attached Shot” (AB, “Attached Bows”). A marker with an archer is added to a Highland (Highlander or Highland M&P) unit. The {AB} has the same cost as the {AS} marker.

{AB} may fire only at long range (two boxes) either on shooting activation or return fire. It applies TWO shoot to-hit cards to the target unit (which gets two save draws per hit by bow). The fire may be indirect (firing over a friendly unit or obstacle). The Attached Bows marker is removed (no victory points awarded for removal) after use.

Attached Shot {AS} Special 

I work with lots of situations that call for civilian or proto-military units (the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and Monmouth’s Rebellion of 1685 are two notable examples). The unit type, Rabble, is quite useful but adding a small shooting capability is sometime realistic. Likewise, Highlanders may need slightly more firepower than is used in the primary rules.

In the case of both Rabble and Highlanders this extra firepower is employed by individuals and not as soldiers trained in delivering disciplined volleys. To simulate this a regular {AS} marker can be added (no more than one per unit and at the same cost) to units typed as Rabble or Highlanders.

{AS} works in a special way, different from it’s standard use with horse or artillery: it may fire only at long range (two boxes) either on shooting activation or return fire. It applies one shoot to-hit card and is then expended.


Highlander Rule Extentions

The Highlander rules as written are well balanced and there is always a danger of slipping into c. 19th romanticism when using Highlanders. The warrior class was trained in individual combat but comprised only a small part of the whole. While it seems fair to say that the warrior ethos was embraced by most (and often aspired to) it does not mean that the bulk of population had any particular training as warriors (or prehaps any real inclination to be so trained). The following rule extentions are added for flavor:

Downhill Charge: The FK&P base rules give an advantage to foot and artillery defending against an attack coming upslope. As Highlanders often maneuvered to gain the upslope advantage on their opponents to add momentum* when they charged down upon their enemy, Highlanders get a one bonus to-hit card when charging down hill.

*the momentum may actually have been more psychological than physical.

Counter Charge: The typical response for Highlanders on being charged (by anything) is to counter charge. While Highlanders may not charge horse (per the standard rule preventing foot charging horse) they may counter charge horse but they must counter charge foot. When counter-charging they become the attacker (same rule as Swedish Horse). Note, if they happen to be untried they will first have to take a rout test.

Pursuit: As with counter charging, Highlanders were likely to pursue a broken enemy (for reasons of revenge, booty, or both). If a Highlander unit routs another Highlander unit or a Highland foot unit it must pursue using the same general rules as Horse pursuit (including rally).

Grenades {Grn}

With the addition of grenadiers a grenade marker can be added to units having a grenadier company. Grenades were used earlier and one may also be attached (cost of 3vp) to a Forlorn Hope.

{Grn} give a bonus melee’ to-hit card and are then expended.

Guard {Grd}

In some of the earlier drafts of FK&P there was an option for using a “Lifeguard” token that could be attached to a Commanding General. It could be expended to get a redo on the outcome of a hit on the officer being protected. With small units of horse being added to play the role of Lifeguards the rule was dropped.

I liked the idea of both and particularly wanted to add it for the benefit of Alisdair Macolla (who usually, it seems, fought on foot). He did have a small fighting unit, “MacColla’s Lifeguards” (again, on foot) which included a smaller group who fought shoulder to shoulder with the general (to help keep him alive it is presumed).

{Grd} is a token that may be added (cost of 3vp) to any general officer (but there should be historic evidence of such a presence). It may be used to absorb a hit on the general and is then expended (with no award of victory points)