Making Alterations

A favorite clip from a favorite movie:

The great downsizing of my wargaming world continues as my previous (already small) For King and Parliament terrain and armies are further shrunk. A 12 box by 8 box battlespace now fits in 24” by 16”. Gone is any feel of majestic scope (some would say reality) or sweeping panorama. Does it look like a boardgame? Yes, yes it does. Is that a problem? Not for me (OK, maybe slightly). “The world is what you make of it friend, If it doesn’t fit you make alterations”.

Given this new reality, alterations also have to be made in game-play at least in the way unit status is tracked. The units are now so compact that there is little room for the substantial number of (pom pom) markers I’ve used in the past. I’ll still use hit (disorder) markers but most everything else will be tracked by check-off boxes on the OoB sheet.

The OoB sheet has a stiff plastic overlay (which causes the hash pattern in the photo above)making it easy to mark with a grease pencil. In the above example, green boxes are Dash, lavender boxes are Ammo, and yellow indicates untried.

Setting up the Battle of Alford (1645)

I have had Peter Page’s FK&P scenario for Alford (See his report here) for a couple months and now finally have everything needed to do a condensed area setup.

<All the following photos may be enlarged by clicking>

A downward-looking “drone view” of the battle space for Alford (North at the top). The edges of the map are indicated by the green right angles in each corner.
Napier’s reserve brigade (of Montrose’s army) is in the foreground. As we know nothing about its composition, Peter has it comprised of baggage train rabble, roving tinkers and other hangers-on. A small group of highlanders (conjectured by Stewart Reid) is added for stiffening.

The new units are much more compressed than previously and mounted on a single base. This eliminates the possibility of altering the unit composition to indicate size and weapon make-up. It also causes an infantry unit to look more squat (the musket sleeves should extend the front farther).

I have also mentioned elsewhere that the flags for the foot are about 50% larger than true scale but, without the unit labeling I have used previously, they are the only indication of which unit is which (granted I do have an ID number under the base which is linked to the Order of Battle sheet). Most of the flags are fanciful (although approximate the look of the period). For example, each of the Gordon foot regiments carry a second color with a red rampant lion on a field of gold to indicate they are Scots Royalists. This is entirely incorrect but helps tell which side is which in photographs.

Montrose’s army drawn up on Gallows Hill, facing North. The reserve brigade is off the board at the bottom of the picture.
The reverse view showing Baillie’s Covenanters in the foreground.
A drone view of the battle space, Covenanters at the bottom and Royalists at the top.

OK, ten days have passed and I managed to get one battle in. The really tight space more or less worked but it was too crowded to my taste! I think in the long run, this compressed configuration will look better if I am doing a much larger area battle with 18 by 18 squares. Just need to figure out how to get my standard 100mm squares, in a 9 (or 8) by 12 grid, crammed into the current available space.

Montrose LOST the battle by the way! I don’t think he should have done but the raw Covenanters did most everything well, plus I made some mind numbingly stupid moves powered by a great deal of over confidence. On paper, I think, the Royalists should win as high as eight out of ten at Alford. It of course did not help that Montrose managed to get himself killed leading the Gordon infantry! Oh well, this shan’t be my OFFICIAL replay of the battle. Many thanks to Peter for this setup.

It is now a week later and I figured out a way to add one additional panel to the underlayment (with only about an inch and half over-hang on two sides. As I use mouse-pad material for the battle mats this does not seem to Be a problem.

The setup from Montrose’s side of the field
the setup from the Covenanter side

The pictures above are a couple days old, I took the board down to watch conference basketball tourneys followed by March Madness. The latter now has a different meaning since everything is now cancelled. Strange days. I’ll set up again soon but for now my wife and I are just going to sit around, watch Netflix and play our newly acquired, Eldritch Horror.