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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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Boroughbridge, 1644

English Civil War , Very Civile Actions, 28mm

As we’ll be playing an English Civil War demonstration game at the Claymore show this year, we decided to run another game, just to iron out any last-minute problems with the rules. Actually I have a confession. I can’t read wargame rules. Even the best-written ones make me nod off after a page or two, and if I ever want to have a good night’s sleep I pick up a copy of anything produced by Wargames Research Group – the worst presented, dullest and most ambiguous rules writers know to man. Reading DBR can have me snoring in minutes. Try it. It works! DSC_8497Anyway, I digress. The game involved a small mixed force of two regiments of foot and one of horse per side, plus a few bolt-ons. As usual we used Very Civile Actions – the rules set we plan to use at Claymore for our display game on 5th August. The Parliamentarian left managed to get itself into a spot of bother, and was pretty badly shot up, then charged by Royalist pikemen.DSC_8477On the right the supporters of democratic rule saw off a charge by the Royalist horse, seized the village in the centre of the table and held it against all comers. We declared a draw at the end of the battle, although both Dave O’Brien commanding the Royalists and yours truly in charge of the Parliamentarians were sure that victory lay in our grasp – if we only had more troops who would do what they were told! One of the amusing bits of VCA is the chance to select absolutely useless officers to command your units. Jack Glanville, commanding the Parliamentarian left drew two “bookish” commanders for his regiment of foot, both of which refused to advance (quite sensibly questioning their orders) at the crucial stage of the battle.DSC_8495The result was these units simply stood still while the Royalists manoeuvred round them and chopped ’em to pieces! The moral of the story: understand the limitations of your unit commanders, and don’t expect them to do what they’re told when the crunch comes. With Claymore on the horizon I’ve been painting up another English Civil War regiment – another with red coats as it’ll be a New Model unit. We’re refighting the Battle of Inverkeithing (1651) using VCA, so if you’re visiting the show here in Edinburgh then please drop by and say hello.


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