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"Most Lawless Period to Game/Model?" Topic


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1,027 hits since 8 Dec 2016
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Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2016 5:40 a.m. PST

Blue Moon's new ECW range shattered my No New Periods rule and I've started going through the materials I've collected on it over the years.

Compared to Napoleonics or even the ACW, I'm singularly struck by the lack of constancy in this period. There seems to be no rules whatsoever. One side wore red, the other blue and gray until they didn't and it was reversed. Fealty to one side or another is fluid: so and so fought the Royalists and then the Parliamentarians and then back again. The ratio of pikes to muskets varied immeasurably from time to time, to theatre to theatre. No unifying principle around identifying details regarding the details of uniforms, headgear or hair length. Trained bands were professional and reliable, or they were drunken lotus and incapable of fighting.

I actually find all this refreshing if not a bit vexing. After all, I can make no mistake whatsoever. Further, even if I had, you can't prove it.

What other period is so free-flowing in almost every conceivable detail. Trojan War? Some period in Ancients and the Medieval period?

Personal logo herkybird Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2016 5:46 a.m. PST

It is possible to contest most conventional views on historic wars and warriors.
The ECW began with a multitude of colours (as did, to a degree the ACW!) and its only with the New Model Army (1645-1660) -that a standardised uniform colour was adopted by any force.

Kelly Armstrong08 Dec 2016 5:46 a.m. PST

And throw in all the Scots and Irish factions for even more fun. And Moss Troopers harrying supply lines.

Martin Rapier08 Dec 2016 6:12 a.m. PST

The Thirty Years War was very similar in lots of respects (and may of the participants in in the ECW had fought there too).

I suspect it was more generally symptomatic of the transition from feudalism to the early modern period and the attempts of central states to assert their authority.

GurKhan08 Dec 2016 8:03 a.m. PST

I think most periods before the 18th century are similarly confusing and chaotic – sorry, I mean "varied and colourful". And when it doesn't seem that way, it's just because we don't have enough information to realise it.

itchysama08 Dec 2016 9:47 a.m. PST

The best way I've heard the ECW describe is that it was mostly amateurs lead by enthusiastic amateurs. This was throughout the entire organization of both sides. Most professional military will tell you battles may be won by charismatic leaders, but wars are won by logistics.

Hence the craziness of the ECW. Parliament had the logistical advantage, which the Royalists never overcame. Once Parliament got their act fully together logistically and via reorganization, it was just a matter of time.

On the good news front, as a wargamer, with many units have the same "uniform", troops can "change sides" with the changing of their flags in ECW fairly readily for options to your orders of battle.

Your mayhem may vary.
YIS,
Alan

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Dec 2016 9:53 a.m. PST
MajorB08 Dec 2016 11:17 a.m. PST

YouTube link

Wrong civil war …

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2016 12:44 p.m. PST

The ECW is, indeed, a great period to game. Any you can always branch off into the 30 Years' War simply by changing up your flags.

As for the original question: most lawless period:

Carlist Wars
Wars of Alexander's successors
Latin America's wars of liberation (what other period has a unit called the "Legion of Hell?")

Henry Martini08 Dec 2016 3:01 p.m. PST

Most civil wars and revolutions bring chaos and confusion on all levels. You could add, for instance:

The late Roman Empire.

Mexican Revolution.

RCW.

SCW.

Stavka Inactive Member08 Dec 2016 4:21 p.m. PST

I would second the Late Roman Empire; Eastern and Western Roman units, Goths, Ostrogoths, Franks, Huns, what have you; endless permutations and possibilities for gaming.

Codsticker08 Dec 2016 8:11 p.m. PST

There seems to be no rules whatsoever. One side wore red, the other blue and gray until they didn't and it was reversed. Fealty to one side or another is fluid: so and so fought the Royalists and then the Parliamentarians and then back again. The ratio of pikes to muskets varied immeasurably from time to time, to theatre to theatre. No unifying principle around identifying details regarding the details of uniforms, headgear or hair length. Trained bands were professional and reliable, or they were drunken lotus and incapable of fighting.

Yeah… isn't it awesome!!! :D

Piyan Glupak Inactive Member08 Dec 2016 11:00 p.m. PST

There are some 'rules' about ECW uniform, but a lot isn't absolutely certain. For instance, I understand that most of the King's Oxford Army are believed to have been issued with blue or red suits of breeches and coat. (I assume that regiments would be either blue or red.) Later on, particularly on the royalist side, a lot of small regiments would be brigaded together to form usefully-sized units. It would have been likely that there would have been a variety of coat colours in them.

Supercilius Maximus09 Dec 2016 4:38 a.m. PST

I would question how "colourful" ECW units were especially at the start of the war given the large numbers of men who were wearing their ordinary, everyday clothing. These would have been a selection of greys, browns/russets, and off-whites. It's also worth mentioning that even "coloured" uniforms at least as worn by the rank-and-file would have been very muted, and would have either faded (sun) or leached (rain) quite rapidly depending on the season.

As to the multi-coloured battalia of the Royalist Oxford Army, my reading of their set up is that the foot were split into three tertia, each based largely (but not exclusively) on coat colour red, blue, and white/grey/yellow (the last being mainly troops from the North).

Here is an interesting article on clothing from the ECW, on the website of Prince Maurice's Dragoons of The Sealed Knot:-

link

link

Also, look through their "Gallery" section and compare the "traditional" 1990s appearance (all sleeveless buff coats and black trousers, now known to be wrong) to today's more accurate look.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Dec 2016 8:00 a.m. PST

I would question how "colourful" ECW units were especially at the start of the war given the large numbers of men who were wearing their ordinary, everyday clothing. These would have been a selection of greys, browns/russets, and off-whites. It's also worth mentioning that even "coloured" uniforms at least as worn by the rank-and-file would have been very muted, and would have either faded (sun) or leached (rain) quite rapidly depending on the season.

This is a big challenge for armies years past, especially with lots of militia and levies. I like to split the "greys" and the "browns" to different sides. This allows you to provide a few leaders and banner carriers to turn a "generic" army into a specific one.

Last Hussar10 Dec 2016 9:04 a.m. PST

I'm painting my 10mm ECW generic. About 50-60% red, 30ish% Blue, the rest a mix of colours. Units will be for Regiment of Foote (1st ed), and units are painted as 2 pike, 4 shot.

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2016 7:58 p.m. PST

Fall of the Western Roman Empire led to the "dark ages". That is the period of most anarchy and chaos. In the midst of it came the three invading hordes, Muslims from the south, Magyars from the east, Vikings from the north, cutting everything up here and there, now and again, for centuries……………

Andy Old Glory UK15 Dec 2016 3:58 a.m. PST

Being something of an ECW nut myself(Armies in 25/28 smaller forces in 40mm . Soome to start on later ECW and French /Spanish forces for Dunkirk Dunes in 15mm- using Blue Moon of course) I concur with the idea that most armies until the New Model were haphazardly dressed. This did not make them amateur- well not always. but it does get confusing if you don't watch out. For example most "Irish" troops in England in 1643-45 were not Irish but the Irish in Scotland were mostly Irish.
I find the simplist solution is to pick a date for the army – so my Royalists are times at spring/summer 1643 for the Oxford Army The Parliamentarians for late 1642 . but you are right unless you study the period is can confuse but that does not stop it being a fascinating period to wargame.

Queen Catherine15 Dec 2016 12:38 p.m. PST

I'm going to go back to the OP and say that the lower the level of your game, the more variety and "lawlessness" there is, as in not a set formula.

So if you're going to run a skirmish game, most of the 5 basic skirmish type scenarios will be useful in most periods, and will fit in nearly anywhere, e.g. "Seize the objective", "Exit the opposite side of the board", "Protect the VIP / Civilians / Cattle" et al.

Periods become more "unique" the high up you go in formations, b/c that is where differentiation occurs. The larger the group, the more it needs to be lead and trained, and it's the leadership and training that makes periods more unique.

For example, right now I'm adapting Muskets and Tomahawks to the ECW and contemporary Indian wars period, like the fights in Jamestown, for example. I haven't actually found anything about the rules that prevents me playing them in the ECW with no changes except in force composition, and figuring out what effect on movement dragging even a shortened pike would have, and the matchlock musket and musket rest [all of which were heavier than the later musket and cartridge box].

But this is a skirmish game with a 1:1 ratio.

If the game goes up a level to say 1:10, and now my 30 figures are 300 men, I've two small battaglia and they are going to fight differently from an FIW or AWI battalion / regiment.

Hope all that makes sense.

Codsticker16 Dec 2016 6:19 p.m. PST

Hope all that makes sense.

Yes it does. Good post.

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