The English Civil War (1642-1651) started when Charles I raised his royal standard in Nottingham. The split between Charles and Parliament was such that neither side was willing to back down over the principles that they held and war was inevitable as a way in which all problems could be solved. The country split into those who supported the King and those who supported Parliament – the classic ingredients for a civil war. This blog will record my wargaming journey through the English Civil War using 28mm miniatures.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

To Settle The Crown - Waging Civil War in Shropshire, 1642-1648

While the First, or 'Great', English Civil War of 1642-6 was largely contested at regional and county level, in often hard-fought and long-lasting local campaigns, historians often still continue to dwell on the well-known major battles, such as Edgehill and Naseby, and the prominent national leaders. To help redress this imbalance, To Settle The Crown: Waging Civil War in Shropshire, 1642-1648 provides the most detailed bipartisan study published to date of how the war was actually organized and conducted at county level. This book examines the practicalities, the 'nuts and bolts', of contemporary warfare by reconstructing the war effort of Royalists and Parliamentarians in Shropshire, an English county on the borderland of Wales - a region that witnessed widespread fighting. Shropshire was contested during the First Civil War - when it became one of the most heavily garrisoned counties in England and Wales - and experienced renewed conflict during the Second Civil War of 1648. Based on a Doctoral thesis, and therefore drawing primarily on contemporary sources revealing much new information, To Settle The Crown examines key aspects of the military history of the English Civil Wars: allegiance and motivation; leadership and administration; recruitment and the form of armed forces; military finance; logistics; and the nature and conduct of the fighting. Furthermore, while previous studies have tended to concentrate on the Parliamentarians, the comparatively plentiful evidence from Shropshire has allowed the Royalist war effort there to be reconstructed in rare detail. This book reveals for the first time the extent of military activity in Shropshire, describing the sieges, skirmishes and larger engagements, while reflecting on the nature of warfare elsewhere across Civil War England and Wales. In also providing a social context to the military history of the period, it explains how Royalist and Parliamentarian activists set local government on a wartime footing, and how the populace generally became involved in the administrative and material tasks of war effort. Extensively illustrated, fully referenced to an extensive bibliography, and including a useful review of Civil War historiography, To Settle The Crown: Waging Civil War in Shropshire, 1642-1648 is a significant fresh approach to the military history of the English Civil Wars. Contains approx. 60 maps, tables, and b/w & colour plates.

Reconstructing the New Model Army Volume 1.

This book provides a full listing of the troop and company commanders who served in the New Model Army during the first four years of its existence. A second volume covering the final years of the army s existence is currently very close to completion. It will be published during 2016. This is the first time that the officer corps of the New Model Army has been pieced together on such a scale and with such an extensive range of source materials. Unsurprisingly it corrects numerous errors to be found in more general histories of the army. The book is therefore an essential tool for studying the officer corps of the first English army in which social status was not the prime pre-requisite for attaining a senior military rank. Additionally, it is fully indexed and referenced. This will allow readers, whether military historians, local historians or family historians, to progress their particular interests through further exploration of archival and printed sources. In part one the data concerning the careers of troop and company commanders is presented in the form of snapshots of the army taken on six occasions between April 1645 and May 1649. However, the information to be found in the very extensive footnotes will enable the reader to create a highly accurate reconstruction of the names of the troop and company commanders at any date in that period. In part two a similar exercise is conducted with respect to the junior commissioned officers. In their case the surviving documentary evidence makes a complete reconstruction impossible. It is, however, important that their names are recorded as considerable numbers went on to serve as troop and company commanders, and indeed field officers and colonels, during the last ten years of the New Model Army s existence. Finally, in appendix one regimental lists are presented for the first time of the Earl of Essex s army at the time of its incorporation into the New Model Army, thus complementing the work of Laurence Spring on the New Model s other two progenitors, the armies of the Earl of Manchester and Sir William Waller. The book is not a new history of the New Model Army, but it does include chapters on topics that are not addressed head-on in Ian Gentles, The New Model Army 1645-1653 (1992). One examines the extent to which the New Model Army was an English Army, an issue first raised by Mark Stoyle in Soldiers and Strangers (Yale, 2005). Another discusses the positions held by the officers before they became troop or company commanders in the New Model Army, and the effect this may have had on their subsequent military careers. A third explores the circumstances under which officers left the army in the period 1645-1649, whist a fourth questions the notion of pinning numbers to the New Model Army regiments as was the practice in the British Army of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Kingdom is Ours

With the Bicorne English Civil War Catalogue and Rules the reader is given a very simple and enjoyable insight into the English Civil War. A compellingly playable set of fast play rules provide entertainment and challenge for both the novice and veteran players alike, entwined with glorious pictures of the Bicorne English Civil War miniature figure range. The rules have been extensively developed from the author's and friends' house rules. These were purposefully designed to provide a fast, fun and challenging game for wargamers of all abilities, whilst encouraging the education of the readers into the troops and the realities of warfare in the 17th Century. There are many parts to the book in addition to the rules, including an introduction to the Civil War written by Linda Doyle, and a section detailing troop types and uniforms. This has all been designed alongside the catalogue of Bicorne troops where the reader is encouraged to collect and paint an army of model soldiers, with a view to playing enjoyable wargames with friends. To this end there is a section on how to build up your army if you are new to the period, as well as a couple of scenarios to give the reader a good idea of what can be achieved with this fun to play set of rules.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Oliver Cromwell, Lieutenant-General of Horse and Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester

Manchester's reluctance to join forces with the Earl of Essex and his poor generalship at the second battle of Newbury (October 1644) drew fierce criticism from Oliver Cromwell, lieutenant-general of horse in the Eastern Association. Cromwell denounced Manchester's attitude and leadership in a speech before the House of Commons in November 1644.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

To Defy a King Wargames Rules

To Defy a King are tabletop war games rules for the English Civil War. 

The Rules are designed to give a flavour of the period whilst giving a
quick and easy game. Games can be played with anything from a few 
units up to a full scale battle lasting all day. The rules have been
designed with games lasting 3 to 4 hours using around 10 units per side.

There is a unique force generator using unit cards and army lists that 
use cards for each year of the war. The main unit within these rules 
is the regiment and each regiment is made up of a number of stands. 
Units can be as small as 2 stands going up to as large as 10 stands. 
All dice required in these rules are D6.

Included in the rule book are the rules, army lists along with a 
battle report. You are also provided with a fast sheet and 10 A4 cards 
that provide the unit cards that make up all of the army lists.

The rule book can be purchased direct from the author at:

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

28mm Royalist and Parliamentarian Projects 2014-15

Royalists Horse
King's Life Guard - 4 figures

Prince Rupert's Regiment (blue coat) - 16 figures (painted)
Earl of Carnarvon's Regiment (green coat) - 12 figures (painted)
Prince Maurice's Regiment (red coat) - 12 figures ((painted)
Sir George Vaughan's Regiment (dark blue coat) - 12 figures
Sir Humphrey Bennet's Regiment - 10 figures (painted) 

Royalist Infantry
King's Lifeguard Regiment (red coat
- 16 pike and 16 shotte (painted)
Prince Rupert's Regiment (blue coat) - 16 pike and 16 shotte (painted) 
Lord Ralph Hopton's Regiment (blue coat- 16 pike and 16 shotte
Sir John Grenville's Regiment (white coat) - 16 pike and 16 shotte
Sir Nicholas Slanning's Regiment (blue coat)
 - 16 pike and 16 shotte 
John Talbot's (Irish) Regiment (yellow coat) 16 pike and 16 shotte 

Sir William Courtney's (Irish) (green coat) - 16 pike and 16 shotte (painted)
Lord Gerard's Regiment (blue coat) - 16 pike and 24 shotte 
Marquis of Newcastles' Regiment (white coat) - 24 pike and 16 shotte (painted)

Royalist Dragoons
Lord Wentworth - 12 figures (painted)
Earl of Northampton - 10 figures (painted)

Royalist Artillery
2 Medium Guns with 3 crew 
2 Light Gun with 3 crew 

Parliamentarian Horse
Col. Alexander Popham's Regiment - 24 figures (painted)
Sir William Waller's Regiment - 12 figures
Sir Robert Hungerford's Regiment - 8 figures
Sir Arthur Hazelrig's Cuirassier Regiment - 10 figures (painted)

Parliamentarian Infantry
Earl of Essex's Regiment (tawny orange coat) - 16 pike and 32 shotte
Lord Brooke's Regiment (purple coat)
 - 16 pike and 24 shotte 
John Hampden's Regiment (green coat lined yellow - 16 pike and 16 shotte (painted)
James Holborne Regiment (red coat
- 16 pike and 24 shotte 
Lord Saye and Sale's Regiment (blue coat)
 - 16 pike and 24 shotte (painted)
Sgt Major General Randall Mainwaring  Regiment (red coat lined white) - 16 pike and 24 shotte 
Sir John Wollaston's London Trained Band (yellow coat) - 16 pike and 16 shotte (painted) 
Isaac Penington London Trained Band (white coat16 pike and 16 shotte 

Parliamentarian Dragoons
Sir William Waller's Regiment (yellow coat) - 12 figures (painted)

Parliamentarian Artillery
1 Heavy Gun with 5 crew (painted)
2 Medium Guns with 4 crew (painted)
2 Light Gun with 3 crew

For this project I will mainly be using the beautiful 28mm ECW range from Bicorne Miniatures. I will hopefully add some Renegade Miniatures for variation if they recommence trading later this year.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Officers and Regiments of Waller's Army Vol. 1 & 2

These little pamphlets contain some interesting information for those 
wargamers interested in Waller's Army.