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Subject: Unhappy King Charles at the Wargame Bootcamp Grognard Sunday rss

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Tim P.
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The Wargame Bootcamp tried a new strategy for the Sunday schedule at last weekend's GameX 2011 convention in Los Angeles.

You can read about our before and after action reports of our GameX exploits in a couple of geeklists.
Wargame Bootcamp at Gamex 2011 and Gamex 2011 - Wargame Bootcamp after action report

The new idea was that we would play meatier wargames that the staff enjoyed and would therefore also appeal to the existing wargamer crowd. We therefore call the event Grognard Sunday and the game that I chose to play was Unhappy King Charles!.

My opponent, Jeremy, had taught the game to others and I was his first opponent outside that group, so it was a semi-learning game as I had played the game more often and versus more opponents.

It was a great game, with plenty of drama and a few surprises; here are the highlights:



Control of the south west of England swung back and forth several times; which happens quite often in games due to the ease in which it can be isolated. The high tempo in the South during the early and mid war periods meant that both of us were out of Southern recruits in the late war and then it became a standoff we could bring in outside troops.

Prince Maurice led a Royalist Welsh Army south to counter the Lyme local notable as Hopton was too weak to risk it on his own. The later placement of the Basing House local notable helped to reinforce the Kings hold over the South.

After securing Lyme for the King Prince went north to retake Oxford. Jeremy then made a masterful play with the alt-hist card "Lord Wilmot's Plot" as he caught Prince Maurice besieging Oxford; thus the two Princely brothers were rendered ineffective for the turn. wow



Wales was the unexpected battle ground region; with the Laugharne local notable appearing for Parliament in Pembroke. After a few turns of raiding and counter-raiding by Laugharne and Herbert; Lord Essex joined the fray and campaigned in South Wales, reducing Lord Herbert in Cardiff and firmly taking control of Wales away from the King. While this was happening the Royalists were contesting East Anglia and the whole map was a see-saw of small changes in political control.

Powerbase level was never a real threat for either side throughout the game; we could both lose a few areas to political isolation and still be well above the minimum level.

Prince Rupert was not the lead General for the King as he often is; my dire die rolling kept him besieging Brereton for a year at siege value of '3'. He finally succeeded in reducing the local notable after he had failed in 6 separate attempts where each time I had rolled a 2 on the dice ! As Breteton is a local notable, all siege rolls are -2 DRM to the die roll, so rolling a 2 means that no siege hits are accumulated. All I needed was a 3 or higher to succeed shake

Once again the Scots and the New Model Army were not decisive benefits for Parliament; although the Scots did take out the Derby local notable at their first attempt before getting bored and going home (deserting). The last Scottish force under Callander deserted just as Newcastle had formed an army powerful enough to eliminate them, so they had done their job in distracting the King's resources from .other theaters.

The New Model Army reorganizations left the Parliamentarians with two strong Armies trying to cover the North and the South and only Massey left as a viable secondary force. The King caught the Lord General off guard in the midlands and soon reduced his army to the scale of a minor nuisance after forcing him to retreat into Royalist owned territory.



In the last few turns the sole sizable Parliament Army under Cromwell danced around Cambridgeshire with Prince Rupert but was unable to force a land battle on the poodled equipped Prince. Cavalry raids by the more numerous smaller Royalist forces meant the King could just trade control of areas to deprive the Parliament of the end game victory. Parliament ended on 6 VPs.

The Royalist Army was much larger in the late war compared to Parliament who was hitting the 5 brigade minimum number for desertion and thus the Scots took up the slack. It is tough but maintaining recruitment parity is a priority and a few dispersal's and major victories can mean that one side begins to fall behind in numbers of brigades. Getting the "Irish" settlers is a nice boost for the Royalists and allows the use of an operations card for productive use instead of for maximum recruitment effort.

This army size mismatch was probably the winning factor as Jeremy just didn't have enough viable armies to block my maneuverings in the late game. Having a NMA turncoat brigade under the command of the King at the game end was the icing on the cake. devil

Notes and comments:

We had discussed the matter in advance and if I had drawn the "Montrose" card I would not play the card as the event as losing 2 cards is too powerful in the late war, especially in the last turn.



My opinion has changed on the subject of revising the rules on the replacement of local notables with Generals when the NMA card is played:
This house/optional rule is a balance mechanism to aid the Parliament player; the players receive the replacement Generals even when associated local notables has been eliminated. i.e. Brereton and Massey for Parliament, Herbert with Gerard for the King.

One strategy suggestion for the King when the NMA card is imminent is to keep Tom Fairfax on the map and do not force him to disperse. In the event that Tommy boy has dispersed it will mean that he will make merry hell somewhere else on the board with his newer bigger army, most likely where you least want him. I almost forced him to disperse and then realized that he could teleport and run amok elsewhere.

Quote:
If the Lord General is off the map immediately place him on any Area with a Parliament PC marker in the East, South or North Regions. If there is no such Area is available then place the counter on any Area with a Parliament PC marker.


Jeremy has a great time at the Wargame Bootcamp, he was a worthy and fun opponent.

Tim
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Łukasz
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Just remember to play the card face up.

:-)
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Tim P.
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grouchysmurf wrote:
Just remember to play the card face up.

:-)


I am awaiting the response to this from the honourable Mr Vasey.

 
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Charles Vasey
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I like the rule allowing the Parliamentarian leaders to turn up at the NMA even if already scragged at LNs (I would not extend it to the Royalist). I think one of the Joels on CSW first suggested this.

Black Tom On The Loose: You cannot keep a good man down.
 
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Charles Vasey
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oi_you_nutter wrote:
grouchysmurf wrote:
Just remember to play the card face up.

:-)


I am awaiting the response to this from the honourable Mr Vasey.



Face-up, it has to be face-up for us to know how many you can recruit.
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