Monday, June 16, 2014

Victory Without Quater: English Civil War Battle Report

I like these rules. Really, really like them. Even better that they are free.

As Honorable Son #2 and his beautiful bride are moving away, we decided to have a going away miniature battle with my new units. This is "officially" the first time we battled it out using the English Civil War rules Victory Without Quarter by  Clarence Harrison of Quindia Studios.

Royalist Infantry Brigade at the start of the game.

Victory Without Quarter borrows ideas from other game systems to create a fast paced, player involved game.  Actions are card driven as each unit and commander has a card which allows movement orders or firing to take place.

Reload card, Army commander card, unit card for the King's Lifeguard and Event card.
 There are cards that allow units to reload (allowing a prepared volley) and a card that can suddenly end the turn and cause the deck to be reshuffled. In addition you can add an Event card to generate random events on the battlefield which in our game resulted "blown horses" (the next cavalry unit card had -2 inches of movement for the rest of the game), a master spy providing intelligence (viewing the top 6 cards and reordering how you want), and a sudden downpour of rain rendering all gunpowder weapons useless for the rest of the turn!  I made my own cards by printing out the unit flags or images of the commanders and gluing them to 3 x 5 inch index cards.

Turn over card, unit card for Lord Brooke's Regiment, and Royalist Army commander card.

When a unit card comes up or a commander card to issue orders the unit can move, wheel less than 45 degrees and move half, change formation, hold (allows rallies), shoot or charge to contact.  Units must pass a morale check to charge and become "shaken if they fail.  Shooting and melee is very similar to Warmaster and if you take 3 hits, you get a casualty marker.  When your casualty markers equal the amount of stands in unit, they unit is removed.  Morale is rolled for charges, counter-charges and pursuit;  rallying units and if you receive a casualty marker or a hit from artillery.

Various casualty markers.
The scenario I devised is based on the Queen's resupply of the King's Oxford Army.  Some of the supply wagons got lost and ended up in the town of Gointofar just north of Oxford.  A small Royalist army heads out to escort the supplies to Oxford not knowing that a Parliamentary force is already in the peaceful town of Guintofar.

The Supplies.

The sleepy hamlet of Gointofar.

The Royalist forces had one infantry brigade of 3 infantry regiments, one cavalry brigade with 1 regiment, 2 brigade commanders and one army general.  Parliament's infantry brigade had 2 regiments and the cavalry had one regiment of horse with a regiment of cuirassiers.  In addition there are two brigade commanders and one army general.  All units were rated as trained.

The Royalist units moved out smartly as the infantry advanced across the field.  The Parliamentary general did not like the look of things and decided to send Lord Brooke's Regiment across the bridge and advance his cavalry on his left flank.

 Move out lads!

The general card and then the unit card allowed them to cross the bridge quickly and deploy.

A unit of Horse (trotters) and Cuirassiers.

The Royalist cavalry, not impressed with the Parliamentarian cavalry deploying advanced, sounded the charge . . . and mingled around in utter confusion. (They had failed their morale test to charge and were now "shaken."  Right before the attempted charge, they had the event "blown horses" which reduced their movement by 2 inches.  I figured the cavalry was not sure they could charge home with their tired mounts!)

 Charge . . . not!
The Royalist command was now paralyzed by the sudden movements of their opponents as Jones' Regiment climbed over the hedges and advanced.  Soon gunfire erupted and the Royalist's took the first casualty. (When a unit receives a casualty marker, they have to test for morale. Early on the cavalry and 2 infantry units kept failing morale.  As a result, I kept issuing hold orders in order to rally my shaken troops allowing Honorable Son #2 to start imposing his will on me)

The units exchange fire at long range while Charles I rallies the cavalry.

The King's Lifeguard of Foot receive 2 casualty markers early in the game causing some concern!  It reduced their firing by -1 per casualty marker.  Once a unit receives casualty markers equal to the number of stands in the unit, it is removed from play.

Fortunately I was able to get my cavalry back into the fight.  The next event card was "Master Spy" who provided me with some vital battlefield intelligence about my opponent. (I was able to look at the next 6 cards and put them in the order I wanted.  I made the next 3 cards for me and the 4th card was "Turn over")  Before I could charge, the enemy horse charged, I counter-charged and a furious melee was fought.  The Royalist carried the fight, pursued the defeated horse and subsequently scattered all over the field making them unavailable for the rest of the fight. (During the pursuit, when I thought I had them, Honorable Son #2 rolled some great dice and we both eliminated each other.)

A furious melee!

The weight of Royalist firepower started to take it's toll on the forces of Parliament; and, even though the right flank was threatened, Newcastle's Whitecoats successfully held off the Haselrigge's lobsters pistols and charges on their steady pikes.

Arrghhh!  I've been hit!

The other 2 Royalist infantry regiments advanced and their fire power caused first Lord Brooke's unit and Jones' unit to scatter.  The lobsters, thinking the discretion the better part of valor, rode away vowing to fight another day. 

The game was touch and go all the way to the end when Honorable Son #2's forces suddenly gave way - and mine were not too far behind them! A great set of rules, a great game and a jolly good time!

A few extra pictures of the battle in progess.

Jones' Regiment in open order which allowed them to cross the hedges faster and reform.

Note the reload marker.

First blood!

Newcastle's Whitecoats have 2 casualty markers - it was a close game!

And the parson gets the last word speaking the Holy words of God . . .


  1. Neato! I have just begun the dangerous prospect of venturing into yet another period, the ECW, and have acquired these rules plus Forlorn Hope and Polemos ECW. I will also get the new Wyre Forest Group set. VWQ looks to be quite a bit of fun. Thanks for blogging.

  2. Looks like a great game... Glad you enjoyed the rules!

  3. Lovely looking game! And thanks for explaining the rules, helped me a lot, simon