One aspect of wargaming which I rather enjoy is refighting historical battles on the wargames table. Many historical actions are well served by the history books but in addition scenario books are occasionally published. Last weekend I was lent one such booklet on scenarios of the English Civil War, or more accurately the British Civil Wars.
My experience with Civil War scenarios has been mixed. There were some great scenarios years ago published in various magazines by Stuart Asquith. These were certainly interesting and created much inspiration. Then in the late 1990s Julian Lander published two booklets covering a great number of battles but were difficult to use due to the complexity of the maps. It was therefore with some interest that I obtained a copy of “English Civil War Gaming Scenarios” by Cavliver Books. There are currently four books in the series and this first volume is by Stephen Maggs.
The book is A4 in format and comprises some 41 pages. These pages provide scenarios for 13 battles. In addition several pages provide information standards, uniforms and equipment. Each scenario is covered in some three pages. Each scenario includes a very readable and useful background on the scenario. This is especially useful as not all readers well be as well read on some of the more obscure battles covered. This is followed by an extremely well presented map with considerable terrain detail. However, the maps do not have scale can be confusing given the very large variation in size of the battles. Further, I do wonder if some of the detail is always accurate. The scenario is then wrapped up with a generic order of battle, partly presented in a format useful for the “Forlorn Hope” rules but very adaptable to other rule sets. Scenario flavour is further enhanced by good quality line art depicting various Civil War troops and battle scenes.
The scenarios covered include: Newburn 1640; Powick Bridge 1642; Ripple Field 1643; Whalley 1643; Roundway Down 1643; Cheriton 1644; Alford 1645; Philipaugh 1645; Dumfries & Galloway 1651; Worcester 1651; Battle for the Capital 1659. Several are clearly small encounters and potentially very playable for those of us with smaller figure collections. Others such as Worcester somewhat more formidable. Some are scenarios are historic and others based on alternate situations, Newburn and the Battle of the Capital being the most obvious in this category.
Overall I am very impressed with the format and scenarios covered. If you are an English Civil War wargamer I suggest that this scenario booklet will be a useful addition to your library. Copies can be obtained from Caliver Books.