Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Edgehill with Pat

Following a couple of weeks of preparations, old Japan mate Pat H and myself got together online last Thursday using VASSAL for the board and Discord for chat to start a playthrough of the Musket and Pike scenario of Edgehill. 

For those that may not know Musket and Pike, it is a series of hex and counter boardgames put out by GMT focusing on battles of the English Civil War / Thirty Years War era. It was originated by Ben Hull, but has an obvious progenitor in the Berg/Herman Great Battles of History series. Like the GBoH series before it, it is a grand tactical treatment of each battle, with a specific map, named counters, and various scenario options for each battle.

The system tracks morale, attrition and formation at the unit level, while command and control rules require orders to be set at the wing level and communication traced between commanders and the commanded.

Command counters have special functions which allow units they are stacked with or in some cases are adjacent to to perform orders (rally, reform, etc) which their wing stance (charge, make ready, etc) may not ordinarily allow. 

It is one of those systems that I thought would allow a battle to be worked through over a a week or so of casual after-dinner play. Unfortunately, to this point I have not yet been motivated enough learnt the rules well enough to manage this. Hopefully this Edgehill game with Pat will change that. 

But on to the game. The scenario sees the Royalists (Pat being an inveterate Royalist I had to be very careful not to mention Harry or Megan in the course of the evening - it could have got nasty!) with charge orders itching to have at the Parliamentarian menace. As commander of the said menace, I got to sit back and watch as Rupert surged forward on my left. 

His initial activation saw all right wing cavalry, dragoons and musketeers forward. Pat then rolled for a continuation and was successful, leading to controlled carnage as his wing engaged with mine. A remarkable run of luck with my reactive shooting saw Pat's wing take considerable casualties in the charge, but ended with my commander driven off the field. 

Battle map after two activations of Rupert's wing.

It remains to be seen how we can come back from this. On the positive side, we were not routed in our entirely, and all of Rupert's units have suffered some kind of attrition. 

It has been enjoyable. It took about 90 minutes of play to get to this point in the game, but I expect things will speed up. The advatange of rules which are so procedural is that once you get those procedures down, things start to take care of themselves. The disadvantage of course it that it takes a bit of time to familiarise oneself with those procedures. 

It seems though that we are well on our way.


  1. I will be very interested in your wrap up comments. I bought the game, but it does look like you have to dedicate some time to the rules before being ready for a first game ….. though there are enough scenarios to reward that.

    I also note that Warlord games are releasing their next Epic related game as ECW, so there will likely be a lot of interest in the period this year.

    1. Hi Norm, the rules are not particularly difficult, but as there are quite a few 'moving parts' in the system it's not easy to judge relative effectiveness until you start playing. I expect it's one of those systems that you would get a lot of enjoyment out of once you have a little experience with it.

      Interesting to see Warlord going Epic with this era. Will look very nice on the table!


  2. Very cool long-distance gaming, Aaron! I suppose a South Park reference would've interrupted the game.

  3. One of my favorite game systems, with Command & Colors Ancients being number one. I wrote several of the vassal modules for some of the later games Saints in Armor and Nothing gained but Glory. Well chosen sir!



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