Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Action at Sackville Creek

 Hi all,

Stop the presses, hold the ketchup, and pass the parcel, because an honest to gum, real-life, against a human with miniatures, HISTORICAL game just went down in Monkeyland.

Early stages.  Royalists attempt to seize the bridge.

Jura (with whom I've been playing C&C online, among other things) came over and we played a 20-point game of Pikeman's Lament.  It was particularly fitting, in that the bulk of the ECW stuff I have (all the Scots, and about half the Royalists) came from him in The Big Trade last fall (?  I'm losing track of time . . . ).  Having spent the winter beavering away, and finally finding a day that was both conducive and sunny, we set to in the back yard.  He took the perfidious Royalists, whilst I took the staunch defenders of Kirk and Covenant, i.e., the Scots.

Another angle of the early stages.  That one unit dragging behind just would not move.

While the Cavaliers are facing a fair whack of angry Scots.

We played the river crossing scenario, which I tweaked a little by adding a second crossing to our river (more of a creek, really), so we ended up with both a bridge and a ford.  Hills and forests made up the rest of the terrain, and I appropriated the Cub's house for the look of the thing.

Their first time on the table painted, however, so you can't blame them for being eager.

A certain amount of back and forthing left both units of horse somewhat battered.

We deployed in opposing corners, and set to.  The objective was to get as many units across the river as possible, whilst preventing the opponent from doing the same.  Forces were more or less mirrors, except that the Scots traded a shot unit for a small unit of commanded shot and a frame gun.  Game ended when one side got all of their surviving units across.

The Scottish right pushes on to seize the ford.

On the other side, the Royalist foot pushes to the creek.

There's a fair amount of "command friction" in PL, in that each unit must dice to activate, and any failure end one's turn.  This leads to a certain amount of predictable, if amusing (for the opponent) frustration, as that one key unit you need to do one key thing won't.  Persistently.  Case in point, one of Jura's Shot units simply would not advance for the first several turns of the game.  We eventually decided they were drunk.

The mid game had the two of us ranged across the creek from each other.  Basically, whoever pushed into the creek was going to sacrifice a couple of turns of offensive action for movement, and leave themselves open to shots or attack - the latter at a disadvantage while crossing.  Much maneuvering took place, along with some shots fired, as we jostled about looking for an advantage.

Scots horse got bogged down in the creek, and ended up being cut to pieces.

Eventually, I forced the ford, and Jura got his boys across the bridge and creek.  We each more or less lost a flank, and though I ended up getting some reserves (lucky result on a very good activation roll), they were too late to affect the outcome.  We had each gotten three units across, but Jura's Royalists had the edge on points, and that, plus a few extra his officer had picked up along the way (again, a lucky roll, but we attributed it to his rather fancy hat), the Royalists won the day.

It was great to get the minis on the table and get in a game of Pikeman's Lament.  It's the first time I've been able to play against another person (as all games to date have been solo), and it's super fun.  Jura and I had a chat about how the different units performed, and we'll likely try another game soon-ish.  I the meantime, I'm feeling quite charged up to paint, and with a few points remaining for a "normal" sized game, I've got some Royalist Dragoons in the queue.  We'll see how they turn out.



  1. Fancy hats are a key element of early modern warfare.

  2. Dragoons would be better though... ;-)

  3. Great looking game, Markus!

  4. Seeing a return to F2F gaming for you is a major milestone after what we have all endured. sure is nice to see a friendly face on the other side of the table, isn't it? Fine looking game and having it an ECW battle is even better.

  5. Congratulations on getting a game in, even if it you lost to Jura... (tip for next time, try distracting him at crucial moments by throwing a tennis ball)

    1. You have to move it back and forth a bit first, to get his attention.

  6. Aaaaah, but the trick is that Jura distracts the player by bothering them until they throw a ball...

  7. Congrats on getting a 'proper' war game in against an opponent in the flesh. That's super it's got you jazzed to paint more minis.

  8. Nicely looking game with beautiful painted miniatures and terrain. Seems like the game was very fun.

  9. Hurray for FtF gaming again! You picked a nice rule set fir the occasion. Table and miniatures look good too. 😀

  10. Great looking game and the figures look even better in situ! Good just to get a game, no matter the result!
    Best Iain

    1. It was a pretty solid game - there were multiple points through it where we both felt we had a lock on it, and then dice happened ;)