Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pikeman’s Lament – River Crossing

My friend Other Tim had Tuesday afternoon off and so I set up a quick little scenario of The Pikeman’s Lament to play in the afternoon. We played with a full 24 points – using pretty much every singly-based skirmishy ECW figure I currently have… (Okay there are the clubmen… and a handful of English shot – but not enough for a unit… and some of Montrose’s Irish – but I didn’t want to use them as they are being entered in the Lead Adventure Forum’s Lead Painter’s League and figures entered cannot have been posted anywhere on the internet before…).

Other Tim rolled up a new Ensign for this game – and got a Ladies Man with “no discernable qualities other than a very fine moustache AND a pointed beard that the ladies love”. (He stared with 11 Honour).

April 1644, Yorkshire


Some time has passed since our last adventure. Robert MacRame in now a marked man, wanted by the law. Most highlanders finding their selves in this position head to the hills, but not young Robert…. Young Robert enjoys the comforts of home and so went into hiding…. in Edinburgh.

Our dashing young Covenanter Ensign, Evan “Holy” MacErrol, scoured the highlands looking for him, but found not a trace. He has now headed south with Alexander Leslie, Earl of Leven, to intervene in the civil war in England… As they approach York small skirmishes with royalists ensue. Evan was sent ahead to secure a ford crossing a small (but swift, and at times deep) stream…


The scenario we played was Mission D: River Crossing – straight out of the book – with some minor changes due to the size of the table. The deployment zone was a bit smaller and only two units on each side started on the table – the rest would have to enter the table with


Scots Government – Ensign Evan “Holy” MacErrol (Honour: 15, Traits: Strong)

1 Unit of Forlorn Hope (with MacErrol) – 6 points

1 Unit of Pike – 4 points

2 Units of Shot – 4 points each - 8 points

2 Units of Clansmen - 3 points each – 6 points

English Royalists    (Ensign Bartholomew Millerton - Honour: 11, Traits: Ladies Man)

1 Unit of Aggressive Forlorn Hope (with Leader) – 6 points

1 Unit of Forlorn Hope (with MacErrol) – 6 points

2 Units of Pike – 4 points each – 8 points

1 Unit of Aggressive Gallopers – 4 points


(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)


Roughly where everyone was deployed – Scots in the bottom left of the picture (played by myself) and the English in the top right (played by Other Tim). Actually I think I took this picture AFTER the Scots had moved.

Evan MacErrol and his Forlorn Hope of dismounted cavalrymen lead the pike towards the ford. The Forlorn Hope and Pike unit moved, but none of the other units managed to move on.

Then they spied some Royalist heading their way! The Royalist Pike and the Gallopers moved and both Forlorn Hopes charged onto the table.


The Scots Forlorn Hope and Pike continued their advance towards the ford and the two units of Shot entered the table.

The Royalist Gallopers started moving through the woods and the rest of the Royalists maneuvered around their end of the table – wary of wandering into range of the Scots Forlorn Hope. 


Forgot to take pictures… The Scots Pike and Shot all moved and one unit of clansmen entered the battlefield. The Royalist Gallopers continued through the woods, the Aggressive Forlorn Hope  moved into the woods – for cover, and then the Pikes failed and no one else did anything.


One unit of the Scots Shot moved, but then the Pike failed ending the turn.

The Gallopers galloped across the open ground beyond the woods and into the river!

Elsewhere The Red Coat Pike unit formed up into close order and the other Royalist units danced about trying desperately to stay out of range of the dreaded forlorn hope… that has yet to shoot at anyone… and hadn’t even gotten to MOVE for half of the turns to far this game… Not sure what they were so afraid of…?


BOOM! The Scottish Shot on the left facing the Royalist Gallopers unleashed a furious volley of musketry, taking down two of the six horsemen! The sound of fire and battle inspired everyone else to get a move on (all other units advanced)!

Undeterred the Royalist Gallopers charged into contact with the Scottish Shot – the Scots got off a few more quick shots before the Horsemen made contact!

When the smoke cleared two Scottish musketeers were down – but so were two more of the Royalist horse and the remaining horsemen fled the field! A serious blow to the Royalist cause this day…

One of the Royalist Forlorn Hopes opened fire upon the Scottish Pike in for ford, causing two casualties – The Pike were unsettled by this fire from seemingly nowhere and they panicked and fled back out of the ford!


The Scots Pike failed to rally and continued their flight, losing another man in the process. The Shot advanced towards the river finishing off cavalrymen and horses along their way. Everyone else seemed a little confused by all the smoke and shouting and simply held their positions (Clansmen failed to move, ending the turn…).

The Royalists began a general advance – lead by Ensign Millerton and his Forlorn Hope of dismounted cuirassier!


The Scottish Pike rallied and one group of clansmen advanced into the woods next to the ford. The rest were shaken by the flight of their pikemen and froze for a moment to get their bearings.

Ensign Millerton and his Forlorn Hope of dismounted Royalist cuirassiers charged the Scottish Pike just as they were getting reorganized! Though they outnumbered the small group of cavaliers, they were shocked by the violence of their charge and were set to flight again after losing two more of their number.

The other royalist Forlorn Hope took potshots at MacErrol’s unit and injured one of them. The rest of the English pike lined up as on parade to march through the ford!


The Scottish Pike attempted to rally, but lost their will to carry on and fled the field! But as they fled out of the ford, one group of clansmen poured in upon Ensign Millerton and his Royalist cuirassiers! The Highlanders took down one of them, but lost THREE of their own and ultimately fled back to the woods!

MacErrol and his men then fired on the Cavaliers taking down another. But they were undaunted! The Royalists charged out of the ford and into combat with the dismounted Scots cavalrymen. A Brief but vicious battle saw two of the Scotsmen fall and one of the Royalists – both units were now reduced to 50% - but neither failed morale – having lost more the Scots were obliged to retire from the combat while the royalists held their ground of the Scottish side of the ford! (The Scots had actually scored SEVEN hits with their defence roll, but as the “Aggressive” Royalist forlorn Hope had a stamina of FOUR they only lost one – one more hit might have spelled the doom of the Royalist cause right then and there!)


The Clansmen in the woods successfully rallied. The other Clansmen were obliged to Wildly Charge the Royalist cavaliers standing in the open, killing another, but losing two of their own. They fell back from the fight. The MacErrols men then opened fire on the two remaining Cavaliers and took down another one – leaving only the dashing Ensign Bartholomew Millerton to face the Scottish Horde alone!

The Scottish Shot on the left moved across the river. The other Shot failed to shoot at anything… again…

Millerton charged the Scottish forlorn hope, killing another of them and sending MacErrol and the only other surviving member of his unit reeling into the woods behind them. (Again, the Scots scored three hits – but not enough to take out a heavily armoured cuirassier with a Stamina of FOUR!)

The Royalist Pike continued their advance across the river and the other Royalist forlorn hope took some pot shots at the Scottish Shot on their side of the river – causing a few casualties.


One unit of Clansmen charged the Royalist Pike advancing out of the ford. They took down two of the Pikemen, but lost three more of their own and were obliged to retire.

A second unit of Clansmen (the ones hiding in the woods) then charged the royalist Pikemen. They killed another pikemen, but also lost three of their own, bringing them to half strength and setting them to flight back into the woods.

The Scottish forlorn Hope failed to shoot and that ended their turn!

The Royalist Pike in red charged after the wavering Highlanders. The Highlanders managed to take one down, but lost two more setting them to flight once again!

The Royalist Pike in the blue charged the other wavering Highlanders in the woods, killing three more and were routed from the battlefield.

Ensign Millerton, last of the Royalist cuirassiers charged after MacErrol into the woods. He killed the last of MacErrol’s unit before being felled by MacErrol himself…

His cries caused the Royalists to shudder… the Pike in Red failed morale and retreated back towards the ford…. But the Blue Pike and the other forlorn Hope were totally fine… so I guess it only made the pikemen in red shudder…. They were the closest. Maybe they were the only ones that could hear his cries…


The remaining Scottish Highlanders failed to rally, lost another of their number and continued to retreat….

The Scottish Shot on the right fired at the Royalist Pike in red knocking off two more which finally broke them and set them to flight.

The Royalists in blue advance on the Scottish Shot near them and the other Forlorn Hope advance to the river.


The Retreating Highlanders were now down eight – with a morale of 4+, only a twelve could rally them and prevent their flight off the edge of the table. 

So close…

The Scottish Shot and Forlorn Hope fired upon the Royalist Pike, but failed to break them.

The Royalist Forlorn Hope advanced out of the river - effectively ending the game as the next turn would start with all of their remaining troops on the opposing side of the ford.

As the Royalists had the most points on the opposing side of the ford (the Royalists had 10 – the Forlorn Hope and the Pike, while the Scots had only 4 points worth of their forces on the other side of the river – the one unit of shot) they won the game – gaining Bartholomew Millerton FIVE HONOUR .

Unfortunately when we rolled  on the officer casualty table Other Tim rolled a two – “Died like a coward, begging for quarter”… Evan MacErrol has no love for the English and shows them no mercy…

Another totally fun game! Thanks to Other Tim for having a go at it with me. I’m pretty stoked to get another game going on soon – I’ll have to get some more units finished up – some shot for the English perhaps, or more cavalry…?

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Probably something to do with the Englsih Civil War… or possibly some Star Wars: X-Wing as the kids have been hounding me to play that again… 


  1. A nice report with beautiful troops...and river!

  2. Looks like great fun! I like your stream, I need to get some scenery done, difficult when you're on a roll painting and basing figures plus I don't have a dedicated area I can set up and leave. Lovely figures as always.
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain! It does help to have a dedicated place to work.

  3. Nice battle report, thanks for sharing!
    Could you please tell me what is the size of the board?

    1. Cheers! Sorry I meant to mention the size of the board in teh report- because it is quite a bit smaller than I think the game was mean to be played on - the table is 90cmx90cm (approximately 3'x3').

  4. Great report! Lovely terrain and figures as always! Looks and sounds like it was a lot of fun. I like that you were able to play it on a smaller board, too.

    1. That smaller board was, admittedly, a bit tight. It sure didn't leave much room for maneuver - it was more like a knife fight in a phone booth. But I suppose it prooves it IS possible to play on a smaller surface (with a bit of scenario tweaking).

  5. Awesome game! Small is beautiful; skirmishes especially, occur when and where - no fancy manoeuvring involved...