A few weeks ago, Michael Leck and Dan Mersey announced a joint venture, namely a development of the Lion Rampant rules for the Pike & Shotte era, called The Pikeman's Lament , which will be published by Osprey as part of their successful wargames series.
Having played Lion Rampant (but not as much as I'd like) I was immediately intrigued to find out more. Having met Michael and his fellow Swedes (all damned fine chaps to a man) at Salute earlier in the year, I dropped him an e-mail just in case he needed any playtesters. Luckily for me he accepted my offer (the poor fool). As anyone who follows Michael's Blog (or saw his table at Salute), you will know he puts on a lovely game. His latest offerings I have particulary enjoyed due to my long interest in this period.
So why am I interested in the ECW? Well as I child I grew up just outside of St Ives in the then Huntingdonshire, and each week would see the imposing statue of Oliver Cromwell in the town centre.
I always enjoyed the film "Cromwell" as a child, siding with the Parliamentarians, probably due to seeing the aforementioned statue so much.
Also just outside of Earith, where my Mum was born and a few miles from where I lived, are the impressive remains of a star fort, known as the 'Earith Bulwark'. Sadly barely visible from the road, but impressive none-the-less from the air.
So as you can see in my formative years I had a lot of exposure to the ECW, but most of it in reality probably passed me by. Then at University my friend and I used to play many, many English Civil War games as a way of unwinding at the end of a project (naturally coupled with a few beers).He was very, very interested in the period, so I used to hear a lot about it. Since then my interest has never wained and was recently piqued with my purchase of the Warlord Games Pike & Shotte rules.
Fast forward some 20 odd years and I moved to Hanham, on the outskirts of Bristol with my family. Just up the road from us is the Blue Bowl Pub, reputedly on the sight of a Roman tavern and possibly one of the oldest pubs in the country. It was used as a base by Cromwell for his operations against Bristol and the surrounding area during the ECW. A few miles away are the remains of Barrs Court, a moated Manor that was probably medieval in origin and certainly occupied during the ECW. Charles II escape from the Battle of Worcester led him along the River Avon and past Hanham on his way to Bristol.
The famous Battle of Lansdown Hill is but a short drive from where we live and now laid out with information boards showing the progress of the battle. Not only does the site have an impressive monument to Sir Bevil Grenville who fell during the battle, but it also offers superb views across the surrounding countryside.
In terms of 'The Pikeman's Lament', I already have plenty of material from which I can come up with some background information and fluff for my Royalist and Parliamentarian Companies. A few trial games have already given me a flavour of the sort of troops I like and as a result I've placed an order with Pendraken Miniatures Pendraken Miniatures for collection at Colours. In another post I will give more background info on my Companies, which have already taken on a character of their own.