Sunday, 30 April 2017

About Cromwell...54mm ECW

I'm increasingly drawn to larger figures and I've finally got back to working on my North-West Frontier figures.  I don't have the 'toy soldier' nostalgia thing that some people associate with this scale, so I'm not a fan of the shiny varnish and block painted look that you often see but they are nice to paint and look very impressive on the table.

Last week I was lucky enough to play a game with my friend Anthony's 54mm ECW armies.  His figures are from 'A Call to Arms' and look really impressive.  The rules we used were 'About Cromwell'.  These are a Belgian set of rules which owe a lot to Command and Colours.  The card element has been removed though and orders are given by the overall CinC and subordinate commanders using dice...rolling an I allows you to activate an Infantry unit, a C, cavalry etc.  The CinC can also transfer an order that he has rolled to a subordinate if it is needed and he is within command range.  The rules were really easy to pick up and the game flowed really well.

I commanded the Royalists  and had more early success in getting my forces moving.  My Cuirassiers tried a speculative charge against the Parliamentarian Commanded Shot (I didn't fancy mixing it with the pikemen) but I discovered that musket range is quite long and took casualties getting into charge range and eventually lost the combat.  I had more success in the left as I advanced my Pike and Shot unit and this time it was my musket fire that proved very effective in causing casualties and driving back the enemy.

The Royalists begin to advance...

...cheered on by the Commanded Shot skulking behind a hedge

King Charles views the battlefield

Over on my right the cavalry engaged after a halting start and I was soundly beaten as Parliaments Cuirassiers routed one unit and then charged into the flank of my second.  The good news was that in true ECW style they then pursued off the table and refused to come back for the remainder of the game!  If they had turned up I would have had nothing except a nervous looking gun crew to defend against them so I was very fortunate!

Boo...the evil Parliamentarians...

Despite my success in driving back Anthony's units on my right the casualties were mounting and, having lost my cavalry command completely, I couldn't afford too many more.  Inevitably the weight of musket fire and a well timed Parliamentary cavalry charge proved too much and the Royalists were broken.

An excellent set of rules if you like the Command & Colours style of game.  Apparently there is also a Napoleonic version called, not surprisingly 'About Bonaparte' which featured in Miniature Wargames last November, and an Ancients version called...'About Caesar'.


  1. Superb looking game! Those 54mm minis really do look great...but it's hard enough storing 28mm figs and terrain!!

    1. I know...i keep telling myself that while I'm painting my NWF figures 😀

  2. Superb looking game! Those 54mm minis really do look great,,


  3. Lovely figures and a fun game. My 54mm armies are block painted, but please pop by and take a look at my ECW stuff.

  4. Hi Alastair. Thanks for the comments to the rule! It was a project for Crisis 2013 in Antwerp. Pike & Shot had always fascinated me. I once I had found the A Call to Amrs figures, had planned to start gaming with them. Had made my own Covenant figures based on some metal highlander figures. If you like to read the About Bonaparte of About Caesar rules, I can send you a pdf light version. battle reports on our club site : And indeed, I start to lack space for storage for all those figures.

    1. Hi Dirk, I'll drop by your club site and take a look. I thoroughly enjoyed the rules although I really don't need any more temptation to start a new project!!!

  5. Thanks Alastair. If you have a question about the rules, just ...shoot.