Issue: 25
System: Hordes of the Things
Publisher: Wargames Research Group

For King or Parliament - HotT in the 17th Century
by Graham Harrison

Back in the early 197Os, when I had just started wargaming, I came across a set of fantasy rules called Archworld. The rules had the usual non-human types, elves, dwarves and orc-types etc, but the majority of the populations were human. Basically two levels of technological development existed side-by-side. Most of the nations were on a par with Medieval Europe, but a few nations had developed the effective use of gunpowder and firearms, and were at a level equivalent to the mid-17th century. I found the idea fascinating, as my two favourite historical periods are the Wars of the Roses and the Thirty Years War/English Civil War, but unfortunately the rules themselves were total garbage. It remained an interesting concept in the back of my mind but nothing more until along came Hordes of the Things.

The basic historical weaponry of the English Civil War fits easily into HotT's troop types. The seventeenth century was a time when almost the entire population believed in miracles and magic, both sides firmly believing that God was on their side and that the enemy used evil sorcery and witchcraft against them, which justifies the inclusion of Clerics and Magicians.

Everyone who has an interest in this period of history tends to have a leaning towards one side or the other and the following lists are based on my own personal bias. (I would always class Oliver Cromwell as a Magician, his real role in the War has been vastly inflated by later historians, and I do not think that England's first War Criminal could be considered sufficiently holy to be a Cleric).

Royalist

1 Knight General (King Charles I with his Lifeguard) 2 AP
1 Hero (Prince Rupert of the Rhine accompanied by his dog, Boy) 4 AP
4 Knights (Cavaliers, cavalry armed with sword and pistols and charging at the gallop) 8 AP
2 Spears (Pikemen) 4 AP
2 Shooters (Musketeers) 4 AP
2 Hordes (Recruits armed with a mixture of weapons, from muskets to improvised) 2 AP
Alternatives:
up to 1 Cleric (Catholic Priest) 3 AP
or Magician (depending on your own prejudices) 4 AP
up to 1 Artillery (Cannon and crew) 3 AP

Montrose's Army (Scottish Royalist)

1 Hero General (Marquis of Montrose) 4 AP
1 Knights (Gordon Horse, armed with sword and pistols and charging at the gallop) 2 AP
4 Shooters (Irish foot) 8 AP
4 Warband (Highlanders) 8 AP
2 Hordes (Highland Rabble) 2 AP

Parliament

1 Knight General Earl of Essex and Lifeguard) 2 AP
3 Riders (Cavalry armed with sword and pistols and charging at the trot) 6 AP
3 Spears (Pikemen) 6 AP
3 Shooters (Musketeers) 6 AP
1 Artillery (Cannon and crew) 3 AP
1 Hordes (Recruits armed with a mixture of weapons, from muskets to improvised) 1 AP
Alternatives:
up to 1 Cleric Oliver Cromwell 3 AP
or Magician (depending on your own prejudices) 4 AP
up to 1 Hero (Sir Thomas Fairfax) 4 AP

Covenanter Scots

1 Rider General (David Leslie) 2 AP
3 Riders (Cavalry armed with sword and pistols or light lance and charging at the trot) 6 AP
3 Spears (Pikemen) 6 AP
3 Shooters (Musketeers) 6 AP
1 Artillery (Cannon and crew) 3 AP
4 Hordes (Recruits armed with a mixture of weapons, from muskets to improvised) 4 AP

Ed Note: Hordes of the Things is a generic set of Fantasy wargames rules produced by the Wargames Research Group and was reviewed in Ragnarok 1. A second edition is now available and was reviewed in Ragnarok 43. HOTT has won the Best Fantasy Wargames Rules category in the SFSFW Awards five times out of seven! For further details regarding price and availability, send an SSAE to Wargames Research Group, The Keep, Le Marchant Barracks, London Road, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 2ER.