I recently was able to call in on the Newark Civil War Centre which is a must see for any ECW buff. My main focus though was on one of the two temporary exhibitions currently on: Cutting Edge, The Changing tools of War. It was focused mostly on the evolution of arms and armour during the Pike and shot, specifically around the ECW. One section was dedicated to objects associated with Thomas Fairfax including his own sword... and wheelchair
One fun element of the gallery was a jacket which could be filled up with sacks of sand so that the wearer could experience the weight of light buff jacket to a full suite of cuirassier armour. I could only personally go up to a buffcoat with breastplate and backplate
Also another gallery was dedicated to the evolution of British democracy including a a display of suffragettes clothes.
The main permanent exhibitions themselves are worth visiting as there are plenty of objects on display, a series of short films made to tell the story of Newark during the civil wars and an interactive app that can be used at various information points around town
Recently, I hosted a test game of Osprey's Honours of War rules. This has been designed for Seven Years War with rules emphasising fast playing and easy to grasp concepts. The game is focused on the ability of the individual brigade commanders whose command performance will affect the overall performance of the brigade and the modifiers that will be added or subtracted for the units in combat. To allow the game to last for the duration of the session, there is breaking point that requires taking the total number of troops and dividing them by two and rounding to the nearest whole number.
The game was set up using Noel's 15mm War Spanish of the Spanish Succession range we set up basic game that everyone could get an idea of how the rules worked. The game pitted the French at against the slightly outnumbered allies. As this game was a test I did not include any National differences that would give additional benefits or disadvantages. With this introductory game started with both infantry and cavalry respectively engage each other with brutal results. As the evening progressed the Allies held out against the French who eventually reached their breaking point.
Everyone enjoyed the system although there are some qualms about whether this plays more as game rather than as a historical simulation. The former is probably true however the game works perfectly for three hour evening session and can be easy for anyone to pick up quickly. For the next game I will be having the game set around a specific scenario with some specific advantages and disadvantages for both sides. There are also optional rules that can be implemented into the game such as weather
The Pikeman’s Lament is a Pike and Shot skirmish game and the third in the series of expansions to Daniel Mersey’s popular Lion Rampant rules. The focus of the game is not on large battles but on encounters between smaller companies where pikemen and musketeers are grouped separately. Every unit has different special rules that provides special attacks or reaction effects. With different scenarios and a progression of experience for company commanders, there is the opportunity to stage campaigns with this rule set.