Well after not hearing from Mark for over a month (he was really slammed by work), he made it over Saturday for a FtF session. It was my turn to choose the game, and I wanted to try out Unhappy King Charles!, which I got last summer.

Part of what interested me in it was reports that it’s a very unusual wargame, and does a good job at capturing the feel of the English Civil War. This means that it does have some unusual rules, and I last went through them in… mid-December. I just could not find the mental energy to pick them up again last week.

So… there was a little more frustration in the day than there absolutely needed to be, but it went well regardless. It’s a Card-Driven Game with the most complicated deck construction I’ve seen. The deck is split into Early War, Mid War and Late War segments (seen that before), but there’s a “Mandatory” card that goes at the beginning of each one, and making sure that ends up in the right place creates some procedures that seem complicated until you get what the point is.

After some ‘I don’t know, what do you want’ dickering I ended up with the Royalists. Since they start out with some veteran brigades, they technically have the advantage at the beginning of the game, with the Parliament gaining power (and the New Model Army) later.

We got just about halfway through the game (more than a turn into Mid War) and plan to finish it in Vassal. I have to say things have not gone very well for me. I’ve lost the South completely, the Scots have shown up to contest the North, and I’m 0 for 3 on the sieges I’ve tried (including a very painful loss at London which I had nearly taken when the army melted out from under me).

Most of the fighting has been over the Midlands where I lost Shrewsbury early, but I’m now hoping to take it back. Three different battles ended up being very close affairs (Drawn Battles), but all going Mark’s way in the end, and costing me precious veteran brigades. Followed by the failure to take London, I was getting pretty discouraged, I wasn’t getting anywhere, and time was slipping away.

However, I had gained most of the East (consolidating this is what drew me to London), and after being ejected from London, I managed a battle where I surprised him with the the strength of my troops (and a Battle Card) and got a decisive victory to destroy an army. Pity they were only militia (one of which is now in my army). It’s not a strong position, and I still need to find a way to make true positive motion, but a little pressure is off.

So now I have the mutually uncoordinated goals of getting rid of the Covenanters (Scots), taking Peterborough to consolidate the East, taking Shrewsbury and surrounds, and doing something about the South. And of course, keep Mark from causing more mischief.