Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Battle of Birmingham, April 1643

Games designer Chris Peers authored the "The Battle of Birmingham" as part of the Prince Rupert & English Civil War theme in Wargames Illustrated #269. He went the distance with this piece and brought a lot of interesting insights to the table.

Again, we get to take a look at small engagement whose offbeat nature and importance belied its size (see The Battle of Powick Bridge for another). I'll not throw too many spoilers out there, but the battle was rather lopsided and included a good measure of artillery; the ugly aftermath definitely put Prince Rupert in a nasty light - even in the eyes of King Charles. The article looks pretty awesome (and don't get me wrong, all the ECW articles look great), and it's probably my favorite from a miniature vignette perspective - we get close-ups and big views of well-made tabletop Birmingham environs, including St. Martin's Church. Renegade Miniatures and Grand Manner played center stage to the fab pics.

The article includes a scenario, with orders of battle based on Rick Priestley's 1644 rules. Beyond that we get plenty of sidebars: The Pamphlet War, which describes the propaganda aspects of the conflict; Searching for the Battle; and ECW Artillery, another gem in the collection of nuts-and-bolts tactics/troops/weapons sidebars found throughout the series. 

The last installment on this week's series on Wargames Illustrated's ECW issue will feature Jim Graham's "The Battle of Marston Moor."

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