Ken and I sat down on Saturday to play our first game of In Deo Veritas 17th century rules from Helion Wargames. We picked a smallish ECW battle from the IDV rulebook (Battle of Cheriton) as Ken has a nice-sized (and beautifully painted) collection of 28mm ECW miniatures, and we thought this would be a good introductory scenario with a manageable number of combatants.
As most of you probably know already, In Deo Veritas are a 17th Century "big battle" set of rules that dispense with and abstract some detail for the sake of playability and aim to put entire 17th century battles on the table. If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know that I am a huge fan of "big battle" rules and usually aim to put historical battles on the table as much as I can, so the premise of IDV instantly appealed to me.
Reading Darren's review of them really sealed the deal for me as I found out they were inspired by, and even structured a bit like Frank Chadwick's "Volley & Bayonet" which are some of my favorite "big battle" rules for the horse and musket era.
The rules and the sequence of play are straightforward enough that you can get into the action quickly, and there is a great card-driven activation system to activate "wings" on the table. This gives you just enough random activation to add some nice tension and fog of war to the game.
|Battle of Cheriton - facing off against the Royalists - this was the first time I've ever played a Parliament force! (having only played 3 ECW games in my entire life - all the Battle of Montgomery 1644 and all for the Royalist side)|
The sequence of play is familiar with movement, combat, and adjudication of morale issues occurring in that order. I should also say that, like Volley & Bayonet, the movement distances are quite generous. Units, at least later TYW and ECW units, are 3" x 1.5". That should sound instantly familiar to V&B players!
|Right cavalry wing and right infantry wing ready to step off and deploy on the field! We'll try to use the woods to our advantage to keep the Royalist Cavalry as bottled up as we can.|
|In hindsight I should not have started with my guns deployed|
|I found myself drooling over Ken's outstanding 28mm troops.|
|Left Infantry Wing|
|A thunderous cavalry charge!|
Ken and I had some questions during our play through that we couldn't find answers for in the book - for instance when charging do you square up against an opponent? Is it the point of contact? Can chargers fire? Additionally we took some generous "artistic license" with assigning supports for our combats as support ranges weren't defined that we could see.
One cool feature also of IDV is the disorder system and testing when in proximity to the enemy (again, familiar to V&B players). This actually enables the enemy's saves which I like. The combats themselves are simple affairs and the modifiers are manageable.
|Detachments in the woods. We kept forgetting about these poor slobs|
|cavalry advance onthe right! note the edge of the woods keeping Ken's cavalry bottled up!|
|Cavalry battle on the left about to be joined!|
|Cool pic of Ken's 28mm minis|
|Royalist Horse and infantry in the attack!|
|THe entire battlefield looking towards the Cheriton woods. Parliament coming off the ridge to your right|