Thursday 14 March 2024

“This War Without an Enemy”

The box lid….

…and the underside

The English Civil War is one of the periods of history I have never been able to make my mind up about! I have gamed it using figures (not mine I hasten to add) and have gone through not one but two WoFun collections - the 28mm version is now with Mr Fox - and a very fine job he has made with them using a DBA inspired set of rules and some custom movement trays - and the 18mm version which has also gone. I built up a small collection of reading material for the period but for whatever reason it never really got off the ground for me. Even watching the film Cromwell a couple of times failed to really engage me. It became one of those periods of history that I would be interested in only under certain circumstances  such as a visit to a castle or Manor House that featured during the war, possibly viewing some museum exhibits or similar and so it not a long stayer as such. In many ways I had the same feelings about the American Civil War on land, the saving grace for me in this instance being the naval side.

This War Without an Enemy is a board game produced by Nuts Publishing and offers a strategic game of the period of the civil war using blocks for units and notable personalities and a card driven area movement system. Unit blocks have a number of hit points that can be reduced by damage and tactical battles are resolved on a stylised battle mat - I have the neoprene version of this along with the game printed version.

The rules, playbook, unit and personality blocks and the two decks of event cards that drive the game

Scenario set ups for 1642 and 1644 - there is a full campaign game covering the entire war

A close up of the unit and personality blocks

The neoprene version of the tactical battlefield map.

I really enjoy block based games and in many ways - cards excepting - this reminds me of Napoleon by Columbia Games. That also features a separate stylised battle board for resolving tactical battles - a pretty neat idea akin to a figures based campaign where the units are moved on a map and the figures are deployed on the tabletop for the resolution of the action.

Anyways, an opportunity arose for me to pick up a secondhand copy at a price I could not refuse and so here I am, once again looking at the ECW and ruing the disposal of the 18mm Wofun and of the books I had acquired. I am not so fussed about the former but the latter will require some eBay attention methinks! Luckily most of the books I had - no more than half a dozen or so - are for the most part readily available and more importantly are not expensive.

For the record whilst I was typing this I had the theme tune from the BBC TV series ‘By the Sword Divided’ running in my head - is this trying to tell me something?

No figures were harmed or purchased during the writing of this post…. :-)


The Good Soldier Svjek said...

I will be interestedin how this plays - I've had my eye on it a while .

David Crook said...

Hello there Good Soldier Svjek,

I have heard good things about it and the playbook looks pretty useful. Unlike many of my games it is ready to go as is so I may even give it a cheeky run out sooner rather than later.

Naturally this will warrant a blog entry!

All the best,


Archduke Piccolo said...

Interesting topic, and the game system looks intriguing. I sometimes wonder why I chose to 'do' the 30YW over the ECW. It had to be one or the other, and both were interesting. I think I chose 30YW because I knew less about it!

I's certainly be interested in seeing further blog posts about 'War without an Enemy'.

David Crook said...

Hello there Archduke,

The good thing about this particular game is that it is ready to go - all the blocks have been carefully stickered and the cards sleeved so it is ready to go once I have read the rules. The playbook is really helpful so getting it to the table should not be too difficult, time permitting. We have the Easter weekend coming up soon so perhaps I can get a game in then.

In the meantime though, I have raided eBay for three books to go with it….

All the best,


Steve J. said...

I used to be really into ECW games, but then went off them for some reason, finding Monmouth's Rebellion and The Glorious Revolution more interesting. However I do still have two small forces for some skirmish level games, which are simple and fun to play.

David Crook said...

Hi Steve J,

Were I to tackle the ECW using figures then I reckon WoFun would be the solution (winces at the memory of the TWO collections that were sold on….) but for now I have no plans to do so. Of course there is always a block army option….

SEEMS took a really nice looking Monmouth game on the show circuit a few years ago but it was never a period I looked at in any great detail.

The Pikeman’s lament might be an option but not anytime soon.

All the best,


nundanket said...

It's a lovely looking game David. I got it a couple of years ago but have never played it. The original idea was to use it as a campaign engine but it isn't quite suitable for that.
PS I still have that ECW book collection you sold me a few years ago!

David Crook said...

Hi nundanket,

My copy is already to go and for now I will happy to just fight any battles using the battlefield included. Having said that I reckon the blocks could easily be used with the Portable Pike and Shot Wargame.

I remember parting with the ECW collection - and some of it is already en route via eBay! Typical me really!

All the best,