My partner in crimes against the hobby is Murdock of Murdock's Marauders. He came up with a plan for a scenario for Trumpeter's Salute 2019: a game based on the siege in the historical drama By The Sword Divided.

In the series the Lacey's ancestral castle, Arnescote Castle is besieged by Parliamentarian forces; Arnescote castle is, in fact, Rockingham Castle:


This won't be a straightforward table with a castle at one end though. Murdock's plan is to have siege options for the attacker: scale the walls; build saps and trenches; and/or attempt a breach. The trick with this table is modelling the saps, trenches and any breaches. We wanted the attacker to be able to place trenches and saps where he wished and to target specific sections of the wall for making a breach. The means flexibility in terrain.

We decided that the centre of the table would consist of removable 8 inch squares, thus allowing the attacker to remove a plain square and replace it with a square consisting of a trench or sap section. The wall of Arnescote Castle would also be in 8 inch sections, so that any breached sections could be removed and replaced with rubble. Here is a drawing to give you an idea of what we are looking for:

The wall of Arnescote castle is on the left, the attackers first parallel on the right. The besieged wall is (we believe) the wall on the right in the photo of Rockingham, partially obscured by the tree in the lower right-hand corner. The edges of the table will be solid; the dotted in lines give you an idea of the sections that could be pulled out and replaced with trenches or saps as shown. The defenders will also have the option to build trenches or counter saps; I am not sure how often this was actually done during the ECW (I did read of one siege in which the defenders counter-mined to prevent the blowing of a gate) but in the TV series the Lacey's are shown digging a trench outside the wall in anticipation of the Parliamentarians attack.

The table is 4x6 and started out like this:

The centre was removed:

Then I started the time consuming process of making 8 inch squares. I made a little jig to help with keeping the edges a even as possible:




Remember, I have to make nearly twice as many squares so there are lots of options for the attacker. There will be 28 plain grass squares and about another 20 squares that will be either trenches or saps. You can see why I am starting this now even though Trumpter's Salute isn't until March...

I mocked up a trench section on a foam off-cut to get an idea of what it might look like:


The trench may have to be a bit wider and smaller wood for the shooting step. Perhaps more rocks and gravel scattered around as well.