Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report

As we near the end of our Wars of the Roses campaign we find ourselves at the Battle of Tewkesbury. As with the other games in the campaign we looked for anything of historical note. For Tewkesbury we decided the Lancastrian player would set up the terrain to represent the fact that the ground was of their choosing.
This was a standard 800 point battle with Stephen commanding the Lancastrians left with Charlotte acting as second in command on the right. Assisting me with the Yorkists, Tony F made a return to the field facing Charlottes forces while I took the field opposite Stephen.

This was the battlefield as setup by the Lancastrians. They formed their battles between two sets of walled fields with some marshland just in front to further impede movement. Their right was made up of a mix of archers and billmen, but on the left Stephen had formed up no less than four units of mounted men at arms, and two units of dismounted men at arms in the centre.

The Lancastrian right flank was protected by some archers, while on the left were two units of hand gunners using the walls as a fortified position.
Seeing the Lancastrian deployment, I took some bold choices with how the Yorkists would deploy.

I placed my mounted men at arms in the middle of the field since no Lancastrian flank was on offer. I also felt there was no point trying to face the mass mounted Lancastrian units. I was convinced Stephen had placed those there to perform a mass charge against my forces. I wanted to provoke the Lancastrians into moving rather than wait until my Yorkist forces had advanced between the two walled areas.

Fearing the Lancastrian mounted units I was determined not to leave my infantry behind the advancing archers. So used my commanders to keep the units moving. Although I had some men at arms and retinue billmen, the second line should it be needed were only militia billmen.

But the Lancastrian cavalry didn’t move and it was clear that they were waiting for the Yorkists to advance past the hand gunners in their protected position or to spend time trying to dislodge them.

Trying again to goad the Lancastrians out of position I advanced my mounted men at arms to within charge range, and suggested to Tony he should do the same out on our left flank.

Still no reaction from the Lancastrians cavalry, so I had no choice but to advance my archers and use a few bonus dice to get a speculative flight of arrows in against the mounted units.

And in a result that shocked everyone the archers volley managed to destroy the flower of Lancastrian nobility!

That got the Lancastrians moving but only piecemeal. Stephen sent a lone unit against some advancing men at arms, who managed to blunt the charge and hold up the cavalry.

But the Yorkists didn’t have it all their own way. Tony’s mounted men at arms suffered at the hands of the Lancastrian archers placed behind the marshland. Tony decided the best counter to the loss of the knights was to advance his archers and billmen and take the fight to the enemy, but took some early casualties from the Lancastrian archers.

With my cavalry in the middle of the field still threatening to charge, Stephen decided to advance both his units of dismounted knights. The activation dice where in my favour and although Stephen had stacked the bonus dice onto his men at arms, it was my cavalry unit that got to charge first, however they failed to destroy the men at arms and got bogged down into melee.

Having managed to destroy the first mounted unit sent against the Yorkist right flank, Stephen sent another into the fight, this time he also managed to get off a volley from the hand gunners but to no effect.

The clash in the centre of the field reached a climax with the destruction of the Yorkist cavalry but not before managing to take one of the Lancastrians dismounted men at arms with them.

Over on the Yorkist left flank, despite the Lancastrian archers favourable position behind the marsh, the rest of the Lancastrian line was starting to take casualties with Tony’s archers punching holes in their ranks.

On came the last of the Lancastrian mounted men at arms, but despite giving his cavalry a bonus dice the Yorkist men at arms again refused to budge and the two sides were locked in battle.

At this point the loses for the Lancastrians pushed them over their first morale check. The test saw a number of key Lancastrian units quit the field adding to their misery.
Over on the Lancastrian right flank Tony was still on the offensive. Having dispatched most of the enemy archers he was advancing his men at arms into the fray.

With one last desperate charge Stephen sent his billmen in against my archers. These were actually my Militia archers and I gave them all the dice I could spare for the fight. The militia took the most damage but it wasn’t quite enough to destroy either of the units.

The final stroke came when my men at arms finally got the better of the last Lancastrian cavalry which pushed them over their break point and handed victory to the Yorkists.

The Lancastrians were left scratching their heads at the end of the battle, asking for clues as to what went wrong. The difference in losses suggested a rout, despite their forces having started in a defensive position.

Maybe the Lancastrians can take heart while marching towards the Yorkists greatest defeat on the fields of Bosworth.

Yorkist Loses
2 Units of Mounted Men at Arms (8 points)
2 Units of Longbows (6 points)
1 Unit of Spearmen (4 points)
Total loses 18 points (Army break point 46)

Lancastrian Loses
2 Units of Dismounted Men at Arms (8 points)
6 Units of Longbows (18 points)
4 Units of Mounted Men at Arms (16 points)
Total loses 42 points (Army break point 40)

Yorkist Victory

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Barnet – Battle Report

Battle number ten in our campaign took us to the all important battle of Barnet. One of the main features of the battle (apart from the treacherous Earl of Warwick) was the fog that plagued both sides on the day.  To represent this we rolled a 1D3 at the start with the result indicating the affect of the fog. The result was that all ranged weapons for the battle were reduced by 2 DU. This meant the longbows went from 5 DU to 3DU making any archery exchange very close indeed. We normally have a couple of guest commanders for our battles but this time it was just myself commanding the Yorkists and Stephen with his Lancastrians. But we stuck to the armies being divided up into two commands each.

Battle of Barnet
Both sides deployed in fairly typical fashion but the make up of the armies was quite different this time. For the Yorkists my main force was quite strong with men at arms, bills, longbows, mercenary pikemen and mounted men at arms. I had 16 units under this command. The remaining 8 units of the second command were mainly militia units of bills, longbows and some currours. I intentionally kept this command weak as a feint with the hope that the Lancastrians would still commit enough of their stronger units against it.

On the Lancastrian side Stephen did not bring any cavalry which surprised me, but did bring some guns and units of Irish Kerns. He brought a good mix of militia and retinue units, and a unit of Gallowglass (dismounted men at arms for game purposes). Stephen had brought twice as many command units as I had which would prove to be a problem for me and divided his commands evenly with 13 units in each.

Deployment was typical but I left some space in the middle to bring up some infantry should I need it later in the battle. Probably by accident but very similar to the last battle we had both placed our strongest flanks facing the enemies weakest.

With the fog causing problems both sides advanced their archers in the centre for a quick exchange of arrows. Despite using many bonus dice this didn’t really achieve much.

Along with my two generals I had brought a captain who would have the sole responsibility of commanding the mounted men at arms on the Yorkist right flank. I knew I wanted to get the cavalry moving and threatening the Lancastrian left flank as soon as I could, hoping the enemy could not ignore them.

In the centre and the Lancastrians suddenly changed everything with some superb archery, making a unit of Yorkist longbows the first casualties of the day. This led me to spur on my infantry in the centre to make good use of the road and fill the gap.

Out on the Yorkist left flank I needed to goad the Lancastrians into believing my weaker units were a threat and so I boldly moved up the Currours to attempt a similar manoeuvre to my men at arms over on the right. Knowing the threat the cavalry posed Stephen surprised me by using a few bonus dice to have his Kerns charge in, thus depriving my cavalry of their impact bonus. Even worse was to come when the Kerns managed to survive a melee against both units of Currours!

Seeing the disaster over on the left flank I resolved to make up for it with my mounted men at arms. The Lancastrians had moved up some archers, so I had to get the charge in. But again the Lancastrians held firm and the cavalry became bogged down.

To try and maintain pressure on the Lancastrian right I decided to move up my militia longbows but the exchange of arrows proved ineffective. This was then met with an advance from the Lancastrian longbows.

Back to the centre my bold move to fill the gap paid off with the billmen routing some of the troublesome archers. But the Lancastrians had brought up their men at arms ready to join the fight.

With the Yorkist left flank plan having failed and the same happening on the right, I decided to bring in extra support and managed to overwhelm the archers and again threaten the Lancastrian right.

In the centre the last of the Lancastrian archers had been destroyed but this left the billmen facing the elite of the Lancastrian army alone. Acting just as bold the Lancastrian men at arms soon got the better of the Yorkist billmen.

The centre was now becoming the main focus of the battle with both armies bolstering their ranks.

It was at this point the disaster on the Yorkist left had reached a turning point with the Irish Kerns managing to rout some of the currours.

This was added to with the Yorkist militia longbows being nearly destroyed. I had hoped my smaller left flank would have occupied the Lancastrians for longer. The units had played their role and held up the left flank of the Lancastrians, but with casualties being fairly even on both sides at this point I had to rethink my strategy.

Focusing back to the Yorkist right I was lucky enough to get some good activation rolls and went on the offensive with my surviving longbow units.

The centre then became a bloody ground, the Lancastrian men at arms faired poorly and were defeated by the Yorkist billmen, but the Lancastrian Gallowglasses made up for it with a valiant defence, even after I managed to support the bills with some spearmen. I also decided it was now or never to get my mercenary pikemen into the fight.

With further success on the Yorkist right the mounted men at arms charged through the Lancastrian guns and onto some waiting billmen. The Yorkist archers also managed to destroy the last of the opposing archers pushing the Lancastrians to their first morale check.

Spurred on by the Lancastrians dropping morale I pushed more billmen forward, although the loss of the second unit of currours and militia longbows on the Yorkist left flank put my army close to the first morale check.

But the battle continued and the Lancastrian Gallowglasses still held firm making for a nervous time. But in the Yorkist favour was that the Lancastrian right flank was too far away to get involved in the battle in the centre.

The following turn was the last with yet another disappointing show from the Lancastrian men at arms who were dispatched but the pikemen for no loss to themselves. And the Gallowglasses finally fell pushing the Lancastrians to their breaking point.

And so the Battle of Barnet ended with a Yorkist victory, to make the day worse the Lancastrians also lost the Earl of Essex and the Duke of Exeter.
Time to reassemble the armies and march to Tewkesbury.

Yorkist Loses
2 Units of Currours (8 points)
4 Units of Longbows (12 points)
2 Units of Militia Longbows (6 points)
1 Unit of Billmen (4 points)
Total loses 30 points (Army break point 47)

Lancastrian Loses
2 Units of Dismounted Men at Arms (8 points)
3 Units of Billmen (12 points)
4 Units of Longbows (12 points)
2 Units of Militia Longbows (6 points)
1 Unit Gallowglass (4 points)
1 Unit Guns (2 points)
1 Unit Irish Kerns (3 points)
Total loses 47 points (Army break point 45)

Yorkist Victory

A year’s worth of gaming (Part 2)

Club member Stephen reviews the games he has played at Maidstone Wargames Society this year. This is part 2 of the article covering July to December. If you missed part 1 it can be found here.

The first meeting after the Open Day can be an important one because it would be the first ‘true’ impression of a club day for anyone returning after the Open Day. We do try to have a few games going and it’s important that games are open to any new member to help them feel included and part of the club. I had a game of Dragon Rampant with Andy.

July – Dragon Rampant

We got in two games. Andy was using his goblins, and I used two new armies – elves in the first game and dwarves in the second. And Andy won both games. Not just won, but won quite convincingly. That’s the thing with new armies – it takes time. You have to get to know each other, trust each other, respect each other. Just like any relationship.

At the end of July came more sci-fi. Another game of Stargrave – Jurassic Moon! I’m sure you can work out the inspiration for that one. Films, TV, and books all provide an endless resource for Stargrave games. Yet again, another sci fi game in my decision to do more sci fi during the year.

In this game Tony’s captain would get killed by a pack of velociraptors, meaning Tony lost his crew and will have to start all over again. Meanwhile, Eric kept throwing grenades at everything. We also used the Side Hustle cards, which provided a great new element to the game.

July – Stargrave – Jurassic Moon

We are now two-thirds of the way through this gaming year, and another sci fi game for me – Battlestar Galactica by Ares Games. This uses the same game engine as other games such as X-Wing. The game was run by Alan, so fulfilled two briefs for the year’s gaming – play more sci fi, and play more games run by other people. Best of all, though, was the chance to game with club members I seldom game with. Alan umpired with Dave and myself taking the Cylons and Pete S and Chris taking the humans. I don’t wish to gloat, but suffice to say that Dave and myself had a very rewarding day!

August – Battle Star Galactica

And then on to a bit of fantasy – Elf King Red. This is a free download set of rules by Rick Priestly. In brief, the game is based around an elf civil war, with each player taking control of a different ‘Circle’ of elves. It’s one of those games with just a few miniatures per player – a leader (or Thane in the rules) accompanied by six companions. Just seven figures per side!

We had a four player game – Andy, Tony F, Phil, and myself. We played two different scenarios (we agreed that each player must devise a scenario, but obviously never played them all). Andy’s scenario involved hunting down a rampant werewolf whilst mine was all about taking control of a temple in the wilderness.

August – Elf King Red

It proved to be a nice fun game. These sort of things always work best with some kind of scenario driven game. There’s a few holes in the rules, which is OK (they’re free, after all), especially if you’re a group of friends and playing the game in the spirit of fun. We certainly coped with any hiccups and any uncertainties were easily resolved. EKR will make a great one-day session of linked scenarios.

It had been a little while, but the first meeting in September was back to our Wars of the Roses campaign – Battle of Hedgeley Moor. This was an encounter I was unfamiliar with, with newly crowned King Edward sending an embassy to the Scots only to be ambushed by the Lancastrians.

September – Sword and Spear – Battle of Hedgeley Moor

You know what, it’s just not fair! I really thought I was going to win this one, it was looking good at one point. But did I? No. You can read the full report here: Wars of the Roses – Battle of Hedgeley Moor – Battle Report – Maidstone Wargames Society (brigademodels.co.uk)

A closer game this time, so I suppose some things are improving.

The second meeting in September was supposed to be Rebels & Patriots but Andy had to pull out at the last minute, so I grabbed some spaceships and we had a game of Starmada instead. Like Full Thrust this is a space fleet game, but it’s quicker and dirtier than Full Thrust and can handle large fleet battles better. We played three games. The first was a simple meeting encounter so we could all remind ourselves of the rules. The grey fleet won this so we decided the next battle would be an attempt to take control of a mining facility. The green fleet repelled them this time and so we moved on to the last game – a chance for the greens to consolidate their position. But the greys won again. We decided this represented a minor victory for the greys. They hadn’t managed to take control of the mining facilities but had done enough to press the greens for trading benefits.

September – Starmada

The first meeting in October was on the 14th, which meant only one thing: HASTINGS! A few years ago we’d re-fought the battle so what we did was have a special Saga day based on the Norman Invasion. Norman and Anglo-Dane armies only.

October – SAGA – Battle of Hastings

The four of us decided to play multi-player games. Each player would keep track of victory points throughout the day and the player with the highest total would be declared winner. The day went to Tim with his Anglo-Danes with Jeremey, also using Anglo-Danes, in a very close second. It seems English resistance to the Normans is alive and well.

Since we meet in such a large hall I often wonder why we don’t do more one-on-one games. There’s enough room. So at the second meeting in October Tony G and myself had a few games of Barons War. This was Tony’s first time, so we kept it small. As such, we got in three games. Barons War provides a really good section on scenarios, which always benefits skirmish games. I won the first, then Tony won the second, which left a third deciding game. It went to Tony! The more I play Barons War the more I enjoy it. Like many rules it’s not always as clear as it could be – though not as bad as some rules out there. But as you play it the more sense it makes. A very enjoyable session.

October – Baron’s War

Right then. So, November. And another ding-dong in our Wars of the Rose campaign.

This was the Battle of Hexham and marked a turning point in the war. Not only was it a turning point in the actual war but it was also a turning point (hopefully) in our campaign. Rather than give details here you can instead read about the remarkable events here.

November – Sword and Spear – Battle of Hexham

The penultimate game of the year was a bit of a 90s throwback – Battletech! This game ticked two boxes for my year’s gaming: more sci fi AND play other’s games as well. Back in the day I used to play a lot of Battletech (and Silent Death). This was Eric’s game and we played a version of Battletech called Alpha Strike which, to be honest with you, bears no resemblance to the original game at all. Which is not a bad thing. Battletech was a very 90s set of rules and I’m not sure I have the stomach for it any more. But Eric had done the right thing by introducing us to Alpha Strike because it is a much more streamlined, playable, and therefore enjoyable game. Splendid fun. And check out Eric’s fantastically painted mechs. When I used to play I would go for lurid colours (I remember doing one in purple and yellow). I much prefer Eric’s muted colours.

November – Battletech Alpha Strike

And so on to my final game of the year. And yet more sci fi. Another game of Stargrave, but this time with a festive feel – I called the game ‘There Ain’t No Sanity Clause’ (full credit goes to The Damned for that). Santa Claus has been kidnapped by hordes of psycho-penguins and the players must spread festive goodwill to release him.

December – Stargrave – There Ain’t No Sanity Clause

Five players took part. They had two goals – as well as collecting loot tokens they also had to collect clues that tell them what they have to do to release Santa. The culmination of the game was a group rendition of We Wish You A Happy Christmas. In addition, if the players give back captured loot tokens to Santa (the loot were presents for all the good boys and girls) then they would receive double experience for those tokens.

A suitably festive ending to the year!

So those were the games I played at the club during 2023. I did well on my pledge to play more sci fi, but not so well when it came to playing other’s games (though I did do that more than usual – so not too bad). You know what, I don’t think I played a duff game all year. I thoroughly enjoyed every game. This is the advantage with being a club member – the variety of games and the quality. I’m going to continue with my determination to join in other games during 2024.


Wars of the Roses – Battle of Hexham – Battle Report

Battle number nine in our campaign was the battle of Hexham. The setup for this battle involved having the Lancastrians with their back to the river known as the Devil’s Water. Both armies were 800 points and as is the established convention with this campaign the victor writes the history, so I’ll leave you with Stephen to go through what happened on the day!

Battle of Hexham
Now I think about it, I feel a bit sorry for Tony F. He turned up, all perky and friendly, and said, ‘So who wants me on their side?’
Jeremey and myself looked at each other. Then we looked at Tony. ‘Neither of us,’ we said. His face changed.

It’s like this you see. There were three of us for the game, so it would be two vs one. Now, if the two players won then the single player would say something like, ‘It took two of you to beat me.’ Or, if the single player won, he would say, ‘Even the two of you together weren’t good enough to stop me.’

So honour was at stake, and this hadn’t occurred to Tony. So we said to him, ‘You decide.’ Tony decided to flip a coin for it – it came up heads: so that meant he would be on Jeremey’s side.

We move on to the Battle of Hexham. This is one of the smaller, lesser known, battles from the Wars of the Roses. However, it’s a very important battle because it marks the end of Lancastrian resistance. The battle was a devastating loss to the Lancastrian cause with the death of the Duke of Somerset, who had been the main supporter of King Henry. There’s not much to the battlefield – a river to the Lancastrian rear (in which many fleeing Lancastrians drowned), but otherwise an empty field (as is the case with many small battles).

I knew my tactics were to advance as quickly as possible to ensure I had space to retreat if pushed back. In general I had my army in a double-line – archers up front with billmen behind. My centre consisted of two pike blocks and two units of dismounted men-at-arms. I knew this would be a tough nut for the army of York to crack. I took a bit of a gamble with my flanks. On the left I had mostly militia troops, with a back bone of a couple of retinue units. On my right I put a solid retinue contingent. Jeremey commented how they had their best troops on their right (which was my left – facing my militia!), so I kept quiet about how comparatively weak that flank was for me. I had no cavalry in my army for the battle, there were two units of mounted knights on the Yorkist side, but they’d been split between left and right. I wondered if that had been a good decision since cavalry can be weak if they don’t immediately prevail, so are best with a bit of company. My commanders consisted of two generals and three captains – Lord Roos with Lord Hungerford and Sir Phillip Wentworth on the left (to take control of the militia) with the Duke of Somerset and Lord Grey on the right.

And so it began.

With Sword & Spear it’s easy to lose track of support troops. One gets so focussed on advancing the front line and using those much needed activation dice in crucial combats that the rear rank gets left behind. I was conscious of this so ensured I moved up troops in pairs – one activation dice on the archers up front and one on the billmen supporting them. I noticed that both Jeremey and Tony didn’t. I don’t say that in an accusatory way, because we’ve all done it and there’s never enough activation dice to do all you want. But I noticed in Sword & Spear that victory will often go to the side who can plug the gaps in their line or have troops in position to exploit enemy gaps, so I was determined I would keep that second line in position.

First blood went to the Yorkists! Oh well, I thought – business as usual! I kept my extreme right flank static because I saw that was where Jeremey had his knights and I could see no reason why I should get closer to them – no, I thought, I’ll let him come galloping across the whole of the battlefield where I’ll have time to form a good line to stop him.

Only two or three turns in to the game and I was the first to lose a unit as well! That had just about cemented in my mind that it was, indeed, business as usual.

Then something rather odd happened. I started eliminating enemy units. Yeah, took me by surprise as well. In the centre and on the right the archery duel began and I was coming out on top! The Yorkist centre was slow to advance (in fairness, due to poor activation dice) and so I decided to take the initiative and move up the pikes and dismounted knights as quick as I could. Jeremey was faffing around with his crossbowmen but before they could do anything I took them out of the game with a flurry of longbow arrows.

Yes, it all seemed to be going just a bit too well. I wasn’t only winning at this point, but I was winning well!

Although my left was mostly militia units, and potentially vulnerable, they were rolling some demon dice when it came to shooting. Whoever was commanding them (presumably a grizzled veteran from the wars with France) they were earning their turnips.

Then it all came to an end.

My dismounted knights in the centre gave a poor account of themselves. They moved up alongside the pikes and I was fairly sure that between them they were going to cause some trouble to the main York line. When they finally got into contact it was not to be. No. Instead of punching a decisive hole in the York line the first unit of knights went down without causing the York billmen so much as a hiccup. Tony’s (superior) troops also started to engage my left flank, and casualties and losses were being taken. The only resolve I could take was on my right where my archers continued to take a toll on the Yorkist troops.

Jeremey had finally decided to put the spurs into his cavalry and they started trotting forward. I saw that, and expected it, but I had a good couple of turns before they made contact so time enough to turn something toward them. The pikes finally went in and…nothing. In fairness there were no casualties on either side, just a shoving match, but I was getting to that point where my early lead was being reversed.

To make matters worse it was now my time to get poor activation dice. What this meant was that Jeremey’s cavalry sped up and managed to outflank me and came crashing into the flank of a unit of archers. Not good, and off went the archers. That was annoying because I had seen that coming and was fully aware of it, I just didn’t get the dice that allowed me to do something about it! Not again though, because I decided to turn troops to face him now whilst I could.

Had it been too late for me though? Because I now went over my Morale break point and had to make tests for all my units. Oh well, it had gone well to start with but I knew it couldn’t last. I stoically accepted this game would be another loss. I did alright on the cohesion tests though. I lost a militia unit that only had one strength left but other than that…yeah, all passed.

The early part of the game had gone to Lancaster and the middle game had gone to York. We now entered the end game and although I was lagging behind it wasn’t by much.

Next turn and the army of York reached their morale point as well. Their cohesion tests didn’t go so well. Jeremey kindly fluffed a lot of rolls and two, maybe three, York units fled the table. That evened things up so it was all to play for.

It was hard for me to press the attack against Jeremey’s flank because so many of his troops had been left behind and those that hadn’t been he started to *ahem* ‘reposition to the rear’ (how brave!) and promptly told Tony that victory for York was now in his (Tony’s) hands. Who needs leaders like that, eh?

Tony acted by getting his cavalry moving and charged them forward. A rash move I thought, but he didn’t have many choices. In fact, it was a fair move – he was only facing my militia troops after all and he had to do something. The pikes in the centre finally achieved a result and punched a line in the York centre but there was nothing there to exploit whilst the other pike block was stuck in a fight. I could now tell the army of York was panicking and trying anything to grab the victory. I tried to play it cool, but I was concerned because if I was to get that win it would be down to my militia troops who were facing Tony’s wing (and remember, Jeremey had earlier let slip that Tony had the best troops). I most certainly wasn’t confident.

And so it happened. We all knew we were on the last, or penultimate, turn and you could tell that each player was looking desperately across the battlefield to see where they could snip off that game-winning unit. We had a quick tot up – York only had to lose one more unit to be defeated whilst the Lancastrians would have to lose two. Very tight. Tony’s cavalry had got stuck in a protracted fight but they finally squeezed out of it and down went a unit of Lancastrian militia.

Just one unit each left to lose.

With victory so close I was desperate not to take a chance. I knew that engaging Tony’s retinue troops in melee with my militia was only going to go one way. So I held back and just hoped the earlier good dice rolls for the militia archers would hold firm.

And you know what, they did! Yup, I drew back my arrows, let fly, and down went some Yorkist billimen!

Victory to Lancaster. Oh, and just for the record, even the two of them together weren’t good enough to stop me on my own!

The most Pyrrhic of Pyrrhic victories for Lancaster, and not much to brag about. But a win nonetheless!

When writing up the battle report I discovered the Yorkists actual loses were 45 points and not the Army break point 46. Yes, technically that means they hadn’t quite Broken, but Jeremey mistakenly marked one of his longbow units at 4 army points, which would have taken them to 46. It is, however, the responsibility of the general to ensure he knows the morale of the troops under him, and if he wavers, panics, and quits the field too early then that’s his mistake and he pays the price.

Yorkist Loses
4 Units of Militia Billmen (16 points)
4 Units of Longbows (12 points)
2 Units of Militia Longbows (6 points)
1 Unit of Crossbows (3 points)
1 Unit of Spearmen (4 points)
1 Unit of Dismounted Men-at-arms (4 points)
Total loses 45 points (Army break point 46)

Lancastrian Loses
2 Units of Dismounted Men at Arms (8 points)
2 Units of Billmen (8 points)
5 Units of Longbows (15 points)
3 Units of Militia Longbows (9 points)
1 Unit Militia Billmen (4 points)
Total loses 44 points (Army break point 45)

Lancastrian Victory

A year’s worth of gaming (Part 1)

Club member Stephen reviews the games he has played at Maidstone Wargames Society this year. This is part 1 of the article covering January to June.

This article is a review of all the different games I’ve played over 2023 just to see, and remind myself, of the variety of games I’ve done. At the beginning of the year I made two decisions – play more sci fi, and play more games that other people put on (my general attitude is ‘I paid for these models and took the time to paint them so I want to use them!’ which means I generally put on a game at most meetings). So this year I wanted to mix things up.

The first game of the year was at the club meeting on January 28th. This was a game of Sword & Spear and part of a campaign (which started in 2022) to re-fight the Wars of the Roses with Jeremey.

January – Sword and Spear – Mortimer’s Cross

I love playing Sword & Spear. I do. But I don’t seem to be any good at it. In all the games I’ve ever played of S&S I think I’ve only ever won twice. Surely it can’t be my superior tactics, that seems to be beyond reproach, right? This game was a re-fight of Mortimer’s Cross (you can find the full, and gloating, write-up here: Wars of the Roses – Battle of Mortimers Cross – Battle Report – Maidstone Wargames Society (brigademodels.co.uk)). As is traditional with S&S, I lost. But you know what, I couldn’t care less because the games are always a lot of fun with plenty of pre-game trash talk and goading, and each game has a story. Playing in good company always helps as well. I’d willingly keep on losing so long as I keep on enjoying it.

February brought another couple of games at the club.

First up was a new game to me – Charlie Don’t Surf by Two Fat Lardies. I find TFL games a bit marmite. I’ve played Chain of Command – loved it. I’ve played What A Tanker – didn’t like it. And this was the first time for CDS. And I loved that as well. The game and models are all Pete S’s, and he’s done a blinding job on them. They are 10mm Pendraken models (I think) and it has just the right look for Vietnam.

February – Charlie Don’t Surf

We’re used to seeing 20mm and 28mm Vietnam games which focus on platoon actions. But Vietnam was bigger than that – often brigade sized actions with the company as the manoeuvre unit. And 10mm captures that perfectly. I had command of the armoured platoon. We put Mark J (newly appointed club chairman) to prove his mettle in command so he took company HQ. The game was a victory for the US side!

The second game in February was planned to be a Barons’ War game with Andy. But in the week leading up I suggested to Andy we could do a ‘compare and contrast’ and have a game of both Lion Rampant and Barons’ War to see how the two handle the same period. You can read a summary of our findings here (Lion Rampant and Baron’s War – Maidstone Wargames Society (brigademodels.co.uk)).

February – Baron’s War and Lion Rampant

First club meeting in March was a Stargrave game. I said I wanted to play more sci fi in 2023 and this was the first sci fi of the year. I found the original scenario online and tweaked it to be what I wanted it to be. Stargrave is a great toolbox of a game – you can make it what you want it to be. This game had both an overland and underground part, which was new for us.

March – Stargrave – The Warp Sextant

I prefer running Stargrave as an umpire, like a RPG. You get a different kind of pleasure as umpire because it’s about providing challenges and running the NPCs/monsters and hopefully providing an enjoyable scenario. Well, for me anyway. In this game Eric’s crew had fought hard to get to the bunker where the Warp Sextant was hidden. But coming out he found Tony F’s crew waiting outside, guns pointed at the entrance. A brief exchange of fire and it was Tony who made off with the treasure. Poor Eric.

End of March it was another chance to lose at Sword & Spear – Second Battle of St Albans. In this campaign I have the Lancastrians which means the onus is on me to win in battles where the Lancastrians came out on top. Such as Second St Albans.

March – Sword and Spear – Second Battle of St Albans

Again, rather than go into details here, anyone wanting to know more about this game can read the battle report (Wars of the Roses – 2nd Battle of St Albans – Battle Report – Maidstone Wargames Society (brigademodels.co.uk)). Suffice to say, it was business as usual! Tony joined me again on the Lancastrian side. I was feeling good about this one, felt I was due a win. And the early part of the game was looking good – the local militia archers engaged the Yorkist artillery and eliminated them for no loss! Yup, first blood to Lancaster. And then it steadily went downhill. Never mind.

More sci fi in April! This time it was Pete M’s Space 1889 game. A different kind of sci fi – Victorian rather than futuristic. The stand out thing were Pete’s scratchbuilt aeronefs, and we spent a bit of time playing ‘guess what bits have been used for the models’. Truly outstanding.

We played two games. I was on the human side for both games, and both games were very close. And Jeremey got a leathering in both games with his colleagues leaving him to do all the work. Excellent game.

April – Space:1889 – Mars

The end of April was Salute and this coincided with a club meeting day. Naturally, it was going to be a quiet meeting with a fair few members at Salute. I ran an American Civil War game (battle of Cedar Mountain) using brigade Fire & Fury.

April – Fire & Fury – The Battle of Cedar Mountain

The Union army is in a difficult position for this battle – making an attack against a much larger Confederate army. John R took control of the Union troops and did a good job – but his artillery ran out of ammo early in the game and he never had the time or opportunity to replenish them. This left him conducting a fighting retreat, and he made a good job of it, slowing down the Confederates.

First game in May was another in our Wars of the Roses campaign – the battle of Towton. Like all the others…I lost. Now, I’m not just saying this, but the dice rolling on our side was pretty poor, compared to the other side rolling really well. No, no! Stop that! It’s true on this occasion. To read more about this game you can check out the blog post (Wars of the Roses – Battle of Towton – Battle Report – Maidstone Wargames Society (brigademodels.co.uk))

May – Sword & Spear – Towton

Next was another sci fi game – Full Thrust. Jeremey and Tony were running the game which meant only one thing: vector movement. My fluffy little head struggles with that and prefers the cinematic movement option.

May – Full Thrust

A mixed bag of results. The first game was two opposed fleets with an asteroid field cutting the table in two – Tony F and myself using some of Brigade’s German ships, and Jeremey and Tony G using some of Jeremey’s scratch built (out of false nails) ships. Tony and myself came out on top in that one. We then played a couple of one ship per player games (first was cruisers, second was destroyers) and the alien nail ships won those games.

Along came flaming June and I decided not to attend Broadside since I was trying to restrict spending and if you go to a show you have to buy something, eh? John Lambert and myself had a game of Crossfire. We played this quite a bit a few years ago but then it fell by the wayside. The models for this game were from my collection – WW2 eastern front.

June – Crossfire – WW2 Eastern Front

The scenario was a late war one – Russian advance through Poland with the Germans on the retreat. Naturally, we were re-learning the rules, but it steadily came back to us. MUST ensure we play more of this one.

June 24th was the club Open Day. My game was a Saga: Crusades games. We played two scenarios, I had Saracens and Andy had Milites Christi. Saracens carried the day and won both games. I love Saga. It’s just the right game for me.

June – SAGA Crusades – The Road to Damascus

You can read more about the Open Day here: Review of 2023 Open Day – Maidstone Wargames Society (brigademodels.co.uk)

That concludes part 1 of the review of 2023, part 2 will be published in a couple of weeks.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Hedgeley Moor – Battle Report

Battle number eight in our campaign was the little known Hedgeley Moor. Again this was another of those battles that in reality didn’t amount to much and saw one side flee the field after a brief melee. The setup for this battle was a straight forward open plain. We went with 800 points each side for this particular battle. The Lancastrians were commanded by Stephen as Somerset supported by Andy as Baron Ros. I commanded the Yorkists as the rightful King Edward IV and Eric joined us for the first time in the campaign. Their didn’t appear to be any other lords on the Yorkist side so I gave Eric the banners of Lord Falconberg.

With the Yorkists sitting on 5 victories to the Lancastrian’s 1 and only 6 more battles to go in the campaign this was crunch time for Lord Somerset’s ambitions.

Battle of Hedgeley Moor
Both sides drew up their armies in the normal fashion. But a surprise came from Stephen by again fielding a strong force of cavalry. I don’t know if this was part of still trying to exercise the demons given the poor showing of the Lancastrian mounted nobility in many of the previous battles, but their they were taking to the field again.

Stephen placed the mounted men at arms in the centre of his line while I placed my cavalry on the far left of the Yorkist flank, while Eric did the same with his lone unit of cavalry out on the right.

Winning initiative I advanced my army across the field. The line of cavalry in the centre facing my archers gave me no choice but to try and get some shots in as quickly as possible. If I waited for the cavalry I ran the risk of not getting a shot off before they arrived.

Out on the Yorkist left flank I decided to try and goad Andy’s forces into action and to draw his attention away from the centre. Using a bonus dice for some extra movement the Currours set off across the field.

Eric got his force on the move and after a brief word of advice from me, sent his cavalry off to capture the hill on the right and start to threaten the Lancastrian left flank.

Eric rolled well for the first activation dice and was able to move up his entire front line of archers.

Much to my surprise the Lancastrian cavalry remained in place and so I risked moving my archers further away from the my infantry units, in trying to get some shots in on the cavalry. I gave my Crossbows a bonus dice to increase their movement rate and get into a firing position for next turn.

Having shown my hand Stephen decided to no longer wait and got his cavalry on the move. This meant initiative was going to be a crucial for the next turn. Either the Yorkists would get their shots off or the Lancastrian cavalry would charge in.

Thankfully the Yorkists won the initiative and so I made sure my archers would get an attack in. The crossbows went first and through poor marksmanship failed to score any hits and so I feared the worst when the cavalry charged in. Luckily the Lancastrians matched the crossbows lack of skill when it came to the melee with neither side managing to wound the other. With more cavalry approaching I went all out with more bonus dice but only managed a single wound against the mounted men at arms poised to charge.

Eric began an archery duel with Stephens forces while still managing to bring up some men at arms in support. The Lancastrians wary of the cavalry on the hill sent some billmen to secure their flank.

Having managed not to get ridden down by the cavalry on the first charge I quickly repositioned some of my uncommitted archers to fire at the cavalry that had not charged. The hasty volley wasn’t as effective as I’d hoped.

Seeing my archers engaged with the cavalry Andy began to move his own archers to threaten the Yorkist cavalry out on the left .

My archers were being worn down by the cavalry and a good use of some bonus dice saw the Yorkist frontline crumble.

After a few optimistic turns in which my archers managed to first blunt the Lancastrian charge and then hold their own in the following melee, they finally broke leaving a large gap. The crossbows also fell giving the Lancastrians the chance to plunge deeper into the Yorkists ranks and split the force in half.

With Andy’s archers on the move I went back to my original plan and got the Yorkist cavalry moving again. Seeing the cavalry move Andy seized the chance and gave his hand gunners a bunch of bonus dice to rake the Currours as they rode passed. Unfortunately they missed spectacularly.

But I wasn’t prepared to ignore the threat and so I charged the hand gunners with my spearmen. Little did I expect the gunners to be better at hand to hand combat than actually shooting. After a brief exchange and much to their embarrassment the spearmen were destroyed.

Meanwhile on the other side of the battlefield Eric was putting everyone else to shame, the Yorkists were winning the archery duel and his men at arms had got to within charging distance of the remaining Lancastrian archers.

The situation in the middle was still in the balance but the Lancastrian cavalry had failed to exploit the gaps. Two of the four mounted men at arms units had been destroyed, but only after taking out more of the Yorkist archers. But the value difference in those units had pushed the Lancastrians to their first break point.

With their morale lowered Eric pushed the advantage he had on the Lancastrian left flank. The Currours were holding but had failed to sweep the billmen aside. But the men at arms had dispatched the archers and were advancing on the remaining billmen.

In the centre I managed to get some militia billmen up to plug the gap, they were immediately charged by the Lancastrian cavalry but in a strange twist of fate both sides wiped each other out. Again this proved costly for the Lancastrians and when more Yorkist billmen destroyed the remaining cavalry unit it pushed the Lancastrians to their second break point.

With the Lancastrians a spent force Eric continued to press the fight with his cavalry and billmen, unfortunately both were fought to a draw with the Lancastrians saving a bit of pride.

For a straight fight this battle had a few crucial moments. I was surprised by the Lancastrian block of cavalry in the centre of the line. This was a real danger and despite the Yorkist archers not shooting the cavalry down as they charged, because they managed to hold against the initial contact, it gave time for the infantry to be brought up in support.

The Yorkist cavalry on their left flank achieved very little throughout the battle and so it was a blessing the Lancastrians did not pressure the Yorkist forces on that side. On the other side of the battlefield Eric’s first command could not have gone better. Despite not doing as well with his cavalry as hoped he only lost one unit of archers in the whole battle. This would play a pivotal role as the casualties from the centre brought the Yorkists within one point of their first break point.

The campaign is now 6-1 to the Yorkists with 6 battles remaining. It’s not impossible but the Lancastrians are really going to have to produce something special at the battle of Hexham.

Yorkist Loses
1 Unit of Militia Billmen (4 points)
4 Units of Longbows (12 points)
1 Unit of Crossbows (3 points)
2 Units of Currours (8 points)
1 Unit of Spearmen (3 points)
Total loses 30 points (Army break point 46)

Lancastrian Loses
4 Units of Mounted Men at Arms (16 points)
3 Units of Billmen (12 points)
5 Units of Longbows (15 points)
Total loses 43 points (Army break point 38)

Yorkist Victory

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Towton – Battle Report

Battle number seven in our campaign was the bloody field of Towton. The size of the armies who fought this battle is often questioned but it’s clear it was a big battle. To represent this we went for a 1000 points per side and also ended up with each command split across three players. The Lancastrians were commanded by Stephen as Somerset supported by Andy as the Earl of Northumberland and Tong G as the Earl of Wiltshire. I commanded the Yorkists as the rightful King Edward IV with Tony F as Warwick and newcommer to the campaign (and rules) Pete M as Lord Falconberg.

Battle of Towton
Apart from the increase in army size the only historical event we decided to include was the weather. Neither side was allowed artillery and we rolled at the start of the battle to see which direction the strong winds were blowing. Unlike history the wind ended up blowing towards the east and as such played little or no part in the battle.

I was expecting this battle to be a straight up archery duel followed by a clash of infantry. This was reflected in my army choice and how the deployment phase went. I placed Lord Falconberg’s force of cavalry, infantry and militia archers under Pete M on the Yorkist left flank, with a similar force for Warwick under Tony F on the right. I took the main bulk of the infantry to create a strong centre.

To my surprise the Lancastrians deployed with Northumberland’s forces under Andy in the centre with an even mix of infantry and archers, while Wiltshires similar forces under Tony G on the Lancastrian left. Tony G also had some Irish Kerns. The Lancastrian right was formed by Somerset’s own command under Stephen made up entirely of cavalry, four units of Mounted Men at Arms, two Currours and two Northern Boarder Horse. The Lancastrians had also brought stakes for their archers which led me to believe they would fight a stationary battle behind their defences.

Having won the initiative I kept to the battle plan and started to advance my archers. I gave each of my other commanders orders to just hold the flanks. Not to go charging off but to use their cavalry as a threat, and keep my flanks covered as I advanced.

Following the plan Tony F pushed up the cavalry and archers, the militia billmen got left behind given their poor discipline rating.

Pete M did the same on the left flank, creating two lines, with the archers out front, but Stephen immediately began moving the Mounted Men at Arms forward. I panicked a bit at this knowing Pete’s forces where not that strong and so I moved some billmen units towards the left flank in case they were needed.

Over on the Lancastrian left Tony G was having trouble getting units to advance off the hill. This was the first stage in what would see the front of the battle twist with the Lancastrians advancing on the right but barely moving on the left.

The Lancastrians got to within striking distance and then paused, this may have been to wait for the rest of the cavalry to catch up. Pete moved some archers within range and tried taking a hasty shot, this was rewarded with a hit and Stephen giving the Mounted Men at Arms activation dice in preperation to charge.

Seeing the danger from the archers Stephen in a bold move charged in a unit of boarder horse destroying the archers completely. Pete’s respond was to send in some billmen who made short work of the light horse with their charge spent.

In the centre the Andy’s Lancastrian archers had advanced off the hill and into range of my archers beginning the archery duel. The Yorkists managed to score a few hits but were outnumbered four longbow units to four enemy longbows and two crossbows.

The Yorkists had won initiative and after much debate Pete decided the best option was to charge in first. Despite being out numbered Pete’s cavalry managed to hold in the initial fight and the follow up, causing some damage to the Lancastrians. This set the tone for the conflict of the Lancastrians failing to get any clear advantage in combat.

Out on the Lancastrian left Tony G started to advance the Kerns but then realised facing off against the Yorkist cavalry wouldn’t be in their favour. As per my instructions Tony F had not advance the cavalry too far, keeping out of range of the Lancastrian archers.

Back to the Yorkist left flank and Pete M had managed to get another cavalry unit to support the Mounted Men at Arms. Giving the men at arms a bonus dice for good measure Pete M took the fight to the Lancastrians.

In the centre my Yorkist archers had got the better of the Lancastrians. This was down to a number of factors, I sacrificed the good activation dice I rolled to ensure my archers got some good shots in (this did leave my infantry lagging behind), I’d also been able to cause some hits as the Lancastrians were getting into range. With the loss of the archers Andy started to bring up some infantry. I matched this with some Men at Arms in support.

After a hard fight Pete’s Men at Arms managed to dispatch some of Stephens cavalry. With more Men at Arms in support I still felt Pete was in danger of the flank collasping, so continued to move infantry off in support.

Up until this point the Lancastrians had made no use of their stakes. But having failed to get off the hill Tony G decided to deploy them to ensure the cavalry couldn’t threaten them. But this clearly meant Tony G was not going to advance and as such not pose a threat either.

Because the Yorkists had won the archery duel in the centre, were holding out on the left flank against the concentrated Lancastrian cavalry and with them nailing their left flank to the hill, I decided to let Tony F get into the fight, their cavalry moved to engage the Kerns.

With the casualties piling up Stephen decided to move up more cavalry to dislodge Pete’s cavalry that had been holding out for most of the battle. This was enough to finally destroy Pete’s Mounted Men at Arms. To help plug the gap Pete moved up some billmen almost destroying the Lancastrain cavalry.

The infantry I’d moved in support of the Yorkist left flank were finally in position and seeing the threat Stephen moved the Currours to get their charges in. However they would be facing two Dismounted Men at Arms and some billmen. The resulting battle saw the destruction of the Lancastrian Currours.

Some favourable dice rolling saw two of Stephens Mounted Men at Arms destroyed with the Yorkist gaps filled by more Currours and billmen.

Following a successful charge seeing both Irish Kern units destroyed by the cavalry, Tony F moved up their archers to engage with the Lancastrians, but lost a unit in the exchange.

With an abundance of threes for my activation dice I decided to just go for it and get my Men at Arms into melee with Andy’s archers and crossbows. Unfortunately for the Lancatrians, Andy’s counter attack failed utterly. Throwing three ones was probably the best indicator as to how the battle was going for the Lancastrians.

On the Yorkist right flank Tony F had continued the attack by moving onto the enemy bill men after dispatching the Kerns. The cavalry didn’t do as well as expected, infact it did aswell as the Lancastrians cavalry had been up to that point.

It was at this point that Stephens cavalry finally broke through the Yorkist left flank, but it was a real case of too little too late. The Lancastrians had reached their breaking point and all that was let was to play out the remainder of the turn.

The final blow coming from the exhausted Yorkist archers facing off against Andy’s poor Men at Arms advancing under fire.

As so ended the battle of Towton with a decisive win for the Yorkist forces.

This battle did not go as planned for either side. I’d created an army with a strong core of infantry and expected to get bogged down in a big fight in the centre. This was the first time I’d deployed a large mercenary pike unit for just that type of battle. But my archers won the archery duel in the centre and because both flanks had held out there was no threat to the centre. As to the flanks Pete getting a charge in first was a pivotal moment and kept the Lancastrians from overwhelming that flank. As to the Yorkist right flank, with no threat coming from the Lancastrians this allowed some breathing space, the Yorkists were able to see how the centre and left flank faired before committing any additional forces to those battles.

I don’t know what the Lancastrian battle plan was but by putting all the cavalry on one flank that meant it became a make or break. There were no archers or infantry as back up should the cavalry fail to make a break through, which is exactly what happened. The Lancastrian centre and left flank were also unclear, having declared they had stakes seemed to announce they would stay put and expect the Yorkists to advance. But the Centre moved off the hill and engaged in the archery duel giving the advantage to the Yorkists and never deployed their stakes. While the left flank struggled to get moving and then achored themselves to the hill giving the Yorkist the choice of ignoring them and even redistribute any uncommitted units.

The Yorkists are now 5-1 up in the campaign after 7 battles (one was a draw), with 6 battles remaining. The Lancastrians must win at our next battle of Hedgeley Moor. Not a great place to be given historically most of the Lancastrian forces fled from the field before the main fighting started.

Yorkist Loses
2 Units of Militia Longbows (6 points)
1 Unit of Longbows (3 points)
1 Unit of Mounted Men at Arms (4 points)
2 Units of Currours (8 points)
Total loses 21 points (Army break point 58)

Lancastrian Loses
2 Units of Currours (8 points)
3 Units of Mounted Men at Arms (12 points)
1 Unit of Billmen (4 points)
5 Units of Longbows (15 points)
2 Units of Border Horse (6 points)
2 Units of Kerns (6 points)
2 Units of Crossbows (6 points)
Total loses 57 points (Army break point 51)

Yorkist Victory

Society Meeting 13th May 2023

A short round up of games played at our last meeting.

The usual FOG suspects staged a 6mm game, Mid Republican Roman vs Later Selucid.

Mark ran a 28mm Judge Dredd game, with virulent scenery, you may need your sunglasses.

Close up of the tower block

Jeremey and Stephen continued their refight of the War of the Roses, this time recreating Towton.

Each were “assisted” by two sub commanders this time, on the Lancastrian side with Stephen were Andy and Tony G, with Tony F and Peter joining the Yorkist commander, Jeremey.

Andy & Tony F both switched sides since the last campaign game (not unusual in the War of the Roses). There will be a full report on this game written up by the victorious commander.

Armies deployed, Yorkist on the left, Lancastrian on the right
Yorkist Centre
More Yorkists
Stephen’s victorious Border Horse.
A truly dismal roll by the Lancastrian’s French crossbowmen, three 1s
Lancastrian centre, what’s left of it.
The Lancastrian dead. Units with red dice were Andy’s, blue dice were Tony G’s and black dice were Stephen’s


Wars of the Roses – 2nd Battle of St Albans – Battle Report

We went for something different for the sixth battle of our Wars of the Roses campaign. Stephen was a bit more clued up on how the 2nd Battle of St Albans was fought and suggested a true representation of the battle would be to have both sides slowly making their way to the battlefield, in a piece meal fashion. You can see the depolyment rules we used for this game on the campaign page.  For the battle I took command of the Yorkist Left under the Duke of York with Andy once again acting as Lord Ferrers my second in command. On the Lancastrian side Stephen had the Duke of Somerset with Lord Roos and Lord Codnor as captains. Tony F joined the Lancastrians in an attempt to salvage his reputation from Mortimers Cross by taking charge of the Duke of Exeter with Lord Clifford as captain. Both sides had 750 points for the Battle and as throughout the campaign we used  Sword & Spear 2nd edition.

2nd Battle of St Albans
I wasn’t sure if our depolyments rules would work for this game, some foot units are very slow in Sword & Spear so there was a danger it would take ages to get an entire army onto the battlefield. At the start I had deployed my guns (facing the wrong way as per the deployment!), a camp, a unit of Currours and Mounted Men at Arms. The Lancastrians under Stephen deployed two units of longbows and two of hand gunners.

I didn’t want to just go charging in with my cavalry, I needed the activation dice to get more units on the battlefield and so just concentrated on turning the guns round and using those to hassle the Lancastrian longbows. From this very early stage I was very concerned at how vulnerable the Yorkist camp was.

I managed to turn my guns round as the Lancastrian longbows moved into range. The guns fired but caused no damage. With the help of some activation dice Andy managed to get some longbows marching down the road in support.

The Lancastrian longbows managed to take out the Yorkist guns with their first volley and I once again started to fear for the camp. I thought given the lost of the camp causing a discipline test for all units would be a prize worth pursuing, but as would become evident throughout the battle, the Lancastrians just didn’t seem that interested in taking it.

With the Lancastrians being cautious the Yorkists decided to ignore their cavalry and concentrate on getting as many units on the battlefield as possible. Using the extra movement gained from the road we risked creating a jam and advanced in column down the road as fast as we could.

The Lancastrians followed suit and had most of their units on the battlefield by the end of the third turn. Tony’s forces out on the Lancastrians right front advanced their longbows well ahead of the rest of their forces but without the advantage of the road.

As the Lancastrians continued to advance, Andy quickened his pace and got a unit of Longbows up to the camp. Again the Lancastrian longbows did not advance but instead waited for their men at arms and pikemen to catch up.

Andy was all for engaging in an archery duel with the Lancastrians but I insisted he push passed the camp to block the enemy. Andy took the best of both worlds by advancing and taking a hasty shot which managed to damage the Lancastrian archers. Return fire from the Lancastrians caused some damage but the way to the camp was blocked.

Things were starting to heat up in the centre, the Yorkist longbows managed to destroy their Lancastrian counterparts. With this success I decided to charge the Currours against the other unit of longbows in the centre. To my great surprise this proved decisive and destroyed the longbows.

Letting the success go to my head I gave the Currours a bouns dice and charged the men at arms. The Lancastrian heavy infantry withstood the charge and both sides took casualties, but neither side gained the upper hand. I was willing to sacrifice the Currours to delay the Lancastrian advance so the damaged caused was a welcome bonus.

While the fighting in the centre continued both sides looked towards the rest of their armies to continue the advance. I gathered up my longbows and with the generals help marched them towards the Lancastrian archers being formed up opposite by Tony. At this point I also moved my as yet uncommitted mounted men at arms out on the Yorkist flank. This was to threaten the Lancastrian left. Stephen reacted as I hoped he would by moving some longbows to hassle the cavalry.

The centre then took an odd turn with the damaged Lancastrian men at arms losing to the Yorkist archers. With the Yorkist’s having managed to get some billmen and their own men at arms up in support, the centre would now be decided by the Lancastrian pikemen.

Out on the Lancastrian right flank Tony’s archers began engaing the Yorkist longbows. Making up for the poor showing at Mortimers Cross Tony’s archers started to inflict more wounds than they suffered. Given this poor showing from the Yorkist archers I decided to move my spearmen and other infantry units in support in case the archers were wiped out.

The centre battle saw the poor Yorkist archers easily overcome by the Lancastrian pikemen, but with the number of Yorkist heavy infantry now present I felt confident of stopping the pikemen. Having lost the archers in the centre Stephen brought up some billmen to try and dislodge Andy’s longbows who had taken up a commanding firing position.

Seeing the danger I moved some men at arms to support the archers. The Lancastrian billmen almost destroyed the Yorkist archers despite Andy giving them a bonus dice for the melee. The retaliation from my men at arms managed to destroy the billmen. At the same time the Lancastrian pikemen in the centre succumbed to an onslaught of men at arms and billmen effectively winning the centre for the Yorkists.

Meanwhile out on the Lancastrian right, Tony’s longbows proved themselves superior, and as feared he had also managed to advance his infantry through the gap. Tony’s men at arms charged my spearmen making short work of them. But with a unit of billmen in support I was able to counter charge them in the flank and destroy them. That last act managed to break the Lancastrians and give the field once again to the Yorskists.

This was a very interesting battle, the staggered deployment meant players had to decide on the type of battle they would fight. With the Yorkist camp in the centre of the battlefield I decided to concentrate my units there. And to get them moving as quickly as possible. I thought the battle would be a race to the camp, but it never turned out that way. Stephen and Tony deployed as if it was a normal battle with both sides facing off against eachother. This was the second battle in this campaign where I thought the objective was obvious but where my opponent didn’t capitalise on it. Although things could have gone differently had the Lancastrians held out longer in the centre. Tony won the better part of the right flank and could have been a real threat had he been able to turn towards the centre in support.

Although the casualty lists seem to show an overwhelming Yorkist victory. The last turn of the battle did have the Yorkists reach their first morale point, but this was too late for the Lancastrians. With the campaign six battles in the score stands at 4 wins to 1 for the Yorkists. The bloodbath of Towton is next, will the Lancastrians finally be able to turn the tide?

Yorkist Loses
5 Units of Longbows (15 points)
2 Units of Militia Longbows (6 points)
1 Unit of Spearmen (3 points)
1 Unit of Currours (4 points)
1 Unit of Guns (2 points)
Total loses 30 points (Army break point 44)

Lancastrian Loses
2 Units of Men at Arms (8 points)
2 Units of Hand Gunners (4 points)
2 Units of Billmen (8 points)
7 Units of Longbows (21 points)
1 Unit of Pikemen (6 points)
Total loses 47 points (Army break point 40)

Yorkist Victory

Society Meeting March 25th 2023

We had a very good turn out at the last meeting, 5 games in progress with over 20 members present.

First up, John and Alex were play testing John’s Border Reivers game.

All quiet at the Bastle house, for now.
Action at the ford.

Mark ran another Dungeons and Dragons session, taking his adventurers to sea and then deep into the dungeon depths.

The dungeon master looks on as the adventurers ponder their next action.
Action at the Quayside
Dungeon delving
Who let the dogs out?

Paul ran a 6mm FoG Ancients game, Late Bulgarians vs Ottomans.

Light cavalry on the right somewhat outnumbered
The centre of the battle seems a bit empty
Clash of cavalry

Stephen and Jeremey continued their refight of the War of the Roses, using Sword and Spear rules, this time recreating the Second Battle of St Albans. There will be a write up of this game shortly.

The Yorkist camp, artillery and cavalry await the approaching Lancastrian vanguard.
The artillery has fallen to Lancastrian archery, but the first Yorkist reinforcements are now approaching the camp
A Lancastrian pike block about to dispose of some Yorkist archers, but Yorkist Men at Arms are waiting behind the archers.
Towards the end of the battle, the Yorkists have pushed the Lancastrians back from the camp
On the Yorkist left flank there are few Lancastrians left.

Finally, Mark H ran a War of the Spanish Succession game, using his own fast play rules.

Cavalry advance
More Cavalry
The armies line up
Cavalry wings clash
The infantry engage