Sunday, 19 March 2017

Small action between York and Lancaster

Yesyerday saw the gathering of the T.W.A.T.S. for the March meeting at our usual haunt and watering hole. As I mentioned in the previous post the game was to be a 40mm Wars of the Roses encounter.
 I decided to use Tony Clipsom's "Foray" ruleset for the reasons outlined in the previous post.
 I've concluded that  my biggest bitch with the whole rampant system - the 2 versions I have being Lion Rampant and Pikmans Lament- is organisational  rather than the actual "game mechanisms". But having said that I realise as I type that in those 2 sets the silly non-historical  organisations are PART of the game mechanism  which for me makes a total non- starter when those organisations are as ridiculous (in historical terms) as the "Rampant" ones are. Obviously medieval small unit organisation - laregly decimal . The English for example had under officers called Vintenars (leader of 20) and cantanars (leaders of 100) and of course there were companies of 20 or 50 in other armies as well as the smaller "organisations" of lower retinues- so the base everything around 6 and 12 whilst saying almost in the same breath that one  model soldier is one man is of course total cobblers. The same basic premise holds for lament and no 17th century organisations were NOT based on 6 and 12  though it holds slightly better here than in the medieval period since quite often  in the ECW a "file" was actually 6 men- though sometimes it was 8 or 10 men to the file. Of course that did not always obtain in other armies.
Shaun site behind his Yorkist forces drawn up on their hill. 

So putting away various forms of Rampant we move on to Foray which  is far more flexible organisationally speaking and yet overall is about the same complexity level  having quite a retro feel to it.
 Present for the game were 4 members Myself, as Umpire. Theatrical Steve , Mechanical Shaun and Andrew the Tekkie. Table set up was two roughly parallel ridges running more or less diagonally across the table separated by a valley with a road running through it down to a river which as it happened never featured in the game.  The Yorkists under Shaun drew up in one body on the larger and higher of the two ridges.. The Lancastrians were in 2 bodies of roughly equal size one commanded by Steve and the other by Andrew- Andrews force was drawn up on the smaller ridge and Steve's in the grounds of the small manor house.

Part of the Lancastrian array under Steve. 
Along Archery dual  ensued after it bacame clear that Shaun was nailed to his ridge. He concentrated on Steve's troops . This allowed Anrew to shoot him up a bit without relpy and in the end some truly bum dice meant that he lost about half of his archers with comparatively small loss to the Lnacastrians.
The other Lancastrian wing under Andrew.
The Hand of Shaun - descends from the Heavens to advance for the crunch. 

Now the Lancastrians advanced and having little choice the Yorkists moved towards  Steve's contingent.. A fierce melee in the centre resulted in Shaun's leader taking a hit but refusing to yeild. However morale results fored a halt on the Lancastrians so Shaun broke contact as  his right retreted andAndrew came up to outflank him. With only his left wing more or less intact - but a little outflanked Shaun conceded the game.
Headless theatrical Steve ponders as the Yorkists advance. 
 The outflanking move goes in - Job done for the Lancastrians. 

Now this was a pretty short game by our standards lasting a little over 2 hours of actual play- with breaks for hot Pork Butties and chips- and beer and an overlong set up time simply because I was winging it and had prepared nothing as I expected to be playing in an AWI game. However Jim had been called to work at the last minute I was suddenly in the chair.
 Despite this all want well and with a bit of tweaking these rules could be really tasty. Indeed there may be other versions about by now as I got these from a  Yahoo group some few years ago and the file says "test version 1.1 "
 Nevertheless I'm much encouraged by this game and want another bash with more troops.
 This will happen at the Durham show on June 11th this year for certain- but maybe we'll get another game in before then.

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