Once again I was in the Umpires chair and decided to run a 40mm Wars of the Roses game .The scenario was based vaguely on the battle of Northampton mainly because I have not run a game based on an assault of a fortified position for simply ages but did have some rather tasty earthworks I made almost 30 years ago but also because Northampton is one WOTR battle I have never before attempted.
Now this was not to be a full refight. I simply don't have enough 40mm models finished yet- a mere 130 figures would take the field here. I simply lifted the basic scenario from Paul Haighs book "The Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses " and organised the "armies" to suit what I actually had to hand.
As for rules- Once again Lion Rampant was briefly considered and rejected- too structured, but with silly set unit sizes , too points system orientated- with much of the game actually slaved to the points system and very very un medieval in feel so no. I really really can't see why people like this and they don't seem to be capable of telling me.
I was - once again going to use Clipsom's set Foray as I like them but in the end for a change I went for Tactica Medieval- but the siege rules as this was an attack on a fortification.
In the end - despite a few bumps in the road it was the right choice. for this game.
|Early in the action as the Yorkists start their advance.|
So to the action. Andrew the tekkie took the Lancastrian defenders with all of the artillery but only a third of the actual figures and Shaun took the assaulting Yorkists with the rest.. I allowed Shaun a free deployment but he elected- after a quick squint at Haigh to follow the Yorkist plan of a column assault on one flank of the Lancastrian Works.
|View of the Lancastrian camp and defences - from the Yorkist perspective.|
There was to be no tactical finesse here this was to be mere brutality and force of arms. However to begin with Shauns shift to his left did unsight two of the three Lancastrian guns causing no little consternation and running about in the defending camp. The death of a couple of unfortunate gunners caused a little more swearing and gunners from the unsighted guns rushed to re-crew the still serviceable bombard.
|Low sun slanting through the windows of the pub gives this shot a bit of atmosphere.|
Arrows flew thick and fast and casualties occurred on both sides, the Lancastrian earthworks not always being the protection they hoped- some jammy dice from Shaun and dark muttering from Andrew! The Bombard continued to pop away at irregular intervals but the crewmen were less that happy about coming under arrow shot. Meanwhile the Lancastrian archers had halted one of the Yorkist assaulting units and the advance for a time looked in danger- bum dice Shaun. The final shot of the Lancastrian bombard turning more than 1 Yorkist man at arms into tinned offal! However Girding up his loins, Shaun took the bit between his teeth and put in his first wave of assaulting troops. The melee was long and brutal - bodies falling on both sides. Percy's banner was taken and the Lancastrians looked very woeful but a body of Oxford's men at arms rushed in to stem the Yorkist tide and pinch out their lodgement in the Lancastrian position.
|Some of the fierce fighting across the works. Percy's banner- red and black would fall here and only Oxfords men- under the Orange banner would protect the valuble supplies of Consett Brewery's White Hot .|
Nothing loth Shaun re-ordered his men to try again. The Lancastrian archers fired again and faild dismally 13 men finding only 1 kill whilst Shaun remaining archers- with only 2 dice because of target type and the earthworks scored 2 hits. Lancastrian wrath and bad language was the correct and predictable result!
|more of the desperate and bloody fighting across the Lancastrian works as the Yorkist strive to enter.|
The Lancastrian defenders were looking decidedly thin on the ground as Shaun's next assault came in This time despite previous muttering to the contrary what ever luck was left fell on Andrew's side. The final Yorkist throw failed dismally and the last assault was broken. However the Lancastrian could do little but guzzle thankfully on their beer and get their breath back. A Lancastrian victory certainly but a costly one they having lost almost half of their men.
Technical points. The figures were all 40mm from my own collection. Mostly from my own Romanoff Miniatures range
http://www.oldgloryuk.com/wars-of-the-roses-and-late-medieval/43/178/443/455 but with some conversiions.
The few cavalry are from Irregular- and mix in well and the waggon was by Doug Miller.
Beer and Beef Butties with excellent chips by The Commercial Inn Tantobie and as always out thanks go the Landlady Jean for her hospitality.
The game took about four hours- including set up and pull down and, importantly including a break for lunch and the odd few minutes here and there to get the beers in. Not for us the sweaty browed hurried panic of come gamers. We play at a leisurely pace that suits us.