Saturday, 20 October 2012

Wars Of The Roses - Part 1

I had that most exciting of things yesterday; a wargaming revelation – I played a new(ish) historical period and heartily enjoyed every moment!  So much so that I felt the driving need to instantly buy/build/paint a new army immediately, a sensation that has been missing for a while due to a lack of wargaming action and also because I have struggled to get enthusiastic about any one game/period to expend precious income upon it.

The period in question, like the title of the piece, is the War Of The Roses (WOTR for short), something I knew very little about but had been briefly introduced too by yesterdays opponent; Aidan, previously.  He happens to own enough figures (made and painted) to provide a decent sized army for both Lancastrians and Yorkists, which are very evenly matched, and I headed over by bus (!) for a game or two.

The Battle:
I won’t give a blow by blow account, just some small details and general happenings.  We used the Hail Caesar rules set in a scenario which saw my Yorkists attacking Aidans Lancastrians with the aim of capturing King Henry VI while he was sitting under a tree singing a song about hedgehogs (having clearly gone mad again).  Aidan had deployed first in an all round defense, while I massed my harder hitting infantry – the men at arms and billmen – on my right facing the hill and under the command of Edward IV, with my bowmen taking the centre under Warrick, and the heavy cavalry on the left commanded by an idiot.

Initial deployment from the Yorkist side of the table.

This helped me steal the initiative; piling up the hill and into Aidans left flank which had arrived there first but found themselves at a disadvantage with their archers at the front taking on my men-at-arms.  Some fierce fighting later and the Lancastrians left flank had been shattered and Edwards troops held the hill and were pushing beyond.  An attempt by the Lancastrian pike in the centre to retake the hill failed somewhat embarrassingly for their CO, while the commander of the centre of the Lancastrian line had the blood rush to his head as he lead a unit of archers in a headlong charge through the Yorkist centre (in a blunder most impressive!).  They wiped out a unit of Yorkist archers before running into my heavy cavalry, who were unsuccessfully trying to reposition themselves to support my right flank – as I  said; commanded by an idiot.  The heavy cavalry just about survived. 

Edward IV and his infantry capturing the hill.
 Edward IV pushed on with his troops to drive in the Lancastrian centre and come very close to Henry, before being severely inconvenienced by an axe – yes, I managed to get King Edward IV killed.  Nevertheless the battle was at a stage where the Yorkists were stopping for a breather, but the Lancastrians were badly battered, and we ended it declaring a Yorkist victory.

The Lancastrian centre.

The clash of the men-at-wars on my right.
Numerous historical characters had died, I think Somerset may have bitten the dust around the same time as Edward, and overall it was an enjoyable game, as well as educational because we started to iron out some of the bits of Hail Caesar we had been unsure about before, particularly the proximity rule.  My gung-ho approach to charging over the hill paid off, and if my cavalry had pulled their finger out it should have looked much more of a certainty.

The Future:

My current WOTR collection.  The pumpkin isn't relevant.
 Onto the future, and I now have a pressing need to collect a WOTR army – the wonders of an enjoyable game!  A few other things fuel this, not least of all having an opponent with a decent sized set of armies already so I can build gradually without having to create the whole thing from scratch.  Also I already own the rules set; Hail Caesar, so that takes a chunk out of the cost of collecting a new period.  The models in general enthuse me, there are a significant number of manufacturers making WOTR figures to a good standard, and the Perrys in particular are making plastics of infantry and cavalry.  Finally I already have a few figures, given that I own a box of the Perrys WOTR infantry plastics and Aidan has donated some unwanted men-at-arms – you would almost think he wants an opponent!  I’ve already dug them out of the garage, and maybe, just maybe, I might make some soon.  I also feel more of an identity with the Yorkists so they may be my faction of choice.  I wonder if I can get away with my castle and siege towers in this period?

1 comment:

  1. We Actually lost Edward IV, the Duke of Buckingham and the Earl of Somerset. The Prince of Wales was merely wounded.

    which leaves Henry VI firmly on the throne with no contenders, a Lancastrian victory!

    Though I have a hunch that Gloucester might have a knavish trick up his sleeve....