Good Afternoon All
Last night I had the pleasure of hosting our final game of our Wars of the Roses re-enactments - the battle of Stoke Field. Suffice to say it was another cracking game, a real nail biter and a massive credit to Andy Callan for the excellent Never Mind the Bill Hooks of rules.
The original five players who started this journey through the dynastic struggles of 15th century England were all present. The Yorkist pretenders represented by myself, John and Mark K, whilst the Tudor/Lancastrians were lead by Alastair and Mark F. I'd like to take the opportunity here for thanking them and all the others who have dipped in over the last couple of years for their support, bon hommie and good natured gaming for this project. With quite possibly only a few games left in the Shed these Monday evenings have meant a great deal to me and will be missed.
Yesterday I set out the basic rules for the game and these can be found HERE. This includes the full orders of battle, when the Lancastrian forces arrive and how the games mechanics work.
Before I kick off with the full report I must apologise for the quality of the photos. For some strange reason many look very yellow or washed out. I haven't played with the settings on my phone so it is all rather frustrating.
To kick off proceedings the Lancastrians had to check the morale of all the non Knight/Men at Arms units to determine if the 'Lights in the Sky' spooked any of the units and whether they might flee the field. One unit, a detachment of bills under the Earl of Oxford decided that the portents were not good and retired from the scene. It could of been much worse.
The Battle then started in earnest with each side pushing forward units in the maneouver phase. The Yorkists were keen to close as fast as possible and of course the Lancastrians wanted to delay the onslaught until their reinforcements would arrive.
After some simple moves the Lancastrians thrust forward on their left flank with a lone unit of Knights. This was going to crash into the lightly armed Irish Kern (For this game the Kern were double strength - 12 figures instead of six).
The Irish let loose their Javelins downing a couple of the heavy horse but it was to no avail as the armoured warriors charged into their target. Suffice to say the Irish crumbled and were driven back. The remaining Knights followed up...
Well what a game and what a result. Both sides could have won or lost and once again it all went down to the wire in the last turn.
One particular aspect of the game was the need for the Yorkist army to press home the attack as quickly as possible before the full weight of reinforcements could be deployed by their foes. Only when the reinforcements arrived would their morale tokens be added to the pot. These 'time' element provided a wonderful narrative and by accident of design the reinforcement phase of the Tudor army worked perfectly. Had the Yorkists had not suffered two catastrophic morale failures that cascaded across both left and right wings then history may well have been very different.
The consensus of opinion across the table was this was an extremely exciting game, it was tense, brutal and very enjoyable. Certainly one we would visit again.
So what next?
Thinking of another foray into the forests of North America for some Muskets & Tomahawks