Sunday, 10 March 2013

Club Night 8th March - Bloody Barons

I'd been looking forward to a game of Square Bashing all week and when I turned up at the club on Friday I wasn't disappointed. That's because Sean had completely changed his mind but chosen the equally satisfactory Bloody Barons; a Wars of the Roses set from Peter Pig that I'd never played before. Game on.

The scenario he'd chosen for us was the Battle of Bosworth; the one that's been in the news lately that saw Richard III installed underground waiting for some nice traveller folk to cover him in tarmac. Victory conditions: kill Richard / Henry.

Deployment followed the more traditional interpretation of the day. Playing the role of the Henry Tudor I had a small, reasonable quality force facing off against a much larger force under Richard III (Keith). On my flanks the Stanleys lurked, waiting to decide which side they would support.

On the far left we see Thomas Stanley and in the centre left Oxford who was running the show for the ineffectual Henry. William Stanley is out of shot in the foreground. On the far right our the forces of some Yorkist non-entity whose name I forget, then the centre under Richard himself. The Yorkist left flank under Northumberland is again just out of shot.

The Yorkist left under Northumberland.

A nice shot of the Lancastrian centre.

 Richard and Oxford face off.

A nice shot of the Yorkist centre.

Things started well for the Yorkists. Their first arrow volleys did holy murder on the Lancastrian centre and a cannon shot ploughed a furrow through the forces of Thomas Stanley. Not the best way to win him over... Very little happened in my first turn; my attempts to persuade the Stanleys to commit to my cause were all in vain.

In turn 2 one of the Yorkist Household centre units made a mad charge across to assault part of Oxford's retinue. Unsupported they made little headway against the inferior quality troops. Richard joined his Household knights and moved up to the front of the hill. It was now my turn to rain arrows on my enemy, causing disorder and stalling most of their line's advance. Happily, both Stanleys decided I was the likely victor at this point and joined my cause. William moved to take on Northumberland and Thomas advanced on the opposite flank.

Things went from bad to worse in turn 3 for the Yorkists. The morale effects from the previous turns meant they continued to get the worst of the archery exchange; Northumberland's units especially were mown down in large numbers. Richard attempted a desperate charge on my centre but couldn't motivate his troops for the big push.

In turn 4 Oxford pushed through to the front of the fighting in the centre and helped rout the opposing infantry unit. The rest of Lancastrian army pushed forward, still getting the best of the archery duel and receiving virtually no casualties in return. Richard again failed to persuade his knights to charge though they braved the hail of arrows to move closer (below).

At the start of turn 5 the countdown was on 3 (4 maybe...) from 21 and the Yorkist army had largely melted away. Everywhere the Lancastrians were ascendant and we decided to call it. I'd have liked to play on, see Richard charge, and inevitably considering the forces arrayed against him be slain... It'd have been like watching history play out.

Great fun. Thanks Sean, for putting on the game. I'll let you do it agains some time.

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