Being a Wars of the Roses game using ‘A Coat of Steel’ rules by Perfect Captain.
Lancastrian and Yorkist forces clashed near the church of St. Lemuel at Kilmister Cross. The Lancastrians were commanded by the Duke of Somerset and included Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, and lords Clifford, Neville, Roos and (a rather reluctant) Stanley. The Yorkists were led by the Earl of Warwick, along with the Duke of Norfolk, and lords Fauconberg, Scrope and Wenlock. A small company of Burgundian handgunners were also present in the Yorkist force.
To see full versions of the photos you may need to right-click on the pic and ‘open image in new tab.’
^ The church of St. Lemuel sits peacefully oblivious to the violence to come.
^ The Yorkist line
^The Lancastrians viewed from their right.
^Bird’s eye view from the Yorkist side. Right click and open image in new tab to see full version.
The Yorkists had some problems to resolve when it came to their deployment. They had a wood on their right which they couldn’t easily negotiate, but if they went around it, Warwick’s flank would be dangerously exposed if he advanced or if the Lancastrians attempted an oblique attack. Also, Norfolk was notoriously hesitant and couldn’t be relied upon to act quickly. In the end we (the Yorkists) decided to give the problematic right to the more capable Fauconberg and put Norfolk on the left with the Burgundians. The plan was to wait and see which way the Lancastrian left ward went and react accordingly with Fauconberg.
The first turn began, rather surprisingly, with Norfolk striding out confidently to lead his contingent, ready for action. That was one problem solved for the Yorkists, but they decided to stand and await developments nonetheless. Strangely, the Lancastrians didn’t move either. Confident in their own position they too had seemingly decided to defend. The first turn ended with no movement whatsoever.
^ Warwick (nearest) and Norfolk line up.
The Yorkists now improvised a plan of attack. The Lancastrian line was divided by a wood between Somerset and Roos. If Norfolk and Warwick could advance quickly enough, they could overwhelm Tudor, Stanley and Roos before the Lancastrian left could intervene. Meanwhile Fauconberg would protect Warwick’s flank long enough to allow him to defeat the Lancastrian right.
^ The Yorkists advance.
As Warwick and Norfolk advanced they came under sustained archery from the ridge. Wenlock’s small contingent in particular suffered from massed archery from Tudor’s company, resulting in Warwick’s advance being slowed. The Yorkists closed to close range and began short range archery of their own. Meanwhile Somerset began the ponderous business of swinging his left wing to engage the Yorkists.
^The Yorkists closing with the Lancastrians on the ridge.
^View from the flank. The Lancastrians are out of arrows, and Roos has decided to advance rather than be shot by Warwick. In the background Fauconberg can be seen guarding Warwick’s flank and Scrope is bringing his company around as a support. The Lancastrians are beginning to move their left around to attack the centre.
^ The Lancastrian left moving into position.
Warwick and Norfolk’s own archery prompted the Lancastrians to advance off the hill and attack. Warwick launched his own attack on Roos, while Wenlock’s company, much reduced from archery casualties, pluckily charged Tudor. The charge halted the Tudor advance and Norfolk joined in the fight while Tudor was discomfited by Wenlock. The Burgundians had fired off a volley at Stanley, whose commitment to the cause was beginning to waver. Despite the advantages in combat, things did not go so well for the Yorkists. Norfolk was forced back, Roos was able to hold his own against Warwick and Stanley closed with the Burgundians. All the while, Somerset came closer and closer to intervening.
^ The fighting intensifies.
As the fighting continued, both Tudor and Norfolk were wounded, and Warwick turned the tide against Roos. Somerset’s company now attacked Fauconberg with Clifford rushing to join in. Then, a Yorkist breakthrough. Tudor was killed in the fighting sending a shockwave through his command. Roos finally broke and fled with Warwick in pursuit, but Roos was not one of those people who kill their horse before a battle to demonstrate commitment to the cause and was able to make good his escape. Fauconberg was now facing down Somerset, with Clifford and Neville in reserve, hoping that Warwick would be able to return to save him.
^ Fauconberg, somewhat beleaguered, hangs on against Somerset. Clifford marches towards the fray. In the background, Warwick pursues the fleeing Roos.
^ Packing them in. Scrope watches from Fauconberg’s rear, unable to join the fighting because of the wood.
Finally, Tudor’s ward broke. Stanley, now commanding, was also slain in the melee with the Burgundians, and the ward fled. Norfolk pursued and would not return. Warwick managed to turn his tired men around and march toward Somerset. Before he could get there, however, Clifford had joined the fight and Fauconberg was killed in the melee. His company fled pursued by Somerset. Scrope faced off against Clifford, but with Warwick approaching, Clifford and Neville withdrew.
^ Tudor flees, Warwick returns from pursuit.
All in all a messy affair. By the end of it, Tudor and Stanley were dead, with Somerset having a lucky escape. Roos had fled and Somerset escaped along with Clifford and Neville. For the Yorkists, the able Fauconberg was dead and Norfolk wounded. Wenlock’s company had been almost destroyed. The Yorkists were left in possession of the field, but it would be optimistic to claim it as a clear victory.
In hindsight, we should have given Norfolk the right and let Fauconberg deal with Tudor from the left. Had Norfolk been inactive, this would have tied the hands of Warwick, but Fauconberg should have been able to defeat Tudor anyway. So, our first plan wasn’t very good, but the one we improvised was much better. Unfortunately we were hampered by Wenlock having a small command and being vulnerable to archery. This was down to Wenlock’s men being plastic figures, oddly enough. I don’t like mixing plastic with metal in the same unit as it always seems to lead to figures being dropped, so poor Wenlock wasn’t reinforced as we had no spare plastic figures on the Yorkist side! Also, it’s one thing to defeat the people in front of you, but it’s quite another to then get your men to turn and face a different direction and attack someone else. Scrope and Fauconberg should have got into a position where they could support one another.
All in all another enjoyable game of ACOS, and it made a change to get the tape measures out after all the grid-based games we’ve been playing. Figures by Front Rank and Perry plastics, with the occasional Renegade Miniatures in there. Building by Tabletop Workshop.