Each of the 4 armies had the following composition and points value:
3 x Mounted men-at-arms @ 14 points 42
5 x Retinue Longbow @ 11 points 55
4 x Retinue Billmen @ 11 points 44
2 x Generals @ 10 points 20
Points value including command 151
The two separate ‘Tudor’ armies were in green and white, and the ‘Yorkist’ armies were in red. Chris and Steve had Tudor armies and Dave and Tony the Yorkists. Mick and I sat at either end of the long table as ‘neutral observers.’
The terrain layout was approximately 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep, large enough for all forces to manoeuvre independently of each other. The terrain layout was laid out by a club member borrowed from another game and the terrain features deliberately gave little or no advantage to either side.
The Yorkists set up first and moved second. In response, the Tudor armies deployed on a wider frontage and Steve moved his three heavy cavalry units (mounted men-at-arms), to the extreme left wing – an outflanking threat! The Tudor infantry moved to take up position along the central hills. Chris took up position and possession of a large 15 hex hill and formed his infantry ready for an advance.
Dave and Tony kept a much tighter formation and linked their separate forces together in the centre. There was a very useful area of woodland on Tony’s right flank which gave a measure of protection against the out-flanking threat posed by Steve’s cavalry. In moving infantry across to counter this threat, he was able to position his 3 heavy cavalry units more centrally, which, in turn, posed a threat to the Tudor centre. Dave’s Yorkist cavalry were also positioned centrally and he formed his infantry into strong defensive lines to the left of and behind the 15 hex hill.
Chris and Steve went on the offensive. Chris launched an infantry attack on Dave’s infantry which was occupying a wood behind the hill. The longbow shooting failed to stop Chris’s infantry advancing to contact. The ensuing round of hand-to-hand combat was to set a pattern – in this game the combat dice were simply not going to work for Chris! To lose 3 and draw one combat out of 4 was tough, but the ramifications were far worse. Dave who had kept really good infantry defensive lines had now achieved a much stronger tactical position, from which, he now launched his heavy cavalry against Chris’s cavalry on the 15 hex hill.
Meanwhile, on the other wing Steve’s cavalry were caught and engaged by billmen fighting from a forest hex. The Tudor infantry moved towards the woodland to offer support, but to late to prevent a unit of heavy horse flee disrupted and losing a stand. In the centre, 2 units of Tony’s heavy cavalry with infantry support attacked the centre between Steve and Chris’s forces. The shooting from the longbow units from both sides was pretty ineffective and along the length of the field units were engaged in a close combat struggle which would decide the outcome of the game.
The cavalry battle on the 15 hex hill between Chris and Dave whittled down both sides to a point where a ‘must win’ confrontation between two opposing units of men-at-arms, both with accompanying generals, would decide the issue. The dice gods once more favoured Dave, and Chris’s force was rendered untenable through culminated unit loses and command and control problems.
After a brutal struggle on the other wing, Steve’s force was also under the Yorkist hammer, but succeeded in inflicting significant damage on Tony’s infantry before being overwhelmed.
The independent control of the 2 forces on each side worked well and I feel brought a more accurate historical perspective to the scenario. The individual rather than ‘group’ decisions created more weak points and resulting opportunities for both sides. On balance, the Yorkists made the slightly better tactical decisions, but this must be balanced against the more aggressive and ambitious policy of the ‘Tudors’, who really lacked the support of the dice gods at key moments.