Showing posts with label wars of the roses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wars of the roses. Show all posts

Friday, 28 August 2015

Towton With DBA

Last night we played the 1461 Battle of Towton using big-battle DBA. And it was a big DBA game, with about 75 elements on the Lancastrian side and 50 or so on the Yorkist. In the actual battle the numerically superior Lancastrians attacked a smaller Yorkist force, but into the teeth of a howling snow-storm. The wind negated their superior number of archers. They eventually lost what is believed to be the largest, and bloodiest, battle fought on English soil.

We had a few scenario specific rules in place to cover the effects of the weather on archery, as well as reduced command distances and rules for the Lancastrian ambush from the woods on the Yorkist left and the arrival of a force under the Duke of Norfolk in support of the Yorkists.

Deployment was kept deliberately tight in order to force us into multiple lines.

Ralph and I, playing the Yorkists, deployed in three lines, two of archers and then one of dismounted mean-at-arms.

The Lancastrians, under Caesar and John, decided to hold their archers in reserve, recognising that they would be outclassed in an exchange of archery, and opted for a direct assault with their men-at-arms.

It all looked very impressive. The Yorkists were deployed on a ridge, so we decided to stay put and make the most of our terrain advantage. As the Lancastrians advanced our archery broke up their lines, but they kept coming.

The game was smaller than you might think, as you can see.

Yorkist archers, confident in their position.

Too confident. We're new to DBA 3.0 still, and had forgotten that recoiling troops don't push back troops behind them as easily. Once the Lancastrian men-at-arms hit us our tight triple-line became a deathtrap for the front rank of archers and I forgot that, in DBA commands break when they have lost a third of their strength, not half as in HOTT. So the destruction of its front rank also saw Warwick's command in the centre break and eventually run.

The Duke of Norfolk turned up at this point.

But he was too late. The Yorkist right wing was under pressure now, as was the left.

The Lancastrians exploited the gap they had made in the centre of the Yorkist line.

The Yorkist left win broke first, and with it the army.

The Lancastrians held their archers back for the whole game, winning the battle with a steady advance by their men-at-arms.

This was a lovely looking game with some nice scenario-specific rules to give it flavour. It probably needs some tweaking and fine-tuning, but it's certainly one we'd do again.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Medieval High Drama

You think your most recent game had a dramatic finish? Pah! My most recent game had a dramatic finish! Oh yes it did!

Let's travel back in time to the 15th century ... WHOOSH!

OK, it's another dodgy photo of what was supposed to be some troops set up at the start of a game of big-battle DBA 3.0, featuring a French Ordonnance army against a Wars of the Roses English. Gary and I took the heroic French, whilst Caesar, Ralph and Peter were the perfidious English.

Here's the battle a turn or so in. The English had worked light cavalry around the French right, which was where their knights were massed, ready to charge. In the centre the solid English longbowmen faced of French men-at-arms, whilst the outclassed French archers lurker i the wood. And on the French left more archers and men at arms faced yet more English archers and men-at-arms, lus a grand battery of artillery.

The English, painted by Caesar.

A typically English sneaky trick.

The French knights were supported by heroic peasants and between them they showed the English that their light cavalry were no match for armoured noblemen on horses backed up by a half-starved rabble.

On the other flank Peter was happy, despite the destruction of the English artillery. But the French were closing in.

There's a gap in the photos here - everything was too exciting. In the centre the longbows rained pointy death on the French, so their men-at arms were forced to charge forward and get stuck in as quickly as they could. It turned into a bit of a stalemate really. On the French left Gary seemed to be doing OK, and pushed them to breaking point. I wasn't paying attention as to how he did it, because I was trying to bring the French knight to bear on Caesar's wing of the English army before they were all shot down like the dogs the English claimed they were.

Having driven off the light cavalry the French turned on the main English line. Leaving the peasants to face the longbows, the knights shifted to attack the English men-at-arms

Knights kill Blades in DBA 3.0. But on a draw any Blades defined as Solid, which the English Blades were, destroy the Knights. The French knights went in - and rolled a series of draws. All we had to do was destroy one element of the English army to win - and we lost enough elements to almost push us into defeat.

But it gets worse. The last draw we rolled was our CinC. The French king rode confidently into the weak English men-at-arms and was held to a draw. Death to the King! And the French army defeated ...

... But wait! Gary saved the day! He remembered that in a big battle the CinC can, once per game, add one to a combat score after it's been rolled. With a cry of "Je ne suis pas mort!" the king got back onto his horse, ralied the knights and turned a draw into a win to sweep away the English infantry, break their command and, in doing so, break their army.

Victory to the French!

This was an excellent game, interrupted only by has still having to look up some of the fiddly detail. Whilst we play HOTT, none of us were really DBA players but DBA 3.0 has really fired us up; the changes have livened up the game and whilst keeping it the same game as before have also improved it in our view.

Some basic twelve element games were being played elsewhere. This one saw Alexander fighting what I think were Persians.

The great man himself.

And his opponent, with a fancy umbrella.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Battle of Barnet - A Second-Hand Report

Owing to my holiday I haven't reported on any games at the Gong Garage Gamers for the last couple of weeks. I did make it along this Thursday, but owing to a confused afternoon and evening beforehand, I forgot my phone and, therefore, a means to record pictures.

Fortunately our umpire for the evening, Peter, did manage to get a few pictures, and also put together a report. Ralph beat me to it in publication, so I'm just linking to it.

So what did we do? Well we played a DBA v3.0 big-battle version of the 1471 Battle of Barnet. Whilst some of us had played DBA or its variants before, it was a first go with this particular version for most of us. Here's the report, with Ralph's comments:

Sparker's Wargaming Blog

I was quite impressed with DBA v3.0, having given up on earlier versions in favour of HOTT a long while ago. Whether I'll buy it, or rejig armies for it I don't know (I certainly have the armies and figures for it if I desire), but I'd be keen to play it again. The faster, or longer, move distances seemed to work OK, although to be fair we were using a deeper table than probably recommended.

How well the DBA 3.0 mechanisms would translate to HOTT I don't know - a few of them looked like they might work. Obviously people have looked at incorporating ideas from the game into HOTT; I have adapted the terrain rules for example. But there's nothing official. Personally I'd be wary of any version combining the two rules that didn't either come directly from the authors, or at least came with their blessing. Other attempts seem prone to shoe-horning in personal house-rules onto the back of the attempt - ill-thought out new troop types or tweaks to the game to remove bits a particular person finds irksome. However I can't see a new, official, version of HOTT ever happening, so it's all academic.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The HOTT Wars of the Roses

Our group has played Wars of the Roses games using HOTT before, but none of them have been documented here. That chages now, because tonight we did another one.

We found that most of the troop types translated pretty directly, and that the interactions gave the right feel  as well. The core of each army is a mass of Shooters and Blades, with a handful of Knights and then the odd Spear, Artillery, Rider or Warband. Tonight's armies were Shooters and Blades, with Knights on both sides and Spears on one. We played to 48AP - Peter and John took one side and I ran the other solo.

I didn't keep a detailed record of the battle but it was, as you expect, a vicious exchange of bowfire followed by a long, hard slog of a melee as the Blades got stuck in. 

I came off worse in the grind, with my left-hand command losing most of its archers (after a good stat, it has to be said). I nearly killed the enemy CinC in a epic fight on a hill, with Knights charging and counter-charging, but the command soon broke. It fought on quite well, thanks to good PIPs, but eventually casualties elsewhere saw the army break.

Peter provided the lovely 15mm figures and the terrain.

On the other table Ralph and Bryan played Flames of War with Canadians in Normandy attacking a German position. I really only took photos of bits of the setup, including the French tank-turret pillbox.

This photo's for Caesar, who wasn't allowed to play with us tonight because he has to build a chicken run.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...