Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Battle of Blore Heath, 18th Aug 2016

Sadly, for the House of Lancaster, a rather historical result. The brave forces of the ‘red rose’ suffering the 2nd defeat of the Wars of the Roses campaign and losing their young pretender in the process.
The battle did not start well for the House of Lancaster, with a night-time mix-up in the deployment of the commands, with the left and right wings becoming swapped over (the Jack of Spades Stratagem). This left the Duke of Somerset’s (Simon) and Percy, Earl of Northumberland’s (Phil) in some disarray with (as it turned out) a fatal gap between Somerset’s command and Norfolk’s (Rob) central command.

Battle was opened with Baron Greystoke’s (Mal) knights on the Yorkist right wing charging forward against the crossbowmen of Somerset’s command, but these elite armoured knights were surprisingly held at the stream by these brave crossbowmen.

While the Lancastrian leadership, Howard (Rob), floundered with a late breakfast(!), Percy’s (Phil) command advanced cautiously on the Lancastrian right flank, until encountering a screen of Yorkist cavalry  and skirmishers holding the stream line. A half-hearted skirmish continued here for some time, until eventually Percy managed to force a block of Scots spearmen across the stream.

Meanwhile the Lancastrian centre, under Howard slogged across the stream, pushing a mixed Yorkist bow and bill force, under Hastings (Dave) and Warwick (Tony) backward in a bloody struggle. Just as it looked as if Howard’s foot knights might surge to victory, the Lancastrian cause suffered a double blow. First the Lancastrian “young pretender” fell, mortally wounded an then Howard himself fell wounded.

As the Lancastrian centre stalled, Warwick surged across the stream, into the gap between the Lancastrian centre and left wing. Encountering only a little of last minute resistance, Warwick’s men drove through to seize the Lancastrian left flank camp.

As news of the loss of the Lancastrian camp spread, Baron Greystoke’s mounted knights eventually broke the crossbowmen on the Yorkist right and started the roll-up the Lancastrian left flank. This was the last straw for the Lancastrian forces and morale collapsed. Soon Lancastrian men were streaming to the rear.
Another fine game using Simon Miller’s ‘To the Strongest’ rules. A special mention must go to the fearsome Yorkist continental mercenary pike block however. Although not completely swayed by a failed Lancastrian attempt to bribe them to leave the battlefield, they did only succeed in entertaining the Yorkist followers with a fine display of counter-marching along the Yorkist rear, thereby having absolutely no influence on the battle!

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