Tuesday, March 11, 2014

2nd St Albans 1461

This week we are starting a new system for Tuesday nights at Camp Cromwell.  We have set up a roster of the regular players who will take their turn to be Gamesmaster Du Jour on Tuesday night.  I've taken 1st slot on the roster to kick it off.  
Scenario based on 2nd St Albans, 1461
Details of the real battle & terrain are sketchy, but I've tried to capture the essence of the problems faced by the generals.   The Yorkists are outnumbered, but have a good defensive position.  They start deployed in 3 battles.  One in the town on their left, one on a ridge in the centre & one on a ridge on their right.  The Lancastrians start up to 18" onto the table also in 3 battles.  They must enter on the three flat patches on their right hand side of the table, but may be in road columns.

The Yorkist battles each have 6 standard units.   The Lancastrian battles each have 8 standard units.   The battles must be deployed in the areas described above, but the units may be re-deployed within those areas & both sides are allowed to transfer up to 2 units from any battle to another while deploying.   The Yorkists also have 3 small crossbow units & 2 medium cannon which can be attached to any battle but don't affect break tests.

Movement in the boggy ground in front of the Yorkist centre, the woods, the cornfields & on the scrubby hill on the Lancastrian left is 3" per move for all except open order bows or crossbows.
Shooting at cover is -1 to hit.
Shooting at buildings & barricades is -1 to hit plus -1 save.
Attacks on buildings are infantry only, no charge bonus, no supports (for either side), 5 dice per unit regardless of arms (3 if small), defenders save 4+, defenders ignore fall back result.  
Attacks up the Yorkist ridges lose charge bonus.
Attacks on hedgerows, barricades & woods are no charge bonus, all troops 5 dice (3 if small), defenders ignore fall back results.

Lancastrians get 1st turn.  Command is 8 for all, but our barbarian rule applies unless in road column (that is 9 to charge full steam ahead, 7 otherwise).
 Mike commands the Yorkists on the left.  Steve commands the Lancastrians on the right.
On the far flank Steve has charged the hedgerows beyond the town with cavalry while infantry follows up. His centre division is slow to move.  His left has deployed to face the advance of the Yorkist right.
In the foreground a Yorkist cavalry charge broke an archer unit & the rest of Steve's foot fell back.  Steve then counterattacked with his cavalry.  Steve's centre still refuses to advance.  His cavalry has been repulsed from the hedgerow while his foot is making hard work of the attack on the town.
On the near flank Steve's counterattack has been beaten off.   Mike's bowmen have wandered too far to the right to be much use, but his centre is providing some useful support fire onto Steve's left.  In Steve's centre only his bowmen have advanced, the rest of the foot seem to be in typical WOTR mode of waiting to see who's going to win.  Steve's cavalry have renewed their attack on the hedgerow.
Steve's horse is advancing through the cornfield.  Attacks on the closest cottage & barricades have been repulsed but his foot have taken the church & are attacking the enemy in the street behind it.
Not much is happening on the left as Steve waits for his centre to actually move & Mike tries to get his bowmen down off the hill off camera to the left & dithers with his centre.
Mike's bowmen have finally come up.  Steve's spearmen attacked them but were beaten off.  Steve's left division is now broken.  His centre division, though has finally advanced. 
Steve's cavalry has worked its way through the cornfield and has outflanked Mike's defences.  Mike's left division is on the verge of breaking.
With both sides lefts being broken, the two armies have effectively broken contact.  The Lancastrians have taken the village, but lost their left.   Casualties slightly favour the Yorkists, but they remain outnumbered and have lost the key to their defence, the town.    The Lancastrians now outflank their line of defence along the ridge behind the swamp.   It will take some time to reorganise the forces & get ready for a renewed attack, so after nearly 2 hours of fighting we called it a night with both sides claiming victory.  York did better than the real thing, but chances are will not withstand a renewed attack.
Next morning I quickly went through the motions of redeploying the armies to again face each other at right angles to the original line.  It was quite obvious that the Yorkists had no chance against the superior Lancastrian numbers without the defensive advantages of the ridge & town. The centre Lancastrian division that had been so timid in advancing was consequently virtually intact and the Yorkist right had no chance of stopping it while the Lanc's right was still strong enough to pin down the Yorkist left.

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