Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Towton 1461

Jim & Mark's Yorkists v. Steve's Lancastrians

It was Mike's turn to be Gamesmaster tonight & he set up Townton, the next Wars of the Roses battle after St Albans II which we did last week.

The battle started with 3 Lancastrian battles & 2 Yorkist battles on the field.  Neither side was informed of any reinforcements that the other side might get.
The Yorkist army is standing in the foreground waiting for the enemy to advance into a howling gale strong enough to effect bow range.
The Lancastrians have advanced into their bow range without the Yorkist doing much damage with their extra range.
The Lancastrians begin their frontal attack at the same time as their ambush of 2 mounted sergeants come out of the wood on the Yorkist left.   The Yorkists are very pleased they refused their left -  wasn't because they foresaw the ambush though, they had deployed to their right to leave room for their reserves to fit into the line.  Not that there was any sign of them yet.
The Yorkists pull their hanging left flank back.
On the left a counterattack by Edward's retainers has pushed the enemy sergeants back.  Lancastrian men at arms have broken through, but were shaken in the process and bowmen have turned round to shoot at them.  The Yorkist right is an ongoing slogging match.
The Yorkist reserves have finally arrived, though not where the Yorkist generals wanted them.  The Yorkist centre is in dire danger of being rolled up by an attack on the angle by men at arms - only a single bow unit stands in their way.
Remarkably, the heroic Yorkist bowmen have beaten off the men at arms at the critical angle buying the Yorkists time to deploy their reserve battle. The charge of the Yorkist sergeants was stopped by equally heroic Lancastrian men at arms. 
The Lancastrian centre has broken after a desperate fight, leaving the Lancastrian left in trouble.  But the Lancastrian cavalry has beaten Edward's retainers & the Yorkist left flank battle is verging on breaking. 
The Yorkist left battle has broken, but the reserve battle is in place to take over.  Their cavalry has charged again, this time with better luck to break the Lancastrian right.   The Lancastrian left is still holding on but their army has is broken.

The historical battle was one of the bloodiest ever on British soil, and so was our scenario.   The Lancastrians had their chances, but the Yorkists managed to pass the critical tests that would have lost them the battle.

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