Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Barnet 1471

It was Mike's turn to be gamesmeister tonight & he put on Barnet 1471.

Jim of York v. Steve & James of Lancaster

Both sides had the usual 3 battles , left right & centre, but also a reserve, so a total of 4 battles.  The unique feature this battle was that it started in a fog.  To simulate this, the figures did not start on the table.  The players on each side took turns to leave the room each turn while the umpire tracked their manoeuvres on his map.  This phase took some time as the Lancastrians simply stood their ground while the Yorkists advanced cautiously 1 move a turn so no battle got out ahead and isolated. Eventually the Yorkists found arrows coming at them out of the mist and ordered a general charge all along the line.  Fortuitously, all battles got good dice for once and the whole army surged forward.

The first troops have been put on the table.  York is on the left.  On the far side of the road their left battle has found the enemy defending a hedge.  In the centre two battles meet in the open.  On the near flank York's right has run into a swamp with the sinister name of Dead Man's Bottom.  Both sides have a reserve battle still not down behind the front line & the Lancs have another battle somewhere.  The Lancastrians have deployed their bowmen in front with their bills & men at arms in support.  York has put his men at arms & bills in front with the bows in support.

The fog has cleared now and the players can finally see what's going on.  York's deployment of bills & men at arms in the front line paid off as the fog minimised the damage the archers could inflict before contact.  The York left drove the enemy back from the hedge, but then discovered that the 4th Lancastrian battle was on their left flank and it was too dangerous to follow up their initial success.  In the centre the Lancastrians have also been pushed back, but York's attempt at outflanking is mired in the bog and poor command rolls. 

On the far flank the Lancastrian right is slowly redeploying (we have medieval armies command rating 9 for charging forward but 7 otherwise).  York has tried unsuccesfully to bring his horse up to attack the Lanc's centre. 

The Lanc's left has finally got going and is really putting pressure on York's left.  York's cavalry attack in the centre finally went in, but failed miserably in a hail of 1's & 2's. A Lancasrtian counterattack has broken York's infantry centre.

York made one last desperate attempt to pull the battle out of the fire by charging with his reserve which finally had some flank support as some troops of the right battle got through the swamp.  But once again his cavalry failed and though the Lanc's infantry battle was broken so was York's reserve.  York's left & right battles are still on the field, but the left is flanked and doomed & the right is back in the swamp.

It's a decisive Lancastrian victory though closer than it looked.  York came close to breaking two Lancastrian battles in the first charge, and a better performance from their horse could have broken the Lanc's apart.  But it was not to be.      

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