Saturday, 27 February 2010

Hedgeley Moor

The Battle of Hedgeley Moor took place in April 1464 and was one of the smaller battles of the Wars of the Roses, with just over 6000 men slugging it out. It followed a long period of peace following the Towton campaign. Lord Montagu was sent north by Edward IV to make contact with Scottish supporters at Newcastle. At Hedgeley Moor he met a rebel force under the Duke of Somerset. Morale was low in the Lancastrian camp. It was an untried force that had only just come togethr from stragglers and those recentley pardoned by the King. As Montagu advanced, Lord Roos withdrew from the field with his men. The rest of the Lancastrians stood for a while but as contact was made, their cnetre also buckled and ran leaving Sir Ralph Percy standing. He was on home soil and saw a heroic last stand with Percy being cut down. The Yorkists continued on their way unopposed until a firther clash less than a month later at Hexham.

John B came over to Chez Sean for a game on Wednesday. It was our first game of Bloody Barons together. Having played other RFCM games, the mechanisms soon became familiar and we had a right Royal ding dong. John in the guise of Montague really played a blinder and true to history swept away the Lancastrian forces under Roos and Somerset. Although Percy survived by the end of the battle he was cut off from any line of retreat and in reality would in all probablitiy have been captured.



Montagu behind his command at the sentre of the Yorkist line.
The Yorkists prepare for slaughter on the moor.



Facing the rather nervous Lancastrians with Roos closest to the camera.



Percy's command facing Lord Scrope on the Yorkist right.




John chose the yellow dice this time after having bad memories of the orange dice during a game of CWB. Not sure how this happened after one particular roll of about 10 dice. Had to take a picture though. Its evil magic I tell you. We need to find a witch to burn!







A shaky picture of Montagus command looking pretty confident.







The end. Percy is to the right of the wood with Monatgu about to fall on his rear. It looks bad for old Percy. Bottom right shows the Yorkist command under the Bishop of Exeter who swept Roos and most of Somersets command from the field.








We had a good game and a good laugh with some nice digestives to accompany the tea.
Last night we replayed the battle with young Jon, young Ben and Matt from the club with John B swapping sides. John played a blinder again and reversed history attacking forcefully with Percy and holding the line with Roos (commanded by Ben). Roos' command did eventually succumb but the rest of the Yorkist forces took a real battering.
We did find one frustrating aspect of the rules. Matt had a unit of Household fighting one of Johns retinue. John had the better of it after a couple of drawn combats, eventually whittling the Household down to 1 base which happened to be the Captain, which always saves on a 2+. Johns unit had 7 bases left, but the lone captain fought on for 3 turns, which seemed a little unrealistic. In this battle the figure scale was roughly 1:15, with one base of figures representing 40-45 men. So in effect we had 40-45 men holding off around 300. The rules say nothing about such situations and indeed there are factors for 1-2 base units. Admittedly saving rolls were passed, but with luck (ie not failing the 2+ save) this could have gone on for some time. We felt that after a turn of fighting, weight of numbers would crush the few men left in this situation.
There are two remedies as I see. When it comes to morale tests for 2 bases, you could increase the morale factor to 3D6 instead of the 1D6 it is now. The justification is that things are really bas at this point! At one base, morale is immaterial as if they pass their save they cant lose the combat which is then classed as draw.
Secondly (which I think we shall implement), if a a unit is reduced to one base, it is removed, being classed as having being swept away. A captain base is allowed one turn of fighting, so may take an enemy base with him, but at the conclusion he is also cut down. Justification for this can be found elsewhere in the rules where gun crew are destroyed on being contacted. Also a single base unit is not allowed to start a fight. I think this makes alot of sense as it seemed a tad silly having a lone base holding up a massive horde on is own.
As a counter point a bit further over a levy unit despite losing a combat three turns in succesion and having to roll 7-8 dice each time, managed to survive its morale tests very much against the odds. I have no problem with this, as the unit was being whittled down, but was clearly made of stern stuff and was determined to see the thing through! Of course on getting down to 1 base, we advocate removing.
Lisa is now away skiing for a week, and though I am at work all week, I shall be making use of the free time to paint lots of AWI.
More soon!

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