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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Towton 1461

Not far from where I live is the site of what was probably the bloodiest battle in British history. Fought in a blizzard on Palm Sunday in 1461 the battle of Towton saw House of York and the beginning of the reign of Edward IV. As I mentioned previously I have fought a number of the battles of the Wars of the Roses across my table and having visited the battlefield on a number of occasions with my friend Nick I thought I would give Towton a go.

By this point I had fallen out with Warhammer Historical, largely because of the large amount of dice rolling - it does give a quite 'heroic' feel to the fighting but after a long game I almost felt like I had actually been fighting.I have also found that I don't like moving large numbers of figures individually any more so I experimented with some rules ideas. First off I tried adapting the old Charge! rules, using large movement trays to hold the units but it was basically a bloodbath and didn't really give smaller units much of a chance so I tried again. This time I made up my own rules using element basing - it was much more manageable but it is quite a while since the experiment and I didn't make any notes so I am afraid I can't remember if the rules were any good!

The battle was fought with quite a lot of figures and used historical deployments (as far as they are known) with the order of battle being based on the Poleaxed source book. Norfolk's contingent arrived late on the battlefield and were diced for each turn.

There were no notes but there are some pictures:

The Lancastrians form their 'battles'.

If I was clever I would have cropped these so they fitted together to give a continuous view of the table - but I'm not -still you get the idea...

At last ! some Yorkists - Edward IV, De la Pole (Suffolk) & Howard (Surrey) - Figures are old Citadel, Irregular Miniatures and some Grenadier and Front Rank at the back.

Fauconberg and other Neville adherents.

Battle is joined - Earl Percy leads the Northern Earls against the Yorkist left where they are met by contingent of mercenary pikemen.

The Northern Levies (assorted peasant figures; mostly Essex with a mate from Standard Games) are fed into the melee.

While in the centre more northern retinues (possibly more Percys) clash with Yorkist nobles.
But there are no more photographs. I recall that Mowbray struggled onto the field to turn the tide in an imitation of history but you will just have to imagine that!
Next post might be a review of something...

Sunday, 19 February 2017

My interests span a whole range of historical periods and a few years ago I attended a course on the medieval gentry at the University of York. It didn't cover the Wars of the Roses but it rekindled my interest in that period and I was able to pressgang my tutor into joining me for a couple of games. The games were played using the Warhammer Historical rules but none of the reports have survived. Whilst we enjoyed the games I began experimenting with my own rules and expanded my armies. Unusually for me the figures are '28mm' and mostly metal (they are a legacy of playing Warhammer in my youth).

A rather dark picture of my Lancastrian army. No particular battle being refought here but I'm quite pleased with the flags. Figures are mostly Perry Miniatures with some old Grenadier in the background.


Percy (we speak not of him)

Some of his retinue  - I even did them livery badges - I gave up on this as it means you can only use them for one thing - leave off the badges - save yourself a job and make your army more versatile...

En Masse !

His Royal Majesty - Henry - Sixth of that name- looking rather more magnificent than is historically accurate! Next post should see these chaps embroiled in Britain's bloodiest battle.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Intrigued by this recent surge in the use of fleece blankets as wargames cloths I nipped to JYSK and bought myself a couple of green ones and a couple of sand coloured ones only to find that the latter look decidedly pink now I've got them home - might be OK with a bit of a spray. What I don't get is that the ones you can buy from specialist suppliers are about £60 (presumably because they have pretty terrain printed on?) but my high street equivalents were £3.99 ... 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Well, today was the annual York wargames show and for the first time in many years I did not attend. I have no problem with the show, no axe to grind, this is not a protest. I simply have no money to buy stuff and nowhere to put anything I buy. In fact I may make this a year of not starting anything new. Most wargamers have too much stuff and flit frm one project to another but my hobby has become ridiculous I only have a small house and finite amount of spce - time to pull my horns in and work through some of the stuff I have already got!
Instead of the going to the show I started the first of my 1809 refights - Sacile:

There will be a full report on this game when it is completed.

I also painted some WW2 SS troops - Have never done any before as I always regarded them as somewhat distasteful (not to mention hard to paint) but if you are refighting actual battles you need t try and represent the troops that were actually there.

I think I made the camouflage over complex but I was trying to copy a pattern and then changed my mind half way through- I have a technique now so the next lot should be better. (Figures are Italeri and Caesar)