Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Warwicks Battle, Triples and other ramblings




I also have to congratulate Ruarigh and Steve on making some first class terrain for Blore Heath, a great info board ( who mentioned wonky?) and great company. The games played were all good fun and the only reason I took over from my son was because I needed to taste victory having been on the losing side consistently over the two days ( there's nothing wrong with my Generalship)!!!

As you can see from the above I even managed to get Warwick himself finished. The weekends gaming enthused me enough to come home an undercoat all of Norfolks contingent and upon my return from Scotland this weekend the brush will be out!!!
As to the rules - Poleaxes 2 worked extremely well and I was suitably impressed and look forward to using them for Towton.

So once again thanks Gents for a great weekend, thanks to Pete for his support and faith ! in us and to the Lance and Longbow Society for those damned little banners etc. Roll on Towton!!!.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Blore Heath at Triples

We took our Blore Heath set-up to Triples last weekend. The purpose of the game was:
  1. to give us a bit of experience working together at a demo;
  2. to help us learn the rules properly; and
  3. to play with our newly painted toy soldiers and motivate us to paint more.

It was a grand weekend out that was made particularly good by the number of people that dropped by and expressed their interest in the project. I was quite surprised by how many of you had actually read the blog too. Thank you to all of you. I also apologise to any of you that I did not get to talk to, although you may well sigh with relief at being spared this.

Unfortunately I was very busy with talking to people, especially on the Saturday, so I did not get much time for taking photos. A selection of those I did take are presented below for your pleasure and delectation. Despite being this busy with talking, we still managed to get six games in over the weekend, which is a testament to the ease of play of the Poleaxed 2 rules. You might have thought that a rules set that required you to roll for the movement of each unit would be slow to play but that proved not to be the case so we are very happy to take them on to do Towton.

Saturday April 17th

We arrived bright and early to set up our game with its rickety display board. We do promise to improve the display board in the future but it sufficed for our purposes on the day. One person actually complimented us on having a display board that made it clear what we were up to, which was great. A lot of the games did not have display boards and it was not immediately obvious what they were doing. Kudos to our team, even if we did have to tape the board back to the frame a couple of times!

Graham was already present when we arrived. Rhys, Leigh and John had made their excuses for the day and had sick notes, so it was a pleasant surprise when John dropped by part-way through the day. (as usual click the pictures for larger versions)

Set up for the action at the start of the day

The picture above shows the initial set-up with the Yorkists on the left of the picture and Lancastrians on the right.

Graham (left) and Steve (right) do battle. I can't help wondering what is so funny. Is my fly down?

The games on the Saturday were characterised by Lancastrian victories! Boo!! In every game the Lancastrian cavalry managed to drive off the baggage guard and roll up the flanks of the Yorkist line.

A bad day to be a Yorkist

Many of the Yorkists clearly decided that joining Stanley in the pub at Blore was a better idea than fighting the Lancastrians. Interestingly, Stanley's retinue were present at the show doing their own demonstrations and popped round to see our game. Most of them only really wanted to know which building in our small village was actually the pub. They also wanted to know why we did not have a small figure of Stanley with tankard in hand outside the pub. Perhaps Peter at Baccus will produce a Stanley at Blore character figure if we all nag him enough! It could go in a pack with Warwick killing his horse and Dacre with an arrow through his neck.

Bugger this for a game of soldiers. I'm off to the pub (most of the Yorkists have left already)

Despite the appallingly unhistorical results of the games played on the Saturday, we had a fantastic time. The day finished with the Lancastrians up 2-0.

Sunday 18th April

With renewed resolve, the Yorkists arrived bright and early on the Sunday morning having read the rules! This was to prove a turning point in their fortunes. Apparently Graham spent the entire night in his hotel room reading the rules. Better yet, he brought his son along to support the Yorkists.

An action shot! (Steve measures something)

The first game of the day saw the Yorkists returning to form in grand style. The Lancastrian cavalry charged eagerly forward, keen to see off the baggage guard yet again, but this time the shooting was much more effective. Although the Lancastrian cavalry did manage to charge the wagon laager, they were driven off. So enthusiastic were the archers in the laager that they immediately set off in pursuit of the routing knights. The rules probably include something that says that troops in that sort of defensive position do not test for pursuit but we rolled, it happened and it was too funny not to permit it.

In the meantime, the Yorkist line had wheeled to face the remaining knights and saw them off, while fending off the remnants of the Lancastrian centre. The game was a resounding Yorkist victory.

Come back, I've still got some arrows for you!

By midday we were well into the second game of the day. Graham's son was trouncing his dad in good style but then he had to leave. Having manoeuvred the Lancastrians into an untenable position, Graham promptly relinquished command to Steve and, in an act of treachery worthy of any 15th century English lord, immediately picked up the reins of command in the Yorkist army. Some have suggested that he had pre-arranged with Lord Salisbury to do this. The Lancastrians were enraged but could do little about it. With half their army routing in frustration at Graham's treacherousness, they were soon unable to continue the assault and were pursued from the field by their erstwhile ally. Still, this did return the score to 2-2.

The arch-traitor himself in his new role as Yorkist commander

The final game of the day saw me as the Yorkists pitching up against Steve as the Lancastrians. It was a close run battle. The Lancastrian cavalry routed and returned several times and the bow fire from the wagon laager proved insufficient to deter them. Fortunately the Lancastrian centre fared less well and did rather more routing than the cavalry.

See those big holes in the Lancastrian line? That's because they don't like it up 'em.

The game saw the baggage guard rout off in the end, but once more the centre was able to wheel in time to fend off assaults from the remaining cavalry. Final result for the weekend was 3-2 to the Yorkists. Huzzah!

Conclusion

The games went very well. We had a lot of interest and had a great time talking to loads of people. Blore Heath as a scenario proved to be very well balanced and interesting to play as either side, although it really seemed to hinge on how well the cavalry did versus the baggage guard in the end. We are all now thoroughly motivated to carry on and have been asked to take Blore Heath to the Baccus games day in July, which we shall do. Our next show will probably be Derby in October and we are debating whether to do Northampton or Wakefield for that one. We shall see.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Sir Edward Neville of Birling, 1st Lord Abergavenny

Hello all,

My small contributions continue, another contingent painted for Ruarigh.  This time its Sir Edward Neville of Birling, 1st Lord Abervagenny.


 
Well, thats 2 contingents done, which will be in the post first thing monday morning.

Cheers
Steve

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Blore Heath Test Game

Next week we shall be presenting our Blore Heath game at Triples in Sheffield. This is part of our programme of morale-boosting games to keep us on track for a fine Towton game in 2011. Steve and I played it through today and had a great time. So, for your viewing pleasure, I present some photos of the game. As you can see, we still have a little work to do before next weekend. (Click the pics for larger images)

The Start of the Battle


The game progressed largely as expected. The Yorkists shot arrows at the Lancastrians and caused a few casualties. The Yorkist artillery was fairly rubbish and did little damage, while the Lancastrian archery was excessively effective but still failed to daunt the Yorkists, who passed every morale test with flying colours.

The Lancastrians advance


The Lancastrian cavalry charged enthusiastically forward, got shot up and then two-thirds of it routed from the baggage guard.

The Lancastrian cavalry enthusiastically charge


The remaining unit assaulted the baggage guard but was driven off, although this assault did also cause the baggage guard to say they were fed up, so they routed too.

The Lancastrian Cavalry enthusiastically routs


With the cavalry out of the way and the arrows exhausted, the Yorkists surged forwards from their defences and down the hill towards the Lancastrians.

The Yorkists surge forwards


The began to push the Lancastrians back and pretty soon the show was over. Dudley lay dead on the ground, Exeter had fled and Audley was looking rather sorry for himself with all those holes in him. The Lancastrians surrendered. A great game that was closer than I expected.

Please come along and see the game in the flesh at Triples if you are around Sheffield at the weekend. Feel free to introduce yourself and have a chat. We like chatting!