Saturday, 27 May 2017

War of the Roses - To The Strongest rules

On Friday evening after work, a group of five assembled at Julian's place for a friendly game of To the Strongest. Tonight we did a Wars of the Roses scenario, pitching Julian's force of Front Rank and sundry other figures against Mark's force of Perry plastics. I believe this was a real scenario but cant remember the battles name - basically, the Lancastrians (Marks figures) had three commands, whilst the Yorkist's - Julian's figures - had only two. I teamed up with Julian and Mark was joined by Chris and John. The unit count I think was 20 - 16 in the Lancastrian favour - they had 9 morale coins to our 7.
The Yorkist forces were drawn up in a defensive position on a ridge, with the Lancastrian's tasked with assaulting the hill and driving us from it. The two commanding generals hated each other and extra points could be had by the elimination of the commander characters!

The tactics on both sides were pretty simple - we Yorkist's stood on our defensive position and waited, whilst the Lancastrian's advanced on us. Mark commanded the Lancastrian right, opposite me, John was in the centre and Chris on their left with the four cavalry units - we had no cavalry!
The Lancastrians are blue below and the Yorkist's red in the maps.

John had a couple of false starts - drawing two aces will do that to you - and doing it twice in a row on moves 1 and 2 of the game certainly slows down your advance! Mark made steady progress towards my waiting longbowmen and billmen, whilst Chris came screaming forward with his cavalry on their left, bypassing Julian's defensive stakes and fortified camp to squeeze down the extreme table edge and appear BEHIND Julian's right flank position!

Mark and I exchanged ineffectual archery - we each got a couple of disrupteds but both were able to remove them in the following turn. John got moving and advanced on Julian in the centre, whilst Chris was causing havoc on our right. Julian had turned to face the flank attack, so another of Chris's cavalry units promptly charged this redeployed infantry in their newly exposed flank - when you have cavalry on your right and to the front simultaneously, it gets a bit hard! Julian was able to survive for a couple of turns but eventually Chris had dispatched a couple of his units. Meanwhile, Julian was having more success with his longbowmen and had managed to wipe out a couple of Johns units. I joined in eventually and got rid of a couple of Marks units too.
Johns infantry stoically continued to advance and charged in to support Chris's assault on the flanks of Julian's troops facing off against the cavalry threat on our right flank. Meanwhile, the longbowmen, having expended all their arrows, rushed forward with the short swords to engage in hand to hand combat too.

The net result of this combat was that our morale coins were reduced to 3, whilst the Lancastrian's were down to 1! Julian somehow managed to survive the onslaught on his right flank from two directions simultaneously, and when it came to our turn, I was able to charge forward with a unit of billmen against a unit of Marks that was not only disrupted by previous missile fire, but had also suffered the ignominy of having a commanding general killed! My billmen scored a hit, Mark failed to save them, and with the loss of this unit, the Yorkist cause prevailed...but it was a very close run thing and if we did not have the artificial method of ending the game, I am pretty sure Chris and Marks combined attack on Julian would have been successful.....

Once again a fun game that ended at a reasonable time thanks to the use of the "army morale" system.

Pictures below, as usual, some are not that great due to the lighting, but they give an idea of how the game unfolded.

Marks right wing of the Lancastrian force

 My longbow men and billmen on the hill opposite Marks position

Marks billmen and archers - all plastic figures by the Perry brothers

The last of my troops - crossbowmen behind pavisses

Chris's knight on the other flank

Julian's longbow men facing Chris

Johns Lancastrian troops in the centre

Move one - Marks longbow men pepper my positions with arrows

Meanwhile on the other flank, Chris deploys his mounted troops 

A general view of Marks advance from my position on the high ground

Chris's cavalry arrives unexpectedly on Julian's flank

 Above and below - the view of my position from behind Marks advancing troops

 Chris's cavalry wheel to advance down our line - Julian's infantry have turned to face but in doing so have exposed their flank to another mounted unit (top centre)
Chris's fourth mounted unit so far uncommitted

The centre of our line - Julian's longbow men and men at arms

A disrupted unit of Marks archers - next time, they were off

Marks unit containing his leader - also disrupted

My archers having used all their ammunition, I swapped them over so the men at arms are now in the front row

The final charge that won us the game - my men at arms engage Marks disrupted unit and win

The final view in the centre of the field - Johns troops are engaged with Julian's

The position on  our right flank - enemy cavalry everywhere!

Another view of the melee in the centre

A final view showing most of our line - my left flank troops in the bottom left and in the top right Chris's cavalry still threatening our right flank


  1. A real pleasure to look at such wonderful figures!

  2. Thank Phil - I am sure you will recognize Mark Perrys from his blog! The rest of them were supplied by our host - I don't have any figures in this era really