Sunday, February 26, 2006

Game Report: War of the Roses Campaign, Game 3

The opening phase of the game: Percy's retinue have crashed into Herbert's forces and are locked in a battle to the death (1). Meanwhile, Percy's remaining billmen advance to join the attack (2), but come under fire from Edward's cannon (3) and suffer heavy attrition, delaying them. Edward's cannon later swings round to pummel the Lancastrian forces advancing in the centre (dashed line), while Warwick's knights (4) get ready to smash into the Lancastrian right flank.

(more pictures can be seen here)

We all knew that the final battle of each year would be no holds barred and all stops pulled, since the troops are levied anew the next campaign year. Battle 3 lived up to expectations in a suitably bloody manner.

The forces arrayed with York as the defender, (from left to right) Richard Earl of Warwick, Edward IV, and Herbert Earl of Pembroke: Lancaster as attacker, (from their left to right) Percy Earl of Northumberland, Queen Margeret, and Henry Duke of Somerset.

Percy launched a bold attack on the Lancastrian left, leading with his retinue of knights (see 1, in the picture above). The knights charged into Herbert's forces, much depleted from the previous two battles, and in a series of combats destroyed several of Herbert's weakened units before a climactic clash with the remnants of Herbert's own retinue (the famous victors of Herbert's Hill). By this time, Edward's own retinue had also moved to join the combat: the depleted mounted retinue died early on, but the archers fared better in the rolling scrum. In a fittingly martial end, both Herbert and Percy's retinues killed each other to the last man.

Meanwhile, an aggressive advance by Warwick on the Yorkist left clashed with a similar advance by Somerset. Somerset, his forces depleted from previous battles, was gradually rolled up by the advancing Yorkist forces, but fought on to the last man in a touching display of loyalty to his sister. Somerset's sacrifice sheltered Margeret's right flank for a few crucial turns, and held back the main line of Warwick's forces, but eventually Warwick's victorious knights maneuvered themselves into a position flanking Margeret's exposed line (see 4 above).

In the centre, Edward's forces first blasted away to the right at Percy's troops, pushing back and delaying the advance of two of Percy's billmen units moving to support the engaged retinue (see 2 above), leaving the knights to fend for themselves as described above. Eventually, cannon fire, handgunners and archers destroyed one unit entirely (3), and the other was pushed back by Edward's last reserve of intact billmen. The line of archers and artillery then swung left to first blast at Margeret's advancing forces in the centre (3), and then further left at the forces turning to face Warwick's flank attack.

At the endgame, with Warwick's forces bearing down on the Lancastrian right, and Percy's last fighting unit on the left surrounded by Edward's fresh reserve of billmen, the Lancastrians weathered one breakpoint by barely surviving Warwick's attack, but succumbed when the last of Percy's men fell in battle in the melee with Edward's last reserve. The battle was truly hard fought to the bitter end: Somerset was left with no soldiers, and Percy and Herbert left with single element units.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Game Report: Zombies!

FG hosted one of the most visually stunning games the Napnuts have played in a long time. Just take a look at these pictures!

The gallery can be viewed here, but I've selected some of the ones that show the wonderful detail in the buildings and figures.

Some of the pics approach photorealism: a little bit of work airbrushing the bases away, and they'd look like photographs of real scenes, such is the detail of the buildings and background.

According to FG, the street tiles are from worldworks, while the buildings are mostly from microtactix. Take a look in the gallery to see more pics of this game.

Monday, February 06, 2006

War of the Roses Campaign: Game 2

Following the Lancastrian defeat at Herbert Hill, the Yorkists follow-up, meeting their enemy in battle before the ruins of Corbonaught Castle. No changes in allegiance occured in the interim, so the starting line-up of Lords was the same

The Lancastrians set-up with Queen Margaret in the centre, flanked by Somerset to her left (facing a small wood) and Northumberland to her right (facing a swamp). The Yorkists set-up with Edward IV in the centre, the newly promoted Earl of Pembroke to his right, and the Earl of Warwick to the left.

The battle opened with Edward's forces boldly surging forward: half of his line advanced towards the junction of Margaret and Somerset's lines (1), but failed command rolls meant that the remainder of the forces lagged behind. The two Yorkist lords moved slowly - Pembroke's forces were weakened from the last battle (Warmaster imposes command penalties on incomplete units), while Warwick had a set of bad command rolls, including a blunder that hampered one of his units. By the time battle was joined, Edward's forces were echeloned from right to left (2) and engaging Margaret's troops. Off to the right, Somerset advanced his forces to support his sister. Meanwhile, Warwick finally bestirred himself into action (3), swinging his line of archers into position to start shooting Northumberland's troops: the old rivalry between the Nevilles and the Percy's was very much alive and well! The battle having taken most of the original attacking force, Edward committed his household retinue of Knights and archers, and together with Pembroke's forces (who had advanced in time to form a line), faced off with Somerset's own personal retinue (4): it was household versus household!

A bloody fight between the two retinues ensued. Meanwhile, Edward's other forces were shot to pieces advancing on the Lancastrian line (5), and though Somerset's retinue was cut down to the last man, it was a Pyrrhic victory (6), with only a remnant of Edward's own retinue left, and almost all his forces left dead on the field. The treachery of Warwick sealed the battle: as panicked cries of "treachery!" sounded on Edward's left, a last desperate push at the very centre of Margeret's line failed in a withering hail of arrows, and Edward quit the field to lick his wounds and fight another day.

In the wake of the battle, Queen Margeret rewarded her Lords (including Warwick) handsomely with counties from the Lancastrian royal fiefs. The campaign is now perfectly tied, with each Royal at one victory, and every Lord with one more county than they started with.