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.


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