Friday, 5 August 2011

“ Conscience is but a word that cowards use, devised at first to keep the strong in awe”

What with people being on holiday and my Wife upping her socialising (leaving me literally holding the baby) it has been a few weeks since I’ve been able to get to the club and organise a game.

Bob has been putting the finishing touches to a War of the Roses Campaign which I think will begin in earnest next week. This week though as it had been a while we opted for a “warm up” game of Impetus using Rob (B)’s 6mm Wars of the Roses miniatures.

I have a soft spot for the Richard III so I donned my Planta genista and prepared to take on the pretender and his mercenaries.

I had 4 units of Retinue Bow, the same of Retinue Billmen, some Swiss Mercenary pike, my King and the Retinue of impetuous heavy cavalry and two units of dismounted men-at-arms. Bob and Rob be were the house of Lancaster and they had slightly more units but lacked the dismounted men-at-arms.

I deployed with dismounted men-at-arms in the centre, flanked by 2 units of bowmen who in turn had the billmen behind them. The rules for the period allow units of heavy foot to interpenetrate the bowmen in front so this is a useful deployment for softening up the enemy before charging home. My mercenary pike were formed in to a large unit on the far right and my Nobles started the game on “opportunity” behind the line. As the noble Cavalry were impetuous I placed them on opportunity as this would prevent them having to compulsory move once the enemy came within 30cm.

Bob and Rob split their army in to two commands separated by a stand of trees to their front. Rob (B) had mercenary crossbow and retinue archers supported by a large unit of Irish warband and a unit of light horse. Bob had 2 units of bowmen and 2 units of billmen deployed the same as mine with his commanders retinue of impetuous heavy cavalry immediately behind.

Because of the stand of trees separating the two commands I realised that I had an opportunity to try and pin one command and hold on while focusing my strength and destroying the other. The question was which one.

I moved forward slightly to narrow the gap between me and the stand of trees, this would prevent Bob and Rob (B) from joining up once past. I then pushed my dismounted men-at-arms forward in front of my line. My logic here was if the enemy wanted to take on the men-at-arms they would be exposed to flanking fire from the bowmen. If they attacked the bow/bill units then risked being charged in the flank by the men-at-arms.

Rob (B) opted to try and take on my men-at-arms and moved his Irish Warband across to engage them. This meant however that they had to move across the front of 2 of my bow units and in doing so they sustained heavy casualties. He finally got in to contact but was so weakened that he bounced off my men-at-arms, who promptly counter charged and wiped them out. A good start for me thanks to some lucky dice rolling.

At the same time Rob (B) has sent his light horse round the back of my line and attacked one of my Billmen units from the rear. Again I managed to survive and Rob (B)’s disastrous saving throw meant that he also lost this unit. However the move had been enough for me to activate my Nobles and bring them over to my right as to deal with the threat.

As things stood at this point I had a good position. I had a strong line and had pushed a wedge between the two wings of the enemy all I needed to do now was decide what part of the enemy line I should look to destroy and what side to keep pinned. I decided that I would go for enemy on my left as I was not sure the numbers on the right were sufficient for a game win.

I swept aside the enemy bow and the billmen were now vulnerable from attack from their front and from each side by my mercenary pike and dismounted men-at-arms. Unfortunately I was then to a somewhat cheesy but legal manoeuvre by Bob. My mercenaries had come within 30cm of his mounted nobles who were impetuous. This meant they had to advance. They could not penetrate the friendly billmen to their front so the bill men had to be placed behind the nobles, out of range of all my foot who now would have to deal with fresh heavy cavalry rather than disordered heavy foot.

The enemy heavy cavalry made short work of my mercenary pike (who had already been weakened by enemy bow fire) then went through my bowmen but found harder work trying to see off the bill men behind. Meanwhile my nobles had done an about turn and were galloping to the rescue. On my right the two wings traded bowfire from a reasonably safe distance.

Unfortunately again we ran out of time before completing a game. We had not seen each other for a few weeks and this combined with Rob (B) producing box of fresh Krispy Kreme donuts meant that there had been a lot of gossiping and not enough dice rolling (of which I was no doubt the main culprit). I am fairly confident that Bob’s position was starting to look problematic and a few more turns may have led to a win for the House of York.

Hopefully we will press on with the Wars of the Roses Campaign from next week so lets hope this time York can not only win the battles but also win and keep hold of the crown!

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