Mid and Late Medieval at Roll Call 2019
Lancastrian WOTR vs Burgundian Ordonnance
The third game, but sadly for Shakespeare aficionado's against not a Richard, but a Colin. Whether the play would have been quite as successful had it been called "Colin III" is certainly debatable, but what was in no doubt was that the Lancastrians were now up against some wily semi-Frenchmen in the form of the Burgundian Ordonnance.
Ordonnance Burgundian is an classic medieval army with almost literally all the toys imaginable. Pikes, longbows, mounted and dismounted knights these guys have the lot - but with that magnitude of riches comes the perennial question of how to fit in all of the good stuff whilst still keeping a vaguely viable sized army on table.
Looking to get the Gunne into action again in what was expected to be a pike-heavy clunk-tastic army the Lancastrians sought to narrow the table with as much terrain as possible.
This finally saw the first official record of the Conclave 2018 Victory Watermill appearing, much to the delight no doubt of Bill Coughlan and his Irish cohorts.
With the village on one flank and a large patch of uneven stuff on the other the Lancastrians had a seemingly secure space in which to deploy defensively.
The lists for the Lancastrian WOTR and Burgundian Ordonnance from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Roll Call can be seen here in the L'Art de la Guerre Wiki al'reet?
But the cunning Burgundians were having none of this "advance into a narrow gap, be shot up and outflanked" malarkey and instead had hatched a bold and cunning plan of their own.
Ey up, cock! Forming up into a series of columns the men from the wine producing regions started to swiftly march over to the right hand flank of the slow and lumbering, and suddenly very wide feeling Lancastrian deployment.
Compounding the error of deployment the Unreliable command of the Lancastrian sub general promptly decided that staring at the magnificent house was much better than actually joining in, and promptly rolled a 1 to become actually Unreliable on the first turn.
For trust not him that hath once broken faith.
(Lady Grey, Act 4 Scene 4)
This meant the Lancastrians had even less force to try to redeploy to counter the startling initiative being shown by the Burgundians. That wer bobbins!
Wot's the scran? Cracking open bottles of wine as they advanced the merry Burgundians stormed into the rough terrain with an advance guard of crossbowmen before the Lancastrians had even had time to shake out into a proper line. The entire French army was on the march at some speed as the Northern Powerhouse struggled to get out of first gear.
Boom! Unreliability instantly resolved the sub commander whisked his men away from watching unpainted bricks be even dryer than they were earlier and stormed across the table to come to the rescue in the way that only a unit of two of spear-armed Javelinmen could rush to save fully armoured dismounted knights and elite longbowmen with stakes.
L'Art de la Guerre hint - an Unreliable command needs to roll a 6 to come back online, but that 6 doesn't count as it's pips for that turn. It needs to roll a second dice to generate pips. So, getting 2 in a row was a bit lucky here!
Eee By Gum! As the Burgundians started to shake out into a line of battle formation on the Lancastrian right flank the Mancunian horde scrabbled for clever responses. Seeing the need to halt the seemingly endless stream of Frenchies arriving near to the Lancastrian base edge the Lancaster Captain decided to send his knights straight through the rough terrain, catching not only the enemy but also his own men by surprise.
L'Art de la Guerre hint - Heavy foot in rough terrain are on a -2 combat modifier on top of their base stats, but in this specific situation the Burgundians only have their own Heavy Foot and a couple of crossbowmen to oppose them.
Starting on a 1 means the dismounted knights are only 1 factor down to the bowmen (who start on 0), but with heavier armour, 4 hits to the crossbows 3, the help of a Lancastrian Longbowman and the extra deadliness of their 2HCW's in combat the odds are actually not too bad
Ow do mate! The Burgundian army had advanced so speedily that it had left a huge gap behind the rear of the flying columns as they had outdistanced their supporting troops by some margin. This was ideal Northern Border Light Horse territory, and the two lancers gleefully took advantage of the opportunity to seek enemy buttocks to try and charge into. Sorted!
Battle of Bosworth
The two armies were now deploying into proper battle formation, with both interleaving longbows and halberdiers as they prepared to set upon each other in the confined space of the bottom left hand corner of the table. Sound!
The surprise move of the Lancastrian Foot Knights through the terrain had caught the Burgundians on the hop, and sent their surviving crossbows fleeing back to the safety of their own foot knights as the Widnes Longbow contingent peppered them with deadly fire.
The crossbowmen failed to make it as the Lancastrians concentrated multiple units of longbows on the fleeing targets, leaving some rather surprised Burgundian infantry realising that they now needed to bottle the Lancastrian knights up in the terrain instead of supporting their own army's attack along the base edge into the underside of the Mancunian army.
In seeking to readjust to the multiple threats the men of Colin the Bold had clearly absorbed much of their historical prototype Charles' love of excessive complexity.
As the Burgundians looked around they saw that pretty much every single unit on the entire flank was now alone, with not one group to speak of.
As the French side contemplated the potential command and control nightmare that now lay ahead of them, the Northern English started to advance to contact.
Perry on Perry Plastic action broke out everywhere, as arms, legs and weapons were sliced off and fell to the ground (and then bounced gently without breaking further)
Glue-addled medical staff of both camp trains quickly checked on their supplies of cryanoacetate glue with which to seamlessly repair their mutilated warriors at the end of the coming battle.
So doth the swan her downy cygnets save,
Keeping them prisoners underneath her wings.
(Suffolk, Act 5 Scene 3)
The Burgundians were first to taste the bitter plastic tang of success as their somewhat disturbingly flexible weaponry recorded the initial victory in the matchup of equals (and identicals).
In such close quarters action ever breakthrough was a possible disaster for the other side, and the Blackpool contingent of longbowmen who had been supporting their own knights suddenly wished they were back in the pleasure garden back home rather than staring down the barrel of an imminent conformation from enemy knights on foot.
With the French however fixated on pressing their advantage elsewhere the ever-growing numbers of Lancastrians feeding themselves into the terrain piece had become a torrent.
The enemy waiting outside found they had little answer, and especially once the formerly unreliable Lancastrian javelineers had moved forwards into the front line they were also pinned in place as Lancasters finest Knights on Foot joined forces with their Border horsemen and started an unlikely and painfully slow envelopment of the Burgundian salient.
With everyone occupied and a long way distant the rest of the sneaky Lancastrian horsemen had inched their way unseen towards Colin The Bold's Tent of Dreams. Admittedly the realisation that there is actually something in the wargaming world for which it appears that LBMS don't make transfers for did mean the lancers were a smidge disappointed in the quality of craftsmanship in the fabric of the enemy Kings tent, but hey, 4 VP is 4 VP.
Battle of Bosworth
In the brutal medieval struggle both sides were seeing victories and defeats - now it was the turn of the English to carve a way though the French, opening up a huge gap in the once-stout and solid line of enemy infantry.
The Lancastrians weight of numbers, their preference for a sausage and egg barm for breakfast over the more continental museli options and the faster speed across the ground of their javelineers and Longbowmen was suddenly becoming a real factor that was hurting the French even more than the increasing popularity of Australian wines.
With gaps now opening up all across the Burgundian frontage, and the glacially paced Bootle-esque envelopment fully completed as well the French army started to implode as Lancastrians assailed them from all sides.
The Lancastrians swarmed forwards, their swords and daggers stinging worse than a Man City domestic treble victory pennant in a Salford pub window as they cut down the Burgundians where they stood. The Army of Colin the Bold had fallen, in a victory for the House of Lancaster!
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition, or read on for the post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
Post Match Summary from Lord "Chuck" Norris of Weatherfield, the Lancastrian WOTR Commander
My oh my, what a confusing game that was. I honestly thought that the last time I would see someone running around so precariously was when Raquel was storming out of the Rovers and along the cobbles of the street after a particularly comedic barney with Curly.
Now of course Sarah "great name" Lancashire is a well respected actress, and in the end the Perry plastic men of my army ended up demanding and receiving proper respect from their opposition in much the same was as Man City's oil-funded team seem to struggle to do even after such a run of success.
Shorter lines of communication are always vital in any military campaign, which is why I make sure to keep the string close to the paperclips when I am reorganising the stationary section of the Kabin when Rita is out gallivanting around.
This now means however 2 wins and a draw, which is not bad at all. Maybe there will be more than a blue moon being sung tonight on the banks of the mightly Trafford?
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Gadzooks, my head is still spinning from the merry dance that you and your enthusiastic twirling partner led your two armies on in this incomprehensible parody of a battle. I mean, I am all for a bit of outflanking action, and I welcome the opportunity to do some of this stuff in a 25mm mass battle Ancients game but this startd to get rather hard to follow
The tactic of not interrupting your opponent when they may be making a mistake is a solid one, but you did start to take it rather to extremes here, with a period of slow motion response and downright inactivity which tested the patience of myself and no doubt your bemused readers.
At least you did remember from last year's Campaign that your Heavy Foot can plough through a field at quite a decent pace - and the way you managed to distract large parts of the enemy army with the threat of an attack you were barely ever going to be able to launch out of that terrain was something that worked quite well, even if I suspect you didn't really mean to do it.
Also the army seemed to be coming together a little better too - despite the confusion of fighting Perry on Perry Plastic action. I wonder if there will be yet more of these troops to behold in the next game?
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition