Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Battle of Bosworth

Bosworth Field is quiet

Back to the gaming table after the holidays!

For a return to remote gaming, Richard offered up the Battle of Bosworth using his Battle Commander rules.  One really interesting aspect of this game and Richard's interpretation is that both Henry and Richard III had a number of stratagems to consider prior to game day.  As Henry, commanding the Tudor Army, I faced two decisions.  I suspected my counterpart, Graham, as Richard III, faced similar decisions to make.  Neither commander saw the battlefield before play began so much was left to my imagination as to what exactly I faced.

On to battle!

Henry draws up Oxford on his left with guns in between.
Norfolk leads the Yorkist army as it approaches
Henry's position.
Richard follows closely in column.
William orders his battle to move to join Henry
 but he hesitates to commit.
Richard deploys into Battle and moves to come
 up alongside Norfolk.
Yorkist guns send balls into the ranks of
Henry's mounted MAAs.
Norfolk and Richard advance toward Henry.
Lord Stanley gets word that his son has been executed.
He sends message to W. Stanley and then marches out.
Henry continues taking fire from distant artillery
 but William Stanley moves to protect Henry.
Richard advances as Yorkist artillery and
archery pound Henry.
On the left, Oxford and Norfolk exchange archery fire
as they slowly close upon one another.
Tudor guns target Norfolk.
Norfolk strikes first sending his Battle into Oxford.
Lodged in melee, both fight furiously
 to gain an upper hand.
Lord Stanley, in the distance,
marches to the sound of battle.
Northumberland remains inactive.
While Oxford and Norfolk battle, 
Stanley attacks Richard.  Richard is wounded.
Tudor gunners abandon their pieces.
Norfolk falters and falls back with Oxford in pursuit.
The trap is sprung!
French pikemen and handgunners emerge
from ambush and head for Richard's flank.
Both Oxford and Stanley fight desperately in
hand-to-hand against the Yorkists as the French close.
Henry and his entourage break from artillery fire and retire.
Norfolk can take no more.
 His command breaks for the rear.
The French slam into Richard's flank
while Stanley hammers his front.
Wounded, Richard's courage cannot affect
 the outcome of battle.
Henry returns in time to see Richard defeated.
Richard will not remain king.
Henry will be King!  Long live the King!

Great start to the New Year!

Richard presented an engaging scenario with the ramifications of the decisions made and their consequences discussed long after the game ended.  Very entertaining and a big thank you to Richard for hosting.

Next Tuesday, I step up to the plate with a look at Samurai armies at the Battle of Second Azukizaka, 1548.

74 comments:

  1. Perfidious Tudors behaving perfidiously, huh? ;)

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    1. According to the scenario background, the Stanley’s were likely to back Henry. No treachery on the Tudor side in this one.

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    2. Not my main period, but I thought the Stanley's lined up with Richard, and then switched mid-battle? Not that I haven't been wrong before ;)

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    3. According to the pre-battle briefing, William had been named a traitor by Richard so I figured William might declare for Tudor. Thomas may have declared for Richard had his son not been executed but I will never know.

      Being wrong is nothing new to me!

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  2. Good show! Keep this up and you may have a dynasty.

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  3. Great looking game! One of the most important battle in history!
    Waiting for samurai game report :)

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    1. Our host, Richard, gets all credit for the look of this battle. It was fun and challenging.

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  4. Did you have to declare your centre and flank deployments before seeing the tabletop? If so, it is a nice twist to beginning the game.

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    1. Peter, as Henry, I had no idea in which positions the Tudor army would find itself when the curtain was raised on the battlefield. Also, Henry had no idea where the Yorkists would be either, nor the Stanleys.

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  5. That's a nice looking game and one of those battles that has lots of 'what if's?' that could be played out. Looking forward to the Samurai battle too.

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    1. From the webcam, the battlefield was colorful and presented a pleasing sight. If the pre-game decisions remained the same, I suggest new commanders be selected to face these decisions. Would the situation work if the same Richard and Henrys tried again? I don't know.

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  6. An interesting take on Bosworth

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    1. Interesting, good; interesting, bad; or interesting indifferent? I ought to buy your scenario book to see how you handled the battle.

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  7. Thanks, I enjoyed that, a very god engagement to open the New Year with. As an iconic battle, it would be interesting to see a return to the same scenario over time, with a comparison, as pre-game options combined with on table commitments, look like the scenario could stay quite fresh.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the report, Norm! Replaying the scenario would be fun but as I mentioned above to Steve, I wonder if the roles of Richard and Henry ought to be switched to new players to keep the surprise and uncertainty?

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  8. It was a challenging game, although it did turn on a very early poor dice roll for a random event that pinned Northumberland in place. The consequences of the execution of Lord Strange did come to bite Richard (i.e. me) quite badly. I was also surprised at how strong relative to Richard's army the Tudor archery was, and the relative strengths of the two armies/battles that got engaged. Still, good game.

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    1. Graham, the beginning random dice rolls drove the narrative, for sure. More so Richard than for Henry. Why did you decide to execute Lord Strange? What was in it for Richard?

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    2. Richard ordered the execution historically, and then it wasn't carried out. It didn't make a lot of difference. I toyed with releasing him, together with a pardon but that didn't strike me as very Ricardian, so I had him offed.

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  9. A fine start 2022 gaming. A great scenario which has Norm points out will stand other visits in the future.

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    1. The gaming year started off with a bang and early. Only four days into the New Year and I already have a handful of games booked for the next week. A replay of Bosworth would be interesting. I wonder how this would play using different rules?

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  10. A beautiful, colorful game! It is a pity that the pictures are only from a bird's eye view ...

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    1. Valentin, the beautiful work is all Richard's. As I am viewing remotely from Richard's webcam, bird's-eye view is as good as it gets. Perfectly suitable for watching the action from this vantage point.

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  11. Ah, a fine tribute to such an iconic battle, Jonathan. I always feel sad thinking about Richard's heroic ending here.

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    1. Yeah, this was an interesting and twisted battle.

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  12. A very strikingly attractive game! Looks great.
    Happy New Year... keep the inspiration coming.
    Best regards
    Phil

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    1. Thanks, Phil, and Happy New Year to you!

      The game presentation is all the work of Richard, the game host. He gets full credit.

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  13. Can’t get enough of Bosworth, a bit like The Iliad for me, always looking for a different ending.

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  14. Looked a great game, I do like the terrain, all the different coloured fields.

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    1. It was! The multi-colored fields show up well from the webcam view.

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  15. Yes indeed, it is a particularly attractive looking table. Nice to be off to a winning start to the gaming year Jon!

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    1. I owe victory to my subordinate commanders, Oxford and Stanley. Henry accomplished not much more than getting his entourage shot to pieces. Of course, he came back at the end to claim the crown...

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  16. Great stuff Jonathan - a battle I have reenacted many times but never wargamed!

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    1. Oli, you should put Bosworth onto your wargaming schedule.

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  17. A nasty little ambush there Jonathan. Straight into the flank. It's nice to see an ambush be so effective.

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    1. The timing of the ambush was just about perfect. I wanted to spring it one turn earlier but could not get the GM’s attention in time.

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    2. The ambush was a tough one for me. Knowing the battle quite well I could see there were no French deployed on the table. As RIII historically seems to have not been aware of them, I didn't tell Steve in charge on the right hand battle, and told him
      to just get stuck in.

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    3. I figured both you and Steve knew that the French were missing and would plan accordingly. I wondered how the Yorkists would handle that foreknowledge. Good to see you played it honorably and historically.

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  18. Well, its been said a number of times but a good start to the year!

    Well thought out scenario, a good way to add a little extra to a medieval slugfest.

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    1. Good start, indeed! Oxford and Stanley were on top form this day. The French delivered the coup d’grace.

      Richard developed a very fine scenario so kudos to him!

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  19. A nice looking game with beautiful fields!

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  20. A very picturesque looking game--very "photographic" in appearance. In these medieval games, I find it hard to keep track of the action given the reference to the units by individual lords (Oxoford, Stanley, etc). Maybe I need to read through the History Plays again to activate that DNA again.

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  21. Looks great; Bosworth is a swirling sea of what ifs... even if your corpse doesn't get paved over!

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    1. As I have discovered, Bosworth is a swirling sea of what ifs!

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  22. Nice looking game, obviously your photos are from the remote end of the game but it looks like a lot of table/battlefield wasn’t used ? Or is this just the camera angle 👍

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    1. Distances are distorted from the end-of-table webcam. You are correct that much of the table was not utilized. Now, Northumberland (in far left) and Lord Stanely (in far right) could have come to blows at the far end of the table but they did not. Really, it was only the near half of the table that was contested.

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  23. Another game on my favorite theme;)
    It was interesting to see, thank you, Jonathan

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  24. Missed some of your posts I see. Sorry. I was stuck in a gold mine after the tunnel collapsed. ..

    Is it strange that I can immediately recognize when it’s your game table versus someone else’s?

    That WoTR game looks like a lot of fun. That’s the rule set you’ve been building your forces for right?

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    1. Looking at the pictures over the last 12 months of MNG regulars, everyone's terrain layouts have a distinct flavour, and become fairly easy to spot after a short while. I have distinctive built up area templates that get used regardless of period.

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    2. Wondered what happened to you, Stew. Hope you grabbed some gold on the way out of the mine shaft.

      Picking my table out of a line-up may not be so strange. Mine likely exhibits less artistry than others. Sigh.

      The game is fun and, yes, these are the rules that inspired my now completed project.

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    3. All Fools gold I’m afraid.

      But whoa and hey; I wasn’t trying to make you feel bad or be disparaging. While your terrain is more on the functional side I never thought it looked bad. Sorry!
      More just I thought it was cool that I can instantly recognize your set up. I should be able to after these years.

      Besides; we all can’t be Matt C. 😀

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    4. No, we can’t all exhibit the artistry of smart. Your games look damn good too!

      No harm, Stew. My terrain is more functional and suggestive. Perhaps, I am an impressionist in the land of realists?

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  25. A very fun read Jon. I wish I paid more attention to this stuff during my history classes as a lad! Shame on me… lol

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    1. Of course, if you'd paid attention in history classes pre 2000 you'd think the battle was fought in a completely different place.

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    2. Thanks, Dai! English history was not part of the history curricula where I grew up. Well, except for the pilgrims…

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  26. A very historical ending to a fine game. Richard’s demise in real life put paid to the Plantagenet line and he ended up hurriedly buried in Leicester after the battle. Wonder where Graham’s Richard is buried?

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    1. Very historical end to the battle. Since Richard was only wounded in battle, not sure if he escaped with his life. Perhaps Graham can shed light onto the final disposition of RIII?

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    2. There was no way RIII was ever going to get out of Bosworth alive if he didn't win the battle, unless he was standing at the back with a fast horse. From a Tudor perspective he had to die, or the problems would keep coming back.

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    3. Graham, over the last year, I have learned a lot covering a number of interesting periods by participating in your group’s games. Seemingly, something new to learn every week.

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    4. My view is that if you learn something new on a day, it hasn't been wasted.

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  27. Great fun game of an entertaining period, they're all a bunch of mobsters in my book!
    Best Iain

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  28. Great start of 2022 with such an interesting game!

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  29. I love the landscape on the table. Very nice report!

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    1. Thanks, Andrè! The table is a handsome one and displays well for remote gaming.

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