The 3rd battle in the ‘To The Strongest’, Wars of the Roses mini campaign and crunch time for the Lancastrian cause. Lose this one and the crown would fall to York!
Well things did not start well for the House of Lancaster. The Lancastrian commander, Percy (Phil) was clearly suffering from something eaten the night before! His whole command was deployed further back than it should have been (York Stratagem card) and worse still, the brand new, expensive cannon had no clear sight of the enemy (waste of 7 points there!).
The Yorkist wings opened the battle, with Baron Greystoke (Mal) and York (Chris) pressing forward strongly. The Lancastrian left looked like crumbling under Greystoke’s onslaught, until some fortunate archery and a flanking charge by Somerset’s (Simon W) knights, rolled up the Yorkist left, demoralising the command.
York’s attack on the Lancastrian right opened well, by driving out some Lancastrian javelin men, hiding in the woods at the bend in the river, then softening up Stanley’s (Simon Q) archers & billmen with some excellent archery. York then pushed his prized continental pike block across the river and deep into the Lancastrian lines. However, soon the pike block was stalled in gruelling melee with Stanley’s cavalry at the rear of the Lancastrian lines. Things could have swayed either way until a group of Stanley’s archers, having emptied their quivers to no effect, fell upon the exposed flank of the pike block. Swinging wildly at the unshielded flank of the pike block, with bow, knife and fist, the pike block was forced almost to the point of breaking and York himself badly wounded and forced from the field, thereby stalling the whole Yorkist left wing.
Meanwhile in the centre things had developed. Warwick (Tony) was over-heard whispering in the Yorkist young pretender’s ear, “you go straight over the bridge, we are all right behind you”, and then proceeded to sit with his archers on the river line, just watching the young pretender and his knights swathing through Percy’s men. In fact, there are rumours that Warwick actually ‘threw’ the battle, due to financial interests in the medieval armaments industry and hence a desire to prolong the war! But, he had clearly failed to tell his young pretender of this plan, who were soon ploughing through a block of Scots spearmen at the very back of the Lancastrian lines! The progress of the Yorkist knights being greatly assisted by Percy’s continued intestinal problems! (or a plague of 1 activation chits!).
But in the end, the mounting casualties from sustaining the relentless Yorkist attacks were beginning to tell and they just ran out of victory medals! So overall, another historical result and another excellent ‘To The Strongest’ game, which remained in the balance almost until the last chit pulled. Onward to Northampton!