War of the Roses

Lion Rampant

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Last Thursday we decided to give Lion Rampant a try.  Since I have a number of figures from my Sharp Practice II variant, we decided to make use of them.  While Sharp Practice is intended for much later periods, Lion Rampant is intended for just prior, but a set of alterations and new unit types is available on Boardgame Geek, and they were used for this game.

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We rolled for terrain, using another online chart, and for the scenario as per the rulebook.  The rolled the tax collection scenario.  In this scenario, it is tax collection day for the defenders, the people have conveniently left their taxes in 6 piles about the village.  The caches are represented by tokens each representing different amounts hidden from the players.  Unfortunately for the defenders, their enemies have learned of this and come to steal away the goodies.

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After setting up the table and placing tokens we rolled for are parts in this play.  The Lancasters were the defenders and the Yorkists were the thieving raiders.

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The Yorkists arrived first but as the battle began, they were moving only piecemeal towards the village, their commanding knight was having difficulting activating his force forward.  the Lancasters however came on strong marching straight into the center of the village.

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Then fortune waved her fickle finger and matters reversed themselves.  The Lancasters held a strong position with the Shire Billmen in the road supported by Men at Arms and Dismounted knights in their rear, and the Shire Archers defending their flank.  The Yorkist positioned their own German Pikemen into Schiltron and awaited the worst.  It never came.

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A withering fire from the better train Welsh Archers of the Yorkist command whittled away at the poor billmen and the Lancaster commander was unable to activate anything for at least 5 turns!  the Yorkists used this time well, to steal gold, to successfully challenge and kill the Lancaster leader and many of his knights.

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The most common issue I have heard mentioned with these rules is the challenge of failing to activate.  In my previous battles, I have enjoyed this feature, but this extreme version was NOT fun!  I have read a suggestion online of giving all leaders the commanding skill, which allows a reroll of an activation, plus one additional random skill.  Peter mentioned that someone he has played with house ruled free missile fire of any unactivated units.  Next time I play I will try the free commanding skill option.  I do enjoy this game, but would rather not have either myself or my opponent suffer in such fashion as we did that night!

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Thanks to Sir Geoffrey Hummel of the House of York for his fine pictures.

Until next time,

Cheers,

Ron

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Categories: Lion Rampant, Review, War of the Roses, Wargaming | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

War of the Roses and Sharp Practice 2

So a project that I have been working on for some time now has been a War of the Roses game using Sharp Practice.  The original idea for this comes from Pat’s blog Wargaming With Silver Whistle. The Idea was later added to the Too Fat Lardies’ Summer Special 2013. This excellent article with it’s inspiring photographs and the availability of The Perry Brother’s figures certainly called out to me, and I started to build for it.

So I began to buy figures and build, soon I learned that my local wargame show Guns of August,  intended to have a medieval theme.  The die was cast.  Only one problem, Sharp Practice 2 was released…

Obviously, I could have left matters alone and used the old rules, but I decided to revise the old Of All Base Passions  to version 2.  this I have done with no permissions requested or granted so apologies to all concerned parties.

 

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Yorkist Troops Approaching Greenstead from the east

In a similarly unoriginal fashion, the scenario I ran was also from the Silver Whistle blog.  This is a pretty simple scenario.  Completely equal forces approaching an uncontrolled town and the opposing Lords territories.

 

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Yorkists crossing the Bridge

 

 

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Lancastrian Forces approaching from the West

 

 

From the start, luck smiled upon the Yorkists.  Both the command cards and the dice luck seemed to smile upon them.  Actually so did the terrain.  There was a walled field that should have been placed a few inches further to the west.  Its location ended up giving the Yorkist forces a real advantage,

 

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Yorkist Archers Take the Field

I should have placed this field with its center equal to the Town’s main entrance.  Doing so would have been fairer.  This error allowed the Yorkist to take the wall and in the following archery duel, they would not have had such an advantage over their enemy.  The Archers in formation began a long range duel with one another, but with the Yorkists in cover and the Lancastrians exposed the former were slowly getting the worst of it.

 

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Yorkist Billmen Make Their Way to the Side Gate

Oddly, neither Lord realized at first that the walled town had gates on the sides.  Upon this epiphany both sent forces towards those weaker entrances.  The bad luck with command cards, and with their dice for movement prevented the Lancastrians from reaching theirs.

 

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Billmen Break Down the Eastern Gate!

Not so the Yorkists.  After just a few turns they broke through the wall and quickly dealt with the weak defense of the townspeople.  Gisborne, the Town’s mayor was still getting his forces together.

 

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The Lancasters   Reconsider Their Targets

 

The Lancaster Archers realize the weak position but also notice that the enemy’s Men of Arms have been approaching the Town’s front gate and are well in short range.  This proves wise, and while little blood is spilled the foot knights find themselves becoming a little shaken.

 

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Grand Melee!

Seeing that the Yorkist knights are close to having excessive shock, the Tudor commander ordered his billmen to close with them.  While the idea had merit, it failed to recognize the differing quality of the troops involved as well as the armor advantage of the knights.  As would be expected by their Noble Liege, the men at arms suffered very little from the scrape. They were forced to withdraw having received some small addition to their shock, but they lost only one man to the Lancastrian loss of 5.  Not only were the forced back by losing the fight by four, but they were now broken as well.  they routed back from whence they came with a tremendous amount of excessive shock.  The problem is this took them right through a group of their archers with enough excessive shock that they two now were broken.  The Lancastrian luck continued to plummet when an enemy arrow pierced the armor or the Lancastrian’s second in command.  He fell dead.  In a frighteningly quick fashion, the Lancastrian force morale total went from 10 to 3.  Lord Oxford was forced to order his men to pull back fearful that otherwise, they would simply rout.  The only good luck he had was when a random event (and perhaps the Yorkist soldiers breaking through the gates) caused Master Gisborne to place himself and the townspeople under the protection of the Lancastrians.

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So, in the end, I had decided to not make use of deployment points but rather to follow the original idea of marching forces into the game.  Partly I reached this decision due to the scenario predating the new rules and partly because I don’t imagine this period to be one of great stealth.  This was an error, however.  Far too long was spent getting the troops into action.  In fact, oddly the fight went march,  march,  march, shoot a little, charge and then suddenly it was over.  I am also not convinced that there may not be a better way to do armor.  Presently it is a saving throw, but as all hits already have a saving throw for cover it seems redundant and the game starts to feel a little like a Warhammer.  More thought may be necessary there.

 

Cheers,

Ron

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Convention, Sharp Practice, Too Fat Lardies, Uncategorized, War of the Roses, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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