Last week I was able to introduce my mate Andrew to the joys of L'Art de la Guerre. He's long had an interest in ancients gaming, but hasn't had much opportunity explore it. Having offloaded a box of spare Baccus 6mm War of the Roses stuff on him over the winter, it was great to see them painted up and on the table. These were the first 6mm models Andrew has put together, and I think he did a splendid job on them. He certainly justified the gifting!
Unfortunately, he decided to go with the House of York. As I have also raised my WotR banner for the Yorkist cause, and couldn't, with any conscience, play as the Lancastrians, so I ran my Anglo-Irish instead. Andrew went for a smaller force with a break point of 19 (there may have been a couple of errors in army building resulting in too many heavy foot, but it was a learning game, so not a bother). To my great delight, Andrew named the Earl of Warwick the C-in-C in the centre, while King Edward commanded the right wing (an honourable post no doubt) as an unreliable sub-commander. I think the historical Warwick probably would have agreed.
My army had a hefty break point of 23. Jim (with one or two previous games of ADG behind him) commanded my left wing consisting of all our mounted and some mediocre longbow militia. In the centre I had some heavy artillery, elite longbow and foot knights, together with garden variety longbow and billmen. On the right I had two elite units of gallowglass and some kern javelineers.
You can see in the shot above - well all the shots really - that the battle was fought in an open plain with occasional fields, a low hill and a wood, but no real terrain to speak of.
The lines start to merge. Although all sub-commanders were unreliable (for what is the point of playing this period with reliable sub-commanders?), they were all keen to get stuck in and activated with no bother at all. This shot really shows how much longer the Anglo-Irish line was compared to the heavier English.
Over on our left flank, Jim pursued a suitably chivalric approach, leading our Anglo-Irish noble horse (and Irish light horse) in a grand sweeping manouvre which left a decidedly tender looking spot between his command and my centre.
On our right, the advance of my kern around the English flank cause Andrew/King Edward to break his formation, refusing the flank while pushing forward in the centre.
By this stage, the copious archery on both sides, not to mention the artillery in both centres, was having a real effect. The Anglo-Irish probably had the better of it, but only by a slim margin.
On our left, the Anglo-Irish horse close in on the smaller body of Yorkist cavalry, quickly routing them. Meanwhile, the heavy foot on the Yorkist flank cleaved though our militia bowmen like a the fiery sword of some vengeful angel through softened half-fat butter. With the militia gone, there was nothing between Andrew's Yorkists and my camp except open fields. Happily, all of the Yorkists were on foot, and it was an awfully big field.
Milord Blue-on-Red, commander of the Anglo-Irish watches on as his elite (and regular) infantry close on Warwick's centre.
Back on our right, Edward charged his foot knights in the direction of my pesky kern wo turned and easily evaded. The rest of my kern were stealthily making their way around Edward's flank.
And then the main battle lines met. In the centre, the elite Ango-Irish made short work of the Yorkist bill and bow in front of them. Meanwhile, the regular bowmen managed to just survive an equally grueling assault from Edward's foot knights. On our far right, the Irish gallowglass crashed into - and through - the bill opposite them.
... and that, as they say, is how the story goes. The above shot shows the game it it's final turn. Andrew's Yorkists suffered 20 break points I think and broke. We were not far behind are 19 break points, but with a larger army, that meant we still had some fight left in us. If Andrew's centre under Warwick had been able to hold off our centre for another turn (or two), it may have been a different outcome with Jim leading his cavalry against the Yorkist camp, while Andrew's heavy foot on his right/our left turned in towards the melee in the centre.
A very enjoyable game, and enough to start us all thinking about more armies!