Friday, 26 April 2013

Battle of Barnet (14th April 1471) Dux Bellorum

We finally got round to trying out the Wars of the Roses amendments for Dux Bellorum that I put together.  For us this is a bit of a long running saga as we've had this Wars of the Roses thing bubbling under for a couple of years now.  Lack of rules, other priorities, and a general lack of impetus means that only a couple of us have managed to bring our armies to completion.  Mine is currently languishing in a half painted state.

However, with a spare week and a couple of armies completed, we decided to give things a tryout.  We decided on a historical battle, The Battle of Barnet, put together a couple of forces based on an old DBM scenario we dug up, and kicked off on a bit of an adventure.

Would these rules hold together?  Would the battle play out as expected? 

We fought this battle using 28mm figures, which are mostly the Perry plastics, with a few Perry metals thrown in.

The forces were constituted as follows:

Lancaster
Centre Battle
Mounted Companion (Earl of Warwick) 5LP
1 Retinue Billmen
3 Retinue Bowmen
1 Militia Billmen
3 Militia Bowmen

Right Battle

Mounted Companion (Duke of Exeter) 4LP
1 Mounted Men-at-arms
1 Retinue Billmen
1 Retinue Bowmen
2 Militia Billmen
2 Militia Bowmen


Left Battle

Mounted Companion (Earl of Oxford) 4LP
1 Mounted Men-at-arms
1 Retinue Billmen
1 Retinue Bowmen
2 Militia Billmen
2 Militia Bowmen

Yorkists
Centre Battle

Mounted Companion (Edward IV) 5LP
1 Retinue Billmen
2 Retinue Bowmen
1 Militia Billmen
2 Militia Bowmen
1 Mercenary handgunners
1 Mercenary pikemen


Right Battle

Mounted Companion (Lord Hastings) 4LP
1 Retinue Billmen
1 Retinue Bowmen
1 Militia Billmen
3 Militia Bowmen

Left Battle

Mounted Companion (Duke of Gloucester) 4LP
1 Mounted Men-at-arms
1 Retinue Billmen
1 Retinue Bowmen
1 Militia Billmen
2 Militia Bowmen

Edward IV arrays his battles and marches forth through the thick morning mists.  Warwick was out there somewhere; he could hear him.






He was right.  Warwick's battles were arrayed across the field and advancing steadily.




In the thick morning weather both forces had no sight of each other and the battles had arrayed off set.  Each army outflanked the other to it's right.  



The Earl of Oxford advanced cautiously onto Gloucester's outflanked battle, while across the field, the Yorkist Lord Hastings advanced beyond the hedge line to press the position of the Duke of Exeter. 



In the center the two lines of longbowmen from both sides moved into range as the mist cleared and a fierce archery duel ensued.  Inconclusive along most of the line, the Duke of Gloucester's men were heavily outnumbered and took horrendous casualties.  Their line cracked and began to break.


Meanwhile, Gloucester's Men-at-arms rode out alone to meet the advancing Oxford forces.  The melee was a swirling mess that drew in the Earl of Oxford himself.



Oxford enters the fray!

After an hour or so, both sides bowmen had exhausted their arrows.  



Edward IV ordered his billmen forwards to break the lines of Exeter before them.



Soon the heavy infantry on both sides were locked in a vicious melee.


Weakened by the archery duel, and seriously outflanked, the Duke of Gloucester's battle was savaged and eventually broke. Many good men were hacked down as they fled and the Yorkist flank was now open.


In the center Edward threw in his expensive mercenary pikemen who proceeded to chew through the Warwick infantry.


 

But it was only a matter of time as Oxford rallied his men from their pursuit and headed across to break Edward in the field.



With matters so desperate, Edward entered the fray himself and soon fought his way through to Warwick!  The two great men traded blows amid their loyal companions.


But the battle was done.  Edward's forces in the center broke and ran and Barnet was in the hands of Warwick as the day faded.



All in all an excellent battle and tremendous fun!  The rules and my Wars of the Roses amendments held together very well.  The battle friction proceeded as expected with an archery duel followed by a royal ruck between the heavy infantry.

Unfortunately we reversed history and Warwick survived, but you can't have everything!

Where did we go wrong?  Well, while Oxford broke the Gloucester battle and turned the flank, Lord Hastings wasn't able to do the same against Exeter.

It was however, to misquote a period, a damned close run thing as Exeter was a unit away from collapse.  Curses!!

The only rule tweaks we considered were making the pikes follow up from combat so i think the amendments i put together worked surprisingly well.  Very unlike me!

Overall, an excellent bash.

4 comments:

  1. Great stuff, and glad it worked out.
    I bought these rules myself to use for the period, and i'm using your changes (the post has been copied to a Word document) and i'm lookinig forward to trying them out. I might need to paint some historical retinues though so i can do a historical battle too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice AAR !

    Glad that Dux bellorum worked so fine in ande historical era!

    Best regards Michael

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great looking game!! Fantastic figures and very nice pictures...a really nice work!!
    Phil.

    ReplyDelete