Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A Roset of Roses. Scots vs English during the War of the Roses

A Headless Body Production
Venue: Ferrell Fire Hall, Monroeville, NJ. Where 5G goes to die.
Event: Kozcon ADLG organized by Don Manzer.
Players: Phil Gardocki running Scots Isles, list 187
               Kevin Hatch running War of the Roses, list 247
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side. Round 2
Scale: 25mm 

KozCon is held in memory of our good friend and avid gamer Dave Kozlow who passed away in 2012. If you've ever had the opportunity to play in one of his many games at HMGS events you know that he was not only a great person but also a notable credit to our hobby. In light of Dave's five year battle with cancer ALL proceeds from KozCon are donated to the American Cancer Society.

The Forces:
Scots Isles and Highlanders of 1182
Commanded by MacLeft, the Competent, MacCenter, also Competent and MacRight, who is only Ordinary.
Clans Jordan, Ramsay, Brantly and ClĂ rsach, Heavy Swordsmen 2HW, Elite
10 Other bands of Stalwart Islemen Heavy Swordsmen 2HW, 2 are Mediocre
2 Wee bairns, Light Infantry Bow
2 Levy Levy
4 Heilandr Archers Medium Swordsmen Bow
2 Irish Mercenaries Medium Swordsmen 2HW
Breakpoint of 24
War of the Roses, Lancastrian option
Led by Sir Andrew Trollope, a Strategist, Henry Beaufort, the 3rd Duke of Somerset, the Competent and Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Nothumberland, who is Allied, Unreliable but Competent
1 Royal Bodyguard, Heavy Knight Impact, Elite
2 Currours, Heavy Cavalry, Impact
2 Northern Border Guards, Light Cavalry, Impact
1 Men-at-arms, Foot Knight
6 Retinue Archer, Medium Swordsmen, Longbow, Stakes
3 Retinue Billmen, Heavy Swordsmen, Polearm
4 Scottish Schiltrons, Pike, Mediocre
Breakpoint of 20
The list above is from the paper that Kevin handed me. He said he had to make adjustments to it and the pictures and memory disagree. The pictures have 2 Heavy Knights, and no foot knights. We will have to just roll with it.

Display Conventions: When you see a word bubble like "Ouch!" or "tha sin a' goirteachadh!" or "Douleur!"or "Mah poofy culur bahookie", this implies a disorder from missiles. Letters in parenthesis represent some value change for the specific unit. For commanders it is s for strategist, b for Brilliant, c for Competent and o for Ordinary, u for unreliable. For troops it is e for Elite, and m for Mediocre. Other abbreviations, Hvy Heavy, XB Crossbow, LB, Longbow, Jav Javelin, 2HW 2 Handed Weapons, B Bow, Kn Knight, HKn Heavy Knight, HC Heavy Cavalry, Md Medium, Sgt Sergeants, LC Light Cavalry, Chr Chariot, Cat Cataphract, Pa Pavise, LI, Light Infantry, HG Hand Gun, FKn Foot Knight, Hvy Spear, Heavy Spearmen.

Inappropriately capitalized words are used to highlight terms that are specific to the game. For example Brilliant, Competent and Ordinary have specific game values for the commanders.

"XX" implies a unit killed in that location on that turn.

Any inaccuracies and vagueness as to specific units is to be regarded as fog of war and should be considered as part of the fun.

A request for information.  I am looking for a vinyl mat of the appropriate size for 25mm games, 48 by 72 inches is close enough. Someone showed me the company for one, but that was so two weeks ago and I forgot. I am also looking for one sized for 300 point 15mm armies, 40x60 inches.
The Board:
The English win the initiative and elect to defend in the woods. 
An Observation
All my opponents were running Strategists this tourney. Coincidence? Fad? Trend?


In the center of the board, the English deploy their right flank troops. It's Percy and his Scotsmen.
There is a short command of horse, then a large command of foot.
MacRight is hiding in ambush with his troops
MacCenter deploys with 7 units of Islemen.
While MacLeft deploys between MacCenter and a hill.

Turn 1:

MacRight leads his troops from ambush, racing up the left side of the board.
MacCenter advances, stopping at the 4UD mark from the ambush marker in the brush.
MacLeft advances a bit more. His bowmen closing the gap between the impassable (shoreline? lake?). He doesn't want the English to sneak their nights past.
The English redeploy their command of horse to face the Scottish Heilandrs.
The rest of their army advances in lockstep.
The Heilandrs advance and loose arrows to no effect

The cavalry in question, from top to bottom, are HC, HC, LC, and LC. All impact. The Heilandrs are in charge reach of the lights, but not the heavies.

MacCenter's single shooter scores a lucky hit on the Scots pike.
And MacLeft's bowmen also score a lucky hit on a Heavy Knight.

A break is called here to play a dice game that is popular at Kozcon. All participants buy as many dice as they want at 25 cents a piece. A number is called out. Usually it starts with 1. All dice are rolled simultaneously. All 1's are removed. Pick up dice and the next number is called, usually 2. All dice are rolled and all 1's and 2's are removed.


The player with the last remaining dice gets to pick a prize.

All proceeds go to the American Cancer Association.

Lights Charge! The surprised Heilandr archers immediately rout.
Percy isn't going to wait for the Scots to set up flank charges with the Irish who are about to enter the brush. He orders his pike forward, winning 2 of 4 contacts.
The rest of the English were still out of range, and so watch the Scots attack with rye amusement.
Undaunted, the English set up for a flank charge of their own.

Turn 3:

The remaining Hielandr's line up for more archery, to no effect.
The ambush marker is a fraud, so the Irish move forward to support the Scot's line.

One Scots Pike routs, another is badly fragmented.

Arthur's knights do well. On the left, the French/Knights that say "Nee" are about to defeat their foes. Sir Robin and Sir Boors hold their ground against vastly inferior forces. While Arthur, Lancelot and Galahad on the far right, rout their foes
The English knights had hoped to turn the flank of MacLefts line, and now are mostly surrounded.
MacRights Heilandr's are mostly exterminated.

Percy's Scots continue to fight on.
Emboldened by Arthur and Lancelot's charge, "Nameless" Islemen rout their foe.
English Knights both charge. One Isleman is further disordered, but the Young Men, far right, hold their ground.

After 3 rounds the score is almost even.

The Scot's are at 12 of 24
The English are at 13 of 20

Turn 4:

MacRight abandons his Heilandr's and joins the Irish.
Who have turned the flank of Percy's Scots, just in time to watch them rout.

Clan Jordan, center is almost defeated, but there is help coming.

Another Isleman, just right of center, flanks the foes of the French, then pursues deep into the English line to support Clan Brantly.

Arthur charges a hapless bowman. MacLeft (3 Lions Or Rampant, on Vert) leads a charge on English foot.

The Young Men(m), far right, defeats their mounted opponents, and pursues into another knight, scoring the final point.

The Scot's score is 15 of 24

To the English's score of 20.

What went wrong?  Obviously the handling of the archer command went totally pants.  They were approached by cavalry, which consider Medium Sword their natural prey.  Instead of forming up a line, I challenged them by approaching in charge reach of the LC, but still out of range of the HC.  They then rolled poorly.  Missing two missile shots, and then losing by 4+ on melee to impact armed light horse. 

It was a clear case of hubris overwhelming prudence. They were even up in numbers which requires good tactics.  Instead they approached and relied on good luck.  Which was fickle.

Luck went both ways.  Some of the English's main line troops rolled poorly, leading to early failures in the main line.  My poor luck was concentrated in one command, his was distributed over about 15 elements. 

I was asked for a front image of the Monty Python's Holy Grail figures. My paint jobs leave much to be desired. To me, the painting is a means to an end, to play the game and not be embarrassed by primer.

We have from left to right. The first stand, Lancelot, Arthur, Arthur's patsy, and Galahad. Rear ranks are Squires and a Knight that says, "Nee".

On the second stand, Sir Robin and Sir Boors, their patsys, backed by Robins minstrels.

On the third stand are the French, backed by the Knights Who Say Ecky-ecky-ecky-ecky-pikang-zoom-boing-mumble-mumble. For better pictures look to Hayland Wargames.

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