Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lancastrians in Exile, Yorkists in Power

So, the aftermath of the battle of Lawford Heath has to be weighed up for effects. First, the nobles on the field: as he is 'Merciful', the Earl of March – now the Yorkist host commander – spares the captured Lords Audley & Dudley. Likewise the Lancastrians will spare Wenlock through Buckingham's Merciful nature. Losses in the commons come to roughly 2200 Yorkists and 2400 Lancastrians - including dead, wounded, and (predominantly) fled. Still, who cares about our little plastic-modelled commoners? The little plastic-modelled nobles are all that matters!

Y: Duke of York, Baron Clinton, Baron Grey of Powys,
L: Duke of Exeter, Earl of Shrewsbury,

Y: Baron Wenlock, Earl of Salisbury (wounded),
L: Lord Audley, Baron Dudley,

Y: Earl of March, Baron Ferrers
L: Duke of Buckingham, Lord Grey of Rougemont, Earl of Wiltshire, Viscount Beaumont

Queen Margaret of Anjou watches the rout of her army from a nearby church steeple, and then flees the scene on horseback - no doubt employing the ruse (she supposedly used historically) of having her horse shod back-to-front to leave a false trail - and makes a fast getaway, along with her son.

Campaign Morale for the Yorkists sinks to 3, but Lancastrian morale implodes outright and sinks to zero - there's nothing for it but to flee! Queen Margaret, Buckingham, Wiltshire & Beaumont flee the battlefield to Bristol and then sail to France and exile. Other Lancastrians all make a similar move abroad - Beaufort and Devon join the fugitive fleet sailing out the Bristol Channel, while the Elder Somerset and Northumberland head north to Scotland for safe shelter. In the meantime it is Yorkists that call the 'Parliament of Devils' to issue an attainder on all the fleeing Lancastrians, pronouncing them all traitors and confiscating their lands & titles.

The scenario ends: Yorkists win only a 'minor victory' as they have routed the Lancastrians into exile, but Buckingham, Somerset, Queen Margaret & Prince Edward are all still at large. The Lancastrians however, win a 'major victory' as they have killed Richard of York!

Now the Yorkist cause is championed by Edward Plantagenet (previously Earl of March, now Duke of York himself from inheriting his father's title.) His father's death is not such a blow to Yorkist factional hopes, as he historically died just one year later at the tail-end of 1460, at Wakefield. Now the Yorkists are the controlling faction at court, but without the support of the majority of nobles – several of them lost their fathers to Richard of York at his earlier battles of Lutterworth & Lawford Heath, and are in no mood to make up. The Lancastrian cause in exile shall return in 1460 to challenge them, so York must defend all England from invasion, and do it with a small core of loyal & active Yorkists plus a large mass of uncommitted or actively hostile nobles!

(Incidentally, the historical Edward declared himself king Edward IV after his father died, but does not do so in this game. Why? Well, historically Warwick won at Northampton and killed many Lancastrian peers who are still alive in this game; York advanced his hereditary claims to the throne and got Parliament to pass the 'Act of Accord' which named the Yorkist line as heirs after Henry VI (disinheriting Henry's actual son); plus after York was killed the Lancastrians had lost a lot of popularity by plundering and revenge-seeking, while March had won an independent victory at Mortimer's Cross. In other words, the country just isn't ready quite yet for a rival king to Henry VI, and the wars at present are still only for becoming the controlling influence at court. Give it time though, and the increasing bitterness & rivalry will prepare the ground for the Yorkist claim to become overt!)

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