Saturday, June 6, 2015

Wars in the North

I've not been sticking too rigorously to my WOTR mini-campaign recently, which has rather discouraged me from posting about what I'm up to.  So, to fix the fact I've fallen rather behind: some updates!

A potential three-way battle on Potterburn was fought out between the Lancastrian Whitcaster, and the Yorkist Monkton.  Monkton had been besieging a local lord, when Whitcaster attacked him.  From rolling the setup, the result was actually a straight two-way fight: The besieged stayed holed-up, while Monkton took a hilltop position and Whitcaster attacked him head-on.

Monkton's defence proved alarmingly effective...

...while Whitcaster's advance was particularly shambolic!

Whitcaster, raging at his fleeing followers!
The result was a spectacular defeat for Whitcaster, losing him most of his strength and then both his vassals, who promptly ditched him and sought neutrality.  Harsh, but (un)fair!

On top of winning the battle, the Yorkists took extremely light losses, much to the fury of the local lord who was under siege - he had been counting on a bloody encounter leading to both the rivals retreating with losses, but instead they kept up the siege and he was forced to concede that maybe knuckling under to the triumphant Lord Monkton might be politic...

Following this fight, our own protagonist Lord Hadley had a date with destiny all of his own.  Invading the lands of the Lord Turston, a minor but relatively powerful figure.  Hadley split his own forces to try and lure Turston to battle, but sadly things didn't go too well!  

The initial line-up, with Hadley on the left
Turston advances, and Hadley's allies arrive right on queue!

Turston's levies surprisingly block the new arrivals, while the melee develops in the centre.

Hadley rolls a six, and gets himself killed right in the thick of the fight!
Yes, the perils of having a 'favoured' character in the campaign!  Hadley got himself cut down in the thick of the fighting, and his army routed.  Surprisingly, things recovered a little after this: both his vassals - Rosford & Leadbeck - proved loyal to the Yorkist cause, and his son took over smoothly.  Humphrey, the new Lord Hadley, is rolled up as 'bland' and 'depraved', as well as 'disliked'  Hm, at least he's half-competent in a fight - hopefully more than Dad was...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

28mm Republican Roman Army

Hi - I've been quiet here for a while, and thought I'd finally post some pics of what I've been busy with!  It's a Republican Roman Army (or 'Polybian Roman') for the Punic Wars, in 28mm!

15 bases of troops, all painted up - although I've still got the basing to do

All the figures are Victrix 28mm Romans, except for the commanders (Agema Miniatures) and the cavalry (unknown source, as I got them second-hand!)

The Hastati & Principes are the red-shields, the Triarii are blue, and all the Latin Allies are white

For months I've only seen them one or two units at a time, for painting.  They certainly look like a fearsome mob when all set out together!  

Hopefully a bit of a better close-up on some of the infantry types

A group-photo of the Consul Maximus Mendacious, along with some of his Tribunes

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Showdown at Potterburn

Something of an interesting turn of events in Northern England: a potential three-way battle...

Potterburn is a decent estate of strength 7, located on the western edge of our campaign map - and caught between Lords Monkton and Whitcaster, the two Perkins brothers on opposite sides of the war.  With the lords having picked off the low-hanging fruit, they are now growing in strength to the stage where Potterburn can no longer stay neutral.

First to move is Lord Monkton, our solid-but-unimaginative Yorkist.  He marches west from Fishdale and arrives in Potterburn, with a force roughly equal to the local host.  Potterburn is also pro-Yorkist, but has no intention of simply rolling over to a bigger neighbour.  He holes up in the manor-house for a siege - or, more accurately, a prolonged stand-off while the two loyalists negotiate with each other about influence, titles, and other baubles.  

So far, so mundane - except that Lord Whitcaster then marches south into Potterburn with his Lancastrian rebel army!  This move is largely forced on the Lord Whitcaster, as every other direction has him hemmed in by more powerful foes.  The active Lancastrian decides to try his luck against Potterburn and his brother, since after all - capturing or killing his brother on the battlefield will certainly boost his chances.  

We now have the bizarre situation of three equally-sized armies all contesting the same area.  It is likely that the brothers Monkton and Whitcaster will fight each other, so Potterburn can theoretically sit back behind his walls and let them scrap away; the survivor will almost certainly be too weak to pursue a siege.  However, there is also the chance that by entering a fight he would tip the battle one way or the other and could basically make all the difference between victory or defeat.  

There's also the matter of Lord Potterburn's characteristics: Depraved morals, an enthusiastic fighter, and astoundingly treacherous!  The man's as predictable as a lunatic.  Basically because he is a lunatic, but just one that happens to have a title, and a large army at his disposal.  

[Based on reading about 'solo campaigns', the advice I got for a complex situation was to come up with several plausibly coherent courses of action per participant, and then roll a dice to randomly select a way for them to jump.  I'll do this for our battle, which may be a straight York vs Lancaster affair, or a far more random one with an unpredictable third-party taking to the field!]  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

First Turn Results

Back to relax in the comfort of Hadley Hall, Sir Richard reads over the reports that have come in from his spies through the region.

Lord Turstoke, the Lancastrian rebel to the south-west, has apparently fought a battle.  Despite being slightly outnumbered six-to-five by the neighbouring lord of Muncaster, the superior quality of Turstoke's retinue allowed him to triumph.
The start of battle, with Turstoke facing a line of Muncaster men while his own is split by a copse of trees.

Lord Turstoke himself, leading his dependable bodyguards.

Turstoke's right-wing starts the fight, putting the Muncaster militia to flight with a well-judged volley.

A sharp fight between the retinues, with Turstoke's men swiftly falling on the enemy flank.

The end of battle - the left-wing barely got engaged, but the right won things handily! 
Turstoke has now taken Muncaster as a vassal, and then swept on with his largely undiminished force to compel the weak lord of Greyburn to falling into line.

To the west, the Lord Monkton has taken Fishdale after a siege compelled them into line.  Lord Whitcaster has marched away westwards, snapping up the poor regions of Slagfield and Tursfield - poor pickings, but easily gathered up.

To the north, the rebel Lord Potterchester is apparently enjoying a run of success: the small Blackstoke region was compelled to submit, and also the pro-Lancastrian regions of Cornton and Leyley were swiftly induced into rebellion.

Some mixed news from north of Hadley, however: the Yorkist rival Lord Wolviston, who could at least have been a shield against the rampaging Lord Potterchester, has instead gone down to defeat.  He apparently attacked the Lord Turston whose lands lie between Potterchester and Hadley, but found himself narrowly defeated.
Lord Wolviston lines up his five companies to face seven rival ones.

Lord Wolviston shouts encouragement

The battle begins, with disjointed mobs clashing across the field.  

Wolviston's archers score a rare success on levies, but overall the dice are cruel!

An unnaturally skilled manoeuver by levies turns Wolviston's left flank!

Desperate fighting and high casualties all along the line, when finally - by a single dice-throw - Wolviston's retinue breaks and routs!
 The overall picture of these battles and marches begins to take shape for Lord Hadley, as he inspects his maps.

A Working copy on Excel - red shades show the Lancastrians, blue shades the Yorkists.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lord Hadley Rides Out...

It's the start of our campaign, and Sir Richard Ferrier, Lord Hadley is about to head on his way.  Nobody becomes the king's favourite or bags an Eardom by sitting at home!

Sir Richard prepares to set out from the courtyard of Hadley Hall
The estates of Turston and Greyburn lie to his north and south, both Lancastrian - but the former is stronger than Lord Hadley on his own, while the latter is a measly 2-income region, barely worth the time and energy to subdue.  Far more promising is the option to head west, for Rosford.  The Lord there is pro-Yorkist, and weaker than Hadley, so he should be made to see the wisdom of knuckling under pretty swiftly.

Hadley's Retinue on the road, marching to Rosford.  
Due to his overbearing strength and the fact old Sir John Demain - Lord Rosford - is already sympathetically inclined, it proves to be a walk in the park.  Nothing like a private army to smooth the way for yourself, thinks Sir Richard - why had nobody thought of this before now?  

Pitching camp while marching about and bullying the weaker lords into line - it's a fine old life!
 After getting Lord Rosford to submit, Hadley turns northwards, to Leadbeck.  The local lord, Sir Anthony Dewhurst, is similarly positive to his support of King Edward.  Just as with Rosford, he is also too poor to kick up much of a fuss and accepts Lord Hadley's commission.

Marching back to Hadley Hall, Sir Richard can relax in his chambers in the knowledge things have started pretty well.  Lords Rosford and Leadbeck are now his to command, in addition to his own troops.  Now his Lancastrian neighbours such as Turston to the north are outnumbered, and can be compelled to submit!  Just as long as nobody else out there does anything to spoil his plans...

Lord Hadley's first little outing to 'recruit' supporters.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Northern Map, 1461

I have just realised that I've not yet provided a full map on the blog - after all my discussions about how to make it!  Here, then, is the full thing:

With the key nobles shown on their respective home areas, it's actually a bit like this:

As I previously mentioned, I shall be playing the various individuals, but for simple blogging advantage I shall do it all from the 'perspective' of one noble - selected as appropriate, depending on the situation.  Since this is the beginning I can pick pretty much as I please, and have selected Lord Hadley.  He can be seen above in the right-hand column, second row from bottom.