Home Forums Medieval Battles Decided by Treachery – Worth Fighting?

This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Rhoderic Rhoderic 4 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #71739
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    n the opinion of everyone, are Northampton 1460 and Bosworth 1485 worth refighting? Or even better, if you have refought them, how did you do it? Battles decided by straight up treachery seem hard to do. Do you include the treachery or not?

    I was vaguely thinking that randomizing the treacherous unit(s) might do it.

    I’m a solo player usually, if that makes any difference to the advice.

     

    #71781
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Haven’t gamed either of those battles, but I did play “bloody barons” long ago.  Part of the campaign and even each game there was a chance that political alliance could shift and you could find part of your army turning against you at the start of the battle or even during.  Could really cause a good mess of things!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #71783

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    I think randomizing it might make it interestinng to see how it “might” have turned out. I mean, take Thermopylae – great battle to re-play even if it was decided by treachery. Maybe Ephialtes was a double agent and misled the Persians? Maybe they got lost and didn’t arrive until late in the day? I think similar ideas can apply to treacherous games in the Middle Ages but you’d have to be willing to think flexibly about what did happen versus what “should have happened.” The more narrow the approach the less fun the game.

    #71791
    William Harley
    William Harley
    Participant

    Hell yes, there is nothing better than re fighting a battle that upsets the apple cart.  Having won a long running campaign playing “King maker” by treachery I can highly recommend this style of wargaming.  Use King maker style cards for your wargame.

    #71792
    norm smith
    norm smith
    Participant

    Bosworth is an interesting case. When I did it, I had the Stanleys as neutral and they were swayed by which side were doing better, as each turn passed, they were more likely to commit, used a dice and modified by how well Richard / Henry were doing. It was not a forgone conclusion which side the Stanleys would unite with. In reality, both leaders had high hopes for the Stanley loyalty! And that is how it should be in the game – of course if they join the more numerous forces of Richard, then sheer weight of numbers may make the game less fun from that point onwards …….. but then there was always the question of Northumberland being a little reluctant ….. or perhaps not once he saw Stanley commit. There is just so much you can do with this stuff.

    http://commanders.simdif.com

    #71794
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    How about adding treachery to battles that didn’t have it?

    Are there any known battles where a possibility of treachery is now known or believed to have existed, even though it ultimately didn’t materialise? Or at least, any battles in which less-than-absolute loyalty could be conceived of some specific element of one side’s army, without breaking suspension of disbelief all too much?

    #71819

    Rick Berner
    Participant

    I’ve fought Tewkesbury, Bosworth, and other Wars of the Roses battles using a home written set of rules, and have included the possibility of treachery within them. It means that potentially every contingent commander may be susceptible to turning against their own side, or at least failing to act. Some commanders are much more reliable than others, but the potential is generally there for the unexpected/unwanted to happen.

    #71834

    How about adding treachery to battles that didn’t have it? Are there any known battles where a possibility of treachery is now known or believed to have existed, even though it ultimately didn’t materialise? Or at least, any battles in which less-than-absolute loyalty could be conceived of some specific element of one side’s army, without breaking suspension of disbelief all too much?

    Many, many years ago, we played the Battle of Civitate using Terry Gore’s Medieval Warfare.  The game master built in a chance for some of the “non-Norman” Norman troops to join the Papal side.  This was done because the battle in history was a one sided affair for the Normans.  We ended up losing a crossbow unit.  The chance would only occur pre-game though so it was more like variable forces for the Norman side.

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #71846
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    In games in which treachery occurs (at historical levels), does the benefitting side inevitaby win?

    #71864

    Chris Pringle
    Participant

    You need this brilliant article by Richard Crawley, “Stratagems and Circumstances: Tactical sophistication for Wars of the Roses Commanders”:

    http://www.flamesofwar.com/Portals/0/Documents/WargamesIllustrated/StratagemsCircumstances.pdf

    I don’t know how it will work for solo play but maybe it will give you some ideas.

    Chris

    Bloody Big BATTLES!

    https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/BBB_wargames/info

    http://bloodybigbattles.blogspot.co.uk/

    http://bloodybigbattles.blogspot.co.uk/

     

    #71865
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    You need this brilliant article by Richard Crawley, “Stratagems and Circumstances: Tactical sophistication for Wars of the Roses Commanders”: http://www.flamesofwar.com/Portals/0/Documents/WargamesIllustrated/StratagemsCircumstances.pdf

    Say, are there any other old, free WI articles on the Flames of War website?

    (Sorry for going off topic).

    #71875
    John D Salt
    John D Salt
    Participant

    ISTM that if treachery decides battles, then wargamers interested in those battles need to have rules that cover treachery. It may make the game more of a pol-mil game than a straight battlegame, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

    One of the difficulties, from the game-playing point of view, of incorporating treachery, sabotage, coups d’etat, or anything that relies upon secrecy and surprise, is that games are, by convention, played by taking turns, and the whole point of these things is to deprive the enemy of his or her turn. Coups work best when the opponent is presented with a fait accompli; sabotage is effective if it is detected after it happens, not before; and a good raid, heist, kidnapping or other security breach will see the perpetrators off over the hills and far away before the victim knows what hit them. A challenge to game deisgners, certainly, but how much more interesting than lining up rows of toy soldiers and mutually advancing in plain sight of each other.

    All the best,

    John.

    #71896

    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    I suppose as long as you have some way of randomizing it, since you play solo, it should prove interesting to play these battles (and others) as variations on the “what-if’s”.

    #72606
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Many thanks for all of your interesting viewpoints.

    There was one question in there though that I don’t think anyone answered directly: in games where a treachery mechanism is included, does the side benefitting from the treachery inevitably win?

     

    #74488
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    So, having finally gotten around to reading the excellent article Chris Pringle linked to, I’m inclined to think that treachery is best included in wargames as one of a number of potential circumstances, where you never get all the circumstances in the same game but you’ll always or at least often get a variable subset of them. Better that treachery can happen in a way that doesn’t make it a guaranteed or even probable part of the premise of a game.

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