Home Forums Medieval Piddling Brook – Wars of the Roses

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    Avatar photoFat Wally

    Another foray into the Fifteenth Century for myself and the son and heir, using basic Impetus.

    All smiles from the Lancastrian commander.  Let’s see if we can wipe the smile off his hideous chimp-like visage.

    Daddy’s Yorkists have 17 Units in two commands with a VDT of 34 and a break point of 17.  Jack’s Lancastrian scum have 19 units, in three commands, a VT of 35 and a breakpoint of 18.

    Dad was the defender and chose a river running NS, small ploughed field, boggy area and two small hills located north of the wheatfield and south of the boggy ground.  Having chosen Irish Jack had been hoping for woods so I was very keen to avoid that choice.

    The boy had moved the ploughed field to a more central position from its original flank placement by me.  I placed the river such to give Jack and idea that it doesn’t always have to be EW, there are other options.  I thought he’d move it to a flank position.

    Initially my idea was to mass everything on one side of the river and concentrate on one enemy wing.  However as Defender I had to place my largest command first, followed next by the largest command of the enemy.  This would mean that after placing my second, and final command, the boy would be able to place his final two commands on the table to counter my ideas. He may be young, but he’s not daft.  So, my main command was deployed west of the river with a smaller one to the east.  Jack deployed his main command opposite my main force, his second largest opposite my other command, supported by his smallest command.  This would be a most interesting scrap.

    Lancastrian right wing.  A mix of Retinue troops, Mercenary Crossbowmen, a heavy Bombard and some Irish Bonnachts and Kern.

    Lancastrian centre. Mostly Bills with a couple of units of Bows and lighter artillery.

    Lancastrian left. Shire archers, Dismounted Nobles plus General, more Kern and Bonnachts.

    Yorkist right. A fair mix of Bills and Bows with a heavy Bombard adjacent to the river.

    Yorkist left.  Bills, Bows, Continental Pikemen, with Currours and Dismounted Nobles in support.

    Yorkist right advances.  Clearly Jack wasn’t going to come at me in this game so i thought I might advance and try and tempt him into a hasty advance.   “Not going to happen Daddy.  I have a cunning plan”.  I must stop my kid watching Blackadder.

    Yorkist left moves up too. Lots of lovely pike, bills and bows.  With Jack looking very static I thought I might tempt him if I advance, or even take the high ground if he doesn’t move?

    A unit of Retinue Bowmen sneaks across the river to fire on the flank of any advancing enemy.  With hindsight this was a big mistake as I could have really used them west of the river.  Ah well.  You live and learn.

    Jack’s not moving, so I keep going.

    Aware that the Yorkist line may be enveloped by Jacks smallest command I shift obliquely temporarily disordering my troops.  Fortunately the enemy are a long way off and so I’ll have time to rally before it hits the fan.  This is the Wars of the Roses. It always hits the fan.

    Jack’s smallest command advances on the left flank.  “Just to keep you interested Daddy”.  I’m not daft.  Jack is trying to pin my right and divert my attention.

    Jack pushes forwards a couple of longbow units to support his steadily advancing light artillery.  The ploughed field has no effect upon movement, or order for Bow units.  This makes it tougher for me to engage in close combat with heavy infantry who will move at half speed, and becoming disordered in the process.  The boy is clearly learning.  I’ll have to try and outshoot him.  However, adjacent to the left flank of his bows Jack trundles his lighter artillery forward.

    Yorkist General and Nobles of the second command sensing it’s going to be a very tough fight ahead no doubt.

    Lancastrian right advances.  Jack was extremely patient.  After a couple of bad losses in previous games where he rushed, or was lured, into rash attacks this time round he was much more considered and cautious.  Worrying for me.  Its rare for a kid to sit and let things develop and it shows how well he’s learnt some of his recent lessons.

    “Its all about timing Daddy isn’t it?”

    Lancastrians take the high ground.  Wresting it from them is going to be really tough.

    Jack’s small command of mostly Irish and Shire troops continued to act aggressively making spoiling and harassing attacks, all to keep my attention fixed on them.  Clever kid.  The Bonnachts rout some Shire Bowmen

    The Lancastrian artillery and longowmen proved particularly effective in weakening the Yorkist second command as it tried to get into bow range.

    My largest command now rolled a double one for initiative, and so spent the rest of the game rolling a -1 modifier each time.  I’d been trying to cover the gap in my line, caused by moving my longbows over the river, by shifting my billmen right then moving my General-led Dismounted Nobles  into the gap.  However, the Lancastrians wrested the local initiative from me and managed to get their Impetus bonus attacks in first with their artillery, Longbow and Crossbow fire causing a string of niggling disorder and minor casualties on the units supporting the main Yorkist thrust.

    Longbows are almost across the river and threatening Jack’s second command but gaps are appearing in my line which lack of winning the initiative on my part ensures that the Lancastrians can take advantage.  Darn, or is that ‘Forsooth’?

    Lancastrian Billmen engage the Continental  pike and Yorkist bills before I have had a chance to stabilise my line and they are ready.

    Yorkist successes.  “Give them the cold steel men.”  The Kern are engaged by Yorkist Bills, and routed, swiftly followed by the Shire archers.

    The Yorkist archers finally outshoot their Lancastrian counterparts and then rout the Bonnachts resulting in Jack’s smallest command breaking.  Jack sends Shire bills through his guns to threaten my right, with more stacking up behind.  Now his blood is up and he senses that if he doesn’t do something soon I’ll pick him apart in detail.  Fortunately, a unit of powerful and fresh dismounted Nobles isn’t too far away.  I can smell blood.  Victory for the Yorkists is becoming closer.

    Yorkist Currours charge Lancastrian Bonnachts but come off a very poor second as Daddy rolls very appallingly.  “Go on Dad.  Roll again.  Let’s pretend that didn’t really happen eh?  You need all the help you can get”.

    Jack rolls four hits against the Continental Pike, who roll one.  It’s going very pear shaped.  The boy is having a hoot, and to be honest it’s lovely to see.

    The Yorkist Pike are losing their momentum and combat.  Forcing the pikemen to retreat, the Lancastrian bills choose to pursue and contact and so fight again, immediately.  The pikes hang on, just.  I rush Dismounted Nobles with my Commander in an attempt to shore up the centre.  Too little too late.  On the plus side Hasting’s Yorkist bills charge and rout the French Mercenary Crossbomen.

    The hacking and stabbing goes on amid screams of the wounded and injured and the smell of fresh blood spilt.  This is brutal stuff as the increasingly hot and exhausted billmen are locked in a struggle for survival.

    Fresh Yorkist Dismounted Nobles attack using their Impetus Bonus.  8 dice Vs 2 dice.  Not even close.  The billmen rout, running like girls.  As it should be.  The Yorkists pursue far enough to hit the guns.

    The guns are hit by the pursuit and also routed causing disorder and a casualty on the bills to their rear.  This time my pursuit move isn’t enough to engage them.  Darn.  My chance for a glorious win goes begging.

    The pikemen finally rout.  The Currours are routed by the Bonnachts.  Longbowmen are routed by artillery fire as things unravel at an alarming pace.Taking lots of hits from Lancastrian bows at close range my Yorkist bills of Hastings’s retinue are horrified when Jack’s C-in-C turns up in the nick of time to administer the coup-de grace and grab the glory.

    Jack rolls three hits and routs my billmen.  He looks gutted for me……NOT…..

    “What are three sixes Daddy?…..Eighteen?  Oh yes that’s it….VICTORY. Smell it”.

    Smart ass kid.

    My large command routs as its breakpoint is reached.  I was only three points way from victory and if I could have hung on just one more turn in the west I could have won in the east.

    A fabulously brutal game won 22-15 by the Lancastrians.  The boy done good.  He spent a good hour before the game working out his army list and command composition.  Then he sat for 10 minutes with the scenery and my first command on table weighing up possibilities.  He had a plan, and largely stuck to it, though it allowed for flexibility on his part.  So proud of him.  Give him another few weeks and he’ll be a serious contender.

    Incidentally, the name for the battle taken from Jack’s comment that it wasn’t a river but a ‘Piddling Brook’.

    All figures 15mm Peter Pig, owned and painted by yours truly.



    House-Husband, Wargamer & Painter. 'Living the Dream'

    "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true."


    Avatar photoFat Wally

    Ah, working at last.  Apologies


    House-Husband, Wargamer & Painter. 'Living the Dream'

    "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true."


    Avatar photoAngel Barracks

    Cool, how often do you both get to play?

    Avatar photoFat Wally


    Usually once or twice a week but his mum’s teaching in Summer School so we’ve had nine games in seven days.

    House-Husband, Wargamer & Painter. 'Living the Dream'

    "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true."


    Avatar photoSteve Johnson

    Great to see Jack get a win and that he is learning fast. Looking forward to more AARs.

    Avatar photoWill McNally

    Excellent AAR, thanks

    Avatar photoPaul

    Your introduction of your opponent really made me laugh. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. In a few years I’ll be able to rope my son into playing, too. Looking forward to it.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

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