Monday, 9 December 2013

RECON at Pudsey

The final wargaming outing of the year was to the RECON show at Pudsey.  I was with the Lance & Longbow Society and we reprised the Deepdale game which had first had an airing at the Phalanx show in June.  As I mentioned in an earlier post the location of the battle moved (if it is good enough for Hastings..).  The new 'best guess' can be seen in the photograph below.

Top right are the northern limits of the town of Preston, with the rebel forces under Banaster moving onto the open moor.  In the distance is Vavasour's force from Pontefract, hoping to link up with Nevil's men.  The forces of Nevil (left) and Strickland (foreground) have been placed on the table but do not actually arrive until two moves after Vavasour comes into action. A detachment of rebel archers is in the field to Vavasour's left. 

Vavasour takes the first move and as with our previous staging of the game belies his impetuous grading and advances in a steady fashion, totally ignoring the harassing fire from the archers.  However, on seeing Banaster and the mounted knights Vavasour decides to bring the rebellion to a swift conclusion and moves into contact.  The first round of melee is drawn, but in the second Vavasour (as in history) is killed and is knights rout.  The sergeants following, ignore this reverse and carry on their advance towards the foot knights of Banaster's reserve.  In a prolonged tussle they are unable to make much progress against these tough fighters and the remnants of the sergeants eventually pull away and take little further part in the action.

Banaster's pursuit of Vavasour's knights leaves his flank open to attack by Nevil's knights who have just arrived on the field.  However, the sheriff is slow to take advantage of this opportunity and this gives time for part of Banaster's group to face the lumbering charge.  Again the initial charge is ineffective, but in the subsequent round Banaster's men are forced back.  Nevil's knights follow up confident in their ability to win the battle.  Against the odds, Banaster manages to absorb the pursuit and then counter attack.  Nevil's men are overrun (ie they were outscored on the pursuit die roll). 

Meanwhile, the infantry on both sides are advancing towards each other.  Nevil's crossbowmen are targeting Lee's battle, whilst his bowmen concentrate on Bradshaw.  The main infantry force of the sheriff  is advancing steadily towards Bradshaw, who now has Strickland's force also bearing down on him.  To cover the flank of his attack Nevil launched his mounted reserve against Banaster's knights.  Again, the rebels manage to withstand the first onslaught and then regain the initiative.  Nevil's men rout, Banaster opted to pursue and once again out rolled the sheriff, another unit of knights eliminated.

Seeing an opportunity, Lee gathered his mounted bodyguard around him and charged the now unprotected flank of the sheriff's infantry.  The result was predictable,caught unaware and at a disadvantage the infantry could not withstand the charge of the mounted men and broke, running for the 'safety'of the Forest of Fulwood.

Strickland's sergeants had by now charged Bradshaw, but were unable to gain any advantage against the solid phalanx of infantry.  With losses rising they fell back, straight through their supporting infantry, who promptly routed.

By this time Nevil could see that the day was lost and galloped north with a few retainers, leaving his infantry to fend for themselves against the rebels.

My thanks to Steve, Will and Bob who played the game and to the visitors to the show who stopped for a chat.  Mention must also be made of Dave, who not only sorted out the booking, but kept us supplied with cups of tea on the day.

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