Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Towton Commemoration event

An early start on Sunday to head off over the Pennines to attend the Towton Commemoration event.  The Lance & Longbow Society were putting on a game based on the revised location for the battle of Bosworth. 

All the figures were provided by Roman Pronyszyn and they attracted a lot of attention throughout the day.  Below are the Yorkist forces, with Richard, (plus his mounted bodyguard), following Norfolk, with Northumberland waiting in reserve.

In the morning, I was allocated the Lancastrians and decided that in view of Yorkist superiority in missile troops attack was preferable over defence.  So the gallant Lancastrians advanced across the board, going down in heaps to archery and artillery.  I was in a particularly rich vein of throwing 1's and 2's at this point and Stanley, watching from the hilltop must have thought that it would all be over before he had to make a decision on which side to support.  However, the Lancastrian cause was saved by a young boy who asked if he could roll a few dice.  His offer was taken up with alacrity and soon it was the Yorkists who were suffering, 5's and 6's flowed from the young man's hands as if there was no tomorrow.

The Lancastrian advance
Bouyed with success the Lancastrian pike blocks (French and Scots) crashed through Norfolk's line

Lancastrian pikes advancing
With Northumberland still resolutely holding his position and declining to advance and Stanley bestirring himself and seemingly committing himself to the Lancastrian cause; Richard resolved to 'conquer or die'.  Gathering his household troops together he charged the advancing Scots pikes and in the ensuing melee perished, leaving Henry the victor.

Richard about to come off worst against the pikes
After a break for dinner we ran the game again.  This time I was Stanley whilst Roman took on the role of Henry.  Again the Lancastrians advanced and again the pikes were successful (this time without the aid of the young man!).  However, their very success made their flanks vulnerable to counter attacks and Richard moved his Household troops to the right to capitalise on this.

Richard leading his household troops
Henry was making increasingly anxious enquiries as to when Stanley would intervene, but again I was having a few problems with the dice (consistently rolling 1 fewer than the number required).  Fortunately, Northumberland was once again refusing to join the action.  Again, Richard seized the initiative and challenged Henry to personal combat. Following a short melee Richard emerged the winner with Stanley arriving just in time to congratulate him on his victory!

A really enjoyable day with plenty of opportunity to chat to the visiting public and answer their questions on the battle, heraldry and wargames figures.  

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