All posts by TWR

About TWR

Historical Miniatures Wargamer from Christchurch, New Zealand.

A Kingdom Divided

Over Christmas my son and I managed a series of games between several historical opponents including several Wars of the Roses encounters. Regular readers will be familiar with my preference for games between historical opponents yet despite this preference I have infrequently used my Wars of the Roses miniatures against other English armies. Instead they have more often been forced to campaign in France and only occasionally face Henry Tudor. It was therefore with some pleasure that finally they would face English rebels in what would be some six battles.

Unfortunately I can not say the engagements were part of a pre-determined campaign, or indeed attempted to recreate specific historical battles. Instead they were fictional encounters and while unrelated soon started to take on a life of their own. The following is the briefest overview of these games. However, I shall group them into two “campaigns” as the games were played across two gaming sessions.

The first campaign involved two battles, those of Dunfield and later Rippen. In both the Duke of York fought mounted, bolstering his army with border staves and foreign hand-gunners. The Lancastrians fought entirely dismounted save a small mounted reserve. They were bolstered by Irish mercenaries with which the Lancastrian commander hoped to gain at least a fleeting advantage in areas of the battlefield which were broken.

Above, the Yorkist left is under pressure from the advancing Lancastrian right at Dunfield. Below, the Lancastrian left awaits the attack of the Yorkist right. The Lancastrian left is was refused.

Below, the second battle, that of Rippen, viewed from the Yorkist lines. The Yorkist centre is under pressure and would eventually collapse.

The Duke of York, for all his bravado, suffered two crushing defeats. His military reputation in tatters York was forced to escape to the relative safety of Calais until his alliances rebuilt and army reformed.

Four the next campaign the Lancastrians selected to fight what seemed to be, at least on the surface, a series of relatively unimaginative battles. Again they selected to fight dismounted stiffening their billmen with men-at-arms. But with the crown secured the use of foreign contingents was infrequent. Instead, the House of Lancaster would try and secure some advantage from careful selection of the field.

The Yorkists also shunned the use of a large number of mercenaries, instead appealing to disgruntled nobles to bolster their army. Yet throughout the campaign the Yorkists repeatedly selected to fight with a number of their men-at-arms mounted.

Above, in the Battle of Warlington the Lancastrians deployed their artillery on their right behind a small bog from where they “Did cause much mischef upon the Yorkist laft”.

Above and below, the second battle of the campaign, the Battle of Ludford. Above, the troops of the centre clash. Below, viewed from the Yorkist lines.

Below, the Battle of Turberry, the third battle of the campaign. The Lancastrians are shown in the foreground and have rested their left on a rocky slope. The Yorkists have selected to fight with their men-at-arms mounted which are visible in the centre. The Yorkist currours are on the Yorkist left, opposite the Lancastrian right.

Below, the final battle of the campaign, the Battle of Kingsworth. The Yorkists deployed with woods on both flanks. The Lancastrians pressed the Yorkist right forcing the Yorkist line to align somewhat. The Lancastrians then fell on the exposed centre securing victory.

After six bloody battles, the Lancastrians had secured victory in five. Though it must be said that all had been narrow victories. Without doubt the Duke of York will return. England is unfortunately far from secure…

Vetus Dominus Returns

It has been a while since I posted a game report so a recent game with a DBA veteran, though who hadn’t played DBA 3.0, seemed the perfect opportunity to post a short summary along with a couple of game photos.

Having peacefully tended their crops in Cisalpine Gaul for several months rumours of Roman expeditions once again galvanised the various tribes to defend themselves from Roman aggression. As two consular legions and their allies advanced under Vetus Dominus many peaceful Gallic settlements were abandoned. Yet Gapatix, who had not fought for some time himself, gathered several thousand warriors and deployed to block the Roman advance.

Gapatix deployed his Gallic army astride a road that the Romans were advancing along. The field to his front was generally open. However to his right the fertile plains gave way to a small rocky hill. Nearer the Romans a large wood disrupted the deployment of the Roman left.

With a mounted superiority, the Gauls deployed cavalry on both wings. That on his left comprised the bulk of Gapatix’s cavalry and chariots. On the right a smaller number of cavalry and light infantry extended his centre. Vetus Dominus deployed opposite, his Roman and Allied cavalry massed on his right, while his velites were concentrated on his left in the woods. With the sun at it’s height Gapatix warriors advanced. Vetus Dominus countered, moving his legions forward. The stage was set for a dramatic battle.

Above and below, the two armies approach.

With the Roman heavy infantry attempting to extend their line to the left, Gapatix signalled his right forward, determined to overwhelm the Roman left. The Gallic cavalry, supported by light troops, were rewarded with success riding down the Roman light troops.

Below, the clash on the Roman left.

In his enthusiasm to defeat the Gauls, Vetus Dominus had encouraged many of his principes to press forward. Now, with his left flank collapsing, the bulk of his reserve were redeployed to prevent the victorious Gallic cavalry from pressing further attacks against his centre.

With the left flank stabilised the Roman centre again advanced, with the Romans initially forcing the Gauls opposite back. Slowly the Romans were gaining the advantage. Yet in the swirling melee of the very centre, four thousand Gauls now broke through. Below, the Gauls of the centre breakthrough.

Panic now overtook the Roman centre. Vetus Dominus, himself engaged against the Gallic cavalry of the left, was unable to significantly reinforce his centre. The only reserve was the last Roman triarii, who valiantly tried to halt the surging Gallic warriors. Alas, they failed.

The Roman situation was now hopeless. As the Romans and their allies were cut down in the centre Vetus Dominus had no choice but to except defeat. Escorted by his cavalry he retired, no doubt to recruit more legions for future campaigns. It was, after all, only a minor setback for Rome.

Cancon DBA – 2023

I am advised by the organisers that registrations are now open for 15mm DBA competition at Cancon 2023.

For those who are unaware Cancon is hosted in Canberra Australia in late January of each year. From a DBA perspective, Cancon hosts the largest DBA competition in Australia and New Zealand.

This year the competition follows a reasonably standard format. Specifically the DBA event runs over two days. The Ancient competition, comprising six one hour rounds, runs on the first day with armies selected from armies from Section 1 & 2. This is followed by the second day but now armies are selected from Section 3 and 4, creating effectively a Dark Age and Medieval competition. For those with limited time or armies you can register for either day.

Above, one of the games from a previous Cancon DBA competition, where two medieval armies are engaged.

If you think you could be interested be sure and visit the official website for specific information on the Cancon 2023 15mm DBA Competition. Secure your place – don’t delay!