As the Earl of Oxford and Duke of Exeter approached Newark, their scouts reported that King Edward had secured the town and had deployed his army to block their advance. His force consisted of his own retinue, that of his brother Richard of Gloucester, some Flemish mercenaries, William Stanley’s retainers, shire levies from the Midlands and some light artillery. They were deployed along a line of low hills with Gloucester on the left, Edward in the centre and the guns off the the right behind a small hamlet.
Oxford and Exeter had slightly more troops including their own retinues and retainers, those of Viscount William Beaumont and 4000 men raised in East Anglia and the Fens. The Lancastrians had slightly fewer archers than Edward but more men at arms and billmen. Their plan was to attack in 2 battles with Oxford, Beaumont and all of the archers in the forward Battle with Exeter deployed behind commanding a smaller Battle of men at arms and billmen.
Oxford’s Battle advances into bow range of the Yorkists and start to get the worst of the archery duel
The Yorkist guns open fire. They make a lot of noise and smoke but other than that have little impact on the outcome of the battle.
Exeter holds his men back and does not advance to support Oxford. At the start of the game each player had to roll a die to determine how the junior captains would interpret their orders. Richard was happy to obey his brother Edward's instructions but Exeter decided to vacillate. This remained his position right to the end of the game - the Lancastrian player never rolling high enough to get him moving, and not being able to afford to send Oxford back to force him to obey.
Seeing Oxford's men withering under the storm of arrows, Edward orders his billmen to the fore and signals the advance.
On the Yorkist left, Richard of Glocester, supported by William Stanley breaks the East Anglian troops of Oxford's left wing.
In the centre, however the fighing is much more evenly matched as Oxford and Edward come face to face. The initial clash is inconclusive.
For a moment Edward and his retinue find themselves exposed as they hold their ground while the troops on their flanks are pushed back. However the Edward’s Flemish handgunners continue to inflict damage on Oxford’s men and Richard of Gloucester has managed to stop his troops from pursuing and is ready to come in on Oxford’s right flank.
It is all over for Oxford. His men melt away and he finds himself surrounded on all sides by the victorious Yorkists. We can only assume that his head ends up on the chopping block.
Meanwhile Exeter withdraws from the field in good order, having not moved from his initial position. He dictates a message to Warwick saying how, despite Oxford's impetuosity, he has been able to preserve his forces in order to fight another day.