Today was to have been the Society of Ancient’s Battle Day. Bosworth will now be re-fought on Saturday 27th March 2021. This gives me lots of time to finish off those contingents which would have have been ready by today thus avoiding the need to substitute other figures.
Just before the coronavirus lockdown I ran a mini-Bosworth game to test out the latest tweaks to my Tree of Battles rules which I will be using on the day.
The simple scenario conveniently ignores the Stanleys and Northumberland but includes all the other contingents that would be engaged at the Battle Day. The scenario can be downloaded from my website here.
The battle began with Richard’s first line moving into archery range while his second line moved around to his left flank. Although Richard had more archers and more guns, the archery and cannot duel was inconclusive thanks to some good dice rolling by Henry Tudor.
Henry advanced his French and Scottish pikemen against the flank of Richard’s line. Richard turned Sir Robert Brackenbury’s contingent to face them but the French drove them back with heavy casualties.
A similar fate befell Sir Thomas Howard’s contingent and it looked as if all was over for King Richard as his flank was being rolled up even before the two main lines had met.
In a desperate attest to stave of inevitable defeat, John Howard’s archers turned to face the advancing pike block as Howard’s billmen and Men at Arms surged forward to engage Rys Ap Thomas’ Welsh.
Then the impossible happened. In hand to hand combat, with the odds stacked against them, Howard’s archers killed Philbert de Chandée and sent his French and Scots reeling back in disarray with heavy casualties.
On the other flank, Richard had brought his second line up to envelop Henry’s right. Henry counters this by dismounting his mounted archer escort and leadings a mounted charge against Richard’s retainers.
The dice which had favoured Henry in the archery duel now deserted him. The Earl of Oxford and Rys Ap Thomas were sent recalling back in disarray by Howard and the Leicester levy.
Then Richard III led his Knights of the Body in a charge against Henry Tudor. Henry’s men reeled and he was captured. The battle was over and Richard would remain king of England.
Sharp-eyed readers will note that the men I used as Richard’s retainers wear the livery and carry the colours of Edward IV. These will be replaced by the time the Society of Ancients’ Battle Day comes around again in 2021!