Legio Wargames

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By smacdowall, Oct 31 2019 04:20PM

Bosworth is the subject of the Society of Ancients Battle Day game next spring. It has therefore become my next wargaming project.

I already have a reasonable WoR collection thanks to the excellent 28mm Perry plastics which tempted me at Salute several years ago. They have since been augmented by Perry and Front Rank metals. I am now in the process of painting up the appropriate command groups for Bosworth — more on that later.

My interest in the Wars of the Roses goes back much further. I was inspired as a mere 8 year old by the excellent Britains WoR Swoppets and fought many a boyhood battle between the red and white roses on my bedroom floor.

My original Swoppets Knights collection is still in fairly good condition. Taking a break from painting some 28mm French pikemen for Henry Tudor, I wondered if the Swoppets could see action again. I quickly wrote up some simple rules and called up a friend for a Toy Soldier game very loosely based on Bosworth.

I divided the men up into eight contingents: Henry Tudor, Oxford, Chandée and Stanley for the Red Roses; Richard III, Norfolk, Brackenbury and Northumberland for the White Roses. For this first game Stanley and Northumberland would not have any historical restrictions preventing the players from using them as they wished.

First blood went to Richard III’s more numerous archers as they shot up the advancing Red Roses.

A fierce hand to hand combat developed in the centre with initial advantage going to the whites.

This turned around in subsequent turns with the White Roses being forced to retire.

Richard III led his mounted knights on the right flank to attack Tudor and Stanley who were advancing towards him.

A ferocious mounted combat ensued which swayed back and forth as more men joined the fray and Richard’s archers supported the Yorkist attack from a distance.

Then disaster struck. Richard was killed in hand to hand combat with Henry. The Tudor dynasty had begun!

The game was great fun and hugely satisfying. It was fantastic to see the old Britains knights on the battlefield again. The rules worked well — providing a simple and fast moving game.

I will reprise the game at the Society of Ancients conference this weekend. The rules: This Weak Piping Time of Peace are available as a free download from my website here.

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