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"Your Bosworth Field" Topic

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Edward Plantagenet27 Mar 2010 12:27 p.m. PST

Interseting developments with the location of the battle. However wargaming the battle have you ever used different scenarios?

Such as:

- Stanley's join Richard III.
- Stanley's remain netural but Percy (Northumberland) attacks Richards rear.
- Stanley's and Northumberland remain netural.
- Stanley's attacks Richard but Northumberland supports him.
- etc.

Bosworth Field could be gamed all types of ways.


normsmith27 Mar 2010 3:32 p.m. PST

I think any Bosworth scenario has to have those elements as potential random events just to simulate that sense of political uncertainty that was so prevalent.

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2010 6:31 p.m. PST

I totally agree w/ Norms.

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP08 Apr 2010 3:38 p.m. PST

As an add on, does anyone have good suggested order of battle for Bosworth? I have the Osprey book but it is pretty thin on army composition.

Daffy Doug08 Apr 2010 7:28 p.m. PST

Over ten years ago I did up this OB for the two armies:

Henry Tudor: three battles in line:

LEFT 2,000 Welsh, half archers and half light and medium spearmen under the command of Rhys ap Thomas (morale "D" all)

CENTER 1,500 "French" mercenaries, one-third light infantry crossbow, one-third light billmen and one-third medium and heavy dismounted men-at-arms, under the command of John de Vere the earl of Oxford (morale "D" all)

RIGHT 1,500 one-third "exiles" light, medium and heavy dismounted men-at-arms, one-third "freebooters" light, medium and heavy infantry, and one-third "Scots" mercenaries light infantry "spearmen", commanded by Sir Gilbert Talbot (morale "C" "exiles", "D" "freebooters", "C" "Scots")

RESERVE 250 heavy mounted men-at-arms, commanded by Henry Tudor. (morale "C")

Richard III: two battles in column on high ground:

VAN 3,000 one-sixth dismounted heavy men-at-arms, one-sixth medium crossbow, one-sixth light crossbow, one-sixth light longbow, one-third unarmored longbow, commanded by John Howard the duke of Norfolk (morale "C" all)

MAIN 5,000 three-tenths dismounted heavy men-at-arms, three-tenths medium "billmen", one-fifth light "billmen", one-fifth unarmored longbow, commanded by the king, who is with a mounted reserve of 500 heavy men-at-arms immediately behind the main battle. (morale "C" all)

Henry Percy the earl of Northumberland has 3,000 men one-sixth mounted heavy men-at-arms, the rest light, medium and heavy infantry spear/bill. (morale "D" all)

Thomas and William Stanley have 3,000 men one-sixth mounted heavy men-at-arms, one-sixth dismounted heavy men-at-arms, one-sixth medium "billmen", one-sixth unarmored longbow, one-third light "billmen". (morale "C" all)

The earl of Northumberland's command may be left off-table to the king's rear (saves having to use figures that way if you're short.) What he does is key to what follows. When king Richard commits the main battle, Northumberland will make a test to see if he stays put or rides off the field. You can make this a 50/50, heads he rides off the field, tails he stays put.

If by some method king Richard can avoid committing his main battle, i.e. defeat Henry Tudor with just his van battle, then Northumberland remains in place well to the rear, and the Stanleys also remain in place.

But if Northumberland quits the field, when Richard commits his main battle, the Stanleys will join the king's army and attack Henry Tudor.

But if Northumberland remains in place, after king Richard commits any part of his main battle or reserve, then the Stanleys roll 1d6: 1,2 = they join the king's army and attack Henry Tudor; 3,4 = Stanleys remain in place; 5,6 = Stanleys attack king Richard….

Grizwald09 Apr 2010 12:56 a.m. PST

Given that that OB is almost entirely conjectural (in terms of proportions and troop types), it would probably give a good game.

Daffy Doug09 Apr 2010 10:55 a.m. PST

Every OB would have to be conjectural. But the troop mix is real enough, i.e. possible and even probable. It does give a good game :) Kind of wild and woolly….

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2010 4:01 p.m. PST

Given the few historical lists we have for armies during this period, shouldnt the % or archers be higher? Your lists suggest 1/5 to 1/6 (15-20%), where I recall historical roll calls putting them at 60-80%.

Then again, this goes back to the same old argument, does the historical term "archer" refer to archers or just infantry?

All in all, a good order of battle.

Daffy Doug11 Apr 2010 9:43 a.m. PST

It works. Yes, you could change most or all of the "billmen" to longbow. And why not? Play it both ways….

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2016 8:42 p.m. PST

These are some good questions. First what is meant by Stanly's, in the possessive case. Does this mean Stanly's army, which Stanly?

Stanly- Stanley's join Richard III.
- Stanley's remain netural but Percy (Northumberland) attacks Richards rear.
- Stanley's and Northumberland remain netural.
- Stanley's attacks Richard but Northumberland supports him.

Anyway, while some of these are interesting "what ifs" there is a problem doing them in a game. You invite the club members over but then give them command of troops that do not actually get involved. Worse at a convention game.

Another problem is keeping a game interesting. If everyone gangs up on Henry -- Northumberland and both Stanley brothers -- then Henry gets pretty much trampled, Also if Northumberland hits Richard in the rear, then he gets trampled. A club game or convention event needs to be kept interesting and with all involved.

MajorB26 Feb 2016 3:07 a.m. PST

Not sure why you are raking up a thread that's nearly 6 years old Bob?

However, Phil Steele has an excellent interpretation of the "new" Boswrth using DBA v3.0, that deals with some of your concerns:



uglyfatbloke26 Feb 2016 8:17 a.m. PST

Scottish light infantry would a peculiar thing would n't it?

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2016 12:11 p.m. PST

I'm bringing it up now because I missed it the first time, and I'm planning to do a big Bosworth field game next week so I'm looking at all the old postings. This one struck me as a very interesting question and I wanted to make a comment because I've been having trouble getting everybody in the club, there's 14 of us, involved in various battles. So I happen to think of this in the context of an actual game being played and leaving people out or overwhelming one player.

I did not even notice the date of the posting :-)

Thanks for the links.

Andy P01 Mar 2016 8:43 a.m. PST

Try Coat of steel campaign and battle rules, draw your army from the nobles present as per the rules. This should give you a random element.

Will also give you that random element under the rules for "trimmers" turning.

MajorB02 Mar 2016 9:11 a.m. PST

Will also give you that random element under the rules for "trimmers" turning.

What are "trimmers"?

Andy P08 Mar 2016 6:12 a.m. PST

A historical alternative name for turn coats

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