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"Can Wars of the Roses wargaming get thorny?" Topic

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938 hits since 26 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2019 12:41 p.m. PST

Aside from looking really, really cool, what makes wargaming the War of the Roses fun?

It's got mirror image armies for the most part and that's fine but in the absence of lots of scenarios for other mirror image army periods like the ACW or the ECW, what keeps the period from becoming tiresome after several re-fights? is there a campaign game that keeps it fresh? Kingmaker?

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Feb 2019 2:09 p.m. PST

Interesting topic.
The personalities are intriguing.
All the leaders are equally avaricious and unpleasant. No goodies.
The wars are full of unexpected events upon the battlefield.
The equipment is attractive in wargame terms. Plate armour, flags, bows en masse.
Not a civil war (nobles versus nobles) , but one in which the commanders themselves are very untrustworthy.
As with many periods, I think 50% of the game enjoyment is the rules.
I am not keen on Kingmaker at all. That just illustrates how subjective gaming is.

Bandolier26 Feb 2019 2:52 p.m. PST

I agree with Martin.
The personalities (both non-combatants and military) with their shifting motivations and allegiances is fascinating.

I haven't attempted a campaign. These days we play WoTR using Mortem et Gloriam. If you haven't got a scenario the pre-battle system will set it up for you. This helps keep it fresh and you can experiment with the various unit types and numbers.

There is a good book on WoTR battles that was written with wargamers in mind. I'm not near my bookshelf but I can check the title later. It has many scenario options.

They definitely look really, really cool.

MajorB26 Feb 2019 3:39 p.m. PST

There is a good book on WoTR battles that was written with wargamers in mind. I'm not near my bookshelf but I can check the title later. It has many scenario options.

I'm intrigued. What book is that?

Bandolier26 Feb 2019 3:46 p.m. PST

@ MajorB
The military campaigns of the Wars of the Roses
Philip A. Haigh

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2019 4:35 p.m. PST

Thanks for the book reference. I just bought a copy. grin

I would go farther and say that in general the only interesting thing about any Western Medieval combat after experiencing the basic matchups is the variability introduced by personalities and luck. I've rarely found historical Medieval battles to be much fun after the first time through, but put into a campaign setting, even Dark Ages shieldwall slogs start to be fun. The WotR period has tonnes of sideways political factors (and a few financial factors) influencing battlefield behavior beyond simple force quality calculations.

- Ix

PS: In Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and across Asia, things were quite a bit more varied and there's a lot more nuance to battlefield tactics and strategems. Some of those cavalry armies actually knew how to maneuver!

MSU John26 Feb 2019 5:00 p.m. PST

For ACW, getting or creating scenarios to put things in historical perspective never gets old for me. I'm assuming the same would be true for the WOTR,

coopman26 Feb 2019 5:06 p.m. PST

And you have a time period of 32 years instead of 4.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2019 9:24 p.m. PST

Are use DBA to play games for the war of the roses. The armies are similar but there is some variety. The various battles scenarios present interesting problems.

Griefbringer27 Feb 2019 2:39 a.m. PST

If you like the look of the later 15th century forces, but want slightly less mirror image forces, then there is also a plenty of action to be found in the continent with somewhat more varied forces. Some of these even include English, such as conquest of Normandy and Aquitane (1449-1453), the expedition of 1475 and wars in Bretagne.

As for the WotR, there are some historical battles where the forces were less symmetrical, such as the Stokes Field in 1487 where the Yorkist die-hards fielded significant numbers of continental and Irish mercenaries.

BillyNM27 Feb 2019 1:00 p.m. PST

There are lots of historical events that lend themselves to introducing stratagems if you are concerned about symmetrical battles. There was system for these published in Wargames Illustrated issue 56.

MajorB28 Feb 2019 12:31 p.m. PST

The military campaigns of the Wars of the Roses
Philip A. Haigh

Oh. That one. That's a shame. His maps are in some cases totally wrong.
It's also pretty out of date with recent research and archaeology producing alternative (better?) interpretations of both Northampton 1460 and Bosworth 1485.

Thomas Thomas14 Mar 2019 1:31 p.m. PST

For WOR books try Hugh Bicheno – lots of military insight and more modern research.

What keeps all medieval wargaming fresh is the strong combined arms aspect. Missile, Heavy Foot and mounted shock troops all can be battle winners and battle losers. The DBX series of games does a great job of representing the mix of troop types/weapon types. So even two mirror image armies can jockey for position and feature different troop types. Not to mention command control – another aspect that DBX does well.

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame & Glory Games

DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian19 Mar 2019 2:26 p.m. PST

Take a look at Lance & Longbow Society and their publications. While the armies are interchangeable, there are a bunch of potentials in terms of battles and scenarios.

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP22 Apr 2019 4:59 p.m. PST

What's fun for me:

-The first wargame I ever played as a kid was "Kingmaker."
-The personalities are just fantastic.
-Liberal use of foreign mercenaries keeps armies interesting.
-Livery colors keeps painting units from being redundant and boring.
-Less armor heraldry to paint than earlier periods.
-Almost no cavalry to worry about.
-The minis (I use Perry) are some of the best of any era.

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP22 Apr 2019 5:16 p.m. PST

Re: gaming resource:
Check out the Wotr scenario book there. It's 100% your best gaming resource for this period. 16 historical and one what if all with orbits and maps.

Best of all, it can be applied to any gaming system.

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