Monday, 7 May 2018

Renaissance Rampant AAR Tudor Rebellion !


This weekend I hosted a series of 3 linked games with fellow Renaissance enthusiast Oli of the Camisado blog. Oli and I have complementary collections of Italian Wars figures for which we have spent the last year or so working to create an Italian Wars amalgamation of the Lion Rampant & Pikeman's Lament rules as a basis for our wargames. The main focus was to create some bespoke army lists for our early Tudor and French collections as well as some period additions which we feel bridge the gap between the rule sets. 

Our games often have a loosely historical theme and this weekend was no exception. To give you the best feel for the games we played we will present them in a shared post. Here I shall introduce the scenarios, historical background and a few photographs and over on Oli's blog you can read the after action reports and see the majority of the photographs.

As is somewhat evident I've long been fascinated by the Tudor period and particularly the exploits and intrigue during the early part of Henry VIII's reign. Though the Wars of the Roses had come to an end the Yorkist threat remained ever present and no more so than in 1514; a year after the invasion of France and victory at Flodden a very real adversary lay just across the Channel.

There now follows a short summary of the De la Pole family line. If you'd like to know more about this and other threats to the Tudor dynasty I thoroughly recommend a read of The Last White Rose by Desmond Seward.


With the death of his only son in 1484 Richard III elected his nephews John, Edmund, William and Richard de la Pole as legitimate heirs. Richard's death at Bosworth derailed this somewhat but for the the De la Pole's it was not the end. In 1487 John landed with an army of German and Irish mercenaries in an attempt to raise rebellion once more in England. He did not get the anticipated support and met his end at the Battle of Stoke Field.

Edmund fled to the low countries and initially gained protection from Maximilian I but political intrigue meant that he also met his end in England. Henry had him executed in 1513 as he left to invade France.

William was somewhat less keen to cause trouble but Henry VII had him imprisoned in the Tower in 1502 where he would remain in captivity for the next 37 until his death.

Richard had other ideas, he also fled to the continent but took shelter in the French court of Louis XII where following the death of Edmund he was championed by Louis as King of England. He did not shy from danger giving military service to Louis and later Francis I. He was present at the siege of Therouanne commanding a force of 6000 Landsknechts (I believe this was in the relief army rather than the besieged). This number rose to 12'000 in 1514 as Louis funded preparations for an invasion of England with Richard at its head. By June everything was in place with the Scots offering a route over the border, a repeat of 1487's rebellion seemed likely only this time a battle hardened commander would lead a professional force.


Unfortunately for Richard diplomacy ended his ambitions as Louis made peace with Henry. Richard continued to serve the French crown and his ambitions but was killed commanding a contingent of Landsknechts at the Battle of Pavia. Upon hearing news of this from an imperial messenger Henry is said to have cried 'All the enemies of England are gone - give him more wine !'

As host I put together the following 3 linked games to represent Richard's Invasion. As this was a mini campaign of sorts we also tried out using the boasts from the LR & PL rules as a means to gain additional points.

Part 1
July 1514, Richard De la Pole has landed at Leith and moved South at the head of a Rebel army. After gaining local support the first ward of the army makes its way over the border to advance inland when sight of the English is made.
Set up
The game is played with a large ridge running across the middle of the board, obscuring visibility for both sides. The Rebels deploy along the Western edge and must exit via the Eastern edge. The English must try their best to stop them.
Special Rules
·         Players roll to see who starts.
·         Counters are used for movement until a unit crests the hill at which point the army seen by the unit is revealed and the other army stays hidden until an enemy unit does the same.
·         All units activate on 6+ and move 7 inches until revealed.
·         Units behind the crest of the ridge cannot fire upon targets at the other side of the crest. 
Ending the mission
Play until only one side has units on the table.
Victory conditions
The Rebels gain 1 point for each unit they get off the table, the English gain 1 point for each Rebel unit they destroy.
Opposing Forces

The English, 36 points

1 Unit Shire Bow, 4 points
1 Unit Shire Bill, 5 points
1 Unit Retinue Bow, 6 points
1 Unit Retinue Bill, 6 points
1 Unit Foot Knights, 6 points
1 Unit of Demilancers, 5 points
Culverin, 4 points 

The Rebels, 36 points

2 Units of Landsknecht Pike, 8 points
1 Unit of Landsknecht Arquebusiers, 5 points
1 Unit Mounted Crossbowmen, 4 points
1 Unit of Rebel Foot Knights, 6 points
1 Unit of Rebel Shire Bow, 4 points
1 Unit of Rebel Men at Arms, 5 points
Culverin, 4 points

Here are some photographs from our game which featured a newly commissioned set of ridge boards from David Marshall of TM Terrain.
You can read the outcome over on Oli's blog, it was an entertaining game made especially more fraught by the initial obscured movement.





Part 2,
The White Rose is proving his worth and days are turning into anxious weeks as he consolidates his hold. Louis XII & The Duke of Albany both send promised reserves to bolster the invasion for a march on the Capital. The English fall back and make a stand at a vital river crossing.
Set up
As per Scenario E in Lion Rampant.
Special Rules
·         A non-battered unit counts as holding the objective when it begins the owner’s activation phase as the only unit placed on the objective.
Ending the mission
Play until one side has accumulated 5 Glory points.
Victory conditions
A player gains 1 point each time they begin an activation phase with one of their units occupying the objective at the start of their turn. 
Opposing Forces 

The English, 36 points

1 Unit Shire Bow, 4 points
1 Unit English Pike, 4 points
1 Unit Retinue Bow, 6 points
1 Unit Retinue Bill, 6 points
1 Unit Border Horse, 5 points
1 Unit of Demilancers, 5 points
2 Organ Guns, 6 points

The Rebels, 36 points

1 Unit of Landsknecht Pike, 4 points
1 Unit of Landsknecht Arquebusiers, 5 points
1 Unit of Scots Pike, 4 points
1 Unit of Kern & Horseboys 6 points
1 Unit of Gallowglass 4 points
1 Unit French Men at Arms, 5 points
1 Unit Ordonnance Archers, 4 points
Culverin, 4 points

Unfortunately I took less photographs during this game as my mind was focussing upon stemming the tide of Rebels making toward the bridge. The game was over very quickly.


This hill was also part of the recent terrain commission, I added some small brass tubes into it to accommodate twisted wire trees from The Model Tree Shop.


Part 3,

End Game. De la Pole has reached the outskirts of London, Henry takes the field to defend his right to the throne.

Set up

As per Scenario A in LR. The forces deploy along the N and S edges. The board is rolling countryside (possibly with walls at one end.)

Special Rules

None, it's a fight to the death.

Ending the mission

Play until death or a player concedes defeat.

Victory conditions

Players gain 1 point for each enemy unit destroyed or routed.

Opposing Forces

Each side is split into two retinues comprising 30 points worth of troops from the forces listed in the preceding 2 games plus 20 additional points of troops. (the English from the English listings and the Rebels from the English/French/Irish listings).
This was a long hard fought battle fought all day with a very close finish. Due to the size of the armies the two retinues a side worked well and aided the smooth ebb and flow. The large size of the game was easily accommodated by the rules and very much the more enjoyable for that though for ease we ignored the 3" rule. It was refreshing for the absence of long addition and tables that some of the Battle rulesets inevitably come down to. There was a great period feel and you could almost hear the sound of the guns (which I might have spent a bit too long photographing).







For our games Oli took the part of the Rebels and provided troops for them to serve alongside my Landsknechts in French service and Men at Arms. His recently completed Irish alongside Scots and Rebel infantry made for a visual feast and complemented by my Tudor collection the games were a convincing adaptation of the historical background.

As you can see the forces we used were larger than Lion Rampant was intended so these are very much mini battles but I don't see why the scenarios couldn't be adapted for more typical games.

Oli's report will be up in a week or so, a wait worthwhile to hear the result of the Yorkist cause.

We had a great time and even managed to get to the pub and drink responsibly.

All the best

Stuart

11 comments:

  1. Cracking scenarios and a great excuse to roll out your wonderful armies.I am very envious.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful figures and terrain...Spectacular!

    ReplyDelete
  3. A most excellent thing gentlemen. A very worthy exercise. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Stuart the photos came out brilliantly - all that holding up the board was worth it! I notice the MG42 of Lion Rampant even made it into some of them.

    I really like the addition of a brief history of Richard de la Pole.

    A great weekends gaming - I loved the home made cider as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great game! It's great that you got to pub 8)))

    ReplyDelete
  6. That looked like a fun game and as always lots of eye candy...

    All the best. Aly

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great history, great game, but especially great pictures. I love the way you frame them... and the background looks right out of a period painting. Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great looking game and scenery,the historical background is good too!
    Best Iain

    ReplyDelete