Monday, August 1, 2022

Historicon 2022: Wars of the Roses with Test of Resolve

My friends Tim Couper and David Knight came to Historicon from the UK. For Tim, it was one of a great many times here, but it was the first trip to the show for David. We kept expenses reasonable although staying on site, by sharing a room at the Marriott (convention hotel). Tim and David showcased their new rules for the Wars of the Roses, Test of Resolve, by running five games over the course of 4 days. The troops for one side (as well as any terrain)  were provided by yours truly, while long time wargames freind Ken Baggaley provided the troops for the other side. 


Mortimer's Cross (February 2, 1461) - Thursday, 2 PM

Edward of March had gathered troops in Wales and moved towards London. On learning of a Lancastrian army (a mixture of the Welsh followers of Pembroke and a largely mercenary force of Bretons, French and Irish) moving south towards Hereford, March moved to confront them at Mortimers Cross. Test of Resolve: fast play, innovative wargaming rules, designed to fight all the major battles of the Wars of the Roses (see testofresolve.com & Facebook). 


Tim explains the rules to long time Historicon/Piquet/FoB etc freind Freddie Avner.



A "Battle" with Archers deployed at "stand off" distance" for the preliminary arrow exchange.  
These first two photos are courtesy of Milton Soong. 


Towton (March 29 1461) - Friday 11 AM

The Lancastrians had been victorious at St Albans but eventually returned to York, leaving the Yorkist Edward free to enter London to be crowned King on Mar 4. A week later he marched north to Yorkshire where, on a wintry day, he engaged with the Lancastrian forces.

Miles and Anthony, standing by Tim, with Eric, a real WotR aficionado, moving his Battle. 


I love Miles' shirt: "WARNING: May start talking about history!"



Getting stuck in!  Quite a few participants bought rules, cards, and or scenario books after playing.! 



The games are fast (over never more than 2 hours), fun, and allow for all the wacky things that happened in WotR battles!


Miiles commands an ambush emanating from a wooded copse. He is well named! "Miles" means "soldier" or "knight", from the same Latin stem that gives us military (and the distance a a mile between Roman forts). 


Craig (white shirt), Mark (in yellow "Mark's Game Room garb)

\

Stoke Field (June 16 1487) - Friday 7 PM

Lambert Simnell was crowned as King Edward VI to provide a figurehead for the Yorkist cause. Mercenary troops, Anglo-Irish and Gaelic, were raised in Ireland, and sailed across to northwest England. Moving south they met with the the Lancastrian forces of Henry VII in the Midlands, where the final battle in the Wars of the Roses was to be fought.

The set up; all of the games were from one of the three scenario books for Test of Resolve: Wars of the Roses. 


Thomas, Dad Alex, Phil, and Brad



Mark in gold and Joe in black, and our GM  and rules co-author Tim Couper, dispensing his usual bad puns and worse advice!



The players enjoyed this game so much that Tim set it up again, and they replayed it, with a different result, if I recall correctly! 


Hexham (May 10 1464) - Saturday 11 AM

The recently defeated Lancastrian forces decided that their only chance of survival was to have another attempt to defeat Montagu before the reinforcements being raised by Edward IV could arrive to crush the rebellion in the North. So the Lancastrian survivors of Hedgeley Moor advanced south to just outside Hexham. Montagu, confident in his ability to defeat them without Edward’s support, moved out from Newcastle to force battle.

I didn't manage to get any shots of this one, but I understand the game played well, was fun, and as usual was completed in under 2 hours! 



Empingham (March 12 1470) - Sunday, 9 AM

A rebellion led by Sir Robert Welles in Lincolnshire gave an opportunity for Warwick to begin an armed uprising. Welles raised a large body of men with few experienced fighting troops. He headed towards Warwick at Leicester. Edward marched to intercept Welles with a smaller army, but consisting of higher quality troops with artillery support. He informed Welles that if he did not disband his forces his father, Lord Welles, would be executed, which he was immediately prior to the battle.

 

Welles rebels' (a scurvy lot composed largely of very inferior troops) were well on their way to being broken, when King Edward was killed in battle ("don't roll a one!"), resulting in an immediate victory for the Rebels! I played the far left loyalist command in this game, and actually manage to hit something with my artillery for once! 

18 comments:

  1. That looked like a fun marathon of WotR action. Good to see they moved some product too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They shipped the rules to me and I brought them to PA; the cards they brought over with them. The vast majority of the rules, cards, and scenario books were sold!

      Delete
  2. "Tim Couper, dispensing his usual bad puns and worse advice!" I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this ;) Thank goodness David was there to keep Tim straight about the rules!! I played in the Mortimer's Cross game where the Yorkist won when Jasper Tudor was killed on the field. I had a great time!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fate of key personalities is often the point of WotR battles, and the rules have a simple mechanism for leader's to become casualties, as well as a post battle roll(s) for their fate after the battle.

      Delete
  3. It is a real testament to how much the players enjoyed themselves when they buy the rules and give the game a second run-through.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great to see the fruits of all your hard painting labour over the last several months come to fruition in these excellent looking games Peter! As others have said, the rules and their creators must have something going for them, if game participants were happy to part with their hard-earned cash!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed; another testament is that I will probably add a bit more to my own WotR forces so as to be able top use most of the scenarios myself - I think they would work well with the Next Gen target audience.

      Delete
  5. Good to see your figures in action. Like the look of the formations (battles) in this set.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The formations are deep (3 stands x 1 stand for melee troops), in part to meet the design goals of playing all the scenarios in 28 mm on a 6 x 4 foot table (ort less).

      Delete
  6. Does look as though the games went well. The War of the Rose's certainly is a colorful period to game. Play the game, buy the rules, best review you can expect!

    ReplyDelete
  7. These rules look like a Piquet: FOB variant, but using a D12 for all rolls. I'll bet combat is pretty "swingy" in terms of results...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ToR started out as a potential adaptation of Field of Battle, so there are certainly many common features: Use of Morale Points (although by Battle), use of cards (but different cards and a different way to sequence them), variable movement (but with a different mechanic).
      Combat is the most different. Fire is very much attritional, no chance of devastating results unless multiple shots and very lucky dice. For a melee combat with no advantage to either side, the D12 vs D12 system has roughly a 23% chance per round of halting combat, 49% chance of 1 hit to either side, 23% chance of 2 hits, and only a 4% chance of 3 hits. Modifiers will of course shift the percentages and the odds of who gets hit.

      Delete
  8. Amazing work and great to see the trans-Atlantic support team working out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely a multiparton transatlantic partnership!

      Delete