“Battle of Barnet: 14 April 1471” Game at Historicon

Chris Palmer Saturday morning at Historicon I ran my “Warring Roses in the Mist game, which featured the Battle of Barnet fought 14 April 1471, using “Bear Yourselves Valiantly” rules and 10mm figures.  In the battle, King Edward IV arrayed his Yorkist army to fight against he Earl of Warwick and his Lancastrian army on a foggy morning; so foggy in fact that the two armies lined up offset, so both had dangerously threatened flanks.

The game begins, as commanders begin to move their units.

One of the main features of the battle, other than the visibility limiting mist, was several hedges that cut through between the two armies, hindering their movement.   In the game,  the Lancastirans were able to advance their longbowmen to these hedges providing them some cover as the Yorkist army also moved their archers forward.

Exeter’s longbowmen rush for the hedges (center of the photo), as Gloucester’s men advance (left of the photo).

The archery duel commenced and after a couple turns the Lancastrian army had received the worst of it, loosing the achery duel in front of all three of their commands (Exeter on the left, Warwick in the center, and Oxford on the right)  As their remaining Lancastrian archers fell back the Yorkist archers poured fire into the Lancastrian foot soldiers as they now tried to move up.

The height of the battle

The Duke of Exeter on the Lancastrian left, who was badly outflanked by the Duke of Gloucester across from him, quickly found himself in a bad position and his lines began to get badly decimated.  Exeter was slowly pushed back and Warwick found his troops in the center now threatened.

Exeter is pushed back from the hedges by the advancing Gloucester

Meanwhile on the Lancastrian right, the Earl of Oxford, who outflanked his opposite, Lord Hastings, despite having his archers mauled was able to advance across the hedgerow and held his own for a while, but he was unable to maintain any momentum in his attack, and he too found himself slowly pushed back.

Warwick (seen in the center of the photo) with enemy units drawing close, concedes defeat and vows to return another day.

Once the writing was on the wall, Warwick conceded, and the game was called as a Yorkist victory.  All the players said they had a great time, and several said they were eagerly looking forward the the rules being published early this Fall.  As a GM I enjoyed running the game for a super group of players.

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