<div>Battle of Turdbridge Wells - York v's Lancaster.</div>

Battle of Turdbridge Wells – York v’s Lancaster.

„March forth.“ said the king, so on St Joseph’s Day, the 4th of March Yorkist and Lancastrian armies once again met on England’s green fields to decide which king would sit upon the throne; Good King Henry or Edward the Yorkist usurper! The arrays met in the fields by Turdbridge Wells to do great slaughter and bring about much sorrow and lamentation.

The armies faced each other. Somerset, Tudor, Exeter and Roos, for Lancaster had the advantage of high ground whereas, King Edward with Warwick and Falkenberg faced them with their forces sundered, one from the other, by a swift flowing stream. I decided to forgo my usual heavy horse and substituted a block of bill and bow under Lord Roos to hold the river bank.

Edward sent his mounted archers forward to try and circle around the Lancastrian left held by the Duke of Exeter.

Meanwhile the Lancastrian array advanced steadily along the whole line under the command of the Duke of Somerset. The plan was for Somerset and Roos to hold the river bank whilst Tudor advanced in the centre against Edward with his French pikes. Exeter would support him on the flank.

Edward’s ward was quite large but he was considered a Hero with 3 Command pips so he should easily be able to keep command of his men as long as they stayed close together.

At the rear of the Lancastrian line Queen Margret with Buckingham awaited a stunning victory for Good King Harry.

First blood went to a unit of French handgonners under Exeter. They shot at Edward’s mounted archers and killed several of them.

The red rose of Lancaster stole the initiative and continued the advance. The French pike under Jasper Tudor surged forward in an attempt to come to blows with their enemy as arrow and shotte from the Yorkist cannon took their toll (I pulled a Bonus Card – Perk: which gave them an extra free Action).

Beyond the stream Warwick advanced but stopped on the far bank. Falkenberg, commanding the king’s heavy cavalry dithered behind Warwick’s infantry taking more interest in the cannon and skirmishers under his command.

Exeter’s ward advanced steadily and exchanged arrows with Edward’s archers whilst he prepared his knights to charge into combat.

In the centre, Edward pushed his men-at-arms through his bill and bow in preparation for the French assault. The pike charged in a great clash of arms. The English knights got the worst of is but stood their ground. This battle would grind away for some time with neither side gaining the upper hand.

On the flank the archery continued as the Duke of Exeter’s men got into position for the charge. Before they could charge home the Yorkist archers fled the field leaving their billmen to meet the charge unaided (they failed a Moral Crisis Test at the end of the turn because they were reduced to below half strength). Exeter’s charge smashed the Traitor’s billmen but they managed to hold their ground for the time being.

On the other flank Lord Roos took position on a rise and exchanged long range archery with Warwick’s troops who seemed reluctant to cross the stream. 

On the opposite bank Warwick hid in a small cops of trees trying to decide whether to cross the stream or not. As his men dithered they took steady casualties from both Roos’s and Somerset’s archers.

With the pike grinding away at Edwards centre, Tudor and his brave Welshmen, set up to rush in when the pike had done their work. They had to endure shooting from some Burgundian handgonners on the opposite bank of the river but they received few casualties.

Tired to waiting Warwick’s men-at-arms charged through their fellow billmen and across the stream into Somerset’s bill and bow. Choosing to forego shooting the billmen moved through the archers to meet Warwick’s knights head on (Somerset was attached so he had the choice to shoot or switch ranks). 

The foot knights became Disarrayed because they moved through the stream and this undid them. They were beaten soundly and pushed back. With a shout, Somerset led his men forward to keep up the pressure on Warwick’s knights as the floundered on the riverbank.

King Edward the Traitor, joined his knights against the French pike but again there was no clear winner (second drawn combat) but this time the French were obliged to withdraw. (After the 3rd round of combat if there is no clear winner the original „charger“ must withdraw.

Both sides were beaten bloody but on the flank, and out of shot, Exeter had beaten Edward’s other bill and bow block and was poised to charge into the flank of the King’s remaining troops. Tudor sat in wait with an extremely vulnerable flank but Warwick chose not to send any troops over the Turdbridge, obviously fearing it’s formidable reputation for destroying quality footwear. 

Behind the lines the Queen was receiving reports that the Yorkist army was beginning to crumble.

The Duke of Exeter charged into Edward’s flank causing his remaining archers to flee the field whilst the billmen stood firm and turned to face Exeter’s attack. Edward left his men at arms to try and stem Exeter’s attack. But to what avail?
Tudor sprung his trap and charged into Edward’s remaining men-at-arms and massacred them (see the dice below). 

(21 out of 21 hits – It was almost embarrassing…  Almost!!!)

Jasper Tudor lead his men into the rear of Edward’s last hope crying out the Traitor’s name hoping to take him in chains for the judgement of Queen Margret.
On the banks of the stream the Duke of Somerset and Lord Roos continued raining arrows into Warwick’s remaining troops as they slowly crumbled away. However, as Warwick (Alan) kept reminding his king; „I haven’t lost a full unit yet.“
The kings men were crushed between Exeter and Tudor but, like a slippery eel King Edward managed to escape and left his men to their grizzly fates. (We fought the combat but Edward escaped without injury. So we decided he escaped but at the same time the Yorkist army collapsed. I had no horse so we couldn’t have chased him anyway.)
The Queen looked on over the fleeing Yorkists awaiting news of Edward’s capture or death but, alackaday, it was not to be. The Usurper had escaped and would, no doubt rise again somewhere; with a new army. 
Well, after four games my Lancastrians finally got a win under their belts. The dice were on the side of the righteous this day (me) but I also think that my deployment was better right from the start and I stuck to my plan. Tom as Edward and Alan as Warwick didn’t co-ordinate very well this time around. Alan also had Falkenberg with heavy cavalry but they got stuck behind his infantry and did nothing for the entire battle. He should have sent them over the bride right from the start. That would have ruined my whole battle plan.
I think I’ve discovered the way to win NMtB ` You’ve got to be ruthless. No pity. No quarter!
Once again it was a great narrative game and even better getting a decisive win. Thanks again to Alan and Tom (who also supplied all the terrain).

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Autor: / This 28mm Life

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