Wednesday, July 22, 2015

GMTs Blood and Roses "1st St. Albans" 1455

Blood and Roses is the Third Volume in the "Men of Iron" Series. The first two volumes being "Men of Iron" and "Infidel".
This Volume covers battles from the Wars of the Roses. 

Setup: The King (top) is in a defensive position in the town of St. Albans supported by Buckingham, Clifford, Somerset and Northumberland.  The Duke of York (bottom) is approaching the town supported by Warwick and Salisbury. 

For this scenario I will not be using any of the variants so the lane to the right is undefended and the Yorkists have all their longbow units. 

The Protagonists:

Henry Lancaster King of England was a somewhat ineffectual King and was firmly under the control of strong minded members of his advisory body.


Richard Plantagenet Duke of York. Richards claim to the throne was legitimate through his both his parents and was technically the rightful King being a direct descendant of Edward III.  

The Initial Assault:

Salisbury's archers loose an ineffectual volley on Clifford's infantry. Salisbury subsequently orders his central infantry to advance on the bridge and force Clifford to retreat before his infantry are too badly mauled. On the left some of Salisbury's infantry cross the ditch which takes a toll on their formation. On Salisbury's right his bill-men try and force the ditch but Clifford's  defending troops hold firm and repulse the attack. 


Warwick's Attack on the Shropshire Lane Bridge:
The Longbowmen lay down withering fire on Northumberland's troops and disrupt them the infantry then assault the ditch with Warwick himself leading his household troops against the bridge. The bill-men carry the center of Northumberland's position and he is killed defending the ditch. At the bridge Warwick is repulsed by Somerset and his men. 

Salisbury continues his attack on the Shropshire Lane Bridge. His longbows damage the infantry covering the ditch and he moves in with his household troops to assault. The bill-men have taken the bridge and push further down Shropshire Lane against Clifford's infantry.

Salisbury and his Men-at Arms carry the position in the orchard completely routing the infantry opposing him. His infantry once again push Clifford back  along the lane into the outskirts of St. Albans. 

The Lancastrians use a free activation to rally Northumberland's retired troops and assign a new commander to his battle. The initiative then passes back to the Yorkists. Warwick is again ordered to assault the Shropshire Lane Bridge.

Warwick and his household troops are held at the ditch. His infantry attacking from front and flank push Somerset back along Shropshire Lane toward the town. 
Salisbury is now called upon to renew his attack on the left flank. 

Salisbury attempts to extend his troops bridgehead across the ditch. Fearful of the consequences of loosing some of Clifford's troops desert their posts (the treachery marker) causing the Infantry unit to become disordered.

Salisbury and his Men-at-Arms continue the advance along the orchards eliminating another infantry unit. Clifford's troops stand firm against Salisbury's infantry.

Along Shropshire Lane Somerset counterattacks as some of Warwick's troops defect (treachery counter).  

Somerset's counterattack routs (retires) Warwick's infantry and they retake their positions along the ditch. 

Failing to get a continuation the initiative passes back to the Yorkists. Warwick assaults the bridge again and his archers tear up Somerset's infantry. Once again he is repulsed and falls back before his troops take to much damage (and before he has to take a loss check). 
Once again Salisbury takes up the initiative to attack on the left.  

Salisbury's troops drive up Sopwell Lane while he and his Men-at-Arms attack Somerset.  Clifford and his troops are routed and only stop running when they reach the Kings Standard. Salisbury eliminates Somerset's troops and Somerset is killed in the melee. Salisbury continues his attack and pushes into what is left of Somerset's battle who retreat down Shropshire Lane. 

The Lancastrian Army now breaks and flees for it's life leaving the ditch defenders (well those left) to surrender to York's forces.  

"The first battle of St. Albans was but a short scuffle in a street; it lasted in all but an hour, and the number of slain and wounded was small. As in all the engagements of the Wars of the Roses, the lightly armed archers and billmen of the defeated party flung down their weapons and got off with ease, while the nobles and knights, weighted with their ponderous double-sheathing of mail and plate, could retire but slowly and were caught and cut down. Not more than 120 persons in all perished, possibly as few as sixty: of forty-eight bodies buried by the abbot only twenty-five were those of unknown common soldiers, the others were lords, knights, squires, and officers of the king's household. There was no massacre of fugitives or prisoners: the victors contented themselves with plundering the captives of their armour and their valuables; they let the common soldiers depart and held the gentlemen as hostages. The evil custom of putting to death all the men of rank who were captured, the most disgraceful characteristic of these wars, did not begin until after the battle of Wakefield, when enmities had grown far more envenomed than was yet the case. York on this occasion behaved handsomely to the prisoners; only Lord Dudley was sent to the Tower; of the rest some were merely placed in the custody of known Yorkists, others were set free, on undertaking to acquiesce in the new regime which the duke's victory had created."

The Dictionary of English History. Sidney J. Low and F. S. Pulling, eds. 
London: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1910. 902-3.

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