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Author Topic: Force composition in the Wars of the Roses  (Read 54009 times)

Offline Cubs

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #45 on: October 16, 2013, 11:30:59 AM »
I love the WotR genre, but find it really tough to unpick. The way that nobles could be referred to by their title (or shortened version of), their actual name or sometimes a mix of one or the other. The fact that the titles were often based around counties or place names, and reading about the movement of people around the map ... it requires a level of concentration I find to maintain. Then, you work in sons inheritting their father's name and/or title and it's like trying to unpick a knot that keeps re-tying itself.
'Sir John ejaculated explosively, sitting up in his chair.' ... 'The Black Gang'.

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Offline max

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #46 on: October 16, 2013, 05:10:00 PM »
As for representing them in HC, couldn't you do one unit being a retinue (or part of a larger one)? So it can shoot and fight, with varying factors for those composed of lots of professionals, or more/less archers than average, or composed mostly of 'militia' quality men.

That way, the precise way they fought is not represented, but instead works as just another part of the battle line.

Offline Arlequín

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #47 on: October 16, 2013, 10:02:48 PM »
Personally I actually think that 'Pike and Shotte' are possibly more accommodating for the period than Hail Caesar... but either set isn't totally spot on.

I love the WotR genre, but find it really tough to unpick. The way that nobles could be referred to by their title (or shortened version of), their actual name or sometimes a mix of one or the other. The fact that the titles were often based around counties or place names, and reading about the movement of people around the map ... it requires a level of concentration I find to maintain. Then, you work in sons inheritting their father's name and/or title and it's like trying to unpick a knot that keeps re-tying itself.

Yes it is at the least confusing and at worst infuriating.

By and large, but with some obvious exceptions 'place' titles weren't usually too far off the mark. Okay the Duke of York's power base was in Shropshire and the King's (as Duke of Lancaster) was in Cheshire, but otherwise people like Somerset and Devon were dominant in those areas you would expect (admittedly with Somerset it was Wiltshire, Dorset and Devon, but fairly close).

Names and titles are really hard to track sometimes, especially as some individuals went through as many as four or five name/title changes in the thirty or so years of the conflicts. Some authors often pre-date the titles of individuals too, which further confuses things and indeed wastes time, if you're working across several sources and looking for one named individual under the 'wrong' title for that year. It doesn't help when you realise that a number of nobles inherited their wives titles too on marriage, so over night they become 'someone else'.

In the same way a title is no obvious indicator of wealth or power either. Lord Bonville could raise enough support to stand  up to the Earl of Devon, who was the major figure in the South West. The Duke of Somerset was weaker than both of them, as his 'wealth' came from the income of 'indulgences' (various taxes or charges that could be levied on things), rather than land. The Duke of York's main cause of complaint against Somerset, was that while both of them had advanced money for the war in France, Somerset had received indulgences that brought money in to pay off his 'loan', while those York received were worthless, or had already been collected for that year. Then there are people like Lord Cobham, who were so poor that they served as a retainer in someone else's household.

It is far more complex than you imagine at first glance indeed, pretty much as regards any aspect you choose to go for. I've said before that my studies into the period have only revealed how little I actually know. It's like an onion, if you were to peel it from the inside out... each layer unravelled reveals far more than you began with... although this onion appears to have no visible surface you could reach.

;)

Offline Captain Blood

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #48 on: October 16, 2013, 11:47:21 PM »
Well, you know more than most of us Jim, and you've got me pondering again...

I found the best way to get the hang of many of the noble houses in the WOTR and where their powerbases were, was to play Kingmaker - which I did a lot, back when I was doing history at uni, about 30 years ago! Courtenay to Okehampton!

 ;)

I have more thoughts and questions, but shall save them for the weelend, when I might have a bit more time!

Offline NurgleHH

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #49 on: October 17, 2013, 08:51:42 AM »
Personally I actually think that 'Pike and Shotte' are possibly more accommodating for the period than Hail Caesar... but either set isn't totally spot on.

It is very difficult with WotR. The Italian Wars are played with P&S, but in the Warlord Forum most use HC. Maybe a test with both will find the useful system - HC or P&S.

Offline Cubs

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #50 on: October 17, 2013, 09:01:34 AM »
I found the best way to get the hang of many of the noble houses in the WOTR and where their powerbases were, was to play Kingmaker - which I did a lot, back when I was doing history at uni, about 30 years ago! Courtenay to Okehampton!


Snap! Man, that game could go on for days sometimes. Mercenaries! 100 Burgundian Crossbowmen!

Offline Arlequín

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #51 on: October 17, 2013, 09:21:06 AM »
Well, you know more than most of us Jim, and you've got me pondering again...

I found the best way to get the hang of many of the noble houses in the WOTR and where their powerbases were, was to play Kingmaker - which I did a lot, back when I was doing history at uni, about 30 years ago! Courtenay to Okehampton!

 ;)

I have more thoughts and questions, but shall save them for the weelend, when I might have a bit more time!


'Know' is perhaps the wrong word, I'm far less sure of myself on the topic than the time before I started looking into it and just relied on WRG, wargame mag articles and the lore as passed down by senior club members... which I fear I am becoming myself in a way. Maybe some time soon, some whippersnapper will come along and show you all how wrong I've got it.

I've presented an interpretation, using the same evidence as those who have offered their own previous interpretations. Obviously I think I have it right, but then so did they. Next bloke who comes along will no doubt think the same. It's no different in the academic world, there exists at any one time an 'accepted history', to get noticed you have to challenge the accepted version and that pretty much makes or breaks your career. LAF is a much kinder environment to do this in.

;)

Kingmaker was/is an excellent game. Not wholly accurate, but certainly good enough to base campaigns on, as a few people did. They actually did a good job of assessing the strengths of relative nobles on their cards too, shame there weren't more of them. Fitzalan to Arundel indeed.

I don't want the thread to descend (any further) into 'Arlequín pontificates on the WotR', but sure, ask away or offer thoughts. I'm more than willing to read and offer an opinion where I can, as well as see other's views too... My own come from listening to what other folk have to say and are by no means set in stone... which is what I see as being 'the problem' - people decide on something and then dig their heels in when it's challenged.

:)  

It is very difficult with WotR. The Italian Wars are played with P&S, but in the Warlord Forum most use HC. Maybe a test with both will find the useful system - HC or P&S.

I'd honestly say that both were acceptable, but neither perfect. I can't say that I've played either, but having read through them both, I went for P&S... purely on the basis that it seemed more compatible with my picture of late Medieval Warfare, which admittedly is more 'Euro-centric' than the WotR.

Offline Hu Rhu

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #52 on: October 17, 2013, 02:39:39 PM »
I found the best way to get the hang of many of the noble houses in the WOTR and where their powerbases were, was to play Kingmaker - which I did a lot, back when I was doing history at uni, about 30 years ago! Courtenay to Okehampton!

I have found the Perfect Captains rules A coat of Steel and their campaign game A Crown of Paper to be very helpful, not only to get a brief historical rundown on each character (Major or otherwise) but also to get a relative understanding of their power bases and their retinues.  Agreed the information is relatively crude in terms of troops types but it makes it a very useful starter for someone getting into the period. The rules are good as well and what's more you don't have to worry about MAA/Bill/Bow ratios as they are covered when you embattle your host. Highly recommended albeit slightly off Hail Cesar topic.

A link to their WOTR page is here:  http://perfectcaptain.50megs.com/acop.html  for anyone who wants to avail themseleves of some useful source material. 

Offline Arlequín

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #53 on: October 17, 2013, 02:47:35 PM »
I had forgotten about those... I thought they looked quite good too. I also get the impression that a lot of time went into that project. Good call!

:)

Offline Orlock

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #54 on: October 17, 2013, 06:12:49 PM »
The Perfect Captain is currently updating A Coat of Steel for the later years of the war. I have introduced various club members to the rules and they have found them easy to pick up. I currently play with 15mm armies but I am upgrading to 28mm Perry miniatures.

Although the game looks daunting with the multitude of play aids it actually fits neatly together when you start deploying for battle. I find the game very fluid and it doesn't take too long too complete a battle.

I particularly like the rules for bowmen, you only have a set number of arrow markers. Once your out of them then the bowmen become lighter armed soldiers and can get stuck in, unless you decide on a resupply wagon aiding them.

Overall they give an excellent flavour for the period. I did buy HC but I never used the rules. I might still have a go with them but for now I am sticking with A Coat of Steel.

Offline H.M.Stanley

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #55 on: October 18, 2013, 08:42:34 AM »
We've tried WotR with both HC and P&S. One of our group, who is a particular fan of late medieval/renaissance (and had a small hand in producing P&S), naturally went for the latter.

However, he has come over to our view that on balance HC works better bearing in mind how supports affect combat etc

Certainly with the weapon types P&S is the obvious choice.

In fairness, you could easily use either set of rules.

James
"Ho, ho, ho! Well, if it isn't fat stinking billy goat Billy Boy in poison! How art thou, thou globby bottle of cheap, stinking chip oil? Come and get one in the yarbles, if ya have any yarbles, you eunuch jelly thou!"

Offline H.M.Stanley

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #56 on: October 18, 2013, 08:44:40 AM »
As for representing them in HC, couldn't you do one unit being a retinue (or part of a larger one)? So it can shoot and fight, with varying factors for those composed of lots of professionals, or more/less archers than average, or composed mostly of 'militia' quality men.

That way, the precise way they fought is not represented, but instead works as just another part of the battle line.

If you look at the Crusader list in the Later supplement you can do just that. I've based my WotR army list on the Crusader list and just altered the Turcopoles (no missile weapons)to represent Border Horse/Prickers etc. otherwise it was a simple renaming exercise and shoe-horning in some basic artillery
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 09:37:47 AM by H.M.Stanley »

Offline Arlequín

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #57 on: October 18, 2013, 09:31:05 AM »
Well experiments are the test of any theory, so if HC is doing the job, fair enough.  :)

Offline H.M.Stanley

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #58 on: October 18, 2013, 09:38:26 AM »
Well experiments are the test of any theory, so if HC is doing the job, fair enough.  :)

It works for us ;)

Offline julesav

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Re: WotR using HC
« Reply #59 on: October 18, 2013, 10:14:26 AM »
Hi guys

I just wanted to say 'Fantastic thread'!

I have a large 'lead-mountain' of WotR stuff which remains unused as I struggle with the 'wooliness' of our knowledge about forces etc.

My research books have mostly been sold or 'loaned onwards' now but the two items I remember as being relevant to this discussion are:

Edward IVs force for his abortive 'French expedition' had something like 16 'archers' to each other named troop-type.

There was apparently a period 'saying' that "the best place for an archer was with a billman at his back".

Obviously these are memories of what I felt were 'key points' and I could be mistaken or the sources could have been poor - I'm pretty sure the 16-1 ratio came from an Osprey book!

Cheers

Jules
"Some scientists say that humans exhibit a behavior called neophilia, which is a preference for new objects. It’s why we like shiny new things."

 

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