Thursday, 16 July 2015

Tewkesbury recrudescent

I am remiss in posting to the extent that I am playing games faster than I am writing about them. Last night saw some Crusades goodness at James'. The scenario and a brief report of the first night is here so I will say no more than that his conifer anxiety was misplaced.

'I don't share your greed, the only card I need is...'

Last week we gave 'To the Strongest!', the ruleset du jour, a try out for the Wars of the Roses. Originally I didn't have much time to set something up and so by default I went for that old WotR standby, Tewkesbury. This requires modelling both the Yorkist ambush and whatever Wenlock was trying to achieve and the way that either or both of these are handled could, if they don't work, distort the game to the extent that one can't properly judge the rules. However, all the other WotR battles were either completely lopsided or even more dependent on treachery, weather and so on.

Tewkesbury Abbey in the background

Anyway, I'm pleased to say that the rules worked well and, importantly, were quick to play. We were able to run through the scenario twice, the second in particular being a very tight and enjoyable game. The first game ran into a slight problem in scenario design when Gloucester's battle lost all its archers immediately in a sort of longbow armaggedon and was unable to trigger the Lancastrian special move; umpiring intervention was required to get things back on track. In the second game it all worked more smoothly: Somerset advanced, Wenlock didn't and got brained for his pains, with Sir John Langstrother taking over.

Wenlock's prevarication causes Somerset to lose focus

 The rules were voted a success for the period, indeed the consensus is that they work best when both sides have essentially the same troop types. One or two ideas were floated as to how to ensure that commands advanced - or not - together, which we felt would better represent warfare of the time. No doubt we shall try these out in due course. For the record the Lancastrians won both games.

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