Saturday, 1 January 2011

Wars of the Roses

Happy New Year!

That can mean only one thing, it's time to think about this year's projects. While continuing to progress on my Roman and Peninsular projects interest in the Wars of the Roses (WOTR) with the Sheffield club is high so I have decided to make this the main project for the first half of the year.

We have decided to aim to run a campaign in the summer which provides a realistic target for painting armies. We'd also like to refight some of the battles, one of the joys of the WOTR is that 15 battles took place within 32 years with similar combatants so the same figures can be used for a number of battles. I have a general interest in the period and have scattered some pics from last year's Tewkesbury Medieval Festival.

Whilst the battles themselves are interesting, the highlight of the period is the fluid political allegiances. Representing this in a campaign however is not straight forward and my current thoughts are on how the campaign will work.

Victory Conditions

The rules need to allow players to engage in diplomacy as they see fit without unhistorical ganging up. Ultimately the victory conditions for the campaign can ensure this as, assuming everyone is out to win, they will only help each other to a point.

Each player will take on the role of a leading magnate. In order to represent the diversity of the period these will varying in initial strength having three ratings from Duke, Earl, or Lord. The victory conditions for each will vary based on starting position but will be based on the faction surviving and increasing their influence.

Campaign Map

A campaign could be run without a map with each player accumulating and spending political points through fighting battles but I like a nice map and hope to use one. Several existing ones are possibilities. The board games Kingmaker and Richard III both have maps for the period. I have not seen the Kingmaker board but the Richard III map breaks England and Wales into counties.

Extra Impetus 3 also contains a Wars of the Roses map and campaign system based on point to point movement. This would be my preference as it allows players to use strategic movement to influence individual battles though I would like to add more towns and routes to the map to increase the options available to players.

Campaign Battles

My preference for moving between the campaign map and individual battles is to have the armies on the campaign map representing X points which are then converted into an army using a relevant army list. Not only is this easier than maintaining ongoing army lists it also means that multiple rule systems can be used, for while I myself play Impetus there is a strong contingent of WAB players at the club.

A number of tweaks can be made to the campaign rules which limit when players can field special units such as European mercenaries or Scottish allies.

As you will have gathered a large number of details for the campaign will need to be decided over the coming months. But first and foremost I need to get painting troops. As a friend at the club already has the Yorkist at Towton I have decided to paint up the opposing Lancastrian forces starting with the Retinues of the Duke of Somerset and Earl of Northumberland.

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