Thursday 18 July 2024

The Battle of Bosworth: Orders of Battle

Last weekend's game saw my entire Wars of the Roses / Battle of Bosworth collection of 6mm figures out on the table. I built my armies with one aim, to include as many of the nobles and Lords who were present at the battle, and feature the flags and banners for them on my bases. I'll let you decide if that last objective was worth the effort, but I was certainly happy with the outcome on the game table. 

My orders of battle were built from the lists of known participants for each side, although the specific number of troops and of what kind each brought to the battle, requires a bit of guesswork. I couldn't find any specific details, so I had an approximate size and arrangement in mind for the overall army compositions and worked towards that. You may disagree with how I built my armies but from my own research, this 'best guess' is probably as accurate (or inaccurate) as any other variation I have seen. 


I highly recommend the Freezywater publications of flags and bios (the Lance and Longbow Society) and there is also a book by Bob Pritchard "Battle of Bosworth Nobles and Knight Profiles" packed full of the heraldic banners for everyone who took part. I can't find anyone selling it at the moment, but it's worth keeping an eye out for it on eBay. They also sell copies in the shop at the Bosworth Heritage Cantre which I highly recommend visiting if you get a chance. 

Tuesday 16 July 2024

The Battle of Bosworth 1485 - A 6mm, Test of Resolve, Quick Strike Battle Report

On Saturday I finally got my Wars of the Roses / Bosworth game on the table in the shed-o-war for the Rejects. It's been a long time coming, but it went well, with just a couple of issues I will discuss later in the week. Before the game I gave the players a briefing of the rules, but also an outline of the scenario and why I had chosen to represent the battle the way I had.

The location of the Battle of Bosworth has been debated and plotted by antiquarians and historians many times in the 539 years since the battle took place. For several hundred years it was linked to Ambion Hill where Richard probably camped the night before the battle. This seems logical because it is one of the highest points in a semi-circular range of hills, with good visibility for miles around. However, few artefacts had been definitively found to tie the battle to this location, and core samples of the surrounding terrain revealed no evidence of the now-famous marsh in which Richard lost his life.

Between August 2005 and August 2009, the Battlefields Trust undertook a major new study of Bosworth battlefield, on behalf of Leicestershire County Council. Combined with new analysis of documentary sources, this analysis shifted the location of the battle away from its traditional site to a position two miles southwest, on either side of Fen Lane. A wealth of artefacts was uncovered, including the single largest collection of medieval cannon balls ever found, numerous sword hilts, buckles, spurs, horse tackle and the by-now famous Boar Badge which would have been worn by one of the king's closest entourage. All of these have definitively identified the site of the engagement and indicated the orientation of the battles, the location of the guns and even the infamous marsh. This game is based on this most recent interpretation of the evidence.

UPDATE: The Battle Reports of Richard and Ray have more excellent pictures of the game:

Tuesday 2 July 2024

Tankfest 2024

Just came back from a weekend away with the family, centred around a trip to the Tank Museum at Bovington to attend Tankfest 2024. If you like your living history loud and exciting, this is one not to be missed!