Thursday, 24 February 2011

Empingham , 12 March 1470

On the 12th march 1470 Edward IV met and defeated a Lancastrian force under Robert Welles at Empingham, Country Rutland, in the East Midlands. During the engagement Welles was killed and the loss struck a serious blow to the Lancastrians with the rebellious Warwick fleeing to France to seek an alliance with Margaret of Anjou. The site of the battle is popularly known as Losecote field – traditionally thought to refer to the shedding of their identifying coats by the fleeing Lancastrian troops. However, the name may predate the battle and is though to mean pigsty field.

Not the battle of Losecote Field (Tewkesbury, actually)

So, tonight's DBA match saw York (IV 83 a) pitted against Lancaster (IV 83 a) again.

The Lancastrians defended the field with woods dividing their line of deployment in half, and their left flank anchored on the village of Empingham (BUA). The battle on their left flank was commanded by Welles and consisted of equal number of bows (3 x 4Lb) and heavy infantry (3 x 4Bd - inc. gen.). The right flank was held by a battle consisting of bows (3 x 4Lb), heavy infantry (2 x 4Bd), and artillery (1 x Art).

The Yorkists (under my command) deployed in two battles straddling a steep hill in the centre of their deployment area. The battle on the left flank consisted of bows (3 x 3Lb), heavy infantry (2 x 4Bd), and knights (1 x 3Kn). The right flank was held by bows (3 x 3Lb), heavy infantry (1 x 4Bd), and artillery (1 x Art). Edward sat with his knights (1 x 3Kn gen) on the crest of the steep hill between the two battles.

Both lines advanced beyond their deployment zones with the Lancastrians slowed by command difficulties (poor PIP rolls). As both side cleared the rough terrain in their centres unsuccessful efforts were made to join the two battles into a cohesive line. The Lancastrian cannons disordered the Yorkist left flank but the heavy infantry managed to effectively shield the bows as the line advanced to contact.

Yorkist command and control faltered in the second half of the battle (I kept rolling 1's for PIPs) while the Lancastrians seized the initiative. Despite the best efforts of the Yorkist artillery on their right flank, the Lancastrians used this later advantage in mobility to push home an assault on the Yorkist right, which was disordered with heavy losses (at this stage it was Yorkist losses 3 / Lancastrian 0).

In a final effort to regain the initiative Edward pushed home an assault with the relatively fresh battle on his left flank, while holding ground on his decimated right. Close combats with his heavy infantry and effective shooting by the Yorkist bowmen along the line saw Edward turn the tide of the battle for about 30 minutes (2 turns), destroying Lancastrian heavy infantry and bows (Yorkist losses 3 / Lancastrian 3). Alas, a final push by the Lancastrians on Edward's right flank saw the battle lost and his force retreated in disorder (Final losses Lancastrian 3 / Yorkist 4).

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