Historicon 2022: Wars of the Roses with Test of Resolve

My friends Tim Couper and David Knight came to Historicon from the UK. For Tim, it was one of a great many times here, but it was the first trip to the show for David. We kept expenses reasonable although staying on site, by sharing a room at the Marriott (convention hotel). Tim and David showcased their new rules for the Wars of the Roses, Test of Resolve, by running five games over the course of 4 days. The troops for one side (as well as any terrain)  were provided by yours truly, while long time wargames freind Ken Baggaley provided the troops for the other side. 

Mortimer’s Cross (February 2, 1461) – Thursday, 2 PM

Edward of March had gathered troops in Wales and moved towards London. On learning of a Lancastrian army (a mixture of the Welsh followers of Pembroke and a largely mercenary force of Bretons, French and Irish) moving south towards Hereford, March moved to confront them at Mortimers Cross. Test of Resolve: fast play, innovative wargaming rules, designed to fight all the major battles of the Wars of the Roses (see testofresolve.com & Facebook). 

Tim explains the rules to long time Historicon/Piquet/FoB etc freind Freddie Avner.

A “Battle” with Archers deployed at “stand off” distance” for the preliminary arrow exchange.  
These first two photos are courtesy of Milton Soong. 

Towton (March 29 1461) – Friday 11 AM

The Lancastrians had been victorious at St Albans but eventually returned to York, leaving the Yorkist Edward free to enter London to be crowned King on Mar 4. A week later he marched north to Yorkshire where, on a wintry day, he engaged with the Lancastrian forces.

Miles and Anthony, standing by Tim, with Eric, a real WotR aficionado, moving his Battle. 
I love Miles’ shirt: WARNING: May start talking about history!”

Getting stuck in!  Quite a few participants bought rules, cards, and or scenario books after playing.! 

The games are fast (over never more than 2 hours), fun, and allow for all the wacky things that happened in WotR battles!

Miiles commands an ambush emanating from a wooded copse. He is well named! “Miles” means “soldier” or “knight”, from the same Latin stem that gives us military (and the distance a a mile between Roman forts). 

Craig (white shirt), Mark (in yellow “Mark’s Game Room garb)

Stoke Field (June 16 1487) – Friday 7 PM

Lambert Simnell was crowned as King Edward VI to provide a figurehead for the Yorkist cause. Mercenary troops, Anglo-Irish and Gaelic, were raised in Ireland, and sailed across to northwest England. Moving south they met with the the Lancastrian forces of Henry VII in the Midlands, where the final battle in the Wars of the Roses was to be fought.

The set up; all of the games were from one of the three scenario books for Test of Resolve: Wars of the Roses. 

Thomas, Dad Alex, Phil, and Brad

Mark in gold and Joe in black, and our GM  and rules co-author Tim Couper, dispensing his usual bad puns and worse advice!

The players enjoyed this game so much that Tim set it up again, and they replayed it, with a different result, if I recall correctly! 

Hexham (May 10 1464) – Saturday 11 AM

The recently defeated Lancastrian forces decided that their only chance of survival was to have another attempt to defeat Montagu before the reinforcements being raised by Edward IV could arrive to crush the rebellion in the North. So the Lancastrian survivors of Hedgeley Moor advanced south to just outside Hexham. Montagu, confident in his ability to defeat them without Edward’s support, moved out from Newcastle to force battle.

I didn’t manage to get any shots of this one, but I understand the game played well, was fun, and as usual was completed in under 2 hours! 

Empingham (March 12 1470) – Sunday, 9 AM

A rebellion led by Sir Robert Welles in Lincolnshire gave an opportunity for Warwick to begin an armed uprising. Welles raised a large body of men with few experienced fighting troops. He headed towards Warwick at Leicester. Edward marched to intercept Welles with a smaller army, but consisting of higher quality troops with artillery support. He informed Welles that if he did not disband his forces his father, Lord Welles, would be executed, which he was immediately prior to the battle.


Welles rebels’ (a scurvy lot composed largely of very inferior troops) were well on their way to being broken, when King Edward was killed in battle (“don’t roll a one!”), resulting in an immediate victory for the Rebels! I played the far left loyalist command in this game, and actually manage to hit something with my artillery for once! 

Blunders On The Danube

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