This is a DWG - Deus Vult Production of the Battle of Dunkeswell Down 1488
|A gathering of the hosts, with the nibbles out and the vanguards of both armies set up|
These kind of games are played in a very light hearted spirit, especially at this time of year, and as your humble game reporter, I am often left to come up with a title and background to our clash of arms.
|A few last minute conversations before bringing the rest of the forces to the table|
|Archers to the fore with one of Warwick's battles in support|
|Loose and darken the sky|
First, this battle involved a lot of cousins and close neighbours and the inevitable blood feuds had sprung up during the long years of war. In our re-fight any opposing nobles engaged in fighting units with blood feuds could issue personal combat challenges to decide the fates of the forces in their battle. This was a rule that got used a lot in our game and quite a few old scores were settled and several nobles ended their days as foot stools in their nemesis's campaign tent. In addition, any enemy nobles defeated gave personal honour in the form of points to the victorious noble along with any enemy units driven from the field of battle.
Second, given the nature of warfare in these troubled times, you could never be really sure who was on which side, rather like what goes on in modern politics today. Thus there were rumours circulating that at least one noble in the other camp was liable to change his colours when the opportunity presented.
|Yorkist commanders discuss tactics with Sir Thomas, Lord Exmouth. in his unusual black and white surcoat, with his familiar arms, the white snowman.|
|First contact, Lancastrian billman face off a Yorkist cavalry attack|
The Yorkists made an aggressive thrust at the opposing van with a charge of massed mounted knights into the opposing billmen and archers. The fighting became confused and bloody and both sides struggled to gain an advantage.
|The centre is soon engulfed with Yorkist knights at the tilt|
|The Lancastrian pretender arrives with his battle array|
|The Yorkist knights start to gain the ascendancy in the middle of the Lancastrian line|
|surprise, surprise, well I didn't expect that!! - the Yorkist flank attack on the Lancastian left|
|The Earl of Exmouth is caught in the flank by forces under the command of his Son, Lord Thomas, a blood feud indeed!!|
|Try not to throw 1, 2 or 3 - Oh dear, how sad, never mind!!|
|The Yorkist mounted knights continued to threaten the centre ground|
|Warwick tries to contain the situation in the centre of Lancastian lines. Rumours of his death earlier in the war were greatly exaggerated|
|Baron Goodyear seen "Girding his Loins" during the battle|
Desperate to swing the fight in favour of their respective camp, treachery started to reveal it's dark plan. Sir Stephen of Cardiff, a Devon noble banished to estates in South Wales for unnatural relations and concepts in animal husbandry, revealed his true Yorkist sentiments and added to the woes of the Lancastrian centre. In response, the Sir Lancelot of his Peers, Sir Stephen of Lympstone a man who preferred to do most things on the back of a horse suddenly announced, after gutting the Lancastrian centre with his "mounted joustabouts" that he really was for Lancaster and hoped for a spirit of forgive and forget to prevail.
|The bloody battle rages between father and son as the Lords of Exmouth engage in mortal combat|
The stress of the consequences of failure were starting to tell, or perhaps it was the desire to get down the pub for a Xmas tipple, either way, the personal challenges started to fly. It started with the most personal of blood feuds as Sir Jon, Baron of Exmouth, fuming with rage at the disloyalty of his son, The Honourable Sir Thomas, issued a personal challenge and, although chastising the errant lad with a breath taking display of swordsmanship, left the lad standing and returned to the cheers of his followers. This was to prove a mistake as Sir Thomas, boiling with rage led his men in a fanatical charge breaking two of his fathers units and capturing the old man.
|Arrows were flying in all directions|
|The Lancastian left in trouble|
|Lancastrian billmen head towards the left flank in a bid to hold it|
The day started to lose the light as the fighting broke down into personal little fights all along the line. No quarter was asked or given, noble footstools were being fashioned throughout the opposing camps as personal challenges were decided.
With the battle very much in the hands of the Yorkists, Baron Blackmore decided to make one last desperate roll of the dice. He issued a personal challenge to his opposing contender. Sir Nathan, Baron Goodyear, Lord of the Isles, Protector of the Faith and Lord High Commander of the King's Chamber Pot. The Baron Goodyear, never known to back down from a challenge to his honour, said "no thanks, not when I'm winning and about to get the job of being King".
In the face of such implacable determination, the Lancastrian forces broke contact as darkness fell, quitting the field and headed off towards the rallying point at the Queen's Head.
|Warwicks retinue charge into the fight|
The day was for York and the honour went to a young noble Sir Thomas of Exmouth who bagged double points for taking his Dad prisoner in a blood feud and breaking two of the enemy units.
|Baron Goodyear ignores the catcalls about being frit and prepares to acknowledge the accolade for his victory|
|Baron Blackmore, fumes as his personal challenge is refused|
|It's true, "an army marches on it's stomach"|
The victor of this tale also suffered an ignoble end failing to get back to Westminster for his Coronation after picking up a dose of the pox after a night out in Exeter to celebrate his recent victory. The rest as they say, is history.
Let the ballads say that much fun was had at the DWG 2014 Xmas game, with much laughter and banter prevailing. Thanks to Gamemeister Chas for pulling the scenario together and managing to herd cats.
Happy Xmas to all and here's looking forward to new games in 2015