Lion Rampant & The Wars of the Roses

“I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die.” 
― William ShakespeareRichard III

Can I begin by saying a huge thank you to Matt Crump?  I just have?  Good!  He deserves a lot of credit.  Not only does he share the loss of a beloved Border Collie, he talks a lot of sense when it comes to this joy called our hobby!  Now I know I've been able to pull myself out of a six month slump courtesy of my Napoleonics.  And I have every intention of continuing to work on them.  But my wonderful family gave me my second box of Perry Minaitures' Wars of the Roses miniatures for Christmas.  And I just had to go and have a sort out of where I'm at with this project, let alone where I want to go with it. And this pic 'n' mix approach may be disorganised to some, but for me, it completely reinvigorates my love of the hobby.  I've started filling up a notebook with my projects.  This means that I can come to whichever project I fancy and know exactly what I have done, and what need to be done to get it to the table.  This is definitely a good thing!  

And where am I with this Wars of the Roses project for Lion Rampant?  Well, right here:
 One box of 40 miniatures has given me eleven Expert Foot Sergeants...
 ...eleven Expert Archers...
 ...and another ten Expert Archers... these...
 ...and these...
 Sigh!  This all needs sorting out.  Personally i don't blame myself.  I had begun this force for DBA many years ago when the set was first released.  I then began to rebase them a year or so ago for Lion Rampant.  Now I fear I'll be doing some more rebasing, and proxying of models while I begin figuring things out. 
 Talking of figuring things out, this is what happened when I decided this morning to take the bull by the horns and make a decision with this project.  Yes, I know it got a little busy.  But it was a lot of fun!

 I'll try and explain.  Having two boxes of miniatures and an additional sprue of 6 foot knights (also Perry) means that I can go ahead and have two 24 point starter retinues for Lion Rampant.  Of course, the downside to this is that they both consist of the same units.  Now, good as this may be, I've been fascinated with the Wars of the Roses for many years.  And, truth be told, with some Christmas Prezzie cash available, I saw the opportunity to really let this project get out of hand.  Completely. 

And I'm glad to say I've done just that!
I'm really grateful to the members of the Lion Rampant group on Facebook, and in particular to Jez Allum, Mike Strong, Nick Elliott, Stuart Mulligan, Jeremy Sutcliffe, Stuart Smith and Skip Nicholson who gave encouragement and helpful advice when I shared my idea for adding multiple miniatures to a single base to emphasise my two leaders.  Thanks to this discussion, I'm definitely going ahead with this idea.  This should provide a lovely focal point to my two armies.  The alternate basing doesn't alter the game in any way.

I'm basing my two forces on those that faced each other at the Battle of Towton which took place on Palm Sunday, 29th March 1461.  More than 28,000 men died on the field of Towton, the single largest loss of life ever to occur on English soil.  In addition, the Battle of Towton was the first time that guns were fired on a British battlefield. 

The amount of blood spilt at Towton is rumoured to have caused the Towton Rose (Rosa Spinosissima) which grew in the area to develop red spots.  The plant survived in this form until recent times.  Of course, this also allows me to field Warwick the Kingmaker, which I am really happy about. 

On 11th March 1641 Lord Fauconberg left London at the head of an army made up of men from the Welsh marches and his own followers from Kent.  This became the vanguard of Edward's army.  Edward left London on 13th March with a force that contained Burgundian Hand gunners and a contingent of Men at Arms supplied by the Duke of Burgundy under the banner of the Dauphin of France. 

The Yorkist army had only four nobles of rank.  They were Edward Plantagenet, Duke of York, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, William Neville, Lord Fauconberg and the Duke of Norfolk. Lord Fauconberg commanded the vanguard.  The Earl of Warwick commanded the centre.  The rearguard was commanded by Edward IV. 

According to Alison Weir, Warwick had 500 Burgundian soldiers including hand gunners with ribaudkins and a company of crossbowmen armed with pavises.

The Lancastrian army was under the command of Henry Beaufort, the Duke of Somerset.  The King, Queen and Prince had remained in York.  The exact positions of their force is unknown, but it is believed they also drew up their army in three lines.  The vanguard was commanded by Sir Andrew Trollope and Sir Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland.  The centre was commanded by Lord Dacre.  The rearguard was commanded by Sir Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter and Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset. 

In contrast to the Yorkists, the Lancastrian army contained no fewer than sixty knights for various levels of wealth and power. 

All of which is paradise to me as it allows me to justifiably create the following two retinues:

1x Foot Men at Arms @ 6pts
2x Expert Archers @ 12pts
1x Expert Foot Sergeants @ 6pts
1x Burgundian Crossbowmen (Archers) @ 4pts
1x Burgundian Hand gunners (Archers) @ 4pts
1x Burgundian Foot Sergeants @ 4pts
36 point retinue

3x Foot Men at Arms @ 18pts
2x Expert Archers @ 12pts
1x Expert Foot Sergeants @ 6pts
36 point retinue

I've ordered the box of Perry Miniatures' Mercenaries and two sprues of Foot Knights to make all this possible.  And it's all written in my black book so I can record my progress. 
After all, why settle for two 24 point retinues when you can have two 36 point ones? 

Wish me luck..!