Wars of the Roses
Part 2 The Battle of Coventry
Queen Margaret accompanying the Duke of Somerset, with King Henry in tow, having escaped narrow capture at the Battle at Bristol, rallied the
Lancastrian forces and marched at some speed north east to Coventry. The Lancastrians were keen to recruit more followers to their army.
However, the good citizens of the town realising their earlier error in closing the gates to the Earl of Kent, proceeded to do the same to
Margaret's forces, much to their annoyance.
King Edward determined to chase the Lancastrian army and marched with all haste in pursuit to Coventry, learning that the citizens had refused
access to the army of the pretender. It was late in the day and the King's soldiers were exhausted from their long march when scourers sighted
Margaret's army camped outside the town's walls. King Edward's ardour was undiminished and he ordered an immediate attack upon the
The Duke of Somerset was in conference with Queen Margaret and somewhat surprised when informed that King Edward's army was marching
towards them in battle array. Orders were hastily issued and trumpets sounded as the Lancastrians rushed to assemble.
The Lancastrians chose to deploy behind a river which was only crossable at one point, namely a small bridge. Small wooded copses dotted
the plain on the Yorkist side of the river.
Screened by Irish Kern, the predominantly Shire Levy, archers of the Lancastrians (304 pts) formed up with Retinue archers and billmen to their
The Yorkist army relied heavily on retinued archers, with a minimal amount of bills. Edmund Lord Grey, Earl of Kent commanded the right with a
small force of bows, dismounted nobels and currours.
Although weakened and exhausted by their forced march King Edward spurred his men on ensuring a swift advance to within bowshot.
Screening Irish Kern sallied forth from the Lancastrian host as the enemy began a slow advance.
One unit of Kern occupied the bridge, but were soon forced to withdraw due to accurate fire from the massed Yorkist bowmen.
Though firing with reduced effectiveness the Yorkist bows shot with amazing accuracy disordering the enemy Shire archers and causing fearful
More Irish Kern were spotted having left the cover of the woods on the Yorkist left where they had been lying in ambush. They rushed for the
Yorkist camp but the Earl of Kent, calmly turned his currours to face and rode down one unit, forcing the remaining unit back into cover.
The Yorkist supremacy in bowmen was brought to bear when unit after unit began to concentrate on the Lancastrian disordered archers, whilst
on the Yorkist left the bridge was reached.
Lancastrian archery was very poor indeed, with the Yorkist bowmen returning the enemy shafts with unnerving accuracy despite their
The Lancastrian Shire bowmen began to break and rout, whilst the Yorkist left managed to cross the river and concentrate their arrows on the
enemy retinue bows in reserve.
Somerset had by now decided that the battle was lost and the retinue archers and bills of the Lancastrian rearguard were withdrawn in good
order though with some loss. The remaining Kern also exited the table but the remaining disordered Shire archers found that they were unable
to resist the Yorkist archers and broke in rout.
An amazing Yorkist victory! The enemy lost 132 points, with the Yorkists suffering not a single strength point lost. All the more remarkable
considering the exhausted Yorkist archers firing with a -1 VBU reduction. The B class longbows of the Lancastrian Shire archers were more
affected by long range penalties and typically fired with one one die to the Yorkists two dice.
However, King Henry, Margaret of Anjou and the Duke of Somerset flee to fight another day and so Edward's ultimate objective failed.
For the second game in a row the Cowardly Edmund Lord Grey, Earl of Kent rolled a double six and ended up rated Poor.
The much reduced Lancastrian army now (a mere 172 points) retreated into Wales intending to embark at Milford Haven. King Edward's army
(393 points), exhausted from their forced marches and victory, needed urgent time to rest and reorganise before continuing the chase into Wales.
Part 3 continues.......