Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (2024)

As we near the end of our Wars of the Roses campaign we find ourselves at the Battle of Tewkesbury. As with the other games in the campaign we looked for anything of historical note. For Tewkesbury we decided the Lancastrian player would set up the terrain to represent the fact that the ground was of their choosing.
This was a standard 800 point battle with Stephen commanding the Lancastrians left with Charlotte acting as second in command on the right. Assisting me with the Yorkists, Tony F made a return to the field facing Charlottes forces while I took the field opposite Stephen.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (1)

This was the battlefield as setup by the Lancastrians. They formed their battles between two sets of walled fields with some marshland just in front to further impede movement. Their right was made up of a mix of archers and billmen, but on the left Stephen had formed up no less than four units of mounted men at arms, and two units of dismounted men at arms in the centre.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (2)

The Lancastrian right flank was protected by some archers, while on the left were two units of hand gunners using the walls as a fortified position.
Seeing the Lancastrian deployment, I took some bold choices with how the Yorkists would deploy.

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I placed my mounted men at arms in the middle of the field since no Lancastrian flank was on offer. I also felt there was no point trying to face the mass mounted Lancastrian units. I was convinced Stephen had placed those there to perform a mass charge against my forces. I wanted to provoke the Lancastrians into moving rather than wait until my Yorkist forces had advanced between the two walled areas.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (4)

Fearing the Lancastrian mounted units I was determined not to leave my infantry behind the advancing archers. So used my commanders to keep the units moving. Although I had some men at arms and retinue billmen, the second line should it be needed were only militia billmen.

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But the Lancastrian cavalry didn’t move and it was clear that they were waiting for the Yorkists to advance past the hand gunners in their protected position or to spend time trying to dislodge them.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (6)

Trying again to goad the Lancastrians out of position I advanced my mounted men at arms to within charge range, and suggested to Tony he should do the same out on our left flank.

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Still no reaction from the Lancastrians cavalry, so I had no choice but to advance my archers and use a few bonus dice to get a speculative flight of arrows in against the mounted units.

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And in a result that shocked everyone the archers volley managed to destroy the flower of Lancastrian nobility!

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That got the Lancastrians moving but only piecemeal. Stephen sent a lone unit against some advancing men at arms, who managed to blunt the charge and hold up the cavalry.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (10)

But the Yorkists didn’t have it all their own way. Tony’s mounted men at arms suffered at the hands of the Lancastrian archers placed behind the marshland. Tony decided the best counter to the loss of the knights was to advance his archers and billmen and take the fight to the enemy, but took some early casualties from the Lancastrian archers.

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With my cavalry in the middle of the field still threatening to charge, Stephen decided to advance both his units of dismounted knights. The activation dice where in my favour and although Stephen had stacked the bonus dice onto his men at arms, it was my cavalry unit that got to charge first, however they failed to destroy the men at arms and got bogged down into melee.

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Having managed to destroy the first mounted unit sent against the Yorkist right flank, Stephen sent another into the fight, this time he also managed to get off a volley from the hand gunners but to no effect.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (13)

The clash in the centre of the field reached a climax with the destruction of the Yorkist cavalry but not before managing to take one of the Lancastrians dismounted men at arms with them.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (14)

Over on the Yorkist left flank, despite the Lancastrian archers favourable position behind the marsh, the rest of the Lancastrian line was starting to take casualties with Tony’s archers punching holes in their ranks.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (15)

On came the last of the Lancastrian mounted men at arms, but despite giving his cavalry a bonus dice the Yorkist men at arms again refused to budge and the two sides were locked in battle.

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At this point the loses for the Lancastrians pushed them over their first morale check. The test saw a number of key Lancastrian units quit the field adding to their misery.
Over on the Lancastrian right flank Tony was still on the offensive. Having dispatched most of the enemy archers he was advancing his men at arms into the fray.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (17)

With one last desperate charge Stephen sent his billmen in against my archers. These were actually my Militia archers and I gave them all the dice I could spare for the fight. The militia took the most damage but it wasn’t quite enough to destroy either of the units.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (18)

The final stroke came when my men at arms finally got the better of the last Lancastrian cavalry which pushed them over their break point and handed victory to the Yorkists.

Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (19)

The Lancastrians were left scratching their heads at the end of the battle, asking for clues as to what went wrong. The difference in losses suggested a rout, despite their forces having started in a defensive position.

Maybe the Lancastrians can take heart while marching towards the Yorkists greatest defeat on the fields of Bosworth.

Yorkist Loses
2 Units of Mounted Men at Arms (8 points)
2 Units of Longbows (6 points)
1 Unit of Spearmen (4 points)
Total loses 18 points (Army break point 46)

Lancastrian Loses
2 Units of Dismounted Men at Arms (8 points)
6 Units of Longbows (18 points)
4 Units of Mounted Men at Arms (16 points)
Total loses 42 points (Army break point 40)

Yorkist Victory


Wars of the Roses – Battle of Tewkesbury – Battle Report (2024)


What happened to Queen Margaret in the Battle of Tewkesbury? ›

Margaret was taken prisoner by the victorious Yorkists after the Lancastrian defeat at Tewkesbury. In 1475, she was ransomed by her cousin, King Louis XI of France. She went to live in France as a poor relation of the French king, and she died there at the age of 52.

What was the significance of the Battle of Tewkesbury? ›

The Battle of Tewkesbury is one of the greatest clashes in English history and was the final direct encounter between the Yorkists and a purely Lancastrian force. It witnessed the death of a prince of Wales, destroyed the ambitions of a queen, entrenched the rule of a king and sealed the grisly fate of another monarch.

How many died at the Battle of Tewkesbury? ›

Casualties at the Battle of Tewkesbury:

It seems likely that around 2,000 Lancastrians were killed in the battle and subsequent pursuit. Edward, Prince of Wales: The Lancastrian figurehead, Prince Edward, died in the Battle of Tewkesbury.

What is the bloody meadow in Battle of Tewkesbury? ›

The Battle of Tewkesbury was fought on Saturday May 4th 1471 over fields on the south of the town. Thanks to contemporary accounts, the place and course of the battle can be traced with some certainty. Field names like 'The Bloody Meadow' help. Much of the battlefield remains open and undeveloped.

Did the Queen cry when Margaret died? ›

And when Princess Margaret passed away in 2002, Queen Elizabeth openly cried at her funeral—one of the only times the monarch has shown emotion in a public setting. “The queen lost her most intimate companion,” Herrera wrote.

Who was called the white queen? ›

In 1464, Elizabeth Woodville married Edward IV to become England's queen consort. She was known as the White Queen because, during the War of the Roses, the House of York was represented by the symbol of a white rose, while the House of Lancaster was represented by a red rose.

Who was executed after the Battle of Tewkesbury? ›

The Lancastrian heir to the throne, Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, and many prominent Lancastrian nobles were killed during the battle or executed. The Lancastrian king, Henry VI, who was a prisoner in the Tower of London, died shortly after the battle, perhaps murdered.

What is the old name for Tewkesbury? ›

It's popular belief that Tewkesbury began as a seventh century hermitage founded by a Saxon monk called Theoc, originally called 'Theocsbury'. This later developed into the name Tewkesbury as we know it today.

What is a fun fact about Tewksbury? ›

The River Avon runs adjacent to the town and was once used to import and export goods such as the famous Tewkesbury Mustard – the finest in England (in our opinion!) Tewkesbury was also the site of the Battle of the Roses in the 15th century, which is reenacted annually at the local Medieval Festival in July.

What is the bloodiest battle in is history? ›

Sieges and urban combat
(Low est.)
Battle of Stalingrad1942–19431,250,000
Battle of Changde1943100,000
Battle of West Hubei1943115,830
82 more rows

What was the bloodiest day in WWII? ›

It goes by various names, but we've all heard about it through history class, grandparents, the news or shows like "Band of Brothers." June 6, 1944, is the day when more than 160,000 Allied forces landed in Nazi-occupied France as part of the biggest air, land and sea invasion ever executed.

Who won the Wars of the Roses? ›

The War of the Roses conclusively ended when Henry Tudor defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 and ascended the throne as King Henry VII. His victory united the houses of Lancaster and York through his marriage to Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, establishing the Tudor dynasty.

Why was the Battle of Tewkesbury important? ›

The battle of Tewkesbury was to prove a decisive encounter, which ended the second phase of the Wars of the Roses.

How long was the War of the Roses? ›

Waged between 1455 and 1485, the Wars of the Roses earned its flowery name because the white rose was the badge of the Yorks, and the red rose was the badge of the Lancastrians. After 30 years of political manipulation, horrific carnage and brief periods of peace, the wars ended and a new royal dynasty emerged.

Which side won the battle of Tewkesbury? ›

Battle of Tewkesbury, (May 4, 1471), in the English Wars of the Roses, the Yorkist king Edward IV's final victory over his Lancastrian opponents.

What happened to Margaret Beaufort? ›

Death. Margaret had been ill for several days, as legend has it, after eating a cygnet (a young swan) for dinner. The Countess died in the Deanery of Westminster Abbey on 29 June 1509.

What happened to Margaret Queen? ›

In January 2001, she was hospitalized after suffering from “severe loss of appetite,” Buckingham Palace said at the time, per the New York Post. After her various strokes and a period of poor health that left her partially paralyzed and experiencing vision problems, a stroke the day before her death proved to be fatal.

What happened to Margaret of Anjou? ›

At Tewkesbury on May 4, 1471, Margaret was defeated by Edward IV, and her son was killed. Soon afterward her husband was murdered in the Tower of London. Margaret remained in custody in England until the French king Louis XI ransomed her in 1475. She returned to France, where she died in poverty.

Why was Princess Margaret demoted? ›

The Royal Demotion

When Prince Edward turned 21 years old in "The Hereditary Principle", Margaret suffered a painful Royal demotion. Since there can only be six Counsellors of State and Edward automatically became one on his 21st birthday, there was no room left for Margaret.

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