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Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any Errata?

Scenarios 1455-1461 v1.1 has the following errata, corrected in v1.11 (from 9 Aug 2023):

p34if Warwick fails, the battle is won by the Yorkists“. This is corrected to: “… the battle is won by the Lancastrians“.

p35Clifford is a VIP in this and the following phase. If he dies or is captured, the Yorkists are immediately defeated“. This is corrected to: “… If he dies or is captured, the Lancastrians are immediately defeated“.

Other than the above, there are no errata for books shipped on or after 11 June 2021.

The few errata for books shipped prior to this can be found here.

Is there a Test of Resolve Facebook group?

You’ll find it here:

What are gamers saying about us?
Are there any basing requirements?

The rules are not dependent on base sizing, so existing basing will almost certainly work for this period. Typical existing base frontages are 60-70mm for 28mm, 40mm for 10/15mm, with base depths appropriate to the number of figures. (Gamers with armies with figures of 6mm or less may wish to use centimetres instead of inches throughout).

Forms: Mass, Wide, Artillery & Scurrer

A company is represented by 1–3 bases, and the arrangement of bases has one of the following footprints:

Why is a D12 the die of choice?

Quite early on, we decided to have rolling a 1 to mean “Bad Things Happen”. This implies a single die is rolled. We had looked at 2 D6 (so Bad Things Happen on a 2), but the rolls did not occur with sufficient frequency (1:36) to have that rather nice feature of the game occur only occur a handful of times each game. We then looked at differing the sidedness of the die depending on appropriate factors, and discovered that D12 just worked well in all cases. As a bonus, D12s roll very easily, and, perhaps most importantly, it makes the dice aspect of the game simple – so we are not requiring gamers have to work out, and then find/recognise, the correct polyhedral die!

Where can I see examples of how the game is played?

There’s a walkthrough of the rules here.

Is there a War of the Roses “Who’s Who”?

There’s a comprehensive summary as PDF for download here

Should I mark Ongoing Melees?
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For larger battles at a point where there is the possibility of not remembering which are Ongoing Melees, we use small flags to indicate an Ongoing Melee, as shown.

The flag image can be downloaded here.

Why can archers only fire sometimes?

David Knight posted these helpful paragraphs on Facebook:

Can I address the point about archers who cannot shoot. There is a lot that happens on a real battlefield, which is in constant motion, that has to be abstracted in wargaming terms. So archers would be firing a lot more of the time than we represent but a Fire/Strengthen Resolve card is an opportunity to inflict significant damage on an opposing company which we allow only when in the most advantageous shooting formation, which is the Wide form.

Similarly a wargamer might reasonably ask why a Missile Supply check needs to be performed by archers who are in range (or have been) of enemy troops but have not yet “fired” (i.e the army has not turned a Fire/Strengthen Resolve card). Once again the assumption is that they have been firing, just to no effect.

Once the archers are in Mass formation, the assumption is that they have slung their bows (or had them carried to the rear) and got their melee weapons out. Once again some may well get the odd shot in but not in sufficient numbers to have an effect. In scenarios where arriving archers are already in Mass form, we are suggesting that the aim of their battle commander is to commit his melee troops to the fight as soon as he can without taking the time to deploy archers to the front. This is a likely situation where there are late-arriving troops to find an already general melee ensuing.

The grouping of men in each the battle are divided into much more distinct companies than was probably the case once general fighting ensued; it is likely to have just been one large mob. This is a necessary wargaming abstraction to make our sort of game play possible. The point here is that picking out individual enemy companies in such a situation was probably much more difficult than it appears on the table even if the archers had been able to deploy into an effective shooting formation.

The way that archers stay at “standoff distance” and withdraw in the face of enemy melee troops are other examples of us trying to replicate the dynamism of a real engagement. They don’t get too close in the first place and as soon as they are threatened they get out of the way.

Finding a Haven – at which points on the Archer and possible Haven melee companies do I measure from/to?

The issue is where you start the line and how much of the melee company must the line cross for it to be considered a Haven. I play this as follows, using a conceptual 45 deg line from the corner of the archer unit as shown in the diagrams:

If that line intersects the front of the melee company, (for this case where both are facing the same way), that company can be a Haven. If it intersects the flank, it is not a Haven. And if the sides of the melee company are not so conveniently parallel to those of the archers, I would (conceptually) pivot the melee company until they were.

Having said this, the question of having to decide whether or not a melee company is a Haven should be a rare occurrence in a game. It is a key element in the understanding of the role of archers in the WotR, namely that they were really light troops with a few dozen arrows, which they would fire off initially and then engage with melee weapons, rather than being a missile unit which moved around the battlefield looking for targets to fire at, throughout the battle. The melee troops behind the initial front line of archers would push through the archers at an appropriate time rather than the “intuitive, optimal” gaming movement of the former shuffling sideways so as to move around the archers, enabling the latter to still have fire capability. The rules do not forbid such a movement (in keeping with our philosophy), but make it both difficult and usually disadvantageous – to encourage the gamer to move the companies in a manner which reflects the period.  For the consequential separation of the melee companies into two groups (often one “group” containing just one melee company) leaves them open to being Isolated (as Wide companies do not help with Isolation for melee companies), and usually more vulnerable to outnumbering attacks.

I see Very Inferior and Knights Qualities. How are they different from Inferior and Superior respectively?

A Very Inferior company

  • has 4 Resolve Points, and contributes 2 Morale Points to the battle;
  • receives a -2 modifier in Resolve & Strengthen Resolve Tests; 
  • melees as Inferior;
  • cannot be a Small Company & cannot have an Attached Commander; 
  • is susceptible to Panic (i.e. if a friendly company in the same battle within Proximity (6”) is eliminated or Turns Tail, it must take a Resolve Test (at most once per card)) (with a -1 modifier for Panic plus a -2 modifier for Quality)).

If the only melee companies remaining in a battle are Very Inferior, the battle Disperses.

A Knights company differs from a Superior company only in its impact on Resolve & Strengthen Resolve Tests. It has 4 Resolve Points (2 if a Small Company), and contributes 3 Morale Points to a battle. It melees as Superior, and receives a +2 modifier in Resolve and Strengthen Resolve Tests.

How are the Scenarios presented

Background and Pre-Battle
The historical details set the context for the scenario.

Order of Battle
This is not like a list of Napoleonic regiments present at a battle, so the number and types of company can be modified to meet your collection of figures. Of the Troop Types In each Order of Battle, Household are Superior quality, and all others are Average, unless otherwise stated. For additional variety, all qualities can be diced for, using the Rating Table (see Rules: Rating Table (p8)).

Each scenario has a map with a 30cm (1ft) grid, showing initial troop positions and the key terrain features. If you prefer a busier table, add scatter. If gaming with 6mm or 10mm figures we recommend substituting cm for inches for movement and ranges.

Scenario Rules and Reminders
These allow for specific incidents in the battle to be played out, and also give (hopefully helpful) reminders of some of the rules which play a significant role in the scenario.

Historical Outcome
This enables you to see how close your game was to the actual battle, and gives an insight into why some of the scenario-specific rules were introduced.

For further reading!

Outnumbering questions

1 Can a defender ever get an Outnumbering bonus?

Answer: Only in an Ongoing melee, since in all other cases they haven’t moved into contact on the Move & Melee card.

2 How do you count someone as Outnumbering if they are in front corner to defender corner contact?

Answer: Front corner to corner contact counts for melee purposes, as implied by page 31 Corner Contact in Melee. This determines which facing the attacking company is contacting (i.e. where the front centre of the attacking company is positioned)

3 Do you count someone as Outnumbering in side edge to side edge contact?

Answer: No. A company is only involved in a melee if it is either in frontal contact with an enemy company, or an enemy company is in frontal contact with it.

4 Do companies count as Outnumbering even if they are frontally engaged themselves?

Answer: A company in frontal contact must be involved in exactly one melee only. . Where there are multiple companies in contact, the attacker selects the Principal Attacker and Defender such that all frontally contacting companies are involved in a melee. There can, and sometimes must be, multiple melees (so multiple Principal Attacker/Defender pairs) to ensure that all frontally contacting companies are involved in a melee – the attacker has the choice of allocating companies to melees if there are alternative configurations (see the example on page 31). Having selected the Principal Attacker/Defender pairs, any other frontally contacting companies are Outnumbering in exactly one of these melees.

With thanks to Mark Birch for highlighting these questions on the Facebook group, and John Ewing and Richard Hill for their clarifications.

Some beginner in-play gaming questions …

1 If the next card after a Flabbergasted! or Flummoxed! card is the opposite colour, does it apply to the other side? No, these cards only apply to the current Play Deck – we call it a “dead Flabbergasted!/Flummoxed! card. (see Rules: Footnote p18).

2 Does everyone in the same battle move the same distance when a Move & Melee card is drawn? Or do you roll for each company? You roll once for all companies in a battle. Each company may then move any distance up to their Movement Distance (see Rules: Move p19).

3 If archers are in the battle and you roll high enough to get past Standoff Distance, can they halt at standoff and fire, or must they Seek Safety or reform into Mass? Archers can move no nearer than the Standoff Distance (see Rules; Standoff Distance p20), so they must halt. They do not have to form into Mass nor Seek Safety – nor does the player usually want this! And of course they can only fire on a Fire/Strengthen Resolve card.

4. Do companies that “Turn Tail” automatically rally at the end of the move (presumably facing away)? Yes (in the sense that they do not have to “run” on subsequent Move & Melee cards). They end the Turn Tail movement facing away. But there is no concept of rally, just regaining Resolve Points by performing Strengthen Resolve checks.

5. If a company is contacted on both flanks by enemy companies, are flanking attack modifiers cumulative? You only count the -1 for being Flanked once. The attackers would get the Outnumbering bonus.

6 Can one unit move PAST an enemy not directly in front of it to hit a second enemy behind, or must they pivot into the closest opponent? This is possible so long as you are not attempting to move through the first enemy company’s Frontal Zone and presenting your own flank. Also remember that Household companies must always target an enemy Household company if one is within 12″ (see Rules: Household Companies p10).

7 If an Outnumbering side loses melee, must both companies fall back? If a losing Principal Company has routed or Turned Tail, all Outnumbering companies on that side roll individually to Turn Tail. If any roll a 1, it remains in contact, but no further rounds are fought in this melee on this card (See Rules: Footnote p74).

8. If you pass a Resolve Test, do you also get a Battle Morale Point back? No .. your reward for passing the test is that nothing nasty happens!

With thanks to Jennifer Burdoo for asking the questions in her first game, and John Ewing & Richard Hill for (again) providing excellent answers!