Battle of Bosworth (22 August 1485)
By Kyle Burley
The Battle of Bosworth was fought on August 22, 1485 between the forces of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England and troops assembled under the banner of Henry Tudor, the Earl of Richmond. This would be the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, because its outcome established the Tudor dynasty and set the stage for England's eventual path through the Renaissance.
This troop list is based upon research from multiple sources including those cited as first person interviews from Commines. It is what can reasonably be ascertained from these sources. Although none of it can be entirely certain it follows a logical approach to the forces involved. It uses the convention of one-figure equals about 50 soldiers (1=50).
The Osprey Campaign Book on Bosworth contains a rather disproportionate amount of pikemen in the Ricardian army; I have lowered this to show more English troop types, although the Royal force may have had some Pike with which to fight.
The usual figures of troops for each side are Richard III at 15,000 and Tudor at 5,000. If the Stanley's are taken out of the Royalist force it gives us the numbers seen below at approx. 10,000 and 5,000 respectively for Richard III and Tudor. You may also notice that I have weighted the Kn commands for the Richard III and Tudor forces proportionately in order to give some balance and focus to the game and allow for the "Death Ride" of Richard III as well.
Game Set Up
Please refer to the maps available on the Richard III Society's Bosworth Page and choose the one you believe most appropriate.
This scenario is designed to facilitate up to 8 players- 4 on each side. The game does need at least 6 players to get the full flavor of the events that happened. At a minimum the scenario needs 3 players - one for the Ricardians, one for Tudor, and one for the Stanley's.
The scenario begins with the campaign's march moves have already occurred and Richard has established his army west to east on Ambion Hill to the west of Leicester. The Ricardian army is facing south with Norfolk on the right and Northumberland on the left. The Tudor Army is forming up to engage Richard.
Other Set-Up Notes:
Richard III achieves victory if one of the following occurs:
Henry Tudor achieves victory if one of the following occurs:
Norfolk: You are probably the most able soldier in the realm. You are a loyal Yorkist who has fought many a battle for that house. Oxford is a long time rival whom you detest and would like nothing more than to see his head on a spike. This is your chance to finish this feud once and for all. Your knights are lead by your son the Earl of Surrey.
Richard III: This is it, if you don't kill this upstart now you will never have any peace, and that is something you desire most. Your wife has died, your son and heir has died, there are traitors, even Buckingham- your most trusted Chamberlain betrayed you--now the Stanley's on the field of Battle have arrayed themselves such that you know that you will have to execute his son. If the battle goes awry, you must intervene.
Brackenbury: You must fight for Richard as hard as possible, if this battle is lost then you and your peers- Zouche, Ratcliffe, and Catesby will have no lord.
Northumberland: As ever you are a watchful and cautious Northern Lord. Although your family fought for the Lancastrian succession, that is all gone and Richard has done great things to assist your family in reestablishing itself in the North against the Scots (who are now fighting for Richmond, by the way). The Stanley family now has you concerned and you wonder whither they will commit themselves to Richmond or not.
Oxford: A loyal Lancastrian and esteemed soldier in the fight for their side- a fight that never seems to end. There is no other lord who has done more for the cause. Now, Norfolk opposes you on this field. It is payback time, and the opportunity to see your dreams of Lancastrian succession come true.
Henry Tudor: You have a loyal entourage that you cannot let down and they will not fail you if they can help it. Your negotiations with your stepfather are positive but William Stanley is uncommitted because of the fate of his son.... He will probably back you and your dragon standard, but there is that chance that.....
Stanley: You have been keeping the forces of Richard III and Richmond apart, shadowing Richmond and playing the advance guard for Richard. You have blood ties to the young Welsh Earl but Richard has allowed you to become very powerful in his kingdom. Yet the king has made a hostage of your son and is well....unstable.
Comments are welcome at email@example.com.
Last Update: Jan. 6, 2001
My thanks to Kyle Burley for this scenario. Gamer feedback is welcome. Send comments to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.