Sunday, May 22, 2022

To the Strongest: War of the Roses in 15mm

On Saturday afternoon April 23 at HMGS-South's Recon 2022, I sat down for a "Learn to play To the Strongest" game hosted by Daniel Moreno and Curt. (Sorry, Curt, but I can't your last name!) The scenario was a generic version of Bosworth Field during the War of the Roses, using the army lists in the Medieval Army List supplement and 15mm Peter Pig miniatures.

Before the Battle
Below are a couple photos taken before the game began. I took the first photo while checking out the tables for the 2pm games. I didn't expect to play To the Strongest that day. For a while now, I've owned the base rules and supplements. I looked over them but had never played them.

On the left is the Tudor army led by Henry Tudor. On the right is the York army led by Richard III. This is the pre-game setup.
It looked like I was the only player for the game, so Curt was going to play Henry Tudor. I played York. We used the card deck to decide who would go first. After that, we used the chits Simon sells for the game.

The Miniatures
All the miniatures are from Peter Pig's War of the Roses line. These were Curt's figures. I only have Peter Pig's WWII figures. For years, I have looked at the WoR range online but had never seen them in person. I love them. BTW this Recon had a wide variety of miniature sizes: 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 1/72, 28mm, 40mm, and 54mm. Wow! The mat is from Simon's BigRedBat web store.


The York Army
Below are some photos and stats for the York army. I took close-up photos of the York army lists that Curt made, but forgot to take photos of the Tudor army lists. These armies played nicely against each other and were easy to command. Jeremy and I took shots of Richard's army, but I forgot to take close-up photos of Hastings and Norfolk.

A close-up of Richard III's battle on the right wing. (Taken by Jeremy.)
Here is the entire Richard III army. These PP figs look awesome!

Sorry these are out of order.  Lord Norfolk's army list in the Center.

King Richard III's army list on the Right.

Lord Hastings' army list on the Left.

The Tudor Army
Below are photos of the Tudor army. Another fellow joined the game. Since he had played TtS before, Curt came over to my side. Below are some close-up photos.

Henry's army, which sat directly across from my Richard III. It would be a close run thing between these two armies!

The Game Begins
After some basic rules teaching, we began the game. Daniel Moreno handled the rules, which he loves doing. Curt provided strategy tips to me and controlled Richard's army. Instead of cards, both sides used the Chits of War official chits from the BigRedBat store. At the request of the new player (sorry, can't recall his name!), we used alternating activation instead of I-go-you-go. Being my first game, I'm uncertain if this was good or bad. Curt and Dan felt it worked well.

We're getting stuck in now!

What a Slog!
All the armies got off to a decent start--kind of. All six armies (or whatever they are called) had no problem activating. Sadly, my Hastings army, which held the center, just sat in place for at least three turns, blowing its activation every time. Sigh. Eventually, the game got going. After two hours, we ended it. It was close. I lost by a squeak. Sorry, Richard!

My Thoughts
I like rolling dice and missed doing that. Dice feel dramatic to me. That being said, I liked To the Strongest overall. We did a game in two hours. That was nice. I did have a problem with the chit pulling (or card flipping). I found myself card counting. It drove me nuts. But I'm sure I can overcome that.

I think using alternating army/battle activation messed with the chit pulling odds as a turn progressed. I have to see what others think about this.

In the end, I didn't come away wanting to play To the Strongest again as soon as possible. I was just glad to end the game. It was a slog, with lots of sound and fury from the players but signifying not much happening due to constant bad chit pulls. I need to study the rules. We knew we accidentally played some important rules wrong. It always happens. I have to wrap my head around the grid system more. Would I turn down a game of TtS? No. Would I seek out a game of TtS? Not sure.

Oh yeah, and now I'm hooked on the War of the Roses, which has been a favorite of mine since middle school. Look out!

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