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Sandal Castle

Author File Description
Earl of Richmond
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Hard
In the year of our Lord 1460, the realm of England was torn asunder by a bloody and chaotic civil war. The great nobles of the land, so recently a victorious band of brothers against their ancient enemy of France now turned on each other with equal if not greater ruthlessness. On one side were the adherents of the reigning king, the weak and unstable Henry VI of the Lancastrian dynasty whose vengeful French queen, Margaret of Anjou indulged her favorites against the better interests of the state. Ranged against them were the adherents of the Yorkist dynasty led by Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York and the powerful Neville clan of Yorkshire.

Initially victorious against the Lancastrian forces, the Yorkists had suffered several reverses and were forced to flee to the Continent, only to return with a vengeance and inflict a bitter defeat on the Lancastrian forces at Northampton. The Duke of York saw the opportunity to claim the crown as his own. However, the chance was ill-advised and noble and commoner alike, even those of York's immediate party were shocked by so brash and impulsive a deed. A compromise was reached where York would be guardian of the realm until the death of King Henry and assume the throne then.

This was something that Margaret would not take sitting down. Her own son, young Edward, Prince of Wales was disinherited by York's actions and their lives and the lives of their adherents were in jeopardy. Rallying her loyalists in the far North she massed a great army and marched upon the lands of York.

Sending his eldest son Edward, Earl of March to raise support among his vassals in the Welsh Marches, Richard, his second son, Edmund, Earl of Rutland, and his brother-in-law, the powerful Neville Earl of Salisbury, marched to meet the Queen. They encamped in the vicinity of York's stronghold of Sandal on the Calder river. However, for reasons still unknown, York chose to make his stand outside of the castle walls, rather than waiting out a siege by the queen's forces. Perhaps he was low on food as it was the ambushing of a Yorkist foraging party that seemed to trigger his rash advance. Whatever the reason he was marching against a force that, while bereft of siege equipment was twice as strong as his.

The result was the catastrophic battle of Wakefield. York, Salisbury and Rutland were slain and their heads mounted over Micklegate Bar in the city of York that, in Margaret's words, "York may gaze upon the city of York"

This scenario is a reconstruction of the battle from the Yorkist side. You must withstand the forces of the Queen and kill her nobles to win the battle. Salisbury's retainers are at the southwestern edge of the town of Wakefield while your own men are training and mustering on Wakefield green. The castle is garrisonned and provisioned but a siege may prove fatal as your 'keep' is not the historical keep (the large round towered structure on the hill) but what was historically the castle's Great Hall. This is to simulate the reluctance of York to make his stand in the castle. If the enemy breaches the walls it will not be too difficult for him to slay your lord at the door of the Great Hall.

Mount, mount my Lord, the enemy is at the gates!
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