Saturday, 6 August 2022

1471 - The 2nd Battle of Coron Torr

The saga of the Piggy Longton continues ….. King Henry, presently lodged at Crispin Priory, had to remind Sir Roger that he was not under house arrest and that the imperative was to reach London before the rebels could strike.

He ordered that they leave immediately and make for Oxford, where they could collect reinforcements and then continue on to London.

Sir Roger, was of course duty bound to obey his King and he knew that Henry was right. Help had not arrived from Lord Darcy, so something was amiss and remaining at the priory any longer would just increase the chances of detection by the Yorkist enemy. Leaving that night and travelling only at night, they arrived three days later within the protection of Oxford - not it must be said without some difficulty along the way, but that is a story for another time.

Edward, frustrated by the inability of Salisbury to deliver the King to him as he had sworn he would do, could not delay further and he ordered Salisbury to leave Dungborough and move his forces south towards Banbury, where he would meet him, together with Lord Hastings and Montagu, from where they would advance on the capital.

He ordered Lord Trebian to put a strong garrison into Piggy Longton and use that as a base to organise an intensive search for Henry’s (now abandoned) hide-away.

Somerset (4th Earl) had arrived at Lord Darcy’s camp to collect his men to march to Oxford, a staging post for the Lancastrian forces that were gathering to move onto London for the inevitable battle that would be fought there.

This left Darcy alone to attempt the recapture of Piggy Longton from the Yorkists, though as a parting gesture, Somerset had left a body of pikemen that they may “doth valorous and striketh feareth into the hearts of the foe”.

So once again, Darcy had to attack towards Crown Hill, the gateway to his estates from the west.

What Darcy didn’t yet know was that to the south, the Lancastrians had just been beaten at the Battle of Barnet, that Edward now controlled London and that King Henry was to be imprisoned in The Tower of London.

please use the ‘read more’ tab for the rest of this post.

Darcy’s men were keen to avenge the taking of their homes, but they were tired from the recent fighting and weary of bearing witness to the wounds and deaths of men that were relatives, friends and neighbours. 

Though seeing the splendid foreign pikemen, practicing their formidable art in the nearby fields, did put heart back into Darcy’s army and he decided that the ‘long spear’ troops would take up the centre position in his vanguard, so that they could be seen leading his force to victory …… atop Crown Hill.

The hamlet of Piggy Longton - Click for slide show

The Bishop of Dungborough (known in earlier years as Stephen the Fearless), would not only inspire the army with his usual fire and brimstone sermon, but today, he would personally take the long spears to the top of Crown Hill and shatter the forces of Lord Trebian, of this he had no doubt. On the eve of battle, his aide, Friar Evian wrote ‘The brave Bishop wast w'rth a thousand and m're men on the field of hurlyburly’.

Trebian’s force by contrast was generally in good spirit. They had defeated Lord Darcy in the two most recent battles and the holding of the high ground gave them advantages. Trebian had already promised his captains parcels of Darcy land, should the Lancastrians be beaten here ‘and’ if Edward was successful in gaining the crown at London.

Trebian’s first son, Sir Percival Langley was also to be on this battlefield, holding the rearguard, in his initiation into the role of battle commander.

[Admin - as the player, I am quite excited at the prospects of this battle, as it will take the narrative in one of several directions. The outcome of the previous two battles have surprised me, so I will avoid the temptation of second guessing here! Plus, there are a good few notables on the field, will we be losing any of them?

In addition the Darcy / Trebian story is becoming quite intertwined with the fate of those armies moving on to London, as we have the making of a Tewkesbury moment (1471) likely to have have a direct impact upon the entitlement and rights of Darcy and Trebian to their estates. Edward has already signalled that if he successfully takes the crown, he will reward Trebian with Darcy land - though that was before Trebian had managed to let the King slip away, so who knows!] 


At Piggy Longton, Trebian was without cavalry, as his companies of horse were scouring the countryside looking for Henry and had currently extended their search radius to 20 miles (still short of Crispin Priory), but he had retained a body of foot men-at-arms, which he kept with him as a personal bodyguard at the centre of his force. His weakness was that many of the billmen on the hill were levy.

In contrast, Darcy suffered from the fact that half of his archers were levy, though his bill were largely retinue. Keeping the centre ranked with retinue and professional soldiers, including the long spears and with the Men-at-Arms immediately to their right for support, he was determined that today, he would punch through the enemy centre and break the Yorkist force.

[toy things - Today’s game uses 28mm figures, mainly Perry Miniatures and Sword & Spear 2nd Edition rules. The river is from S&A scenics and the hill from The Tree Fellas - modified by me].

The opening moments. 

Darcy had to move up to get within bow range, advancing into a shower of arrows, but it was actually the return shooting from the Lancastrians that did the most harm and after taking too many casualties, Trebians archers retired to behind the main line.

Gaps on the hill as archers fall back.

The Yorkist bill couldn’t just stand on the hill absorbing the enemy archery, they rushed down the slopes to hit the archers, some of whom got out of the way, but in two sectors, Lancastrian archers perished in large numbers when contacted.

Billmen run downhill and clash with Lancastrian archers.

Lord Cobham (Yorkist) took his levy troops and ploughed right through the archer positions, bringing themselves into direct contact with Darcy’s dismounted Men-at-Arms. The difference in soldier quality was very telling and the Cobham’s levy were quickly routed from the field.

The Yorkist left flank, the guns target enemy cavalry.


Sharp pointy things.

Having survived the onslaught of Yorkist billmen running downhill, Stephen the Fearless, led the long spears to the foot of the slope and then started to climb to clash with Trebian’s dismounted Men-at-Arms, the latter being roughly handled. 

On the ropes, they fought back valiantly, but Stephen just continued to press the long spears onwards, taking care to keep formation on the slopes (difficult ground).

The long spears approach the foot of the hill.


With the Yorkists suffering 5 lost units compared to the Lancastrian 2, they reached the point of having to do an army morale check (⅓ losses). This further reduced the strength of three units, but importantly, the line held. 

The long spears clash with Trebian’s Men-at-Arms.

Then …….. The Earl of Rutland’s levy billmen routed while trying to fight off Lancastrian retinue billmen. At the same time Stephen’s long spears cracked the centre, Trebians Men-at-arms fled and the rest of the army followed, abandoning the guns.

The battle concludes, 9 units have fled and Trebian
Cannot hold the Lancastrians off any longer.

Darcy’s cavalry pursued, but were held off less than a mile away at Larkin Hill as Yorkist cavalry patrols started to return from their search for Henry.

That evening Darcy gathered his captains to discuss their next moves. It was during this meeting that word arrived with news that Lancastrian forces had been beaten at Barnet and that King Henry was captive. 

There was one glimmer of hope, Queen Margaret’s army was marching towards London, intending to defeat Edward’s Yorkist army.

Everyone in the room knew that all rested on this battle. If Margaret lost, Edward would be free to seize the crown and King Henry would almost certainly be executed and with him, Lancastrian hopes would also die.

Sir Giles Staverton was the first to offer counsel. He suggested that a small force be left to defend Piggy Longton and that the bulk of Darcy’s force should make to Tewkesbury to rendezvous  with Queen Margaret.

Lord Darcy, a pragmatist, proffered that it might be best to send  just the pike mercenaries to Tewkesbury that they might rejoin Somerset for the expected fight, while Darcy’s men block / pin Trebian and prevent his force from moving on Tewkesbury.

He reasoned that his estates would not be left bare and that his absence from the Tewkesbury battlefield avoided the prospect of openly declaring against Edward, as in his view Edward was likely to win and he did not wish to find himself diminished of property and status. Up until now, his actions had always been to support the legitimate King (Henry) and he hoped that would be enough to be granted Edward’s pardon.

If Margaret won and King Henry was released, then Henry would see Darcy’s actions in blocking Trebian as legitimate support, especially in view of his recent protection given by Darcy.

There was a brief silence, a few nods and no dissenters. Margaret would get her battle and Darcy would have his! 

Resource Section.

The previous account of a battle at Crown Hill - (which will become known as 1st Battle of Corin Torr). LINK

The previous account of the Battle of Barnet. LINK

My sister webspace COMMANDERS is being re-configured to showcase various figure and boardgame systems that I am enjoying and give a flavour of where current ongoing projects are up to. Link.



  1. Great battle and a very intertwined plot developing. Lot of work put into this post. Very enjoyable!

  2. Thanks JB, I will use the Men of Iron boardgame to play out Tewkesbury and then, depending on who wins i.e who is king, will determine what happens at Piggy Longton - it is possible that 1471 imaginations is coming close to the end of its life.

    When thinking about whether Darcy should take his force to Tewkesbury, I thought it might be interesting to make counters for Darcy’s bill and archers and add them to the boardgame and of course do the same for Trebian - I might still twist the tale to do that, it might be curtains for one of them!

  3. An enjoyable small game by the looks of it which ebbed and flowed a little bit, and a good looking tabletop, both from a terrain and unit perspective.

    1. Thanks Peter, the system works by drawing dice to activate units, so works well for solo and does give that ebb and flow, so that you can never be sure who might win until a tipping point is reached.

  4. Hi Norm. Excellent looking game and a great storyline for the battles.
    I love the idea of a paragraph for "toy things" I hope you don't mind if I borrow it.

    1. Hi Ben, yes go for it, good support for the traders and I think it is one of those things that always interests the wargamer …. even if we might not realise it :-)

  5. Following the exploits of Stephen the Fearless closely!

    1. Hi Steve, he always leads from the front …. I’m surprised he has survived this far :-)

  6. Replies
    1. Hi, Thanks, from what started as just a couple of knock-about games, the 1471 imaginations has become quite immersive.

  7. Cracking stuff Norm a most enjoyable read, shame that the Piggy Longton chronicles may be coming to a close. Perhaps the protagonists may pop up in 1485, if they both still have their heads of course. I like the army morale test, I may try that out as a house rule in our next Neil Thomas game.

  8. Thanks Phil, yes I think Tewkesbury may be a deciding factor … though of course, Edward may win and clever old Darcy may still be able to retain favour and keep his titles …. that would really annoy good old Trebian!

    The way the morale rule works is ….. at start of play, the army is worth a certain number of points. Once a third of those points has been lost, the army takes a test, once 50% are lost, that side withdraws from battle.

    The morale test is that every unit takes a morale test and if it fails, it takes an additional hit. If that additional causes the unit to break and rout, then those around and in the rout path will take additional tests as per the normal ‘in play’ rules. It is a good part of the system and is trying to put pressure on the tipping point of army collapse.

    1. Thank for the morale info. What I shall try with NT rules is that each unit will test when the force is down to 50% in units. Units that fail will lose a base

    2. Yes, that should push the tipping point nicely.

  9. Superb stuff Norm, a most enjoyable read. Great storytelling as said above and lovely figures/terrain.

  10. Hi Lee, I enjoyed both sides of the con, the game and putting together te account, which is starting to take on a life of its own.

  11. This narrative has gotten so big that I struggle to remember who is who; but that always happens to me in the WoTR. 😀
    Nice pics of the battle. You did a fine job recreating the terrain from the map and the troops look splendid.

  12. Thanks Stew, for WotR, who is who gets even more involved when a titled person dies and the titles passes to another, I’m not sure anyone remembers who is who :-) I have to keep a separate file that includes all characters and place names in this imaginations and their relationship with each other ….. it is becoming real :-)

  13. I love the Saga of Piggy Longton! The narrative is fantastic, almost Pulp like in its importance and contribution to the overall enjoyment of the game and AAR! I know exactly what you mean about keeping track of characters though Norm - I had to go back to my previous Pulp AAR to remind myself of what I had called all the main characters, before I wrote yesterday's game report!

  14. Hi Keith, In the UK there is a radio soap called The Archers, essentially it is about a farming community and has been running for over 70 years! and that programme has to take great care about its previous story lines, family links and relationships etc, because the fan base is huge .... with good memories!

    I would not want to put Piggy Longton in the same league of course, but it has given me an appreciation of how threads can go off in all sorts of directions and needing tight control.

  15. Very fine AAR Norm! Perhaps if Piggy Longton is struck by peace the protagonists descendants might surface in the ECW?

  16. Thanks David, that would make a nice jump and interesting to speculate as to loyalties, who would most likely galvanise to the Cromwellian cause, Trebian or Darcy!

  17. Very entertaining post as always when we go to Piggy Longton, I am of course always interested in events of 1471!
    Best Iain

    1. Hi Iain, we should have a Tewkesbury going up soon, I’m not sure whether to give Trebian and Darcy a ‘day out’ there yet!

    2. Oh you should, just to round up the year of 1471!
      Best Iain

  18. Like so many others who've commented, the next episode in the Chronicles of Piggy Longton has become a much anticipated and welcomed event when it occurs. My only fear is that as the macro world of the WOTR draws nearer to a victory whether historical or ahistorical, so too will the tales and battles of our world in miniature [and, of course, miniatures] draw to their end.
    Still this was another highly playable and enjoyable narrative in the to and fro encounters between Darcy and Trebian.

  19. Hi Mike, yes, it does feel like a moment of decision is being reached, but I doubt that Piggy Longton will stay quiet for long ….. one way or another!

  20. Splendid stuff Norm , the WoR collection is looking fantastic and quite inspiring knowing I have some sat in a box ?

  21. Hi Matt, I think you ‘tame’ Napoleonic project opens up similar possibilities / style of game. Looking forward to their first outing.


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