|Following the attack on the city on during the afternoon of 17th September the citizens man the walls, nervously waiting so see what Warbeck and his rebel army does next.
|Within Exeter the livestock are herded to safety...
|...and the citizens arm themselves and prepare for another attack on the city walls.
|A view of the table showing half of Warbeck's troops deployed around the gate with the other half about to scale the walls.
|Perkin Warbeck, here shown with a Yorkist standard, and his retinue deployed as if they have just broken through the east gate.
|The citizens have dug a trench across the streets and set fire to parts of the city in an attempt to prevent Exeter being taken by assault.
Stuart chose to play Sir Edward Courtenay and the defenders of the city so I took command of Perkin Warbeck and his rebel army. As with our previous Warbeck games:https://camisado1500s.blogspot.com/2022/02/warbeck-deal-and-waterford-1495.html, we used Yorkist banners to represent his army as he was a Yorkist pretender to the throne.
1 Unit of Shire Archers
|The attack begins and Warbeck's Cornish rebels storm the trench in the city.
|The rebels advance into the city.
|As the rebels push forward the city is engulfed in flame and smoke.
|Warbeck's troops pour into Exeter.
|Rebel archers and billmen advance across the abandoned trench of the defenders.
|Fierce street fighting takes place between the citizen militia and Warbeck's rebels.
The early hours of September 18th had seen an attack launched on the north gate of Exeter but this was quickly driven off by the gunners defending the walls. As soon as this attack stopped a second attempt was made against the east gate. This time the rebels were more successful and within moments they were through the gate and into the city. Other rebels scaled the walls and joined the assault. Both the attackers and defenders had set fire to parts of the city and the smoke seemed to play to the advantage of the attackers allowing them to push forward undercover. The attackers found the trench the defenders had dug to be undefended and were easily able to cross it, and enter the city streets.
It was in the city streets that the fighting really began with Warbeck's troops clashing with the armed citizens of Exeter. The city's archers were unable to clearly see the attackers in the smoke which meant that most of the fighting was hand to hand. The attackers took casualties but by sheer force of numbers they were able to force the defenders back and begin to take over the eastern part of the city.
|Whilst the castle cannot be stormed by the rebels the streets around it fill with the sounds of battle.
|A view from the east gate into the city. As the rebels push forward the top of the photo shows that Sir Edward Courtenay and his men have arrived, hastily rushing to the gate from their lodgings in the Blackfriars.
|The Yorkist Pretender's men have pushed up the high street but their path is blocked by the defenders guns.
|In the side streets the Cornish rebels overwhelm units of defenders.
|Sir Edward Courtenay and his son, William, rush to defend the streets.
|In the eastern end of the city the fighting continues...
|...as the attackers surge across the trench and into Exeter.
|Sir Edward Courtenay and his men rally the defenders.
It looked as if things were going well for the Yorkist pretender and his rag tag army as unit by unit the city's defenders were defeated or pushed back. At the end of the high street Sir Edward Courtenay with his retainers and accompanying gentry arrived from their lodgings in the Blackfriars. They charged down the street preparing to engage with Warbeck's men and hopefully drive them back out of Exeter.
Sensing a decisive moment in the assault Perkin Warbeck ran to the head of the attack in an attempt to stir his troops and lead them to victory. He was accompanied by his armoured bodyguard, the few remaining men who had been loyal to him throughout his adventures in Ireland and Scotland. As they charged up the high street they ran headlong into the defender's trap. From a side street a storm of arrows was unleashed into them whilst the city gunners opened fire sending shot bouncing down the high street. Warbeck and his men were caught in the crossfire and slain! With the the pretender dead the word spread in minutes and the attack faltered. The gunners had certainly earnt their wages. The rebels withdrew and Exeter was saved.
|The gunners open fire on the attackers as they swarm down the high street.
|Exeter's defenders look on anxiously as Warbeck's men press forward. They still carry their torches having set the gates on fire in an attempt to prevent the attackers from breaking through.
|Warbeck himself advances into the city...
|...and attempts to lead his rebel army to victory...
|...but the attack is brought to a sudden halt when the pretender is brought down in a blast of cannon fire. With Warbeck slain the attack is called off!
|Sir Edward Poynings and Sir James Ormond prepare to storm the earthworks of the outer bailey and take Carlow Castle.
As this game represented a fight between a small royal army in Ireland and an Anglo-Irish lord both forces were a mixture of English and Gaelic troops. Stuart took control of Sir Edward Poynings and his men whilst I took on the role of the defender taking command of the FitzGeralds.
Stuart chose to put two units of kern in the row boats and a unit of shire archers and bill in the carrack. I hid both units of household kern, the kern with arquebus and the garrison bill in the buildings in the outer bailey. A brief description of the game follows.
|Sir James Ormond, on the left, leads galloglass and kern into the outer bailey.
|A bloody melee takes place as the FitzGerald defenders attempt to fight off Poynings's attack.
|A unit of kern with firearms emerge from the water mill and attempt to bring Sir James Ormond down in a hail of shot.
|The outer bailey is the scene of a savage battle.
|Galloglass loyal to the FitzGeralds clash with Galloglass in the employ of the Crown.
|Sir James Ormond and his bodyguard drive back the kern who ambushed them.
The attack on Carlow castle began with Sir Edward Poynings and Sir James Ormond leading a mixed force of English and Irish troops over the earthworks and into the outer bailey. It was here, beneath the stone walls of the castle, that a savage melee took place as galloglass clashed with heavily armoured billmen and men at arms. Initially it looked as though the FitzGerald garrison would easily see off the attack as units of kern and galloglass in the royal army were quickly slain and Ormond's household men suffered badly when the FitzGerald kern emerged from the mill and fired a hail of shot into them.
As the battle of the outer bailey continued the quality of Poynings's troops began to tell as the FitzGerald forces were slowly driven back. Sir James Ormond lead the attack and despite losing men to the arquebusiers he soon took revenge and slaughtered the men who had ambushed him. As they were being pushed back to their walls things went from bad to worse for the defenders as a couple of row boats full of kern crossed the River Burren. Yelling their war cries the kern splashed ashore and joined the fight.
|Poynings has tasked the kern in his army to land from the River Burren via some row boats...
|...they disembark and open a new front in the attack.
|The FitzGerald defenders are being driven back in the outer bailey. The kern can be seen landing from the river in the top left of the photo.
|From the larger Barrow river a carrack lands a force of English bill and bow...
|...they surge over the earthworks of the bailey and attack Carlow Castle from another direction.
|Back on the other side of the castle Sir James Ormond is brought down in a clash with some of Sir James FitzGerald's galloglass.
Back on the other side of the walls it was not all going Poynings's way as his fellow commander, Sir James Ormond, fell in battle with some of the FitzGerald galloglass. With the fighting taking place all around the castle walls it was hard to see which side would prevail.
|The English troops that landed from the carrack drive back some of the defending kern...
|...but they are eventually driven back by Sir James FitzGerald and his bodyguard.
|Sir Edward Poynings mops up the remaining FitzGerald troops on the other side of the castle...
|...and pushes around to the gatehouse driving back some of FitzGerald's remaining galloglass.
|Sir Edward Poynings clashes with Sir James FitzGerald in front of the castle gates. FitzGerald is defeated in a brief clash and Carlow Castle falls to Poynings and his small army.
The Carlow game was exciting and the element of both of us being able to attack from different directions at different times really added to the decision making and dramatic tension. I will definitely try and use the rules about landing troops at different locations in other naval attack scenarios as they made the game a lot of fun. Sir Edward Poynings was involved in a naval blockade and siege of Sluys in 1492, aiding Maximilian I against the rebel Philip of Cleves, Lord of Ravenstein. This will certainly be an event we cover in the future using some of the same ideas from the Carlow game.