Monday, February 4, 2013

The cover of Columbia Games' Richard III wargame

So it appears Richard III has been found.

I'm not a big fan of wargaming that particular era and the War of the Roses is an especially confusing affair. Despite playing Kingmaker a lot back int eh day and more recently having Columbia Games' Richard III o n my shelf, I have to confess that I still can't quite follow all the ins and outs of the conflicts/.

It is exactly this sort of war that I think it's very hard for the modern mind to wrap itself around. There was no great ideology at stake. It wasn't a war between competing national interests or disparate cultures. Why, exactly, some thousands of men were willing to risk their lives is unfathomable. Sure, i get what Richard II and the other heirs had at stake. And even the interests of many of the nobles. But thousands of common soldiers also fought, died and underwent the necessary discomforts of campaigning and it's hard to see why.

As for poor Richard himself, well, he's not a very sympathetic character -- and his probable hand in the murder of the Princes of the Tower really makes him pretty monstrous. So it appears he ended his life being cleaved in the skull by a halberd -- a common soldiers weapon, BTW -- and a minor mystery of the time can now be answered in the footnotes of the relevant history books.

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