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Sun of York

DESIGNER: Mike Nagel
ART DIRECTOR: Rodger B. MacGowan GAME ART: Charles Kibler and Rodger B. MacGowan
PACKAGE ART: Rodger B. MacGowan
PRODUCERS: Tony Curtis, Rodger MacGowan, Andy Lewis, Gene Billingsley & Mark Simonitch
Regular Price: $55.00
On Sale For: $35.00


  • Two decks of 110 cards (one Lancastrian and one Yorkist)
  • 140 Status markers
  • Rule Book
  • Two Player Aid Cards
  • Five 6-sided dice


"Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this …
"Sun of York" (Richard III, Ace I, Scene 1)

The Wars of the Roses (1453-1485) were the result of the struggle for the English crown between the Houses of Lancaster and York … both descended from the Plantagenet line … both with equal claim to the throne. By the end of the bloody struggle, both houses would be extinct and the crown grasped by the first of the Tudors.

Sun of York is a card game depicting the tactical battles fought between these two royal houses.

Represented by the cards are all the day's major leaders, including King Henry VI (too weak a leader to maintain control of the kingdom), Margaret of Anjou (Henry's strong-willed and manipulative queen), King Edward IV (organizational genius and longest holder of the Crown), King Richard III (charismatic leader of questionable morals) and Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (the "King Maker"). Each Leader is rated for combat ability and his affect on the morale of the troops he leads.

Troop cards include foot soldiers, missile units, pole arms and cavalry, all of different types and qualities, including mercenaries from the Continent. Each troop card is rated for its cohesion (the amount of damage it can sustain as well as deal out), its ability to move around the battlefield, and its combat quality.

A variety of terrain cards are included, and are used to configure the battlefield prior to play.

"Special" cards are included to provide period flavor and enable results so prevalent during a period where great heroics and insidious backstabbing by allies were common.

The heart of the game system (and that which separates it from similar games) is its "Orders" system. Generally, leaders on the battlefield give orders to the units under their command. Units without leaders can only move through the play of Orders cards (unused Leader, Terrain and Special cards). Calling up reinforcements also requires the play of Orders. Often, players will have to make the choice between discarding excellent troops in order to get any kind of troop into battle before their line collapses. This simulates wonderfully the chaotic melees these battles often became, and the difficulty the commanders had in retaining control of their forces once they engaged.

All the major (and several minor) engagements are included in Sun of York, as well as a random setup, for a total of twenty scenarios! Also included is a campaign system allowing players to fight out the Wars, one battle at a time, to their bloody conclusion.


TIME SCALE 5-10 minutes per turn
Cards comprise the battlefield
UNIT SCALE Leaders or 50-500 troops

Customer Reviews
# of Ratings: 4
1. on 4/4/2012, said:
Finally got around to purchasing a copy. At first seems a little quirky, but that passes quickly. For me a great game feels like the period simulated and this "feels" right. The frustration of being backed up against a stream and having to stand as your troops die for want of retreat room. The cheer that arises when your noble leader kills his opponent and the center surges to victory with renewed vigor (wins the initiative for back to back attacks)priceless.
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2. on 11/26/2011, said:
Great card game. There are some strategic wargames which have optional combat resolution systems which can be used to resolve battles. Instead of rolling dice and consulting a CRT one can transfer the units of ones army to a ‘battleboard’ in order to resolve the action. Within the context of a larger strategic game on the War of the Roses this would be great. As a stand alone wargame, I don’t know.
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3. on 8/2/2011, said:
Played my first game last night. The rules are not complex, although I did have to parse some sentences carefully ("Any unengaged Missile unit in a position that is adjacent to an unengaged position in the same battle that contains enemy combat units may attack those enemy units using long-range fire.") We also had some trouble with movement. Units without leaders need Orders points to move, but units with leaders, and of course leaders themselves, can move freely. Can a leader in the Middle Ground leave an engagement, return to the battle rear, pick up all units there, then advance back with them into the Middle Ground, all in one move? We decided yes, but it didn't feel right. Two weather counters had incorrect values printed on them; this was noted in the rulebook as errata, and is not very troubling to me. The flow of the game was good. Action is fast and brutal, as befits warfare of the period. I lost Richard Neville during a successful assault on the Lancastrian center, and afterward secured victory by driving Lord Audley's man from the field. We finished playing this first game three hours after unwrapping the box. It was great fun, and I highly recommend it to gamers and students of the period.
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