It's been about four years since we played this at the club, and I vaguely remembered it being a good game, so I was really looking forward to getting this played tonight.
Wars of the Roses is essentially an area control game with a fair amount of combat, plus some hidden planning and bribery to keep players guessing about the fate of their nobles, castles and cities, ships and bishops. The game lasts five turns (each turn taking about half an hour to resolve) and ends with a parliament phase where each region on the map is evaluated to determine which House (Lancaster or York) has overall control.
Bart won the game by a huge margin, largely thanks to an early income which enabled him to buy lots of troops and take control of large areas of the north of England. By contrast I was forced to spend what meagre earnings I had on persuading my nobles and bishops to remain loyal, which meant no money for military action. Something to avoid next time.
All in all, I really like the game. It's undoubtedly a Euro at heart, since even the combat is fairly simple and abstract, but it rolls along at a decent pace and I felt the 2.5 hour play time was OK. I would definitely like to play it again, and preferably not wait another four years!
Final score: Bart 144, Paul 106, Mark 105, me 81 (oops)