Sunday, March 31, 2013

Time for something bigger

Right, i know the rules well now. After another small game i'm ready for something bigger.
Before we begin, shown below is my method of drawing the Big Men cards; small counters. They work exactly the same as cards except you draw counters instead, and instead of shuffling, you shake around the box. Simple!

BTW i borrowed the idea, it's not mine originally!
 Right, on to battle! In this game we are in northern France, sometime in the 1470's during the French invasion of Burgundy. Thomas and John Stafford, the English characters from my Dux campaign have been called back north to join the rest of the company under Willian Yelde (more on characters in another post). They have been tasked to watch for French attacks and raids. During one such encounter Thomas was promoted to a dizenier and commands some archers.

The English have two groups of archers, one of billmen and one of men at arms. The French have a group of crossbowmen, a small group of mounted men at arms, some foot men at arms, some pikemen and some handgunners.

The table, with two English blinds on the left, the French coming in on the right. The French must loot the building on the left.

Thomas and his men deploy and spot a column of French soldiers marching between the houses. They let loose a volley, killing a man and shocking the French.

Hugh and the billmen deploy. The target is the building. (Note half finished footbridge, made of plastic sprues)

Two French soldiers begin to loot one of one of the houses.

Under heavy fire, the French decide to pull back, rally and have another go. They move to the shelter of the houses.

French crossbowmen deploy and begin harassing the English from afar.

The rest of the English arrive. John, who leads the other archers, is slightly concerned when on of his men is killed by a quarrel and decides to fall back (the Fear card).

Thomas spots some handgunners by a fence (half finished again) and loose some arrows, killing one. The handgunners return fire, killing no one but surprising the archers.

"Right, you over there, you that way..."
Guillame Legrand, younger brother of Alain Legrand, begins to restore some order to his infantry and gets them moving.

A eye's view from John's archers. The French crossbowmen are in the distance. 

The other way around.

The French infantry move around the village and try to charge the archers, but their progress is slowed by a rain of arrows. Progress slows, and finally the French begin to fall back after making it 10 inches short of the archers.

Hugh decides to advance and meet the French men at arms in combat. He also blocks the line of fire for the archers (damn you impetuousness!).

The French gladly meet the challenge, despite begin outnumbered.
The light was failing at this point so i had to use flash. The little cards in the wheat are the Grasp the Nettles cards, there so i don't forget they're in play.

Avancez! The soldiers aren't having it, and after two of their comrades fall from the bodkin arrows they begin  to fall back.

The French elites charge and after three rounds there is a kill on both sides and they break apart for a breather. The French are shaken though and pull back further.

Guillame, frustrated by the lack of success, rides forward, ready to charge, but comes under heavy fire that shocks his men.

We'll be back... The pikemen have had enough for today.

One of the elites passes out wounded (or drunk!).

Guillame chooses to pull back and save his men for another day. The English jeer them as they pull away.
View at the end of the battle.

I discovered what it must have felt like for the French when charging archers. Two shots a turn is mean, and if the Tiffin card comes up before Big Men can rally shock they get fired at again. I decided that armour is not used when protecting against shock from firing, but i think it might make it impossible for the French to charge. (Silver Whistle, if you read this your opinion will be appreciated, as will all ideas from everyone else!)

I'm keeping these characters to keep a sort of story running through my games and, once i have painted a good number of English i think Thomas might return to England to join in the feuding there (if he's still alive!).