The scoundrels in question were of course the Genoese crossbowmen who were less than enthusiastic about getting to grips with the English at Crecy. The Hundred Years War has always been a favourite. The Agincourt campaign may grab all the attention but there are plenty of other less one -sided affairs, in the Iberian Penninsular and later in the conflict too. This Thursday’s chevauchee was led by the redoubtable Phil the Spaniard. Ken played the part of Phillip VI or was it blind John of Bohemia?
The rules were to be my favourite L’Art de la Guerre ( LADG). Phil chose a “brilliant” commander, the Black Prince and two competent sub- commanders. His army consisted of one mounted knight unit, two foot Knights, two dismounted men-at-arms, three Welsh spear units , two Bidets with javelins and no less than nine elite longbow units. A not un- typical force for this period but one which would certainly tests the rules’ handling of massed archery. Commentators, both contemporary and modern may argue about the penetrative effects of the longbow but the psychological effect of the arrow storm must have been absolutely devastating and not to be seen again until the modern machine gun?
The English army was quite equally divided into three commands. Ken went for a right wing with lots of punch ( four dismounted and two mounted Knights). In the French centre was a bombard and four units of pavisiers. He refused his left wing on the hill , with two elite Knights and three mediocre crossbow units. Bidets skirmished between the French ‘battles’.
Ken bided his time by sending out his skirmishing Bidets. These slowed the advancing English and drew first blood as the skirmish screens clashed.
Although the light infantry are fragile, that doesn’t mean that they are not without their uses. Ken sent his Bidets to flank the English central ‘battle’, as the fearsome French right lumbers forward.
In the centre, the pip dice were kind to the English. One unit of longbows mowed down the flanking Bidets, whilst the other bows were making inroads into the pavisiers.
But, the yew bows were really to show their worth on the English right. The mediocre French crossbow were carelessly left on their hilltop. The elite yeomen of England set to work and in a few turns they were decimated. Phil followed up with a mounted charge and the French array crumbled.
We are still getting to grips with the rules but I think we are on to a winner with this system. Thank you for reading and if you are ever in Cardiff on a Thursday evening why not drop in at Firestorm Games, the biggest wargames carpet warehouse in the World!? (Probably).