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Scoundrels who disappear when there is need of them……

imageThe 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?

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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?

Phil and Ken decided on an open battlefield, with a hill to the French rear. Small copses ringed the field.

Phil and Ken decided on an open battlefield, with a hill to the French rear. Small copses ringed the field.

Pavisiers- fiendish secret antidote to the longbow or slow moving porcupine?

Pavisiers- fiendish secret antidote to the longbow or slow moving porcupine?

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’.

The English storm forward!

The English storm forward!

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Ken bided his time by sending out his skirmishing Bidets. These slowed the advancing English and drew first blood as the skirmish screens clashed.

Skirmishers are a fragile resource in LADG. Gascon allies are caught by French bidets.

Skirmishers are a fragile resource in LADG. Gascon allies are caught by French bidets.

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.

Phil's mix of Knights and spearmen can't hold back the mighty French juggernaut. The English archers fall back in anticipation of defeat on this flank.

Phil’s mix of Knights and spearmen can’t hold back the mighty French juggernaut. The English archers fall back in anticipation of defeat on this flank.

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.

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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.

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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).

The triumph of the Longbow, versus the crossbow rather than the knight!

The triumph of the Longbow, versus the crossbow rather than the knight!

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4 Comments

  1. stevetimjim

    I was there to view this exuberant LADG ensemble during the latter stages of their set to.
    It is hard to overstate the excitement of grown men shouting triplets of random single digit numbers at each other.

    But let me try:

    Five, six, ………..FOUR

    Two, five, …………SIX

    Three, two, ……..FIVE

    Next time I hope to join in……….. 😉

    StevieP

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re in my friend! I was trying to give the impression that we knew what we were doing but basically shouting is what we like best!!!

      Like

  2. Phil Johansson

    Can you put me down for the next game as well. At times we were convinced you were making it up as you went along 😉 but great fun all the same. Inspired to watch Henry V this weekend now, the Olivier version of course not that upstart Branaghs effort!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Phil, if you are out there? I’ve booked you in for the next one but somehow your comment is lost in the blogosphere! Glad to have you on board!

    Like

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