Sunday, 2 April 2017

Hundred Years War - Campaign game 8

This is game 8 of my Hundred Years War campaign. In game 7 a rearguard action by part of his army just avoided a major loss and escaped north to join other elements of his English army. So Prince Riddick has been able to consolidate his all his forces.

The campaign dice were reasonably kind to the English and they were able to move all their army elements eastwards and attack Baron Chastain's much smaller blocking force. While victory would appear certain, a major victory is needed to remove this blocking force which will otherwise continue to hamper the retreat to the waiting English ships. (Major victories allow the victor to determine the losers path of retreat.)

Campaign map with the black arrow showing the English move
Baron Chastain places his crossbow units in the woods and his few remaining units in reserve behind the wood. A total of 5 units:

  • 2 x crossbow
  • 1 x foot sergeants
  • 1 x foot men at arms
  • 1 x mounted men at arms

The French units prepare to make the best of a bad situation

Prince Riddick's forces lined up either side of a wood. Foot on one side and mounted on the other. With all his commanders with him and the armies baggage, the English lined up with 9 units:

  • 1 x mounted men at arms
  • 3 x mounted sergeants
  • 2 x foot men at arms
  • 3 x archers

In their haste to move upon the small French force not all the units appeared in time. In other words - I made a mistake and the English should have had an additional 2 units because of the baggage.

A view of both sides
A close up of the English mounted units on their right flank
English left flank
The initiative was always going to be with the English due to their numbers. The mounted units quickly advanced, swinging around on the French flank with the intent of cutting off their retreat and securing a major victory. While on the other flank their archers engaged the French crossbow in missile fire.

A somewhat disorganised English mounted attack
A more coordinated advance by English foot units draws out some of the French reserves

The mounted English units whittled down the French reserve (not without loss to themselves) and got to grips with the mounted men at arms lead by Baron Chastain.

You may be wondering why the Baron did not simply leave the battlefield to deny a major victory. From a rule perspective a commander can only leave the field once more then 50 percent of their units have been eliminated.

While the English mounted attack was disorganised, it was swift, and had got to grips with the Baron before their foot units had caused too much damage to their opponents. The French still had 4 units (80%) of their force at this stage of the game.

It was not long before the outnumbered French were forced to retreat from the woods and into the open. Where they were mopped up by the roaming mounted English men at arms. Baron Chastain put up a valiant fight before his attached unit was eliminated. However, the brave Baron in the confusion of battle was saved by his loyal followers and escaped capture by the skin of his teeth.

The final moments before the reach defence started to break apart
The English mounted units gave no quarter to the retreating French
So a major victory to the English who will now be able to determine the French line of Retreat.


  1. The major victory allowing the victor to choose the path of retreat is a nice touch, overall, a nice body of rules are emerging for this campaign. The new situation continues to give hope to Prince Riddick..... I thought they were 'done for' a couple of battles ago!

    1. Thanks. The benefits of a major vs. minor victory cropped up in previous campaign. It is always nice to have something to aim for when you get those games that are one-sided, such as minimising the extent of a loss for the benefit of the campaign.
      Anyway, the Prince seems to clawed is way into a reasonable position. Having to move through zones with French towns will be problematic as any French force benefits with deploying additional units. The up coming campaign move activations (3+ English and 4+ French) will be important.

  2. Peter,
    Splendid report of a most interesting Battle - do like your figures- especially the Mounted Knights...well done. Cheers. KEV.

    1. Thanks. The old Minifigs do look good all grouped together.

  3. The writing seemed to be on the wall for the French in this engagement. Looking forward to seeing if the French can make a spoiling attack. This has turned into a very interesting "pocket" campaign. Very enjoyable to follow.

  4. Yes, it was always going to be a one sided affair. However, it was still surprisingly enjoyable game play because the English were out to get a major victory and the context built up during the campaign.

  5. I haven't commented much but I have been enjoying this campaign.

    Might have been an interesting choice for the French commander to launch 50% of his units forward in a spoiling/delaying attack hoping to be able to then retreat enough of the other half off table to claim a Minor defeat and continue blocking the road.

    1. That is a good strategy. Not one I have employed yet (or thought of - thanks).The attackers would need to counter with mounted units to get to the second line quickly and engage them.
      I have also thought about adding a rule that a commander cannot leave the field of battle until their unit have done the honourable thing and been engaged in at least one round of battle. Lest their standing with their men is diminished.