Monday, April 28, 2008

Poitiers Battleday - Froissart's Hedge

Readers of the blog will know the importance of the hedge at Poitiers - or at least, in Froissart's account.

My 'hedge of the day' award went to the Armati game - in which I had the opportunity to participate (as king Jean) in the afternoon game ..

Wonderfully modelled, it did not look easy to get the English out of there ...I am sure that readers of Slingshot will get full rules orbats etc. for the armies in due course. Suffice to say that the French army was enormous, and that the king's division would not take the field until the Vanguard was routed.

The single unit mounted divisions leading each wing .. the Marshall's of France, Clermont and Audrehem, were not key units in order to encourage their reckless assault on the English lines ...
Actually, in our game, they made some headway, despite the apparent futility of attacking English Longbows and Men-at-Arms uphill though two lines of disordering hedge. Encouraged by the initial valour of the Marshals, the Dauphin advanced as fast as possible - scarcely delaying to pepper the English with darts and crossbow bolts.
Again, some encouraging leadership (canny die-rolling ...) raised French expectations ..

and some Englishmen were soon routed as the Dauphin's men looked to carry the hedge ...

but attrition eventually wore down the Frenchmen, who broke leaving the English ragged but still holding the line. King Jean personally led the remaining French division, but as he took the field, the Black Prince has released a small party of mounted English and Gascons under the Captal de Buch which was able to ride around the open flank of this unwieldy French mass. King Jean fought valiantly as the enormous army collapsed around him ....

Unfortunately for Rodger and myself, history was not rewritten on this occasion.

(game: Armati; scenario: Mark Fry; figures: Roy Boss; terrain: Mark Craddock; presentation Mark, Mark and Rodger Williams)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Battleday, Bletchley, 9am 26th April

That's the answer to the question I've just been asked. If you follow the Battleday link it doesn't tell you when it starts, apparently. Richard Lockwood's mailouts say 9.00am. See you there.

BAGRADAS refought at Salute

Here are some more photos of SoA's Salute centrepiece ... the Battle of Bagradas - a much appreciated participation game of the battle between the ill-fated Regulus and a Carthaginian army under the command of the Spartan mercenary Xanthippus in BC 255.

Jeanne d'Arc and the Relief of Orleans 1429

Herewith a special 'Salute' to the Lance & Longbow Society's prize winning game of Jeanne d'Arc and the Relief of Orleans, 6th - 7th May 1429. Well done - beautiful game.

Salute 2008 phototour ...

the Salute piece

Sorry about the mangled layout of the Salute piece: it didn't look like that on the preview page, I can assure you. I must learn how to get the photos and text nicely meshed! I'm sure there's a way to gi back and fix it - but I promised to catch up ... and I'm sure you'd rather have more photos right now


Not strictly a northern show, last weekend, a fair few of the Shows North team backed-up the Society's big day out at Salute

The 'main attraction' was an excellent 28mm game of Bagradas by Philip 'Lost Battles' Sabin .. ably put together by Eric Cruttenden and Alan Waller. Phil ran the games, while Eric helped the Roman players and Alan the Carthaginians (though I stepped-in whilst Alan was a lunch to give the Carthaginians a bit of a head start for the afternoon game ....)

Meanwhile Chris and Patrick were taking the day off from ancients to indulge their less historical interests....

New Committee member Jim Wallman was trying to engage visitors in the basics of magagames (and I think that was a fantasy game, also ...)..

but I can't complain too much (some of my day was spent assisting John Curry on the WD stand .. explaining the Fletcher Pratt Naval Wargame ..)...

At least our friends at the Lance and Longbow Society were staying 'on message' with their magnificent award winning Orleans presentation. I will post a few more pictures of this shortly. It was good to see one of Salute's prestigious awards going to an historical game, and one in the Ancient and Medieval periods, too. Well done L&L Soc.

Thanks a lot, as ever, to the Warlords for an excellent Salute - the Excel 'hanger' maybe a little impersonal, but the event retains a warmth and a buzz (and even if they're not all doing what you'd expect them to be doing ... almost everyone seems to be there..)...

I took my camera for a walk during the afternoon, so I'll follow this with a brief selection of other things there were to see.

Thanks to everyone who helped out on the Society of Ancients stand, and all the members and visitors who helped make it a grand day out.

Poitiers and The Hedge

I think one of my main issues has been with the hedge. Froissart describes this in fulsome detail, and it seems quite a substantial feature. There has been a tendency to minimise it in wargames reconstructions (to little more than a modern 'field boundary' type feature) - and I'm not sure that's right. OK, later in the battle (after thousands of men have hacked their way though it .. or tried to ...), it seems insufficient to restrict the English cavalry charge ... At deployment, of course, it seems to be the line drawn by a vastly out-numbered army between the broken ground on their left, and a palisade of wagons on their right... It is suggested they enhanced it too ...

I look forward to how the various game designers/presenters deal with this issue at the BattleDay. I will learn what I can from them - however, I suspect my own evolving game will be titled 'FROISSART'S POITIERS' (so no-one can be misled where I stand on the sources ...

What happenned?

Sorry to have started this up then failed the first hurdle: updating it regularly ...
Actually, we had some 'linking in' issues to resolve, so there was a hiatus (my plan remains, at the very least, the update - with pictures - whenever we go to a show, and with details, whenever we book in for one ...)

We just did Salute, and we're shortly off to the Poitiers BattleDay and Campaign at Milton Keynes (so expect lots of stuff..)..