Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life; currently concentrating on a re-fight of the entire Peninsular War, but with the odd foray into ancient, medieval and WW2 battles.

Friday, 29 May 2015

The Battle of Verneuil 1424: "A Second Agincourt" - or how not to try and beat 100YW English troops

I decided to have a go at a battle inspired by the Battle of Verneuil 1424, using the scenario in Miniature Wargames #3 but trying to take into account some of the information in this TMP thread.  Apparently there is a new book on the battle coming out soon, too.

I don't have any troops for the 100 Years War, so I used proxies from my Baccus 6mm Wars of the Roses armies instead.  I used the latest version of DBA as the rules for the game.

The English Army:

3 x Blades (dismounted men-at-arms, including the general)
7 x Longbowmen

The French Army:

4 x Knights (Franco-Italians, including the general)
4 x Blades (3 x Franco-Scottish dismounted men-at-arms, 1 x voulgiers)
2 x Fast Archers
1 x Solid Archers (Scots)
1 x Crossbowmen
2 x Spearmen (Pavisiers)
1 x Cavalry (Gross Varlets) 

To recreate the conditions of the actual battle, I made the following adjustments:

The French attackers to go first.
+1 to  any French attacks in the first turn.
French knights to set-up within charge range of the English.
French mounted troops with a clear path to the English camp must advance and attack it.

Deployment:

The initial set up (apologies for the photo): the English + "False" French at the top right in front of their camp, the French (and Italians and Scots) advancing from the bottom left.


View of the English army from behind the French (left) and Italian (right) knights.


View of the French army from behind the English position.  Note the separation of the French forces in comparison to the English, obviating the advantage of their superior numbers.
 The French Cavalry Charge:


Despite the advantages given in the scenario set-up, the English archers/men-at-arms still saw off the French knights in short order:  the French on the left merely reuplsed, the Italians on the right destroyed (one element in the attack, the second in the subsequent English counterattack).

Another view of the same.

The French General Assault


The French regroup, preparing a general assault using their dismounted knights as the spearhead of the attack.

...but meet total disaster and the French Army breaks.  To be fair to the French men-at-arms, they did manage to knock a couple of gaps into the English line, but as their flanking units crumpled under the combined English longbow/men-at-arms onslaught, it didn't do them much good in the end!
Game Comments
A quick game, flowed easily, over in about 40 minutes.  I managed to do even worse than the French did in real-life - the scenario advantages I gave them just weren't enough to crack the initially unprepared English line.  The longbow/blades combination in DBA is really tough to beat so I need to have a study of the rules to work out how best to do this.  Maybe a strong central wedge of dismounted men-at-arms plus other infantry, with archers flanking and slightly withdrawn with the cavalry in reserve?  As soon as I have some solid ideas, I'll give this one another go!

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