I am already suffering withdrawal symptoms through lack of gaming and so I have set-up a H&H game which Alex and I will be playing via skype this evening. He’s based in Canada so they are 5 hours behind the UK, so it will be an afternoon game for him – not a problem because he is off work under lock down!
Tuesday 3rd March
HYW French v English
Facing a French army with more than half its units consisting of heavy knights and mounted sergeants, Tony and I had little option but to deploy our English longbow in an extended line between two small areas of woodland, with wooden stakes firmly planted in front of each unit. As we anticipated, Dave attacked both areas of woodland with his infantry which would, if successful turn both flanks of our line of longbows.
After an extended territorial battle over the woodland which saw significant infantry losses on both sides failed to secure possession for either side, Dave charged all the French heavy knights at the English longbow line. In response, Tony and I rolled probably the worst set of shooting dice I can remember for a long time. The result was that the French knights charged home and utterly demolished the line of English longbows and stakes! This should have been game over for the English, however the remaining English infantry and few cavalry units behind the woods to the left and right, attacked from both sides trapping the French knights into a salient. The knights lost the subsequent hand-to-hand combats through poor combat dice, had nowhere to flee or recoil and were eliminated.
This was an English win yes, but was at best a pyrrhic victory for the English as both sides had virtually annihilated each other!
Teutonic Order v HYW French
Tim and Steve (Teutonic Order), Mike and Chris (HYW French), deployed their armies centrally before gradually spreading to use the width of the table as both sides advanced and tried to outflank each other. As the crossbow units of both sides advanced to form a shooting line behind their pavisses there were opportunities for both sides to steal a victory with a heavy cavalry charge.
The challenge was to choose the right moment to risk all! The heavy cavalry of both sides were held back while the French pushed forward in the centre and extreme left flank.
The Teutonic mounted crossbow units soon showed their value as these light missile armed cavalry thwarted the French flank attack. The Teutonic militia units attacked the French infantry through the cover of the woods but where easily repulsed. It was time for the heavy cavalry! The Teutonic knights charged into their French counterparts! In the resulting combats one unit of Teutonic knights was lost but this simply spurred the others on to route the bulk of the French knights. The Teutonic spearmen followed up the success of their mounted comrades and delivered the game winning assault on the French infantry.
Tuesday 10th March
HYW English v French
Chris and Steve won the di roll for choice of table edge and deployed their English longbow army across the width of the table making good use of the woodland areas to augment their strong defensive position. With the longbow deployed and ready behind their planted stakes they waited for Tony’s French onslaught to begin. With the English holding such a strong position Tony started his assault with infantry attacking through the woodland. Unfortunately, initial success was greeted by a hail of arrows from the English longbow shooting with commendable accuracy.
The French heavy cavalry and mounted sergeants were next committed against the English centre, but again, the Line of English longbows proved immoveable. The line held and as an observer I could see that Tony was positioning his French knights ready for a last all or nothing attack on the extreme left of the English longbow line. If successful the French knights would be able to sweep along the whole of the Eglish longbow line who would be trapped by their own stakes.
Steve had positioned two units of mounted sergeants at the extreme left of the longbow line and by some miracle of the dice they stopped the French assault until a unit of English knights arrived. The French infantry supporting the attack were also repulsed with some excellent shooting from the English longbow. As a result the game ended with the English line still holding a strong defensive position and the French army exhausted. Very reminiscent of the battles of Crecy and Agincourt.
Teutonic Order v French HYW
Mike and I had the French and Dave the Teutonic Order and the French won the di roll for choice of table edge which gave us the table edge with the most terrain features. The Teutonic army had control of the central open area of the table in which the mobile Teutonic mounted crossbow units would have control. However, French infantry occupying a 3 hex wood gave much needed protection to the French knights deployed in the centre. Mike deployed the French crossbows in a line behind their pavisses on the right of our line facing the Teutonic crossbows.
The Teutonic spears advanced towards Mike’s crossbows but then thankfully stopped before I started to move the knights across for anticipated support. The Teutonic then knights moved into position to face the French knights and in response I positioned a unit of crossbows in front as a ‘blocking’ unit. I had decided to launch all the French knights accompanied by 2 generals against the Teutonic knights to lock them in combat. Dave, however charged his knights into mine first. This could have been a game winner but because I had 2 generals with the knights and the dice gods were definitely French during the subsequent hand-to-hand combat phase, the French knights withstood the assault.
In the next tactical movement phase Mike and I were able to advance our infantry to support the French cavalry. Again, with notable help from the dice gods we defeated the Teutonic knights and mounted crossbow and started to move against the Teutonic infantry. The Teutonic spearmen and crossbow units were still very much still present, organised and far from defeated. However, after taking a general overview of the situation, Dave decided that with the loss of the cavalry the Teutonic army was facing unavoidable defeat, so the game concluded.