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This blog presents my different wargames armies, after action reports, campaigns which I have run, some scenarios and a presentation of some of the different rules I play. The pages at the top of the blog contain historical information on the periods that interest me. They are an aid to my poor memory, and not in any way exhaustive nor necessarily correct. As I am an Englishman living in France, some pages are in English and others in French...sorry, I am too lazy to translate...

I hope this blog offers you much enjoyment and some inspiration !

vendredi 24 août 2012

French vs. Burgundians (1430)

Battle of Chateau Thierry, Champagne 1430

Battle played with DSC.

The French have greater numbers, but lack heavy troops. They outscout the Burgundians (4-0).
The differential of 4 scouting points was used for a +1 order for two French generals on the first turn – which sadly proved useless.

The centre was occupied by a farm and orchard, in DSC terms a "Wood" which turned out to be sparse. On the Burgundian right flank was a second wood, creating a bottleneck, and on the left were two gentle hills.  The Burgundians deployed their knights in two locations : on the right, and between the hills and the farm. Their left flank was composed of HI archers and EHI foot knights.

The Marshal of Burgundy changed his battle plans after seeing French deployment. His orders were to stall on the left – or let the French knights come and then counterattack – ;shield off the centre with crossbowmen; and envelop on the left.
It was planned that the left flank eventually sweep round behind the farm and either encircle its occupants or pincer the French left.
As for the French, they amassed all of their knights on their left flank. The farm was left to the mass of MI archers and the spearmen. The right flank, inteded to screen, was made up of heavy cavalry, medium and light infantry and some mounted crossbowmen. The French planned on crushing all resistance with their knights, with the troops in the farm threatening and paralysing any Burgundian intervention.

The French right was however surprisingly successful from the outset. Against the ranks of enemy crossbows installed on the hill - and firing with a 35 cm extended range - the French general chose to send his MI and LI. The LI, carelessly ignored by the Burgundians, begin to get flank shots leading to considerable confusion and disorder.  With the Burgundian foot knights too slow to intervene, the French MI were able to close in on the enemy crossbowmen. Expecting a massacre, the French unfortunately chose to alter their entire battle plan, and hold off the assault on the other flank until decision was reached on the right.

An hour into the battle (turn 3), everything went wrong for the French. The attack on the Burgundian positions on the right was a miserable failure, a powerful volley calmly directed by unit officers winning the melee for the Burgundians.  The Gascon MI, who had relied on rear support for victory, now recoiled back into their comrades, disordering everyone. On turn 4, the pursuit by the Burgundian crossbowmen destroyed these hapless south-westerners.

In the centre, the French took a gamble, using initiative to send a unit of heavy cavalry against enemy knights, whilst attempting to bring Gascons out of the farm and onto their flank. This was a bold attempt, but badly coordinated (failed order). The Gascons did not receive the second instructions ordering the flank charge. Left at the mercy of a far superior adversary, the French heavy cavalry were swept aside; the Gascons, milling in confusion out in the open, will be cut down on turn 4. By the end of turn 3, the French right was "moral aggravé 1" and it was decided to shift knights from the left to the centre, ending all hope of a victorious charge.

On turn 4, the Burgundian knights unleashed their charge in the centre. This overran the two French mounted crossbow HI XB units, one on foot and unable to evade, the other mounted but disordered and with poor morale (evade as EHC, ie. 8cm minus 2D6).  This was enough to break the French right, which promptly fled the battlefield.

The French knights moving towards the centre were however able to limit the damage, thanks to the "Valeur Stratégique" of their C-in-C, which enabled them to receive three successful orders, despite proximity to the enemy. Their charge crushed a unit of Burgundian knights and knocked around their French-speaking allies, leading the Burgundian centre to become "moral aggravé 1". Unable because of this state to counterattack by initiative, and with orders failing to get through, the Burgundian onslaught was halted.

Minor Burgundian victory.

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