The Battle of Verneuil 17 August 1424

The Battle of Verneuil 17th August


Saturday, 27 June 2015

To the Strongest, Late Medieval Game Test Two, Part One!

On Thursday evening gone we manages to set up another game of To the Strongest using Nigel's Medieval Collection. This time we opted to use the Wars of the Roses lists (kindly provided by Big Red Bat aka Simon Miller at the Big Red Bat Shop for Free! One cannot go wrong with free stuff :>)

We reduced the troop types effectively removing all the mounted Men at Arms and Crossbowmen and settling for a smaller game in terms of troop types and the same size area in which to move Nigel's toys around. By sharing the remainder of the troop types around and using the suggestions that Simon had made via e-mail with me over the course of the previous week we were all set.

It's the first game of TtS that we have had using the rules for Late Medieval warfare where battle lines were maintained and the game had the right sort or look to it. This may well be because we are relative new comers to the rules, which do stand (proudly I might add) outside the mainstream as far as rules are concerned. I have already mentioned the grid system that really helps to speed up the game and the use of playing cards in previous posts on the subject. all very innovative.

So how did the game go? Well, surprisingly well, First of all I'd better explain the changes that we made the first being one of Simon's suggestions is that bow shot from medium to long range should not be as effective as short range. This would have a increase to hit of +1. The second, which would not have come into great effect but I have to admit that I completely forgot about on the day was that Mounted Kiights should have to keep charging after they have declared their first charge. One amendment that Jim (fellow club ,ember came up with) was that at long range it is only possible to disorder a unit and not to destroy it at Medium to Long Range Bow Shot. This we did implement but it never really came into play as we had our usual run of "success" when it came to scoring a hit!!

The battle lines maintained the right sort of feel throughout the game, which hadn't happened in previous outings so that was a major tick in the plus box for me.

As far as the game itself is concerned my charge by my Scurrers was beaten off on their Left flank and their charge with their Scurrers was very successful against my well armoured but inexperienced Men at Arms on the right. There was a little tit for tat bow shot but no other combat to speak of except one incident (again, my Men at Arms becoming unstuck!). I expect that there will be a lot more combat next week and that the battle will take on  more dramatic proportions so watch this space next Thurday.

Here are the pics:

Bye for now :>)

Friday, 19 June 2015

Hundred Years War, To the Strongest Part III,

We got on with the game that we'd started as a rules pick up last week tonight. I have to say that I'm beginning to think that TtS is not that well suited to the Late Medieval period as it is extremely hard to cause a hit on a Veteran unit of (Knights) Men at Arms and this actually, although correct, was a bit of a stumbling block last evening as both flank manoeuvres failed with the mounted knights and that sort of drove us into a stand still as it was proving to be extremely difficult to progress on the flanks from there for either side.

Another thing that we found to be none consistent with Late Medieval Warfare was the shooting system where you have about a 30% chance of a hit but it is not entirely all that difficult to save (or so it proved) and this really doesn't get the measure of what Medieval Archery was all about, yes to create disorder, but also to force your opponent into expending the energy to have to attack you. The problem lies in that missile fire was just not as exacting as it would have been in Medieval times to encourage one side to move forward/charge into melee. We hummed and harred about what to do about this but unless we made it easier for missile troops to score a hit, which is not desirable as it would upset the finely honed rules, it appears as though we've hit a buffer. something to be considered......

Having said all that we have picked up enough of the system (which is actually great) to see that it would be brilliant for much less shooty armies of earlier times and superb for most Ancients armies. I even found myself thinking Ancient Indian and as soon as I got home I was scouring (pun not intended) the internet for suitable mini's but I wouldn't find any of good enough quality for what I would want in 28mm. Maybe I should grab a good sculptor and commission one? Seriously, there isn't a great deal of choice out there in my preferred scale.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

To the Strongest Take Two

Right, this is six days late and the events that took place during the game are a little hazy. We decided that after the last game we would shrink down the unit sizes thus allowing us more boxes to play the game in. This is more tune with how the rules were meant to play as last week we started well within bow shot of one another.

So, instead of a battle report you're going to get the bits that stuck in my memory post game. As I was saying, we reduced the size of the units from eight bases down to four (see below).

This gave us a pleasing battle line that wasn't overcrowded. It might have looked a little better had all the mini's been based as above but hey ho Nigel didn't base his mini's for these rules and they look well enough as it was. In the event anyone is interested, they were originally based for Bloody Barons but in 28mm which is a more pleasing scale IMHO. I've taken the 50mm x 50mm base size as the size that I'll be using for my HYW collection as I slowly re-base it as the weeks go on. More on that later......

As a connoisseur of Late Medieval wargaming one thing that stuck out immediately and after only a few turns was the apparent ineffectiveness of missile fire even at relatively close ranges. I'm not sure that this is something that could be tinkered with without upsetting the apple cart as we already had the longbowmen as Veterans and as such they had seven missile chits to start off with. This is something that I'll discuss with the author when I've got a few minutes to write an e-mail. This week has been a busy one!

Oh, and there were a few of these too......

 Granted, there were not as many of the terrible Aces popping out of the deck as the first run through of the rules but they did occasionally pop out and as much as this is frustrating, is is also highly amusing and adds to the appeal of the game.

We will be (hopefully) finishing game two (in effect game one if we're to be honest!) and I'll have a full round up of what everyone thought tomorrow evening. No doubt we will be playing many more games, hopefully consecutively as this is the best way, for me at least, to pick up a rule set.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

English Archer Conversions IV

I've been putting off the work on the second short sleeved gambesons (worn over an gambeson of the long sleeved variety) for a while now as I wasn't too confident in my sculpting ability! Anyway, I was up with the larks this morning and had a bit of time on my hands so I bit the bodkin and got to it.

The results aren't too bad really:

On close inspection of the pics I can see that I've made a few mistakes but that can be put right very quickly tomorrow with a tiny amount of putty. These will be joining their comrades in the 'Preparing for Melee' Archer bases. Of course, I still have to find time to paint them first!

Here's a quick snap of some archer bases ready for basing proper (nicely silhouetted against the window sill to keep you in suspense!):

And here a very quick pic of the two completed bases:

Bye for now

Friday, 5 June 2015

Hundred Years War, to the Strongest First Go!


Nigel turned up at the club last night with two massive Medieval hosts which at first I thought was being brought in for the Bring and Buy at the Durham Club's Open Day next week on Saturday June 13th, it was one and quite a lot of English Archers "Thasends of 'em" in fact..... much to my surprise they were not for sale but were to try out Simon Miller's (that's BigRedBat to you and me) To the Strongest rules! Hurrah I thought!

I'd just picked up a hard copy of the rules from Simon at Partizan and was itching to use them. As a matter of fact I was supposed to be taking part in the play testing of the rules a while back but personnel circumstances soon put the kibosh on that and I wasn't able to contribute. I've seen a few of Simon's games usually at Partizan and Salute and they all looked highly impressive and had a nice linear feel to them which was well suited to at one to both Ancient and Medieval Battles. To the Strongest is also a rule set that I'm seriously thinking of using these same rules for the Battle of Hastings demo game I'll be running on behalf of the Lance and Longbow Society at Salute next year, it being the 950th Anniversary of Hastings.

To be honest, we had so many fluke card turns that it wouldn't be fair of me to comment on the rules and how they functioned in a HYW battle as we seemed to blunder from one crisis to another on the battlefield! I'm going to reserve judgement until next week when we will all also have read the rules and will be in a much better position to comment.

I will say this, the rules are very slick and fast paced which at first comes as a bit of a shock if one is used to rolling bucket loads of dice but after a while, once you get used to it, the system works very well (OK, in practise it would have if both sides had not had so many fluke results!).

So, here's the pictures of the game. All the miniatures belong to Nigel and they are from a collection that he's been slowly building up for the last twenty years or so.

Also, much to my amusement there was some De Bellis action on one of the other tables; I know! such beautfifully miniatures needed better quality pics!! :>)

Bye for now.