Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.
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Sunday, 28 July 2019

Agincourt using To the Strongest!


On Friday I ran my Agincourt game at the local Danecon wargames event, a great opportunity to get out the collection that I have been painting these last nine months. The first figures were started on Agincourt day and that tentative first post is here.

So, nine months later I can put 36 units in the field along with other hangers on.

Working on the scenario for the battle I had to use some imagination and a flexible approach to unit size to achieve the look I was aiming for. So, for example the 900 English men at arms were represented by 4 units while the 3000 bowmen by 10 units. For the French the stretch was even more flexible, with 18000 men at arms represented by 18 units and the 2000 archers and crossbow represented by 3 units.

The English lines
Also the commanders given did not necessarily fight in those places during the battle, for example, Sir Thomas Erpingham may have given the order for the archers to commence shooting, but he fought with the men at arms.

The full lists I used are here if you have trouble downloading let me know and I'll try and share another way.

I wanted the battle to feel quite claustrophobic so we played down a table of only eight boxes wide with woods and the town of Agincourt to further constrain the French on each flank. This mean that even though the French massively outnumbered the English they would never be able to bring force to bear along the line and must get in their own way all the time.

The French lines
We were using the To the Strongest! rules but, I also wanted to represent some of the flavour of the day and adopted some additional special rules:

Henry V is a great leader. A great leader's exceptional qualities enable him to play two replacement activation cards or to-hit cards in a single turn, rather than the usual one. Great leaders are also exceptional warriors and when wounded, play two injury cards and pick the lowest.  

English archers may perform an arrow storm, drawing three chits for shooting rather than two as a difficult activation if they are shooting at an enemy within range 2, an extra ammunition token is expended. 

The battlefield is a ploughed field, any Men at Arms attempting to move or charge count as a difficult activation. 

To represent the problems caused when the French horse recoiled into their infantry, when mounted men at arms are broken they are subject to the Rampage rule (p.52)  

The French unit of Men at Arms carrying the Oriflamme can always redraw the chit if they fail to make a charge move. 

Drew and Bruce would play the French while Chad would play the English.

Bruce, Drew and Chad
It played our rather well, the French came on slowly, as could be expected from trying to push men at arms through the muddy field. They charged and charged again at the English lines only to be pushed back and then both sides pause to rally and gain their breath.

Rather than luck than by any planning the French men at arms bearing the Oriflamme were the first unit into the English lines and also the first unit to be lost. The Count de Fauquemberques led a mounted charge and one unit of English men at arms was destroyed although the count was killed by the supporting archers. On the English side, the Duke of York fell and as well as Fauquemberques mentioned above the French also lost the Marshall of France and many other nobles.

Chad is renowned for having terrible luck with dice and we had hoped that the use of chits may have alleviated that, it seems that any way of randomly generating numbers is not on Chads side.

Fauquemberques leading his charge against the English men at arms
The English started the game with 80 ammunition markers for firing their arrows and finished the game with six and with all supplied exhausted but no single French unit was destroyed by bowfire and the English men at arms had to do all the heavy lifting.

We eventually had to call time on the game with the English having lost 6 from 12 victory medals and the French 10 from 22. I think the English were in an advantageous position, but Chads terrible luck with the chits had meant that the English archers on the right flank with no meaningful French opposition before them were not able to turn the French flank. 

I think that if playing again, I would not make any of the French men at arms veteran, just leave the English as such. Making the first four French units have such a high save probably meant that they were a bit too good and hung around too long meaning the French casualties were not high enough.

Here are some images from the game.

Starting positions, English on the left.

View from English to French

View from French to English 

With the Oriflamme in the van the French surge onwards

Here they come

The ploughed field makes the French hard to coordinate

A kings ransom awaits our victory

Fight, rally and fight again for Harry & St. George
 
These archers should be rolling up the French flank by now, if only Chad could draw something bigger than a three!


The clash

Pour St. Denis!

English ammo chits are almost exhausted

Mounted knights against archers behind stakes who thought that would work?

The Duke of York is dead!



20 comments:

  1. Looks fantastic! Agincourt is a tough scenario to design, and it interesting to see how you handle it. I quite like your sabot bases. Did you make those, or buy them? If the former, may I ask how, and if the latter, where?

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    1. Thank you.
      The bases are a custom order from http://www.warbases.co.uk

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  2. Kudos for putting on an Agincourt game, it looks bloody wonderful. Really appreciate the work you put in getting the balance right, I always enjoy reading how others go through that process. Looks like you had it about right.

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    1. Thanks Peter, it seems to go OK, but the number of men at arms with very good saves does make the combat drag on rather.

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  3. Impressing game, Scrivs! Great to see to everything coming together on the battlefield.

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  4. Great looking game! It's difficult when you're only drawing 3s to hit!
    Best Iain

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  5. Hi Scrivs, looks absolutely splendid! I quite like your arrow storm idea, I'll have a mess around with that.

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    1. Cheers Simon, given Chads poor run on the chits it was still no use to them....

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  6. Fantastic to see all your hard work pay off so handsomely - looks brilliant!
    A wonderful way to see all those AHPC entries at the same time :-)

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    1. Thanks Paul. The AHPC certainly drove this project on.

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  7. Great looking game and fascinating to see how it played out.

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