About a month ago, John Spiess ran a fantastic 100 Years War game using his H.M.G.S rules. I wanted to share his write up of the battle, plus a few pics he took of the gameplay.
The game was a play test of the second edition of Halberd, Mace, and Great Sword (check out the initials for a chuckle). We use these rules extensively in our Education program, and have versions for younger kids, as well as a more advanced version for older students and experienced gamers. The game does not require rulers or measurements. The gaming area consists of 6 inch square grids. Initiative, cohesion, and fatigue also play large roles.
This was an evenly matched Hundred Years War scenario. As usual, the English had a large amount of bowmen and dismounted men-at-arms, while the French had the advantage of mounted knights supported by crossbows and billmen.
The English were on the defensive and had erected archer stakes and some wooden posts partially protecting their flanks. Nonetheless, the game started with the small amount of mounted English men-at-arms making a charge into the French left flank forces. The English players were actually new to the system, and wanted to see the effectiveness of cavalry. Not a bad idea, except if you were one of the English soldiers riding out from behind that nice little wall of archer stakes. The results were not that bad for the English. Yes, they were pushed back and had to retire and combine some beat up retinues. But they dished out a fair amount of punishment on the French left flank. More importantly, they really inflicted a “morale” crisis on the French commander, who basically got spooked and spent a large part of the remaining game not wanting to commit his forces to any attack.
So not wanting any part of attacking through those archer stakes to their front, the French had to rely on their Right flank commander, Dave Waxtel, to push forward and press the English line from their flank. Dave took over half of the total French mounted knights, plus 4 retinues of supporting infantry and crossbows. The fighting was brutal. English longbows cut down wave after wave of mounted knights. But the French crossbows also took that opportunity to get in close and decimate the English line right at the hotly contested corner. A few English retinues failed morale, creating a hole for the remaining French knights to enter and start getting flank attack bonuses.
At this point, both armies were getting dangerously close to their army morale break points. Seeing the game start tipping towards a French advantage, the English commander committed his remains knights in one last attempt to throw back the French and close the hole. But it was too little, and the English plugged one gap, just to have three more open up.
All in all, it was a hard fought battle, but the French survived the arrow onslaught and outlasted the English in the subsequent close combat melees.
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As Next Gen gets ready to head to Historicon 2022, things have been heating up for us in so many good ways. We ran two phenomenal events this past weekend (July 8th and 9th) which I'll hopefully get written up before the week is over. We also made new connections at both schools and libraries that we'll be exploring for programming.
On a personal note, my wife and I took residence in our new home, and the gaming basement is in full working order (well, maybe not full, but close enough). Here are some pics from our first game!
We at Next Gen look forward to sharing more of our work with you. As always, if you're an educator, gamer, librarian, or a business owner/team leader looking to do something different with your professional development/corporate training, reach out to us on our main page! Happy gaming!
The Next Gen Team