Sunday, 7 November 2010

Warmaster Medieval - 100YW French and English battle it out somewhere in southern france

Back in early September my letterbox rattled and a thud was heard on the doormat. Thirty seconds later I had my grubby mitts on my first 'real' exploration into Pendraken's range of 10mm loveliness. Over the past couple of months two 100YW armies have emerged and I have posted a running commentary of my painting progress at

Initially scheduled for a December battle, I managed to churn these forces out in two and half months which is pretty rapid for me.

They are based specifically for FoG but those base sizes largely complement WMM. Other Medieval reinforcements are on the painting table - in the shape of Wars of the Roses, alongside other medieval armies including the Scots & the Welsh.

To debut both armies I chose a WMM 1000 points a side game. Random terrain generation provided almost ideal defensive positions for the English, a large wood protecting the right flank and a gentle hill from which to protect the right flank. The English started the alternate deployment and about ten minutes later deployment was complete. The British in one contiguous line from the hill to the wood with Welsh Spear and Gascon Crossbowmen in reserve. The French deployed 90% of their force to their left flank placing one Knight and one Retainer unit way out on the extreme right flank.

Turn 1 was a bit of a damp squib - the English overconfident in their set up, failed both command rolls and the French barely did much better with only the Knights and retianers on the extreme right getting a solitary order in.

Turn 2 saw a continued laid back approach by the English, particularly the left flank Sub Commander who failed his command roll for the second subsequent turn. The CinC managed to urge the centre forward, issue a command to the sub commander to take up defensive positions on the hill with the English Gentry and a further single command to the bill and bow unit on the extreme left flank - little did this unit know that it was to play the key role in the outcome of the battle.

The French mounted command on the extreme right flank emboldened by the apparent lack of haste on the part of the English closed down upon the suddenly exposed right flank getting in three successive orders - 90cm of movement! The French centre advanced methodically but still well out of bow range and the French CinC cunningly redeployed his remaining knights switching them from the French Left flank to the centre of the table.

Stunned by the sudden appearance of french Knights on his vulnerable flank, the English sub commander frantically barked orders for the bill and bow unit to stake a defensive position - only to see the order fail. The CinC managed to order stakes acorss the centre and again taking control of the Gentry encouraged their commander to do likewise, but an attempt to hasten the bill and bow into action again fell on deaf ears. The English braced themselves for the impact of Knights and supporting retainers against Bill and Bow in the open... even the famed English longbowmen failed to have much of an impact as three hits out of four were saved.

In the centre the French infantry continued their methodical approach toward the English lines. The CinC continued his redeployment of the remaining Knights and Retainers placing them under the command of his subordinate. The Engish left flank - key to the whole defensive position began to look very vulnerable. Very vulnerable indeed.

Not surprisingly the French Knights made short work of the exposed bill and bow unit converting their success into a flank charge uphill onto the English Gentry. The Gentry, despite their perilous position forced the French Knights to retire to the foot of the hill buying the English a little time in which to react. The English CinC committed his reserves (Welsh Spear) speed bump fashion - not in any way beleiving the welsh spear would stand but in that vital time would be bought to feed in other units to try and stem the advance of the knights. Fortunately one or two casualties began to mount up within the ranks fo the knights.

The French continued their hard pounding of the English flank committing all of their knights and all but one of their retainer units to the fight. The cream of English Gentry repeatedly held off the advance whilst the welsh spearmen simply crumpled. In his first mistake of the battle the French Sub Commander chose not to continue his advance - checking his knights and retainers in the hope of exposing the English Gentrys flanks to another charge from two directions.
This allowed the Gascon Crossbowmen to reform to face the onslaught as opposed to being caught in the flank - not that it did them much good once the French Knights charged in smashing their ranks into oblivion exposing the rear of the English defensive line which was now pinned bwteen the French Infantry and the Knights! Whilst the English Gentry held their own on the hill, the French infantry adavnce began to break up in a withering hail of fire from the English Longbowmen. A solitary charge on the Englsih line by a French Men at Arms unit was rebuked with horrific casualties.

With the writing pretty much on the wall for the English, the Gentry stood their ground and threw their sommander into the fray in a desperate attempt to break out. The English longbowmen continued to pur a withering hail of fire on the French Knights thus relieving some of the immediate threat from their rear. The French, puring more and more retainers into the fight atop the hill broke the first English Gentry unit and followed up with an advance into the second English Gentry unit. Beyond breakpoint (8) the English conceded the field.