Monday, April 28, 2008
Poitiers Battleday - Froissart's Hedge
Readers of the blog will know the importance of the hedge at Poitiers - or at least, in Froissart's account.
My 'hedge of the day' award went to the Armati game - in which I had the opportunity to participate (as king Jean) in the afternoon game ..
Wonderfully modelled, it did not look easy to get the English out of there ...I am sure that readers of Slingshot will get full rules orbats etc. for the armies in due course. Suffice to say that the French army was enormous, and that the king's division would not take the field until the Vanguard was routed.
The single unit mounted divisions leading each wing .. the Marshall's of France, Clermont and Audrehem, were not key units in order to encourage their reckless assault on the English lines ...
Actually, in our game, they made some headway, despite the apparent futility of attacking English Longbows and Men-at-Arms uphill though two lines of disordering hedge. Encouraged by the initial valour of the Marshals, the Dauphin advanced as fast as possible - scarcely delaying to pepper the English with darts and crossbow bolts.
Again, some encouraging leadership (canny die-rolling ...) raised French expectations ..
and some Englishmen were soon routed as the Dauphin's men looked to carry the hedge ...
but attrition eventually wore down the Frenchmen, who broke leaving the English ragged but still holding the line. King Jean personally led the remaining French division, but as he took the field, the Black Prince has released a small party of mounted English and Gascons under the Captal de Buch which was able to ride around the open flank of this unwieldy French mass. King Jean fought valiantly as the enormous army collapsed around him ....
Unfortunately for Rodger and myself, history was not rewritten on this occasion.
(game: Armati; scenario: Mark Fry; figures: Roy Boss; terrain: Mark Craddock; presentation Mark, Mark and Rodger Williams)