A Chevauchée with Billhooks
By smacdowall, Jan 25 2021 11:17PM
For some time I have been working on Hundred Years War amendments to Andy Callan’s brilliant Never Mind the Billhooks rules — adapting them also to my element-based armies.
Through the magic of Zoom I was able to bring 6 players together despite the virus lockdown.The scenario was a chevauchée led by the Black Prince to raid a French village while the Constable of France tried to intercept him. An added complication was the intervention of a Free Company under Sir Robert Knollys looking for a share of the plunder.
The Earl of Northampton leads the English vanguard of Welsh and Cornish knifemen, mounted longbowmen and mounted spearmen. With no French in sight it looks like easy pickings.
Then the French begin to arrive, the Comte de Blois leading his knights forward while the supporting Genoese crossbowmen hang back. For several turns in a row the Genoese leader card was not drawn.
The Black Prince, supported by the Earl of Arundel deployed on a hill to block the French advance, driving in stakes to protect their archers.
The English centre was held by a herce of veteran Welsh spearmen supported by archers.The French, having learned their lesson at Crécy, advanced cautiously, staying out of range of the deadly English archers.
Fortunately for the French the local overlord led a body of spearmen to clear the village of the
plundering English but not before the Welsh and Cornish managed to get some plunder loaded up
onto the wagons.
Sir Robert Knollys’ Free Company struck a deal with the Black Prince in return for a share of the plunder. But when the Prince showed reluctance to immediately share out the loot, Knollys took matters into his own hands. He loaded his share into his wagons and began to withdraw.
At this moment the Comte de Blois launched one of his squadrons of knights against Northumberland’s dismounted spearmen holding the Black Prince’s right flank. It was a magnificent charge. Despite taking casualties from archery the French charge pressed home in great style — inflicting horrendous casualties on the English who, although reduced to half strength, somehow managed to hold their ground.
A stalemate ensued. The French were unwilling to advance further against the well positioned English. The French managed to prevent the full plundering of the village and preserve a vital granary. Although they did not dislodge the English they could count the engagement as a victory.