Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mantes 1364 after action report

I concluded the Mantes 1364 game this weekend.  There was a total of 92 figs involved, so it used to to stress test Song of Blades and Heroes.  The scenario was adapted from  a scenario published in Graal#18 for Cry Havoc!. 
The background was:  On April 7th, 1364 Bertrand du Guesclin recaptured the town of Mantes from the English by blocking the drawbridge with a cart full of soldiers disguised as wine growers.  
There were four distinct groups and the game was designed for 2-4 players.  it used the medieval town map.  The map depicted a walled town with a citadel.  I adapted the map to suit the terrain in my collection but I was able to closely lay out what was depicted on the map.   
The citadel being inside the town had an old drawbridge that had fallen into disuse could not be raised.  
The four groups were:
The Franco-Bretons led by du Guesclin.  this force was made up of mounted knights and men at arms.
The Rebels are the loyal French who reside in the town and this force was made up of mostly peasants and a few men at arms.
The English who occupied the town were a force of dismounted knights and men at arms.  They were the garrison of the citadel and were the watch on a couple of the city gates walls and towers.
The Collaborators were french who were cooperating with the English occupiers.   there were represented by the Bishop and the Hangman.  The Bishop had an escort of some halberdiers and a crossbowman.  The other collaborators included a couple of dismounted knights and some men at arms.  
In my earlier post I described the opening events in which the soldiers sprung from the cart and battled the guards at the gate.  Du Guesclin and a group of mounted knights rode like hell for the blocked bridge.  
A second group of Franco-Bretons made a dash for the Monferrat gate on the side of the town.  The English Sergeant Tyler moved to block the French whild one of the spearmen moved to close the portcullis. 
As the cry goes up both Rebels and Traitors begin pouring out of buildings around the town and brawling in the streets.  A rebel short bowman  begins to draw  his bow and is cut down along with a peasant by English archers on the walls of the citadel.
A  fierce battle raged at the Pilgrim’s Gate blocked by the wine cart.  The defenders rushed to block the knights entering the town and defeat the French soldiers that had sprung the trap with the wine cart.

Traitor peasants emerge from the blacksmith and engage rebel men at arms.

Sergeant Tyler and his men battle French knights at the Monferrat gate and try to close the portcullis.

Sir Tomas rushes past the citadel gate to battle the English halberdiers and Sir Clugney comes out of the citadel to challenge him.  Sir Tomas will pay for his rashness with his life.  Sir Clugney gives him a fallen result and the halberds hack him to pieces.

The French knights gain the upper hand at The Pilgrim’s Gate and ride into the town.  
Battle rages in the town square as the French knights press the attack.   
Sir Lacy and the Bishop muster forces in the courtyard of citadel and prepare to sell their lives dearly.  
Sergeant Martin leads the French as the Traitors counter-attack in the town square.
Du Guesclin gathers knights and contemplates a charge through the gate of citadel.
English longbowmen and a crossbowman fire on the knights.
Clisson rides toward Sir Clugney.   Forward to death or glory in front of the citadel walls!
The English defenders close the Monferrat Gate cutting off French reinforcements.

Du Guesclin decides not hazard his life with a charge into the citadel.  He rides down Sir Clugney and send his head flying.  The English men at arms seeing the gruesome death of Sir Clugney rout and run for The Lady Gate.    
The English are now trapped in the citadel and the French control the town.  The English and Traitors suffered more losses than the French and Rebels.  This ended as a  French victory.
About half way through the game I cut a couple of wooden dowels to make shoot sticks.  I made one for long, medium and short.  They are marked at range, range x2 and range x3.  This made ranged combat much easier.  
I did find it difficult to fire effectively with the longbows.  I have them as Q3,C3.  with the -4 at x3 range they were useless even when taking aimed shots.  For example at range x2 they are -2 vs. but only reduce the target by -1 on it’s Combat, but the -4 was too much to overcome when all the targets were Combat 3 or 4.  
I was really happy with the way the way the game played.  I have used this same scenario with several rules systems and this gave me the fastest game yet.  I anticipate that when used in smaller scenarios Song of Blades and Heroes and my adaptation Song of Lilies and Lions will really shine.         

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