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Author Topic: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood  (Read 3517 times)

Offline Patrice

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HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« on: August 09, 2013, 04:15:10 PM »
A skirmish game we played last sunday at the Summer Harvest Festival in my village.

Theme: the HYW in Brittany. At the beginning of the Hundred Years War there was a Succession War in Brittany, some Bretons allied with the French, others with the English. We did not want a big battle in this game, we prefer skirmish adventures, so I proposed that two large armies would take position on the table, but not move. Players were in command of a small detachment each, and had a mission.

The pro-English Breton player has to find and bring back an old alchemist who lives in a house in a village near the sea. This alchemist probably knows some recipes to ameliorate black power (the player was told that, yes, everyone knows that black powder will never be really useful on a battlefield! but it can sometimes be useful for sieges, so find this man and bring him here!)

The two young pro-French Breton players have to escort a pro-French emissary who wants to meet someone in the village (in fact it is the same mission).

The table seen from the English lines:


The village (the cotton is morning fog, it blocks the view!)


The English army and its Breton allies take position.


English longbowmen look determined!


The French army and its own Breton allies take position near the forest.


The villagers do not know that trouble is coming.


Everything is quiet in the village.


The pro-English Breton player has carefully chosen his small group: some Breton billmen and pavise-bearers; English longbowmen; two bidowers armed with javelins walk ahead. They advance on the table.


They cautiously cross the table, very far from the French army.


Some of the fog disappears. Players are told that the two small groups of pro-French Bretons are already in the village. They are placed.


The game master moves the frightened villagers.


We like long tables! (the black boxes are not part of the scenery they are boxes for miniatures)


Offline Patrice

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 04:15:29 PM »
The game and context are explained to visitors.


The pro-French Bretons wait for the enemy!


This small farm, with a standing stone in its field, could become a strategic place.


The pro-English Bretons pass through the field to come near the village.


After they are gone, the peasants come back to the field.


The pro-French Bretons players decide to let their enemy enter the village, but hold the bridge to protect the house where the emissary is still talking with the old alchemist.


Pro-English Breton soldiers come near the bridge.


Some shooting between French / Breton crossbowmen and English longbowmen.


Since the beginning of the game these two NPC merchants walk around the table to run away from the fight.


A new player arrives and enters the game. He is given another small group of pro-English Bretons taken from the English army, and is ordered to go to help his colleague.


A small party of pro-French Bretons is then sent from the French lines to balance forces.


Some pro-French Breton pavise-bearers try to come out of the village, but are soon killed on open ground.


Offline Patrice

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 04:15:53 PM »
Things turn badly for the French. Their emissary and other civilians come out of the alchemist's house and run to the coast, protected by the remaining pro-French soldiers. They hesitate to go to the hills, then they decide to walk to the beach. Three of them take a small boat to row to the island near the beach, while their soldiers cross on foot with water to their knees. But their opponents can be seen in the background, they are coming, they will certainly catch them on this small island, there's no way out of there… Is it the end?!


But then… what is it? what appears behind the hill, at the astonishment of pro-English men-at-arms?

…A SURPRISE !!!


A French ship, "La Grande-Ribaude" is coming!
(aaarg don't look too closely, it's not finished, I had hastily made the towers the previous day, but I wanted it to appear at the end of the game)


It's the banner of Louis d'Espagne (Luis de la Cerda), admiral of France in the 1340s.


Even the enemies like the surprise. First time we have a medieval ship in our games.


What a suspense! The secretary of the emissary, and the surviving pro-French soldiers, arrive on the island. They find a civilian who was hiding there. He is the nephew of the alchemist!
The pro-English men-at-arms realize that they'll lose any tactical advantage if they fight in the water. And they see the three civilians rowing away in the small boat - the alchemist is certainly one of them!


Yes! where there's no sand on the blue tarp, it means the water is too deep to cross!
No! a war horse with a caparison and carrying a fully armoured man-at-arms cannot swim!
Even if it moves its legs very quickly!


But we have cunning players. Notice the lone English longbowman (dressed in white) already taking position on the hill…

The three civilians in the small rowing boat are very slow because they can' t row properly. The longbowman on the hill shoots at them, and hits one of them!
The old alchemist is hit!
The most important civilian (the emissary) then decides to bring the rowing boat back to the shore and surrender!


The pro-English players stop attacking, and carry away the wounded alchemist.


They have to improvise something quickly! They say they try to make a stretcher from the door of the fisherman's house; then they requisition the cart of the trader to carry the alchemist.
Meanwhile, the pro-French Bretons signal the French ship to come and save them.


The secretary of the emissary wants the alchemist's nephew to embark first on the "Grande-Ribaude"


A small boat is sent to fetch them and the remaining pro-French soldiers.


A localisation D12, and a cure test, are rolled. The alchemist has been severely wounded in the arm but he will survive.

SO:

– The pro-English have brought back the alchemist; and also his son-in-law (who doesn't know anything); they have also captured the pro-French emissary (and being players, they intend to ransom him as hostage to pay their expenses and more!)

– The pro-French have brought back the alchemist's nephew. Nobody had previously heard of him, but he knows almost as many things as his uncle.

…The alchemist and his nephew both strongly believe that it is very important to add quicksilver and arsenic into black powder. Not sure they will be useful to anyone. But the players have fulfilled their mission.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 07:29:21 AM by Patrice »

Offline Captain Blood

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 04:24:11 PM »
An excellent scenario and game.
I like the ship.

(I shall be in Brittany for the next two weeks, and am looking forward to it!  :))

Offline Eric the Shed

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 04:54:29 PM »
Cool ship - source please

Richard have a fab holiday !

Offline theoldschool

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 05:10:03 PM »
Great report, looks like the game was a lot of fun. May I ask what rules you were using, I couldn't see anything mentioned in the report?

Offline von Lucky

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2013, 12:31:50 AM »
Excellent after action report. Some of the heraldry is inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
- Karsten

"Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Blog: Donner und Blitzen

Offline Patrice

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2013, 07:49:07 AM »
Thanks guys

- Heraldry is authentical for the early HYW in Brittany. Its exact use on the pavises is a guess but these look accurate to me (these are not my miniatures I don't paint so well!)

- The ship hull is from the Playmobil viking ship that I've horribly tortured.


Beware this plastic stinks horribly when you're sawing it it should be forbidden by the Geneva Conventions.

It's a bit big (40 cm); there were ships +20 metres long in the 14th Century but probably not many? that's why I put the admiral's banner on it. Now I must finish it, add some ropes etc.

- Rules are "Argad!" - free rules but under heavy rewriting now although the 14th century quick reference sheet is online here:
http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 08:08:46 AM by Patrice »

Offline Atheling

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2013, 07:51:46 AM »
Great looking game and nice dialogue too  8) 8) 8).

Nice looking Cog, is it scratch built?

Darrell.

Just Add Water II Blog (Painting etc):
http://justaddwater-bedford.blogspot.co.uk/
La Journee Blog (Hundred Years War):
http://lajourney-bedford.blogspot.co.uk/
Gewalthaufen Blog (Late 15th Century Blog):
http://gewalthaufen.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline Atheling

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2013, 07:53:08 AM »

Nice looking Cog, is it scratch built?

Darrell.

I think you may have just answered my question as we were both posting at the same time  lol.

Darrell.

Offline Paul

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2013, 08:47:17 AM »
Beware this plastic stinks horribly when you're sawing it it should be forbidden by the Geneva Conventions.

lol lol lol
Great looking game. Using the playmobile boat´s hull for a cog is a good idea.  :)
I knew the truck didn´t want to hit me...it had dodge written on the front

Paul´s Bods Blog
Federation of Bodstonia

Offline Colonel Tubby

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2013, 12:15:33 PM »
Sounds like you had an excellent afternoon, some great miniatures you have and that ship is excellent.
2018 Lead Tally: Purchased=81  Painted=18     Balance=-63
2017 Lead Tally: Purchased=45   Painted=80   Balance=+35
2016 Lead Tally: Purchased=196 Painted=173  Balance=-23

Offline max

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Re: HYW skirmish in Brittany: black powder and alchemist blood
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2013, 08:55:42 AM »
Looked like a fun game, a good read!

 

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